GLI: Michigan Tech blanks Michigan


Courtesy of MTU Athletics

DETROIT — Michigan Tech freshmen Jujhar Khaira <> and Alex Petan <> combined for three goals and freshman goaltender Pheonix Copley <> made 38 saves en route to a 4-0 shutout victory over Michigan in the second semifinal of the 48th Annual Great Lakes Invitational. Khaira (one goal, two assists) and Petan (two goals) accounted for five points in the contest.

Tech will make its first appearance in the GLI Championship game since 2007 when it faces Western Michigan tomorrow.

“I thought our goaltender really stood out tonight, and the rest of the team settled down and did their job,” said Tech head coach Mel Pearson. “I couldn’t be prouder. You have to earn it. Nobody’s going to hand it to you. I thought we beat a really dangerous Michigan team tonight.”

The Huskies were firing on all cylinders after a two-week layoff over Christmas. Tech scored a power play goal on three opportunities and killed off all four of its penalties.

Petan scored 5:10 into the first after Khaira fed him a pass in the slot for a quick shot. Petan’s fifth of the season beat Michigan goaltender Adam Janecyk low inside the left post.

The tournament hosts lit the lamp again late in the first as a Riley Sweeney <> shot from the point redirected off both David Johnstone <> and Khaira into the upper right corner. Khaira’s fourth goal of the season was his fourth on the power play.

The score remained 2-0 into the third period as Copley made 29 saves in the first 40 minutes.

Petan broke the game open with a highlight reel goal 4:15 into the third. He took a cross ice pass from Johnstone, then deked before sliding the puck around Janecyk’s outstretched pad.

Junior defenseman Tommy Brown <> recorded his first career goal two minutes later as his shot from the left point found its way through traffic.

Copley made several big saves down the stretch to finish with 38 and preserve his first career shutout and second win over a Big Ten team this season (the other vs. No. 1 Minnesota Oct. 19).

Tech’s first win since Nov. 17 was also a big one for Pearson in his first matchup against his former team. The Huskies’ skipper spent 23 years as assistant coach at Michigan from 1988-2011.

Michigan Tech will now play in their first GLI title game since 2007 looking for their first GLI Championship since 1981, when Pearson was a player for the Huskies. Tech will have to go through No. 10-ranked Western Michigan, which advanced after its semifinal with Michigan State ended in a tie and the Broncos won the first shootout in GLI history 1-0.

Game time for tomorrow’s GLI Championship game is set for 7 p.m.

Notes: Petan (6-9=15), Johnstone (4-11=15) and Khaira (4-11=15) all sit in a three-way tie for the team points lead … Tech’s last GLI title game appearance ended in a 1-0 loss to Michigan in double overtime Dec. 29, 2007 … Two-game total attendance was 16,439.