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Goaltending, PK bright spots/Huskies Insider

January 25, 2011
By K.D. Warvie -

Two weeks ago Michigan Tech played well in the first game of its series with St. Lawrence and struggled in the finale.

This past weekend just the opposite occurred. The Huskies struggled in their series opener with Minnesota Duluth and played much better in game two.

Tech played OK in the first 20 minutes of the opener with the Bulldogs. The teams were tied 0-0 heading to the second period.

But the game got away from the Huskies from there. Duluth scored three times in the second period and twice in the third to defeat Tech 5-0.

Two of the Bulldogs' top snipers, Jack Connolly and Justin Fontaine, accounted for four of those goals. Connolly added another goal for Duluth in the finale.

The Bulldogs did all their damage in the first period of game two Saturday. Duluth scored twice in the opening 20 minutes and held on from there for a 2-0 win.

But despite the loss, the Huskies saw improvement in two important areas. The first was on the penalty kill.

Tech's PK units didn't allow a goal in four shorthanded situations. The Huskies also killed off a protracted 5-on-3 situation in the second period.

"The penalty kill took a big step on the weekend overall," Tech coach Jamie Russell said. "We did give up one (power-play goal) on Friday, but for seven minutes of power play time we only gave up three shots.

"Saturday night we killed off an extended 5-on-3. We held them 0-for on their power play and they have a talented power play."

Tech also got a solid effort out of junior Josh Robinson in net. After allowing two early goals, Robinson turned away 26 shots over the final two periods.

"I'm really happy with the way Josh played," Russell said. "I thought he made the saves he should make.

"I thought his rebound control was outstanding."

More good news came in the form of the return of Bennett Royer to the lineup. Royer returned just one week after the Huskies had gotten Brett Olson back from an injury.

And while both are still getting back in game shape, having them back on the ice is a big plus for Tech. Both will help add a little more offensive punch to the lineup once they get their legs back under them.

"Brett is still finding his timing after being off for nine weeks," Russell said. "He's a kid that led our team in scoring last year.

"He had some good opportunities and you've got to feel good about that. Bennett played a limited role, didn't get a ton of ice time, so hopefully another week of practice under his belt will get him a little bit closer to where he was (physically before the injury)."

K.D. Warvie can be reached at



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