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Michigan Tech Huskies’ goalie Blake Pietila earns WCHA, national honors

HOUGHTON — Michigan Tech’s Blake Pietila has earned two prestigious college hockey honors recently.

The sophomore goaltender was named the WCHA Goaltender of the Month for December on Friday, then earned the National Goaltender of the Month for December by the Hockey Commissioners Association on Tuesday.

Pietila led the WCHA with his .955 saves percentage during the month. He tied for the league lead in wins with four and was second in the WCHA in goals-against average at 1.52 goals per game.

Pietila, who earned the league monthly honor for the first time, is one of only two WCHA netminders with a shutout after a 31-save effort at Bemidji State on Dec. 13. His 43 saves against Minnesota State-Mankato on Dec. 6 was the most in the month and is also the seventh-most nationally.

He is currently fifth in the nation with a .959 saves percentage and sixth with a 1.22 goals-against average. His two shutouts are second in the country.

The Huskies are 6-3-1 overall after a sweep of Alabama-Huntsville last weekend to open the WCHA part of their season. MTU also swept Northern Michigan University in a nonconference series in mid-December.

This weekend, Tech plays at WCHA defending champion Mankato after the teams split a nonconference series in Houghton in early December.

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