ALLENTOWN, Pa. (WZMQ) – The Michigan Tech hockey team traveled over 1,000 miles yesterday to make it to Allentown for the first round of the NCAA tournament.
According to head coach Joe Shawhan the team feels it’s ready to play “I’m excited to be here. I think our guys are ready to go, it means a lot when it’s not a first time thing,” remarked Shawhan during a press conference Thursday afternoon.
The Huskies played in the NCAA tournament just last season. They lost in the first round to Minnesota Duluth freshman forward Kyle Kukkonen was confident during the teams press conference.
“The recipe to win is inside our locker room.We have our eyes on the prize and we know what we have,” said Kukkonen.
The Huskies will be taking on Penn State, a team Michigan Tech has never played before. Facing an opponent for the first time ever presents some challenges. but coach shawhan said his staff has been preparing for what they will see on the ice.
“They’re gonna throw pucks on net, and have a lot of traffic there,” Shawhan went on to say “they shoot from everywhere.”
The Huskies are ready to face a lot of shots. They have arguably the best goaltender in the nation, Blake Pietila between the pipes. Pietila says the whole team will be crucial in preventing goals in tomorrow’s game
“You rely on your team a lot, and we harp on playing from the defensive zone on out, so I think just benefits me and helps our team,” Pietila said during the press conference.
In Michigan Tech’s last game they lost 4-0 to Northern Michigan University in the CCHA semi final. the loss was devastating, but junior forward Ryland Mosley added that his team used it to their advantage.
“We played in some big games in the playoffs, some have not gone our way, but we learned from them and are ready for this one,” Mosley said.
The team takes the ice Friday night at 5pm at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.