Though we're still in the dog days of August, the college hockey season has already started for one team. Michigan Tech is taking advantage of a rule that allows NCAA teams to travel overseas to play once every four years, and competing against some German and Austrian pro teams. It sounds like a fun trip, and it's something Michigan Tech plans on doing once every four years, so every player that goes to Tech gets to make the trip.
The Huskies are maintaining a blog dedicated to the trip, so you can follow their progress there.
Yesterday, the Huskies wrapped up competition in the four-team Joker Cup, where they finished in third place with a 1-2 record, which all in all, isn't that bad considering the competition they were facing. John Kivisto was named the tournament's MVP, and in true German fashion, was given a giant bottle of booze for his efforts. The Huskies beat ESV Kaufbeuren in their first game 3-0. ESVK plays in the second level of German pro hockey. They lost 2-0 in their second game to Black Wings Linz, who plays in Austria's top pro division, and has former collegians Reid Cashman and Pat Leahy on their team.
Their final game came against Augsburger Panther, who plays in Germany's top pro division, and was the tournament's top team. Tech had the game tied 2-2 heading into the third period, before Augsburger scored three times in the third period, including two from Northern Michigan alum Darin Olver, to win. It's a pretty impressive result when you look over the Augsburger roster, which features former All-Americans and NHLers Grant Stevenson and Noah Clarke, former collegians Justin Fletcher, Barry Tallackson, Sean Bentivoglio, and Mike Radja, and former Minnesota Wild schlub Kyle Wanvig.
The Huskies will close out their European trip against the Vienna Capitals, who play in Austria's top pro league. The Capitals have former Bowling Green goalie Jordan Sigalet and Wisconsin Badger Dan Bjornlie on their roster.