Redmond blanks Michigan, keeps Tech on a roll
Detroit — Michigan Tech coach Mel Pearson won a Great Lakes Invitational as a player for the Huskies the first year the tournament was held at Joe Louis Arena in 1979.
Pearson said this week his goal was to close out the final year at JLA with the GLI championship as head coach of the Huskies with the tournament moving next December to the new Little Caesars Arena.
Tech players took Pearson’s mission to heart and dominated defending tournament champion Michigan 2-0 Thursday afternoon in a GLI semifinal.
The Huskies (13-7-3) scored in each of the first two periods and held a 28-10 advantage in shots during that stretch.
Tech entered play as one of the hottest teams in college hockey, going 11-2-1 since being swept by Michigan Oct. 21-22 in Ann Arbor.
It is freshman Angus Redmond, whom Pearson inserted in goal after that series sweep in Ann Arbor, who has been the key to the turnaround.
Redmond entered the day with the best goals-against-average in the nation (1.40). He actually lowered his goals-against by turning aside all 23 shots he faced in earning his second shutout, and has now allowed one goal or none during his last eight starts. He was outstanding when the Wolverines had a 5-on-3 power play for 1:16 in the opening period with the Huskies leading 1-0.
Tech's defense was also strong, blocking nine shots in the opening period.
“Michigan has a really good power play, they have some skilled guys and when we played them earlier in the year in Ann Arbor their power play basically carried them to a win and a tie (Michigan shootout win),” Pearson said. "Our penalty killers did a great job and your goaltender has to be your best penalty killer and I thought he was outstanding. We were really good in that area tonight.”
Said Berenson: “You have to make your chances count in close games and whether it was on the power play or 5-on-5 we weren’t good enough. I thought we’d be better than we were. It’s just disappointing.”
Michigan sophomore center Cooper Marody made his season debut. He played on the top line with Alex Kile and Cutler Martin, getting five shots on goal, but failing to get one past Redmond.
Tech took a 1-0 lead when defenseman Dane Birks re-directed Mark Auk's shot past Michigan freshman goaltender Hayden Lavigne for his first career goal with 14:14 left in the opening period.
Then, the Wolverines had their best opportunity with the two-man advantage, but failed to score. They finished 0-for-5 on the power play.
Tech led 2-0 when captain Cliff Watson blasted a slap shot from near the bottom of the left circle through Lavigne’s legs.