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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Michigan Tech Huskies Season Preview

By Andy Bourdeau/Michigan Tech Beat Writer

MICHIGAN TECH HUSKIES

Head Coach: Jamie Russell (8th season)

Home Arena: John MacInnes Student Ice Arena (4,128)

Last Season: 5-30-1 overall; 4-24-0 WCHA (10th place)

Huskies Returners:
Goaltenders: Josh Robinson, Kevin Genoe, Corson Cramer
Defensemen: Tommy Brown, Deron Cousens, Ricky Doriott, Pete Heinonen, Carl Neilsen, Steven Siego
Forwards: Jordan Baker, Michael Licktieg, Alex MacLoed, Brett Olsen, Aaron Pietila, Bryce Reddick, Bennet Royer, Anthony Schooley, Evan Witt, Gordic Milos, Eric Kattelus

Huskies not returning:
Defensemen: Drew Dobson, John Kivisto, Mike VanWagner, Eli Vlaisavlejevich
Forwards: Ryan Bunger, Malcolm Gwilliam

New wearing the Husky sweater:
Defensemen: Daniel Sova, Bradley Stebner
Forwards: Ryan Furne, Blake Hietala, Daniel Holmberg, Jacob Johnstone, Patrick McCadden, Dennis Rix,

Outlook: The Huskies look to rebound after a second straight year devastated by injuries. The Huskies were dead last in the WCHA and only were able to win five games all year.

With a large incoming freshman class, the Huskies will be young again, but they do return leading scorer Brett Olsen and a couple other offensive threats in Jordan Baker and Eric Kattelus.

Russell is expecting big things from his returning players and is also very confident that the incoming freshman will help turn the corner for the Huskies this year.

The Huskies had some pre-season hockey, taking a team trip to Europe to play five games against some professional teams. The Huskies ended the trip 2-3, but showed signs of offense that were not there last year.

Russell said he had confidence the team would turn it around this year. He also said that changes were made.

“We have made a lot of changes," Russell said. "The players have embraced them and had a trial run in Europe.”

Goaltending was an issue at times last year, with no one taking the lead and jumping in as the clear favorite. Russell stated that “both goalies will be given an opportunity to play and we expect that position to be solid.”

The Huskies start the season Saturday, hosting a Canadian school for exhibition game, and then start the regular season the following weekend, travelling to Northern Michigan and Lake Superior State for the Superior Showcase.

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