By Andy Bourdeau/Michigan Tech Beat Writer
Michigan Tech played a home-and-home series with UP rival Northern Michigan over the weekend and while both teams have been struggling on the year and both were looking for some momentum for the second half of the year, it was MTU that got that momentum with 2-1 and 1-0 wins over the Wildcats.
The Huskies got the scoring going Friday night on their home ice when NMU turned the puck over to Bennett Royer and he snuck a backhand past NMU netminder Brian Stewart. In the second, Northern tied the game when freshman goaltender Josh Robinson misread a weak shot by Mike Maltese and it snuck past his glove.
MTU sophomore Jordan Baker assisted on the eventual game-winner when he came in on a partial break and was tripped up. But before the play ended, he was able to get a pass to his offensive counterpart Brett Olsen, who buried the puck for the Huskies.
NMU pressured nearly all of the third and pulled the goalie, but were unable to get any more by Robinson.
Robinson finished with 36 saves and Stewart made 20 for NMU.
"A lot of the games we played against Northern, we really outplayed them," Huskies head coach Jamie Russell noted. "And we came out on the short end of the stick. We were fortunate tonight, but it feels good to have a win."
Robinson's play earned him his first back-to-back starts and he did not disappoint, leading the huskies to a 1-0 win on Saturday.
It was in second period on Tech's third power play that freshman Peter Rohn was able to put a pass from Royer past Stewart. It was the only shot either of the goalies would let in on the night. NMU put MTU under immense pressure in the third, but the defense and Robinson held strong.
Russell had high praise for Robinson after the first time MTU has ever shutout NMU (3-12-3, 2-9-3-2 CCHA) and the first time MTU has swept its rival since 1994.
"He made some great saves last night and then he came in here and got the shutout,” said Russell. “He represented the WCHA well, not only tonight, but during the whole weekend."
Robinson kicked out 20 shots, while Stewart needed to stop only 11 for the Wildcats.
The Huskies (4-14-2, 1-11-2 WCHA) take a three game unbeaten streak to Detroit for the Great Lakes Invitational, where they will play Michigan in the first round next Saturday afternoon.
Northern Michigan is off until Jan. 2-3 when they travel to Wisconsin for a pair of nonconference games.