The Huskies came home after a solid weekend in Fairbanks and had a tough challenger waiting with Bemidji. The Beavers come off a bye week after splitting with Arizona State. At this point in the season, it’s hard to know if a week off is good for resting up or bad for messing with any rhythm the team is trying to establish.
Friday October 21st: Michigan Tech 2 – Bemidji State 5
So here’s the thing, I didn’t actually watch the game Friday. I know I know, typical analytics nerd not caring about the eye test. Get your chirps in now, I don’t miss watching many games so hopefully you won’t have many more opportunities. But one of my favorite bands was in town and I was only able to watch so much of the game on my phone between sets. Somehow, I went to an emo show and people at the Mac last Friday had a sadder time than me. I was at least able to piece together a few things from the numbers and many the angry/disappointed messages on my phone after the concert. First, I should not watch the replay of the game if I value my own mental wellbeing. And second, Tech fell apart pretty early in the second period and never really recovered.
Yup that sure is numbers that say we didn’t look good. Sorry I don’t have any special insight on this one but it really seems like Bemidji ran the show from the time tech scored our seconds and final goal till the final whistle.//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js
So I copied pasted the previous article over to make the formatting easier, unfortunately that also meant the images from last weekend were brought over. I spent about five loops staring at the Tech vs Fairbanks game 1 gif playing trying to make sense of how that was the game we got shelled in the second half. Needless to say, it made a lot more sense looking at the actual data for this game. Do you see how many shots they had from the slot? Yikes.
That’s a tough look, the boys got absolutely caved in after halftime and it shows badly. The only players above fifty percent xG share were Logan Ganie, Blais Richartz, Tristan Ashbrook, Topi Heiskanen. Everyone else was sub-fourty percent, most of the team falls between twenty and thirty percent. You don’t want to read any more about this game, and I don’t want to keep writing about it. I don’t know, burn the tape or some other metaphor that lets me move onto Saturday’s game.
Saturday October 22nd: Michigan Tech 2 – Bemidji State 2
So I actually watched this one, it seemed like we were getting beat pretty badly in the first period from what I was watching. That being said, the numbers don’t really seem to show that. I think that is at least partially to do with the speed of Bemidji. It’s easy to watch a team zip around the ice with possession and think “they must be doing better than us right now, we can’t keep up”. But in reality, Bemidji didn’t really get that many dangerous chances despite me believing that they outskated us pretty significantly in the first. From the start of the second period it really felt like the Huskies had come out with a lot more energy and effort. I remember texting my friends a few minutes into the second, “I’d rather have them able to complete a tape to tape pass, but if we can’t do that I guess just hit them until they can’t either is the move.” That isn’t the way I would normally want to see the team play, but it did end up working in this game.
The third period, Tech really started to come alive. Despite Bemidji using their speed to generate a few dangerous rush chances, the Huskies were able to control play most of the 3rd period and on the back of Kyle Kukkonen were able to take the game to OT. I didn’t have the time to do any specific work with overtime numbers this week, but holy wah if that type of 3v3 overtime doesn’t get you hyped, you need to see a doctor. Tons of great chances for each team, but both goalies locked it down for a tie. Yeah, sure, we had to decide who gets the extra conference point with a skill competition that we ended up losing, but rest assured I’ll be just as salty about us winning in a shootout as I am about us losing in the shootout. Because the only true losers in a shootout are the fans who get robbed of
doing more cocaine watching more 3v3 hockey.
This game had a lot less action early on, and overall both teams struggles to get many dangerous chances until overtime. There were a lot more shots from the point and outside and very few from the slot.
This looks much more reasonable than the graph from Friday, the top players from Bemidji still outperformed our best skaters, but as a whole it was far closer and everyone (except for Nordstrom who had a rough six minutes on the ice) was at least able to tread water on Saturday.
I hope you enjoyed taking a look at some nice charts and graphs with me. If you have any questions about the charts, my analysis, or just want to say hello, please leave a comment or reach out to me on the THG discord server (@Augie) and I’d be happy to try and answer your questions.