After a tough weekend in Bowling Green where we had to rely pretty heavily on Blake Pietila in net to escape with a split, the Huskies came back to the Mac to host Lake Superior State University. The Lakers have been struggling this season, and were coming into the weekend after getting swept by Northern the weekend before. I was looking for a pretty convincing weekend out the Huskies, and despite another split I feel good about how Tech was playing this weekend.

Friday, November 11: Michigan Tech 2 – Lake Superior State 2 (LSSU Shootout Win)

Oh man I gotta write about the Friday game now. So this game is a textbook example of why I like analytics and why they make some people so mad. Some games you do everything right and the bounces don’t go your way, or a goalie stands on their head all night, and you don’t get the results. The way I look at it, Tech outplayed LSSU in nearly every conceivable way, but Lake State goaltender Ethan Langenegger played his best game of the season. It’s frustrating to lose games, especially to teams that have been struggling early in the season. But I personally find it reassuring to be able to look at some of these charts and see that Tech DID have a ton of really good chances, and Langenegger WAS playing out of his mind. It wasn’t just in my head, the numbers back up the vibe I had watching the game.

MTU 5v5 xG in Black and LSSU 5v5 xG in yellow mapped over time. Team logos indicate a goal being scored.

Lol, lmao even. The Huskies had so many shots right in front of the net that I can’t count them on the shot map because it just turns into a blob of dark grey, and somehow only one (1) of them resulted in a goal. The last time I saw that many shots, that close together, was at the Dog after the we beat BG in 2OT to win the 2017 Broadmoor.

Yeah there’s not much more to say about this game, for the most part Tech dominated. It is interesting to see that the depth players actually flipped the script in this game. I don’t think there is much to read into that but it is kinda cool.

The Y-axis is the percentage of expected goals produced by the team while each individual player was on the ice. X-axis is time on ice.

Saturday November 12th: Michigan Tech 2 – Lake Superior State 0

As Joe Shawhan put it in the postgame interview, “You could have measured the pace of the game with a sundial”. This game as a whole was a much more controlled game and is the type of game coaches usually love to see. It was really nice to see Tech win a game that they were supposed to win and not just because of our goaltending. Although getting yet another shutout from Blake Pietila is always great to see

MTU 5v5 xG in Black and LSSU 5v5 xG in yellow mapped over time. Team logos indicate a goal being scored.

Not nearly as much excitement in the offensive zone on Saturday, but the boys did an excellent job being able to keep LSSU to the outside and really limiting the dangerous chances the Lakers. Blake looked great again tonight, but the boys in front of him played well and made it much easier on him than some of his previous shutouts.

It isn’t as skewed in favor for Tech this time, but as a whole the Huskies still outplayed Lakers in terms of xG% and that is always something that I’m going to see as a big positive. Interestingly enough, the depth players flipflopped from last night and Tech’s depth players had insane xG% and the Lakers depth got caved in. Again, probably not much importance to it, but I just think it’s neat.

The Y-axis is the percentage of expected goals produced by the team while each individual player was on the ice. X-axis is time on ice

Closing Time

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.

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