By @MichaelCaples –
In what will certainly be considered a historic battle between two Upper Peninsula rivals, the Huskies emerged victorious.
Michigan Tech beat rival Northern Michigan in the WCHA championship game Saturday night in Marquette, riding a second-period goal from Greyson Reitmeier to an eventual 2-0 win and a tournament title.
The victory marks the second consecutive WCHA postseason title for the Huskies, who won the title on home ice in 2017.
Photos by Jeremiah Baumann for MiHockey
This time, they receive a different trophy – the two clubs were playing for the Jeff Sauer Championship Trophy, named in honor of the iconic long-time WCHA coach. It’s also the program’s first year under new head coach Joe Shawhan.
“The whole team, their character has been unbelievable,” Shawhan told Dave Ellis on the Fox UP postgame live broadcast. “They’ve stuck with me as a first-year coach. I’ve got to give credit to Mel, he instilled a winning attitude in these guys that we were able to work with and kind of continue for one more year. I’m happy, I’m happy for our president. Dr. Mroz, it’s his last year, he gets a title in his last year. I’m so thankful to work with Dr. Sanregret to stick with a first-time head coach and hand over such a great program and allowing me to do it this year.
“If I die tomorrow, I’m happy.”
Patrick ‘Packy’ Munson recorded a 21-save shutout in the victory and was named championship game MVP for his efforts.
“The atmosphere tonight was the stuff you dream about as a kid, going to college hockey games and seeing the fans and the towels and everyone into it,” Munson said on the postgame live broadcast from Fox UP. “To win 2-0, I never dreamed that far.”
The victory sends Michigan Tech back to the NCAA Tournament, as well, as the Huskies will receive an automatic bid to the big dance.
Here’s the goal that ended up winning the game for the Huskies:
— Michigan Tech Hockey (@mtuhky) March 18, 2018
Joel L’Esperance iced the game for MTU with an empty-netter with 47 seconds left on the clock.
Michigan Tech was a No. 5 seed heading into the WCHA playoffs – they played every postseason game on the road en route to a tournament title.
Stay tuned for more…