Courtesy of MTU Athletics
HOUGHTON, Mich. — For the second straight Friday game against Minnesota Duluth, Michigan Tech fell behind 4-0. Last year, the Huskies were able to grind out a 4-all tie. Tonight, Tech pulled within 4-3 but couldn’t complete the comeback as the Bulldogs scored the final three goals in a 7-3 decision.
“You’re not going to win games giving up seven goals,” said head coach Mel Pearson. “They scored early and put us on our heels, but the goals we gave up were too easy.”
UMD scored four times in the first 10 minutes of the game. Austin Farley had the first two at the 1:29 and 4:36 marks of the opening frame. Adam Krause added the third one shorthanded as Kevin Genoe mishandled a puck above the right faceoff dot.
Pheonix Copley replaced Genoe in net following the play, and the Bulldogs added their fourth goal 48 seconds later.
Tech got one back with less than two minutes left in the first as Tanner Kero collected a rebound and put it home. The goal came while the teams were skating four-on-four.
The momentum clearly shifted into the Huskies’ favor in the second period. Tech had several grade A chances on a power play early in the frame but couldn’t get one by UMD goalie Matt McNeely.
Sophomore Blake Hietala netted his first career goal to pull the hosts within 4-2 at the 13:13 mark of the second. McNeely tried to chip the puck away from the crease, but it landed on Hietala’s stick who found the top right corner of the cage.
David Johnstone pulled the Black and Gold within 4-3 on a great individual effort early in the third period. He skated around a defenseman, got to the front of the net and put a shot on goal. The initial shot was saved, but Johnstone roofed the second chance for his second goal of the season.
Tech had chances to tie the game on a power play later in period, but UMD turned the tables with a power-play goal at the 11:04 mark. Another tally on the man advantage pushed the margin to 6-3. The visitors finished off scoring at the 14:15 mark of the final period.
“I liked the way we battled back,” said Pearson. “We didn’t give up. We worked hard and made a game of it.”
Copley, who stopped 20-of-24 shots he faced, absorbed the loss. Genoe made eight saves on 11 shots.
McNeely finished with 27 saves on 30 Tech shots—10 in each period.
Minnesota Duluth (4-7-2, 2-5-2 WCHA) went 2-for-7 on the power play while the Huskies (4-7-0, 3-6-0) were 0-for-5.
The two teams will skate again at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena tomorrow.
Notes: The Huskies’ four-goal comeback for a 4-4 overtime tie against Minnesota Duluth came Friday, Jan. 27, 2012. Tech won 5-0 the next night … Sophomore defenseman Jimmy Davis earned his second career point with an assist on Hietala’s first career goal (first career point).