Courtesy of MTU Athletics
HOUGHTON, Mich. — Reid Sturos scored the final two goals of the game tonight including the game winner to lift Michigan Tech to a 3-2 victory over No. 6 Ferris State at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena. The freshman tallied a power-play goal in the second and the eventual game winner midway through the third. The Huskies improved to 5-2-3 at home and 8-13-6 overall with the win.
The result was Tech’s 14th consecutive game decided by one goal or a tie and third straight against FSU (17-6-3, 12-3-2 WCHA).
“This was an important win for our team,” said head coach Mel Pearson. “We were a little rusty coming off the bye week, but I liked how we responded.”
The visitors took a 1-0 lead on an own goal by the Huskies. Jamie Phillips tried to clear the puck from the net front and it caromed off Blake Heitala’s skate into the goal 16:14 into the opening period.
Just 10 seconds later, Tech answered with a tally from David Johnstone. Blake Pietila skated in the right wing hard and put a shot on net. C.J. Motte made the initial save, but the puck sat in crease, where Johnstone swiped it across the goal line.
The teams went into the first intermission tied 1-1 with the Bulldogs holding a 14-7 advantage in shots on goal. The Huskies turned it around in the second with a 19-9 margin in shots.
Chad McDonald scored on a scramble in front of Phillips 1:58 into the stanza. Tech didn’t answer until their power play with 12 minutes gone. Pietila won an offensive zone face-off back to Shane Hanna, who waited for space to get his shot from the point through. Sturos tipped it past Motte for his first career goal.
Tech had 1:50 of 5-on-3 power play time early in the third period, but could not get the go-ahead goal.
Sturos came up big at the 8:45 mark when he intercepted a pass at the offensive blue line and sent a pass wide to Pietila. The captain returned the cross-ice feed to Sturos in the left circle where he wristed it inside the far post.
Phillips made two key stops with 6:30 to play to keep the Huskies in the lead. The sophomore netminder finished with 28 saves and improved to 3-5-1 on the year.
“Jamie gave us a chance to win tonight,” said Pearson. “He battled in there and made some big saves.”
Motte made 30 saves in suffering his third consecutive loss (17-4-3).
Tech converted 1-of-7 power-play opportunities compared to 0-for-5 for Ferris.
Final shot totals favored the hosts 33-30.
Michigan Tech (8-13-6 overall, 6-7-4 WCHA), which faced Ferris State in a series in Big Rapids Jan. 10-11, will play its fourth consecutive game against FSU tomorrow night. The series wraps up with a 7:07 p.m. faceoff.
Notes: Pietila posted his first three-point game of the season. His three assists improved his season point total to 3-12=15 … Johnstone has two goals in the last two games … Phillips has started four consecutive games for Tech with a 2-2-0 record and a .926 save percentage.