USCHO_FinalFile.fwOur guests on the Jan. 26 edition of USCHO Live! are Minnesota State coach Mike Hastings, whose No. 20 Mavericks stand atop the WCHA standings after a weekend sweep, and Hockey East columnist David H. Hendrickson, who will join us for a preview of this year’s Beanpot.

Please note our new live streaming host: Join us for the conversation and information, Tues., Jan. 26, at 8 p.m. EST using the player below or listen using the Spreaker Radio app for iOSAndroid or Windows phone.

Be part of the conversation! Send your tweets to @USCHO or your emails to Each episode of USCHO Live! features a look at news around NCAA hockey, a look ahead at upcoming games and events, and conversation with people who coach, administer and play college hockey, and journalists who cover the sport.

About the hosts

Jim Connelly is a senior writer at and has been with the site since 1999. He is based in Boston and regularly covers Hockey East. He began with as the correspondent covering the MAAC, which nowadays is known as Atlantic Hockey. Each week during the season, he co-writes “Tuesday Morning Quarterback.” Jim is the winner of the 2012 Joe Concannon award. He is the color analyst for UMass-Lowell hockey’s radio network, and is a studio analyst for NESN.

Ed Trefzger has been part of USCHO since 1999 and now serves as a senior writer and director of technology. He has been a part of the radio broadcasts of Rochester Institute of Technology hockey since their inception — serving as a producer, studio host, color commentator and as RIT’s play-by-play voice for nine seasons. Ed is general manager of CBS Sports Radio affiliate 105.5 The Team in Rochester, N.Y., and COO of its parent company, Genesee Media Corporation.

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  • Old Crank.

    Despite its apparent ability to continue to recruit players of apparent high quality, including numerous NHL draftees, Harvard has been lackluster at best for something like 15 years, and positively wretched for the last few. Its humiliation at the hands of Northeastern on Monday last is only one of many these past seasons. Whatever it says in their resumes, the team is perennially at a complete loss out there on the ice. It seems beyond question that a large part of the fault has to be the coach, but I do not see his manifest deficiencies mentioned in anything I read. He may have an outstanding record as a player, both in college and the pros, but he has no previous coaching experience that I know of, and he certainly is not learning on the job. Why the athletic department has not axed him long ago is beyond me. One would hope that a string of losing seasons capped by the current disaster (4-18, last I looked; they couldn’t even skate with the Swedish under 18’s, let alone Dartmouth [8-2] or, twice now, Northeastern) would surely finish him, but it seems he has tenure. i suppose it is time to give up my season tickets and go watch the Arlington Mites, or some other well-coached team.

  • Pat

    New Coach – new attitude and the confidence that we can maintain the level of play to stay in every game.  Mel Pearson has brought a much needed breath of fresh air into Mich Tech Hockey. 

  • JamesDee

    Mel always refers to when he played for Jonny MaC.

    I believe the legend lives on as Mel only knows how to win. Just ask UM.

    How about another game at the Dee for old time sake.

  • UpNorthHockey

    While Tech’s power play stat is important to be sure, I don’t think it’s contributed any more to their success than other factors, such as better goal-tending, stronger defense and a style of play that emphasizes skating the puck and spending time in the other team’s zone.  It should be noted that Tech simply has a LOT more firepower this year.  Take a look at the shots on goal and how many players are shooting in double digits.  Tech is likely to pick up more wins in the next three weeks and will likely crack the top ten, but their schedule is heavily end-loaded.  This team is the real deal and I predict that they’ll stay tough throughout the season, but they’ll settle in to top third as they lose a few to equally skilled teams. 

  • Spanky

    Please ….lets see how Tech does after X-mas. They have had ok starts before but always implode the 2nd half of the year. I predict a 9th place finish for Tech. They should be counting the days until WCHA turns into the league of leftovers…Tech may have a legit chance then.

    • scotty bowman, houghton, mi.

       not even the same team as last year,,new coach the kids wanna play the game.  this weekends games showed their spunk,,had DU skating in circles..enjoy

      • JamesDee

        I see the MTU Huskies out playing every team they play this season.

        They have confidence, a coach(es), and a new system.

        The Huskies will outplay most teams on any given night.

        It will be nice to see when the Huskies host a playoff game again.

        The NCHC wish they invited the Huskies to play.

        • WCHA Fan

          With the exception of Bemidji State of course…

    • I can guess from your statement that you have not seen Tech play this season.  If you had, I don’t think you would drop the old standard “well they’ve always been bad…” line.  Yes, they will likely lose some games the rest of the way that they should have won, as will every team.  But as someone from WI, I can tell you first hand that the Denver games only confirmed what the WI series suggested.  Tech is playing a style of hockey that gives them a chance to win every night they take the ice.
      Coach Peason seems to have put a spark in this team because I don’t really agree that the team is much more talented than past years (only 3 seniors lost from last year’s dreadful showing) so it is nearly the same team from a roster stand point.  A new system and attitude on the ice I think is the bigger factor. 
      The next three weekends will speak volumes.  If Tech is a top-half team in the WCHA, they should have 4 or 5 more wins (minimum) a month from now.  Not to mention that in the WCHA even traditional bottom-half teams can win on any given weekend, it is just that more often than not, they find a way to lose, rather than a way to win.  The top teams find ways to get those extra points.  So far Tech snatched two OT wins from WI and came back late in the second game against Denver to grab a tie.  In just two weekends they added three points to their total that in past years would have gone to the other team.

