Big weekend for Tech as they headed down to Bemidji with the Beavers right on their heels in the CkaCHAw standings. The Beavers swept (Saturday in shootout) the Huskies earlier this season in Houghton, so this weekend needed to be payback for that if the Huskies wanted to keep a legit chance at the MacNaughton Cup.
Friday, February 3rd Michigan Tech 2 vs Bemidji 0
It was a bit tough to tell watching on FloHockey, with the stream changing speed so much you couldn’t tell if the announcers were trying to calmly explain the game to their grandparents or win a rap battle against Eminem, but it felt like not much was happening all game. And looking into the stats, that sure was the case. The first period finished with less than one expected goal between the two teams. It really opened up in the second and third period, with both teams nearly generating a single expected goal each over the final two frames. In all seriousness, it was a pretty slow game where there wasn’t much offense from either side. But once again, Blake took the few dangerous chances that he faced, laughed in their face, and skated away with yet another shutout win.
For some reason embedding GIFs isn’t working properly this week, I’m going to include a link to the shot GIFs and include a static image all the shots in the post here. Very low event game on Friday night, only a couple of real dangerous chances for either team. Something that is kind of interesting you lose not seeing the GIF is that two of Bemidji’s best chances came in the last few minutes of the game. That explains the spike in xG in the previous chart right at the end of the game. But before that shift, it was pretty much dead even in xG. It was a bit of quality vs quantity with Tech having more dangerous chances, and the Beavers having more medium to low danger shots.
Thank god Brett Thorne didn’t lead the team in ice time, I can make this paragraph about something else so that people don’t start to think that’s all I know how to write about. Have I mentioned recently you should be voting for Blake Pietila for Hobey Baker? Because you should be. This wasn’t a dominant game from Bemidji by any means, but they did have the edge on Friday night and yet Tech won anyways. Thank you Blake Pietila.
Saturday, February 4th Michigan Tech 3 vs Bemidji 2
Alright that’s more like it, the first two periods of Saturdays game had the same xG as Fridays entire game. Not that it really matters, but I always think its neat when the expected goals and actual goals for a team are equal. So having Tech end the game with 3 goals and 3.03 expected goals makes the win feel just little bit better.
Link to the GIF from Saturday. Much more action compared to Friday, but it was just as close of a game. Both teams were getting dangerous chances and not a ton of shots from bad locations. It is interesting that Tech had a bunch of shots from the outside and a bunch from the middle of the ice, but not many from near the faceoff dots. I wasn’t able to pick out any specific thing that Bemidji was doing on defense that caused this, but I bet there is something I was missing.
I SWEAR I’m trying to not focus on Brett Thorne and Jack Works, but I mean come on this is getting ridiculous. Once again Thorne led the team in TOI and Works led the team in xG percentage. That line of Works, Saretsky, Ashbrook was excellent again and I feel like I notice every time they are on the ice.
No thoughts, just vibes
Shoutout to the Bemidji announcers for humoring Mitch’s Misfits and all the absurd questions they ask during the broadcast. Despite the technical issues, its always a fun time watching/listening to the Bemidji announcers. #MegaLasagna4Lyfe
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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