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Tech XCels in playoffs/Inside the Huskie

March 13, 2012
By Stephen Anderson - DMG Sports Writer (sanderson@mininggazette.com) , The Daily Mining Gazette

There are plenty of legendary sports curses, and the one Michigan Tech has against Colorado College in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs is worthy of being one of them. In fact, I'm going to propose a name for it: "the Broadmoor Curse."

Tech is 0-28 in the regular season at World Arena - but 4-1 there against CC in the playoffs (8-2 all-time in the playoffs vs. CC).

Last weekend's playoff-opening sweep over the Tigers just a week after CC swept Tech in the regular season sums up the curse beautifully, but "the Broadmoor Curse" goes much deeper.

One of Tech's most iconic playoff wins came against CC in 1994. The Huskies beat the Tigers 3-2 ... in overtime ... in the final game ever played at the now-demolished Broadmoor World Arena.

This year, CC will have to sit at home and watch Tech and five other WCHA teams battle for the Broadmoor Trophy at the WCHA Final Five in St. Paul, Minn.

The trophy - which CC has never won - is named after the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs and has been awarded to the WCHA playoff champion since 1985. The Broadmoor Trophy is expected stay with the WCHA even after CC departs for the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference in 2013-14. Now that Tigers' sophomore sensation Jaden Schwartz signed an NHL contract with the St. Louis Blues on Monday, CC will be hard-pressed to ever win its hometown trophy.

Of course the now-sixth-seeded Huskies will admittedly be hard-pressed to win the trophy this year, heading to the Xcel Energy Center as the only WCHA road team to survive the first round.

"We're just happy to be here. Nobody expected us to be here and we know we're the underdog," Tech coach and WCHA Coach of the Year Mel Pearson said Monday night. "... But I told the team it's a one-game shot. We don't have to win two out of three against a team on the road in their building.

"I asked them, 'Did we beat Denver this year? Did we beat Minnesota-Duluth this year?' ... Obviously we know we can compete," he added.

The Huskies have embraced the low-pressure underdog role all postseason, but they also have reason to be confident against their competition.

Tech took three of four points from Thursday afternoon's Final Five quarterfinal opponent, No. 9 Denver, earlier this season. If the Huskies beat Denver, they would play Friday afternoon against UMD, against whom the Huskies also took three of four points from in the teams' most recent series. Ultimately, Tech took at least one regular season point from each possible Final Five opponent.

Not bad for a team picked dead last in the WCHA preseason poll.

The Huskies have been out of Houghton for two weeks straight already and Monday, they flew from Denver to Minneapolis. They'll practice today at 2 p.m. in the Twin Cities, and the only scheduled practice at the Xcel is 2 p.m. Wednesday in preparation for Thursday's 2 p.m. game. Opponent-specific gameplanning is minimal at this point.

"We can't change our game based on opponent against three different opponents with three different styles on three different days," Pearson said. "You have to do what got you to the dance so to speak. We have to do the things that have made us successful."

And if they do that perfectly, the perfect script to the Broadmoor Curse could end with Tech hoisting the Broadmoor Trophy.

Stephen Anderson can be reached at sanderson@mininggazette.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/steander.

 
 

 

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