Hats off to Gould: Huskies advance to championship

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Freshman forward Gavin Gould, far left, scoring the first goal in his hat trick. – Photo by Horatio Babcock

On Sunday, the hockey Huskies defeated the Minnesota State Mavericks 4-1 to advance to the WCHA Tournament Championship game against Bowling Green Saturday. Freshman forward Gavin Gould led the team with a hat trick, scoring three of the four goals for the night. “He’s a goal scorer… That first goal was huge, and he was in the right position on the power play to get a couple more. He’s the smallest guy on the ice but it goes to show that stature doesn’t matter, it’s how you play the game,” head coach Mel Pearson commented. Just seven minutes into the game, Gould scored the first goal on a pass from freshman forward Thomas Beretta.

Less than a minute later, Minnesota State tied the game up on a long shot from the red line. “I saw that he flicked it from far out, and then it got lost up in the air,” said freshman goaltender Angus Redmond. “I saw it at the last second and I don’t really know how it went in. I made a couple big saves at the beginning of the game and then that happens. I just tried to reset and bounce back, and it worked out in the end.”

A penalty for too many men on the ice put the Huskies on the power play. Gould capitalized on the man advantage to score yet another goal less than ten minutes into the second period. Junior forward Joel L’Esperance boasted the assist. Shortly after, the Mavericks were called for yet another penalty, and Gould took advantage of this opportunity as well, scoring the first hat trick for Michigan Tech since Feb. 21, 2014 when senior forward Reid Sturos scored three times against the Northern Michigan University Wildcats. “It just feels good to produce something like that for the seniors, especially in a door-die game… You want to do whatever it takes for them. I’m happy we got the win and that we get to keep playing,” Gould commented.

On a power play with three minutes left to play, the Mavericks pulled their goaltender to add an extra attacker. The puck found the back of the net; however the play was reviewed and determined no good due to a MSU player being in the crease at the time of the goal.  An empty net goal by senior defenseman Chris Leibinger would seal the night for the Huskies.

The WCHA Championship game will be held on Saturday, March 18 at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Puck drop will be at 7:07 p.m. The winner of Saturday’s game will claim the Broadmoor Trophy and the WCHA’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. “Hopefully it’s a packed house… It’s a great opportunity and it doesn’t come around often. Winning it for the seniors, winning a championship, and going to the national tournament would be awesome,” Redmond commented. Bowling Green swept the top seeded Bemidji State this past weekend.

The Falcons are seeded fourth and have now won seven straight games, which is the program’s longest winning streak since 1988. The Huskies have won two of the four WCHA playoff championship games that they have played in, winning in 1962 and 1965 and playing in 1996 and 2015. The Huskies swept the Falcons earlier this season on the Falcon’s home ice.