Michigan Tech ended the season above .500 for the first time since the 1997-98 season by splitting with Minnesota over the weekend. They are also seeded sixth in the WCHA, the best finish since the '97-98 season, for the league tournament.
Friday night saw MTU lose a close game, 3-1. All the goals were scored in the second period, as Malcolm Gwilliam got the scoring started. From there, the Gophers put in three goals in eight minutes and never looked back.
Michael-Lee Teslak ended the game with 28 saves and earned a chance for redemption the following night.
MTU came back Saturday and grabbed a 5-4 win. MTU got out to a two-goal lead with Justin St. Louis (right) getting both goals, one a shorthanded one. UM got one by Teslak before the end of the first stanza.
In the second, the Huskies were able to move to a 5-1 lead, as St. Louis capped off the spectacular night with a third goal to get his first hat trick of his career. Tyler Shelast and Jimmy Kerr each added a goal to bring the lead to 5-1. The Gophers, however, netted two quick goals and the Huskies saw their lead slip away to 5-3 going into the third.
In the third, MTU held strong, killing off three penalties. It wasn't until inside the last minute that Minnesota got its fourthth goal as they beat Teslak with the extra attacker. Teslak made 26 saves and held them off the rest of the game to get his Huskies a much-needed two points.
After a split with then No. 4 Minnesota, MTU (16-15-5,11-12-5 WCHA) just missed home ice and will now travel to Colorado College for the first round.
The winner of this series will not only move on to the WCHA final five, but will most likely get the conference's fifth bid to the NCAA Tournament.
More to come this week about MTU and the WCHA playoffs.