Wisconsin Drops Michigan Tech in Game of Many Debuts
CHN Staff Report
Freshman forward Linus Weissbach scored two goals in his debut as Wisconsin got its season going with a 3-2 win over Michigan Tech in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game on Sunday.
"Well, that's the first time you've seen him play, that's something we've seen since we started recruiting last year," Wisconsin coach Tony Granato said of Weissbach. "His breakaway speed, quick hands, certainly a competitor for a little guy. What a great start for him. Obviously, two huge goals that probably not many players can make those plays that he did. He'll be an exciting player for us. Even defensively, I thought he played really well. A big night for him."
The game also marked the head coaching debut for Michigan Tech's Joe Shawhan, who replaced Mel Pearson in the offseason.
Joel L'Esperance and Jake Lucchini scored power-play goals for the Huskies.
"We obviously didn't get the result that we wanted, but we can't complain about the effort," Shawhan said. "We started out a little tentative and gave up some things early, but that will happen with a team in the first game and with guys playing in bigger roles than they're used to."
The game was also the team debut for both goaltenders, each having taken wayward paths to get there.
Wisconsin's Kyle Hayton made 20 saves in his Badgers debut. He is a graduate transfer after completing his degree at St. Lawrence over the summer, where he was an All-American in the past.
"Great," Granato said of Hayton's outing. "I'm sure he'll want to take that second one back, but he made a couple pretty big saves in the first period on screen shots that he found a way to find. Great competitor, and we've seen it through the month of practice, so it was nice to get him out in a game and see him out there, I know he's been waiting a long time for this night, so great performance by him."
For Tech, it was Patrick "Packy" Munson in goal. Munson transferred from Vermont to Denver, then he left Denver without ever playing there, heading to Houghton instead.
Wisconsin took a 2-0 lead before Tech rallied to within a goal twice. Munson gave the Huskies a chance in the third with a pair of beautiful saves. Shawhan pulled Munson for the extra attacker with 1:44 left, but the Badgers iced the puck four times and the Huskies ran out of time.
"I'm extremely happy with the way we competed," Shawhan said. "It's a tough place to come in and play, and I thought in a lot of ways we exerted our will as the game went on. Now we have to make sure our practices are at the pace of today's game. We have to come in everyday and practice with that intensity to continue to improve."