Well the end of February is here for our Michigan Tech Huskies. They are on the road for the last time (for regular season play) in America’s Dumpster Ohio. They face off against the red hot Bowling Green Falcons on a six game winning streak. 


The Falcons have been able to run the table this month, sweeping the CCHA basement in Ferris and Lake State while also having an impressive showing taking 5 of 6 points against a hurt St. Thomas squad. This has been very impressive given their top performers and recent injuries these last few weeks. First on the top of their score sheet we see:

As you may notice, the Falcons’ scoring has dropped off a cliff this season. However, things get even worse for Bowling Green when we look at their injuries. Out of the eight players above, O’Hara and Evola are both out for the foreseeable future while junior defenseman Ben Wozney (9 pts in 22 games) and Tommy Pasanen (5 pts in 23 games) are also out. This really leaves the Falcons with maybe a 2nd line and then 3 lines of 3rd/4th line talent. Somehow though, they keep finding ways to win. 

Looking at their series against St. Thomas we find:

The main theme with the BG team appears to be puck luck with a high end work ethic. They are able to keep up with the Tommies (though UST is dealing with a ton of injuries right now) then keep shots in manageable positions for their net minders. What we’ll have to see is if the Falcons can continue this trend or if they will falter to our Huskies. 

Speaking of our Huskies, we need to start by acknowledging their effort against Mankato in splitting with them. They played very well on Friday with players like Russell, Vaharautio, and Williams having their best series of the year. Additionally, credit needs to be given to Marcus Pedersen taking up Joe Shawhan’s favorite role: the forward that can play a game at defense. Also, the forward corps, though hurt, was able to do a good job keeping the Mavs at bay picking up any slack the defense may have had. This did come at a price though, as our Huskies could be missing upwards of five players that are in an everyday starting role in Swankler (lower body), Kyle Kukkonen (lower body), Koskipirtti (undisclosed), Raiman (undisclosed), and Getz (lower body). 

This is all subject to change as the severity of each player’s respective injuries are unknown, but if Tech has to go through a repeat of game two against Mankato, expect things to get dicey out there.

Keys to the Game

  1. Skill to the grindstone. Tech is a better team than Bowling Green. They have higher skilled players and should be able to be the favorites this week for at least 4-5 points this weekend. They need to make sure they can keep up with the Falcons though as they need to make sure their remaining top players are well rested for their important shifts later in the game. 
  2. Positioning. They need to reproduce what they did in Friday’s game against Mankato with defensive positioning. Scoring is going to come at a premium this weekend and if Tech’s forwards get lazy on dropping back to defend, it’s going to be a long weekend for fans. 
  3. Level heads prevail. We all know there is some beef between these two teams given the departure of Austen Swankler from Bowing Green and subsequent arrival at Michigan Tech. Slater is known to be a loud barn with a low metal ceiling, their fans are going to be sure Tech hears it this weekend (if my interactions with people on twitter are anything to go by). Moral of the story is Tech’s players need to keep a cool head this weekend and not give the Falcons any unearned chances on the power play. 

My Prediction

This is going to be Tech’s most physical series in the foreseeable future (assuming they are done playing NMU). They need to stay safe and play with their heads up. The Falcons have become phoenixes in their month of February and are making a legit push for the CCHA title. If Tech plays down to where they think the Falcons are, they can kiss home ice goodbye in my estimation. Hopefully the bye week has helped more than hurt, but only time will tell. I am going to be realistic here and say they split when in reality the Huskies should sweep (but we all know they won’t). MTU wins 4-1, BGSU wins 3-2. 

The guys on our Chasing MacNaughton Podcast also made predictions for this coming series against the Falcons.

Cover photo courtesy Michigan Tech Athletics.

InStat plots created by Zach Aufdemberge.

How to Watch

Both games are available through Mix 93.5 for audio featuring Dirk Hembroff (free), via flohockey.tv* (paywall) for video. Game 1 will be Friday at 7:37 ET. Game 2 will be Saturday at 7:07 ET.

*Flohockey.tv is also the source of all games played in CCHA buildings this season so don’t be afraid to sign up for a month or the year. Flo Sports now has apps for iOS, Android (with Chromecast support), Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku.

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.