College Hockey Series of the Week: Clarkson vs. Michigan Tech
It’s crazy how fast time flies over the course of a sports season. It’s mid-December, and we are already almost halfway through the college hockey season. We’re still getting some high-quality non-conference matchups, as No. 4 Clarkson visits a Michigan Tech team that is sitting just outside of the USCHO poll this weekend.
A dangerous Clarkson team enters with an impressive 11-3-1 record, while Michigan Tech is set to host the Golden Knights coming off a 4-1 victory over Alaska Anchorage that improved the Huskies’ record to 10-7-0 this season. Clarkson just defeated St. Lawrence this past weekend 3-1 in a game in which leading point-scorer Devin Brosseau registered two assists on goals from defenseman Connor McCarthy. Brosseau has spread out his offensive contributions evenly, totaling six multi-point games this season.
Michigan Tech is a young team relying heavily on production from underclassmen. The most experienced of the top-five scorers on the team is junior Seamus Donohue, who has 10 points this season. Beyond him, Michigan Tech is relying on freshman Parker Saretsky with 10 points and sophomores Brian Halonen and Trenton Bliss, who are tied for the team lead with 11 points.
While the Golden Knights have one of the nation’s best scorers in Brosseau, these two teams boast very good defenses, and it would be no surprise to see limited scoring in their two games this weekend. Both teams rank in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense, led by two of the best goaltenders in college hockey. Clarkson’s Francis Marotte has an excellent .939 save percentage this season and has won 11 games in goal for the Golden Knights and has lost only three, good enough for fifth in goalie win percentage. The Huskies’ netminder Matt Jurisik has been just as brilliant, stopping 305 shots for a .930 save percentage, and he has nine wins this season.
Michigan Tech has dealt all season long with offensive inconsistency. When the Huskies are moving the puck well and playing smart and fast on the ice, they are capable of scoring three or four goals consistently. However, a troubling trend has developed in most of their losses this year, that being the Huskies only mustering a goal or two, or even getting shut out (as demonstrated by No. 1 Minnesota State in early November). Michigan Tech runs into stretches where it can’t buy a goal, while Clarkson has dangerous players on the roster like Brosseau that can strike at any time.
Luckily for the Huskies, they have the kind of defensive unit that can keep Clarkson honest in this series, but they will still need to find ways to put points on the board, because shutting out the Golden Knights is a task that they will be unlikely to pull off. Clarkson is able to put up four or more goals on a regular basis and can totally negate the opposition’s offense, as proven in its 4-0 shutout win over a talented Wisconsin team earlier this season. Michigan Tech is going to put up a fight, but Clarkson does too many things really well and will prove too much for the Huskies.
Prediction: Clarkson sweeps Michigan Tech 2-0
Game 1: Clarkson 4, Michigan Tech 2
Game 2: Clarkson 2, Michigan Tech 1 (OT)
Jeremy Ganes is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.