I first started writing this piece on July 5th, 2020 not knowing when/if it would get published. Since then, we have seen the addition of a new team to the reincarnation of the CCHA in the University of St. Thomas, the announcement of the next incoming class for Tech Hockey, and finally the revision of what most fans would say was one of the most anticipated game schedules in recent Huskies Hockey history.
Sadly, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, what was once a promising chance at a tough but fun season has turned into months of uncertainty for the world of college hockey. Each conference now finds themselves scrambling for a solution to keep all involved safe. Whether it be the bubble the NCHC is implementing, or the conference lockdown seen in the B1G, the NCAA has put their trust in the conferences to find what works best.
I don’t know how this season is going to work out, nor can I predict if the schedules will be able to be completed in their entirety. What I can say is that sports are a special thing in our society; it brings us all together regardless of our backgrounds. Moreover it gives us an escape, something to cheer our problems away even if it is only for 3 (or sometimes 6) periods of hockey.
Good luck to you, fellow Huskies. Stay safe out there and be ready to welcome Tech Hockey back to the copper country on November 21st!
One Hundred Years.
On its surface it’s only a minuscule amount of time when you compare it to the age of the earth, history of humans, and idea of sports. However, one hundred years holds a different meaning here in the copper country. It represents something more. It transcends more than just sports, it is our culture, our history, and holds the key to our future.
Over their one hundred year history, the Michigan Tech Huskies have seen world wars, a man landing on the moon, and changes in international landscape. One thing has been constant though. The Huskies have taken the ice to play hockey. Over their journey, they have seen 22 head coaches, 10 Olympians, 46 NHL players, and one Hockey Hall of famer.
Over these next few weeks we will be going through the newest group of players to take up this 100 year mantle for the next 4 (or so) years of their Hockey careers. They will be stepping in a building named after one of the most prominent coaches in all of college hockey and the students to whom it belongs: the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. The Mac serves as a mecca for Huskies near and far and brings us together no matter our differences.
Hopefully we can learn a bit more about our newest member to the Huskies Hockey Family!
The Huskies’ roster saw the departure of 7 skaters and the 53 points they produced, in addition to two goaltenders in Matt Jurusik and Robbie Beydoun. My esteemed colleague Mike Anleitner has already started a series coving our new roster additions and returning players. Look to his 4 part series to learn all about our Michigan Tech 2020-2021 roster.
This season I will be focusing on the newly updated schedule. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the WCHA, along with every other conference, has found themselves revising their season schedules. As a result, the Huskies have found themselves with 28 games, all against WCHA teams. The first ten games will be considered “non-conference” with the last 18 taking place “in conference.” In addition, it appears that GLI has been canceled for this year.
In addition to the new schedule, the WCHA has also just released the coach and media polls raking the teams for this upcoming season. I more or less agree with the rankings, with the exception of the Bemidji State Beavers, who still need to prove themselves given their highly favorable season schedule last year. However, without further ado, here is the new Huskies schedule:
- at Lake Superior State 11/21 & 11/22
- at Northern Michigan 11/27
- Northern Michigan 11/28
To start the season, the Huskies will meet their UP rivals. I would expect the Huskies to take three wins out of a possible four seeing a split with NMU and a sweep of LSSU.
- Minnesota State 12/4 & 12/5
- at Bemidji State 12/11 & 12/12
- Northern Michigan 12/18
- at Northern Michigan 12/19
This will be the Huskies’ first test of the year. Expect a spilt with NMU like the previous month, however things will be tough against the Mavericks. Given their history, I would give Tech the possibility of split but lean more toward getting swept. Finally the elephant (or Beaver) in the rink this year is Bemidji State. Given the lax season they had last year, they will need to prove to me that they are worthy of hype surrounding them. I say this fully knowing I could be eating my words.
- Alabama Huntsville 1/1 & 1/2
- at Minnesota State 1/8 & 1/9
- at Ferris State 1/15 & 1/16
- Lake Superior State 1/22 & 1/23
- at Bowling Green 1/29 & 1/30
Finally, we will see the Huskies have to turn on the gas as these final two months will be packed full of games. The upside of this is that in January we should expect to see 3 sweeps against the Chargers, Bulldogs, and Lakers, respectively. I would also expect at least a sweep against Bowling Green and again the possibly of a spilt with Mankato.
- Alaska 2/5 & 2/6
- at Alaska Anchorage 2/12 & 2/13 CANCELLED
- Bemidji State 2/19 & 2/20
- Northern Michigan 2/26
- at Northern Michigan 2/27
The Huskies end their 20-21 season with a packed February. However, UAA has cancelled all indoor winter sports including hockey and sadly no one knows if the Seawolves will continue their hockey program in the future. Moving our focus back to the games at hand, I would expect a sweep against the Nanooks, a split with the Wildcats, and finally either split or sweep against the Beavers (again, I could be completely wrong).
Given this quick look at the upcoming Huskies schedule, I predict that the Huskies will end the season with a 17-9 record and be around 3rd or 4th in the conference. I will be taking a closer look at each match up with more in-depth predictions which of will change given depending on how the Huskies preform.
At this season’s end, we can then take a look back to this piece and see how right (or wrong) I was.
Good luck to all you Husky Fans out there and stay safe.
Jonathan graduated from Michigan Tech in the spring of 2018 with a degree in Physics and Social Science in addition to a minor in Social and Behavioral Studies. He spent his college career watching hockey with the Misfits where he became the treasurer in his last year. When not traveling to away games he resides in Hancock working for a local engineering company and keeping up with all things Tech Hockey.