Huskies light the lamp vs. Falcons

Courtesy of MTU Athletics

Michigan TechBOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Michigan Tech scored a season-high five goals with two in the first period and three more in the second en route to a 5-2 victory at Bowling Green State tonight. The Huskies, playing in their first game in the state of Ohio in 30 years, got a pair of goals from David Johnstone and one each from Malcolm Gould, Tanner Kero and Jacob Johnstone to improve to 9-14-6 overall and 7-8-4 in league play.

“It’s a huge two points in the standings,” said head coach Mel Pearson. “It was a nice bounce-back game for our players after a tough one against Ferris.
“We finished our scoring plays tonight, and Pheonix Copley really played well in net.”

Copley finished the night with 19 saves, but none were bigger than the two scoring chances he quelled in the opening minutes to keep the game scoreless.

David Johnstone converted Tech’s first power play eight minutes into the contest with a one-timer from the left circle past BGSU starter Tomas Sholl. Shane Hanna and Reid Sturos set up the tally with a pair of quick passes.

Less than two minutes later, Gould tapped in a C.J. Eick centering pass for a 2-0 advantage.

The score was 2-0 through the first intermission and 5:52 of the second period until Johnstone scored his second of the game. The junior fired a shot from the right circle that made its way into the net. The referee waved off the goal thinking that the net had been knocked off its moorings, but counted the goal after a video review. Line mates Blake Pietila and Sturos both picked up assist on the play.

Kero made it 4-0 midway through the frame when he flipped in a rebound of his own shot. Ryan Furne and Cliff Watson assisted Kero’s 10th of the season.

Bowling Green State (13-11-5, 10-8-3 WCHA) finally got on the board at the 11:51 mark when Brent Tate backhanded a shot that Copley got a piece of.

Tech looked as though it would take the three-goal lead into the second intermission, but Jacob Johnstone made it four when he redirected a Hanna shot from the point with 5.6 seconds left in the stanza.

The four-goal margin remained until less than two minutes remaining. With the Falcons skating in a 4-on-3 situation, Ralfs Freibergs scored to account for the 5-2 final.

“Copley made a few key saves to get us going, and the power-play goal early in the game was important,” added Pearson. “This is a tough place to play, and they are a good team at home.”

Tech finished with a 28-21 advantage in shots on goal. Both teams converted 1-for-3 chances on the power play.

Copley made four saves in the first, 10 in the second and five in the third to pick up his first win since Nov. 30 at Alaska. The sophomore, who was getting his first start since Jan. 3 at Lake Superior State, improved to 5-8-5 on the season.

Tech is now 1-1-1 this season against BGSU, which entered the game with an 8-3-2 home record. The series finale between the teams is set for tomorrow (Feb. 1) at 7:07 p.m.

Notes: Michigan Tech’s five goals was its most since Mar. 2, 2013, in a 5-1 win at St. Cloud State … Hanna (three assists), David Johnstone (two goals) and Sturos (two assists) all finished with multi-point games.