Winning hasn’t come easy for Michigan Tech in recent memory, especially during the past three seasons. The Huskies finished dead last in the WCHA each of those years, racking up a total of 85 losses to only 16 wins during that stretch.
Those hardships led to then-coach Jamie Russell calling it quits and walking away from the program following last season.
With a coaching vacancy and a group of returning players with talent and leadership, Michigan Tech found itself looking for a replacement with a history of winning.
Enter Mel Pearson, the longtime right-hand man at Michigan. His knowledge of the game – and what it takes to win consistently – made him the perfect fit for the job in Houghton.
Looks like they found their guy.
Now, with Michigan Tech’s season ending at the WCHA Final Five for the first time since 2007 and a win total that matched that of the previous three campaigns combined, Pearson took the time to reflect on his first year behind the Tech bench.
“I wasn’t sure what I was getting into completely,” Pearson said, still stinging from the loss to Denver, yet happy about the year and optimistic about the future. “The team was picked to finish last by everyone, and I told them that its not what everyone else around them thinks, it’s what they believe.”
“They believe in themselves.”
One player that has had it particularly difficult during his time in Houghton is senior forward Brett Olson. Since coming to the program Olson has had some personal success, but he’s also suffered through multiple injuries and all of the losses.
Still, Olson has remained positive. He’s put in his work to improve, and he’s picked his teammates up throughout the down years.
And he knows that this year can be something everyone on the Michigan Tech roster can be proud of.
“The season was huge for the program,” said Olson, who finished with 30 points on the year and 93 in his career. “We talked at the beginning of the year on how we wanted to bring pride back to Michigan Tech. Now [that we made the Final Five], we expect to be here every year.”
“To have the year that we did, it’s nice. And as a captain, I can’t complain.”