HOUGHTON, Mich. – Michigan Tech junior Jed Pietila is the CCHA Defenseman of the Week, and Kyle Kukkonen is the CCHA Rookie of the Week, earning a weekly award for the fourth time as a freshman.
Jed Pietila led the CCHA with four assists on the weekend. He set up Brett Thorne for Friday’s game-winning goal and had primary helpers on Tech’s second and fifth goals Saturday. He also assisted on Kyle Kukkonen‘s shorthanded tally to notch a career-high three-point night Saturday. Pietila is second on the team with 15 assists and ranks fourth on the team with 34 blocked shots.
Kyle Kukkonen had three points in the CCHA Playoff sweep of St. Thomas. He assisted on Brett Thorne‘s game-winner Friday and tallied a pair of goals Saturday, including the game-winner and a shorthanded tally. Kukkonen has eight goals in the last six games and is on a six-game point streak. His 18 goals lead CCHA freshmen and rank third overall in the conference. Kukkonen has the fifth most goals by a Michigan Tech freshman in program history and his 18 goals are the most by a Tech freshman since 1988 when Kelly Hurd potted 18 tallies.
Michigan Tech is ranked No. 10 in this week’s DCU/USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine. The No. 10 ranking is the highest for Michigan Tech since April 13, 2015, when the Huskies check in at No. 9 in the final poll of the 2014-15 season.
No. 10 Michigan Tech will host Northern Michigan in the CCHA Mason Cup Semifinal on Saturday at 6:07 p.m. at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. No. 2 seed Michigan Tech advanced with a pair of wins over St. Thomas in the CCHA Quarterfinal and the Wildcats swept Bemidji State in Marquette as the No. 4 seed. No. 6 Ferris State will travel to No. 1 Minnesota State in the other semifinal. The CCHA Mason Cup Championship is scheduled for March 18.