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Wednesday April 24, 2024
GOING DANCING: Husky Hockey Wins CCHA Title

Story, photo courtesy of Michigan Tech Athletics

BEMIDJI, Minn. –
Michigan Tech captured its first-ever CCHA Mason Cup Championship with a 2-1 victory at No. 20 Bemidji State Friday evening. The Huskies punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season, snapping an 11-game unbeaten streak by Bemidji State.

The Huskies improved to 19-14-6 overall and extended their winning streak to five games. It's the 12th conference tournament title in program history with the previous 11 all coming in the WCHA. Tech will make its third straight NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1976. Coach Joe Shawhan will take Tech to its fourth NCAA Tournament in his seventh season.

"Huge congratulations to Bemidji. What a great hockey team they are. They had a big-time push and there was no quit in them. They had a great year," Shawhan said. "This was just a one-shot game, and we happened to make it, and our goaltending was great—as always.

"I just have a lot of love for our team. It's a great group of guys win or lose. The leadership of this group with the desire to keep playing and to share more experiences is tremendous. I couldn't have asked for a better group to be around.

"Not many teams can say they went three years in a row to the national tournament. These guys have earned that."

After some nervous energy to start the game, the Huskies took control, outshooting Bemidji 14-7 in the first 20:00. But it was the home team finding the first goal when Kasper Magnussen scored from Austin Jouppi and Jackson Jutting 14:07 into the game.

Like the Huskies have done all second half of the season—they responded. And quickly. Alex Nordstrom and Henry Bartle went in on a 2-on-1. Nordstrom took the shot and then tipped the rebound out front, and Chase Pietila banged in the goal to tie the game only 52 seconds after the home team got the Sanford Center rocking.

Ryland Mosley
 scored the eventual game-winner 9:20 into the second. The Beavers dumped the puck into the zone, and Matthew Campbell caught it down at the goal line and quickly advanced it up to Mosley. He broke into the zone made a move to his backhand in the slot and slipped it in for his 18th goal of the season. He extended his point streak to five games and is now tied for the team lead in goals.

"It wasn't a hard shot," Mosley said. "I tried to get it off quickly and throw it wherever. I'm not sure what I was doing, but I saw it go off the post and in. I was pretty tired, so I didn't get to my normal celebration."

The Beavers pressured in the third with 17 shots on goal. All-American Blake Pietila was there each time. BSU got the only power play of the game with 4:58 remaining in the third but the penalty-killing unit stood tall only allowing one shot on net.

BSU (20-16-2) added the extra attacker with 1:48 left. Blake had to make three saves while defensemen Chase Pietila and Trevor Russell blocked shots in front of him.

Logan Pietila won a faceoff with 12 seconds on the clock and the Huskies held on, throwing helmets, gloves, and sticks in the air in celebration of their first Mason Cup Championship.

"The guys in front of me made it easy to see pucks. They did a great job boxing out to make my life easier," Blake said. "It's special to finally win this championship after five years. We'll be reliving this moment over and over."

Ryland Mosley
 was named the Mason Cup Championship Game's first star with the game-winning goal, while Blake Pietila was named the second star, making 34 saves on 35 shots.

Mattias Sholl made 25 saves for the home team.

Michigan Tech was the first team to secure its spot in the national tournament and will hear its name called on Selection Sunday. ESPNU and ESPN+ will reveal the 2024 NCAA Tournament bracket at 6:30 p.m. this Sunday.

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