Courtesy of MTU Athletics
HOUGHTON, Mich. — Michigan Tech held a 49-24 advantage in shots on goal and an 82-37 margin in total shots attempted, but couldn’t overcome an early 3-0 deficit in a 4-3 loss to Colorado College in the final game of the WCHA regular season tonight. The Huskies battled back to within a goal twice and peppered Tigers’ netminder Joe Howe with a season-high number of shots on goal but could not complete the comeback.
Colorado College (14-17-5, 11-13-4 WCHA) led 1-0 after one period when a feed from behind the net found Hunter Fejes alone in front of Pheonix Copley. The Tigers added two more early in the second on a turnover behind the net by Copley and a power-play goal that went off a defenseman’s skate.
The Huskies (12-18-4, 8-16-4 WCHA) were able to push back in the second period to pull within one.
Alex Petan got things started with a power-play goal at 6:34 on a one-timer from atop the left circle. The score remained 3-1 until 14:58 when Milos Gordic skated from behind the net and fired a backhand over Howe’s shoulder.
It took less than a minute for CC to regain its two-goal lead. William Rapuzzi took a shot from the slot that deflected of a prone Brad Stebner and over Copley’s shoulder.
Tanner Kero scored his third goal in as many nights 54 seconds into the third period to give Tech life. He tapped in a rebound of his own shot for his 10th goal of the season to make the score 4-3.
Tech fired 13 more shots on net in the final frame but couldn’t get the equalizer. Kevin Genoe replaced Copley in net for the third period and made six saves, several on point-blank chances to keep it a one-goal game.
The Huskies skated the final 90 seconds with the extra attacker.
“Our effort was here tonight, but the results weren’t,” said head coach Mel Pearson. “We got a lot of pucks on net and missed the net on a few grade A chances. We just weren’t able to overcome a couple defensive breakdowns.”
Both teams finished with a power play goal (Tech 1-4, CC 1-3). The 49 shots on goal was the most by the Huskies since Oct. 12, 2010 (53 vs. Northern Michigan).
Michigan Tech finished 10th in the WCHA standings and will travel to play at third-place North Dakota next weekend. The best-of-three series will commence Friday (Mar. 15) at 8:37 p.m. ET. Game two is slated for 8:07 p.m. ET Saturday (Mar. 16). The third game, if necessary, will be played Sunday (Mar. 17) at 8:07 p.m. ET.