Houghton, MI (Northland's NewsCenter) --- Former Superior Spartan Brett Olson is a two-year captain of the Michigan Tech Huskies, helping them this year to the WCHA Final Five tournament.
"Any time you get voted captain of your team, it's an honor, especially this year with the guys in that locker room who have backed you up for two years," Olson said. "It makes it easy with those guys who have gone through ups and downs and have been able to battle back this year to try and change the tradition of our program again."
That rejuvenation has been successful. After just 15 wins in Olson's first three years combined, the Huskies won 16 games this season to finish eighth in the WCHA.
"We just had a renewed attitude, kind a clean slate going into the season," Olson said. "A lot of guys are buying into what we're trying to accomplish this year and turning things around for the Michigan Tech hockey program. It's been nice so far, but we're not satisfied yet, and we'd like to keep it going."
To do that, Michigan Tech may have to face the UMD Bulldogs, a team that Olson called the best in the nation.
"I think they have three of the nation's best players in Connolly, Oleksuk, and Brown," Olson said of the Bulldogs. "They're pretty dynamic, and they're tough to play against as well as they strong defensive corps. It's going to take a strong effort."
Some of this year's UMD team played against Olson in high school, and say he is also a great competitor on the ice.
"He just keeps getting better every year as a hockey player. He's got a great mind for the game, and he's a difficult opponent to play against," UMD senior captain Jack Connolly said. "He's the backbone of Michigan Tech's team, for sure, but it's cool playing against a local kid that I grew up playing against."
This will be the Huskies' first WCHA Final Five appearance since 2007, and another chance for Olson to extend his senior season.
"It flies by. I remember my first game as a freshman, and now I'm just trying to make every game the best it can be," Olson said. "I just go out there and work hard. The main purpose is for the team, and to have the guys having a little bit of success this year is nice. Hopefully it can continue on for a little bit."
The Huskies will play in the first game of this year's WCHA Final Five against Denver, with drop of the puck set fo 2:07 p.m. on Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.