HOUGHTON, Mich. -- For UMD's first visit here in over two years (Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2012), you could have asked for better weather.
Well, some more sunshine would be nice (maybe Saturday, I guess), but I'm not about to complain about mild temperatures, no snow threat, and no bone-chilling wind.
Weather won't be an issue, but the opponent might be.
Michigan Tech is 12-2, stout defensively with great goaltending, and deep and experienced up front. Mel Pearson's Huskies are no slouch at all.
Tech has conceded just 21 goals in 14 games so far, and that includes two games against a pretty strong Minnesota State team where the Mavericks swept but only scored five goals. Make no mistake: Tech is a tough team to break down in its own zone.
However, it hasn't faced a team as speedy or deep as UMD. The Bulldogs will present challenges with their forecheck and pressure that Tech simply hasn't faced, outside of -- arguably -- Minnesota State.
(I'd argue that Minnesota State, Miami, and Minnesota are the three best teams UMD has faced to this point. Please don't ask me to put them in any kind of meaningful order, because I don't know that I can. But they're all very good.)
Iafallo - Toninato - Krause
Farley - Cameranesi - Kuhlman
Osterberg - Decowski - Young (Austyn)
Sampair - Thomas - Crandall
Johnson - Welinski
Soucy - Molenaar
McCormack - Kotyk
Kaskisuo - McNeely
Petan - Pietila - Sturos
Johnstone - Kero - Gould
Heinonen - Hietila - L'Esperance
Eirck - Steman - Gillies
Hanna - Roy
Watson - Sweeney
Leibinger - Hyland
Phillips - Wintjes - Kero