Welcome back to THG’s 21-22 season preview on our last episode we covered the change in personnel both on and off the ice. In the finale we will take a look over Tech’s upcoming 21-22 schedule and see where we should line up with a way too soon prediction of how well they should end the season!
First and foremost we’ll show an overview of the entire Tech schedule, and then break it down month by month.
I just want to first point out that we will not be going into great depth on each team as that is what the series previews do and it takes upwards of a day or two of research to produce those, so we will just try to do a general fly by!
Here we see the most diverse lineup of teams the Huskies will play in recent memory. The first game is an exhibition against NMU. I would expect both teams to be fielding a very wide number of players to see how they are preparing for the set of real games the week after. It will be hard to judge who will win or if there is any significance. The only thing of importance is that no one gets hurt in a game that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of the season. Expect the same mentality with the USA development team.
Up next is a slate of non-conference play with Wisconsin, Notre Dame, and Clarkson. I would expect Tech to have a clear advantage against Notre Dame with the Fighting Irish falling off after their last meeting in the NCAA tournament. I would also expect a low scoring game given the high defensive focus of both teams, though Tech should be the better team this time around. As far as Wisconsin and Clarkson I feel a split with each team to be a sign that things are on the right track.
November should be a good month to the Huskies with the only real challenge being BSU. The Beavers are by far the best team the Huskies will play this month with NMU a far second. Ferris should be a better team than last year, but it still remains uncertain if they will be able to pull it together. Same goes for LSSU, though we’ll have to see. I would expect nothing less than two sweeps (over the Lakers and Bulldogs) with a possible split against BSU (BSU being favored for a sweep) and NMU (MTU being favored to sweep).
This is where the Huskies’ first tests really begin. Mankato is the perennial favorite and this year is no exception. It will be a tough series and will be the bar the Huskies set for themselves for how they are as a team. As for the Tommies, I don’t have that high of expectations for their first year in DI, but they definitely have a bright future. Tech should win both games.
Now we get to the elephant in the schedule, the “56th Annual Great Lakes Invitational.” I will be going into more depth on this joke of a “Showcase” at a later date, but just expect that Michigan will be the harder of the two opponents. MSU should be an easy task for the Huskies though the program has been on the upswing in recent years.
This month is by far the biggest trap in the schedule with there being a better-than-we-would-hope chance that the Huskies go 0-6 or find some other poor outcome. Again this all depends on where the team is and how the other teams have fared up to this point. A split for this month seems like a good middle ground given the number of unknowns.
This could be a make-or-break month for Tech, but they have an ace up their sleeve in playing six games that they should win in St. Thomas, BGSU and FSU. BGSU has regressed due to their top players opting to take to the transfer portal and jump ship. The Huskies should have no problem this season with the Falcons unless they somehow fill all of the massive holes in their top two lines. Finally, to end the season, the Huskies will face the final boss one last time before playoffs in Mankato. Again anything other than a sweep is good news for the Huskies.
I feel like this is a pretty conservative estimate as to how Tech will do. Expect a top three finish most likely though anything is possible in the college hockey world.
Article feature image courtesy Geoffrey M. Miller