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Wrong team, wrong time vs. Tech/Huskies Insider

January 11, 2011
By K.D. Warvie -

Michigan Tech ran into the wrong team at the wrong time this past weekend.

The Huskies' opponent, St. Cloud State, came into the series off a pair of impressive wins.

The momentum SCSU had built up from those two victories carried over to its series with Tech. SCSU took both games from the Huskies by the scores of 3-0 (Friday) and 5-1 (Saturday).

"St. Cloud played very well," Tech coach Jamie Russell said. "I think you have to give them credit. Their team was coming off a tournament championship, beating Cornell, beating Miami.

"The reality of our situation is we've got seven freshmen playing up front, got two defensemen playing forward. When you put your lineup together, your ideal situation is you want two scoring lines, a checking line and an energy line. Well, four of our scorers are out of the lineup, so we tried to manufacture some offense.

"Our freshmen are making good progress and heading the right way, but playing against veteran guys who have played four years in the league (WCHA) creates mismatches. I thought we played very well in stretches against St. Cloud. We had some breakdowns. We had a couple of freshmen mistakes that bit us."

One area of concern for Tech going into its series with SCSU was the numbers of shots on goal per game it was giving up. And while the Huskies allowed 43 shots in the opener, they cut that number down in the second game.

"We made some adjustments after Friday's game with our wingers on the point," Russell said. "I thought Friday night we gave up way too many shots from the point. Down low I thought our defensemen and centers did a good job with their "D" (defensive) zone coverage, but our wingers were not sharp on their point men.

"They created scoring chances from that. They created shots on goal and rebound opportunities. We did a much more thorough job in that area in Saturday."

Another bright spot for Tech was the play of goaltender Josh Robinson. He made a total of 73 saves in the two games despite facing at least 10 or more shots in each of the six periods.

"I thought Josh played well," Russell said. "He's strung together four solid games for us now.

"He's giving us timely saves. He's doing a good job getting his heels outside the paint and cutting down angles. That's a real positive for us that he seems to be getting into the groove and getting some confidence."



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