Up in Houghton on Friday to watch the Minnesota State Mavericks take on the Michigan Tech Huskies. A lot of history with the MTU program, including some epic battles against Minnesota during the Herb Brooks era.
Minnesota State came out flying in the first period, out shooting MTU 16-6, but Jamie Phillips was outstanding in net for the Huskies, and the game was scoreless after one.
Play was even in the second period, although MSU found the back of the net twice, with Zach Stepan and Jordan Nelson scoring. Sandwiched in-between the Maverick goals was one by Alex Petan for MTU. 2-1 Mavs after 2.
Tech came out flying in the third, Phillips remained strong in net, and Mark Auk scored half-way through the period for the Huskies.
The game went into OT, with both teams having scoring chances, and the momentum seemed to be with Michigan Tech. Still, the extra period ended without a score, and the game goes into the record book as a tie.
Phillips made 30 saves overall for MTU and Jason Pawloski made 27 for MSU. Attendance was 3060.
I have to admit, I really enjoyed the experience at “The Mac”. Home of the Huskies since 1972, and named after famed Husky coach John MacInnes (yrs:1956-1983), the arena has some of the most engaged fans in D-1 hockey. I saw some of that at The Joe in Detroit during the GLI, but it’s a completely different experience at MacInnes. The Husky Pep Band can really get the place rocking too. During the second intermission, there is a long time tradition of the Copper Country Anthem, which is a complete bastardization of the Polka song: Blue Skirt Waltz. Fans stand up and sway in unison to the rather somber rhythm.
All in all, one hell of a place to see a hockey game.