      • GrayHusky

        I do think the team is also more talented for a couple of reasons:

        1. Olson, Baker and a few others simply weren’t there much of the year.
        2. Frosh Pietila, Johnstone and Sweeney have added needed depth
        3. Many players have matured and look completely different this year…Licktieg, Sova, Rix

        While I agree that Pearson’s system and attitude changes have played to the team’s strengths and made a huge impact, I do think there’s significantly more raw talent present on the ice this year.

        I also must say that Spanky is naive to think that the future NCHC schools have some sort of consistent structural advantage that will cause them to always finish above the future WCHA schools.  Right now, I think Tech, Ferris or Lake State could beat any team in the country on any given night.  These kids were drawn from the same recruiting pool with the same selling points that these teams will have in three or even five years. 

        Once the NCHC develops consistent cellar dwellers, I think you’ll see a lot of top talent go to the strong WCHA programs instead of the weaker NCHC programs.  Winning is more important than TV contracts for NHL visibility.

        • UpNorthHockey

          ….waiting for SCSU to have buyer’s remorse…….

  • Santafosb2

    From a Gopher fan
    Looks like Hakstol is really doing up the drama thing this year. Everybody knows the  Sioux will finish the year in the top three Too much talent on the ice and the bench. I can only hope the Gophs are as real as the first few weeks.

  • Pete

    Growing up in Houghton/Hancock area I really wish they had made the coaching change half a decade ago. Half of the high school coaches in the area were better than Russell, it was obvious for so long that Russell was a bad coach that local players wouldn’t even waste their time trying to play for tech, I know that was my experience. Even when tech had several talented players who went on to play professionally like Chris Conner, Colin Murphy and Pete Rouleau they couldn’t hardly break a .500 record under previous coach. The team always had no powerplay and no discipline(remember Erik Kattelus getting kicked off last year)/accountability/enthusiasm. When they had such a bad coach it was so obvious why other good players (like Jake Hauswirth, Ross Rouleau, etc) chose to play elsewhere or go straight to semi-pro from juniors.

    Living in NY now I hope I get a chance to see them play this year under their new coach.

    • lovecollegehockey

      I think Tech will finish top 3 in the WCHA for sure, …….in 2 years !

    • Davyd83

      Didn’t Russell start out 4-0-2 last year before getting crushed by injuries? Didn’t he recruit most of this team?

    • Davyd83

      You’d better double check why RRouleau played at Finlandia instead of Tech. If he were a legit D-I talent, why didn’t NMU, LSSU or any other D-I program offer a full ride? Why did Jake commit to Tech, then head for the ECHL? Casey Pierro-Zabotel didn’t end up at Tech because of academics.

  • Jlschipp

    I spend 5 years at tech and NOW they start to play hockey?!?! Get rid of a bad coach and this happens…coincidence? I think not! I’ll have to make it back to the peninsula for a couple of games. Go Huskies!

  • Tech Alum in Nashville

    Glad to see my Huskies winning again.  It’s been a long time so it’d be crazy to assume they’re suddenly a top 10 team, but I’m enjoying the ride for now.

  • Sisu

    Mel Pearson is going to lead Tech to a top 3 finish in his first year as Head Coach.  Mel will be the Coach of the year in the WCHA and if their was a National Coach of the year in College Hockey, he would be leading contender by end of the year.l 

    • WinnerWinner

      There is a national coach of the year award: The Spencer Penrose Award.  Pay attention.

  • snowlogger

    New coach Mel and assistants have created a synergetic winning attitude, discipline, and defenseman seem to have the ability to handle and move the play from their own defensive zone to offense, instead of chipping the puck up the boards to the neutral zone. Olson and Baker provide senior leadership, and freshman are strong, especially Sweeney and Blake Pietila. Tech hockey is back! I expect them to continue fighting for rest of season. Wouldn’t it be great if they won the GLI! 

  • Greg Stevens

    After attending Tech in the late seventies it is GREAT to see “old time hockey” :-)) again!!  Mel was always a class act on and off the ice when he played at Tech.  Mel was known as a very good ‘recruiting guy’ at Michigan.  It’s obvious from the way the team is playing that he is also a very good coach behind the bench.  The biggist differences:  he always stressed tough practices as a player, I’m sure that is part of it.  He also does a great job of getting good line matchups and working his talent pool onto the ice when the opposition is tired or their weaker players are on the ice.  Great job Mel !!  We are all routing for you and the team.  For the players . . Work your a$$ off at practice, it has great benifits.