Hockey looks to beat Michigan Tech in WCHA Championship rematch

By Zane Miller and By Zane Miller

The Falcons hockey team will face the Michigan Tech Huskies on Friday and Saturday night in a rematch of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association championship game from last season, where Michigan Tech eliminated the Falcons 3-2 in double overtime.

However, the team feels that facing Michigan Tech will be different this time around, while still being a tough opponent.

“I think there’s been some change at Tech, not only with the coach but some turnover of players,” Falcons head coach Chris Bergeron said. “I do think they’re a really confident bunch and they’ve got a swagger that they’ve earned over the course of the last three or four years, I’m expecting high octane offense and a team that’s going to come at you and skate, push the pace north and a team that we’re going to have to be tight against defensively.”

Despite the loss in last season’s championship game, the team still has overall good memories from the game.

“The last time we were in this building, the overall experience was a pretty good one,” Bergeron said. “Obviously we didn’t get the result we wanted, but from an experience perspective, what a cool event to be a part of and we earned our way into that; that’s something I’m very proud of.”

The team also went 2-1-1 in their four game home stand against the Minnesota State Mavericks and Alaska Nanooks leading up to this series.

“With the exception of Friday night against Minnesota State, I thought we gave ourselves a chance to win those other three games,” Bergeron said. “Giving our team a chance to win three out of four nights, it’s good, it’s definitely not great, but it’s not bad. I think from an effort perspective, we need to have a good strong effort every night; I think that’s something that we can control.”

The team also feels that they need to improve on building their efficiency on offense in order to create more quality shots.

“There’s times that we create traffic and we miss the net, and there’s times when we hit the net with no traffic,” Bergeron said. “I think we have to combine those two. I’m not saying that we don’t have natural goal scorers, we have some, but we don’t have a crazy number of just guys that just score naturally; it’s just something that you have to work at… those two areas in particular are where I think you can work on in practice.”

However, the team is also looking to maintain their focus going into this weekend.

“We’re trying to not use the word ‘frustrated’ around our program because it’s a waste of everyone’s time and effort,” Bergeron said. “Let’s just keep pushing and keep the habits right, keep the details right, and we’re going to score goals because of that.”