HOUGHTON - Michigan Tech will head into its annual trip to Detroit for the Great Lakes Invitational bruised, battered and bewildered.
After a promising 3-0-2 start, the Huskies have dropped 11 straight games. Tech's latest defeat came at the hands of rival Northern Michigan.
The Wildcats broke open a tie game with three goals in the second period and went on to defeat the Huskies 6-2 Friday night. Tech had tied the score at 1 on Milos Gordic's ninth goal of the season just past the midway point of the second period.
Dave Archambeau/Daily Mining Gazette
Michigan Tech’s Milos Gordic (28) checks a Colorado College player into the boards during a game earlier this season at the SDC. Gordic has been one of the bright spots for the Huskies this season. He leads the team with 13 points on nine goals and four assists.
Two of NMU's six goals came on the power play. The Huskies failed to convert on four power-play chances.
"Any time you give up a goal in the first or last minute of a period it goes a long way toward momentum and Northern scored with two seconds left in the second (period) and that was a tough one," Tech coach Jamie Russell said of the game with NMU. "We got it back to 4-2 in the third, but the difference between being down one goal and being down two is a real difference maker."
Snapping the losing skid at the GLI will be a difficult challenge for the Huskies. Tech has dropped three of its last four at the GLI, including both games last season by a combined score of 15-4.
"Our approach is we have to make sure we're thorough in our own end and do a good job of playing hard and playing disciplined," Russell said of his team's approach to the GLI.
Michigan comes into the GLI off a 5-0 win over Michigan State. The Wolverines are 5-2-1 in their last eight games.
Michigan went unbeaten in its first four games of the season. After dropping their first game of the year to Nebraska-Omaha, the Wolverines went undefeated in their next three.
Michigan has unbeaten streaks of four, four and three games so far this season. The Wolverines are 10-5-4 overall.
Michigan has seven players with 10 or more points. Senior forward Carl Hagelin tops the scoring list with nine goals and 10 assists.
Classmate Louie Caporusso is next with six goals and 10 helpers. Jon Merrill (5 goals, 8 assists) and Matt Rust (3 goals, 10 assists) are tied for third.
Bryan Hogan and Shawn Hunwick have both seen plenty of action in net for Michigan. Hogan is 7-2-0 with a 2.11 goals-against average while Hunwick is 3-3-4 with a 2.52 gaa.
The team that Michigan beat its last time out, Michigan State, comes into the tournament with a 6-9-3 mark. The Spartans started out the season unbeaten in their first six games.
Since that time, MSU is just 3-9-0. The Spartans have suffered through a pair of three-game losing skids.
MSU has five players with 10 or more points. Brett Perlini leads the team in scoring with 11 goals and five helpers.
Defenseman Torey Krug is next on the list with five goals and 10 assists. Forward Derek Grant is third with three goals and 11 helpers.
Drew Palmisano has seen the bulk of the work in net for MSU. He is 6-8-3 with a 2.59 gaa.
Colorado College rounds out the list of teams in this year's tournament. The Tigers have already defeated the Huskies twice this season.
CC has lost just once in its last seven games. After starting the year unbeaten in their first three games, the Tigers went just 3-7-0 in their next 10 prior to their recent roll.
CC has three players with 21 or more points. Jaden Schwartz leads the team in scoring with 11 goals and 15 assists.
Rylan Schwartz is second on the list with five goals and 17 helpers. Stephen Schwartz is the third player over 20 points with nine goals and 12 assists.
Joe Howe has done the bulk of the work between the pipes for CC. Howe is 9-7-1 with a 2.55 gaa.
K.D. Warvie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org