Courtesy of MTU Athletics
HOUGHTON, Mich. — Michigan Tech lit the lamp 10 times en route to the Winter Carnival title and a series sweep over Alabama Huntsville today. Blake Pietila, who had two goals and two assists in the 10-4 win and six total points on the weekend, was named Winter Carnival MVP.
In all, 14 different Huskies had points including eight who had multi-point performances. The 10 goals were the most by Tech since Jan. 30, 1993, in a 10-2 Winter Carnival victory over Minnesota.
“It’s nice to get some offense going,” said Pietila, the Huskies’ co-captain. “It wasn’t your average game. Things came a little bit easier for us tonight, but a win is a win. We’re right in the thick of things for home ice, and that’s been a goal of ours all season.”
Pietila scored on the power play to open scoring 12:45 into the first period, but the game was knotted at 1-1 after a period of play.
A second Pietila goal on the man advantage made it 2-1 3:34 into the second frame. Fellow senior Dennis Rix’s tally at the 5:46 may have opened the flood gates.
Tech (12-14-6, 10-8-4 WCHA) went on to tally five more goals in the next 15 minutes for a seven-goal second period. C.J. Eick converted a breakaway, and Malcolm Gould, David Johnstone, Mike Neville and Reid Sturos each added goals in the outburst.
The score was 8-2 after 40 minutes.
The Chargers (1-28-1, 1-18-1 WCHA) scored first to start the third, but the Black and Gold added two more to get to double digits. Gould and Max Vallis were the goal scorers in the final 20 minutes. Vallis’ was the first of his career.
“Huntsville pushed us all weekend,” said coach Mel Pearson. “We found a way to get some separation in the second period.
“The toughest games to coach in are the ones that, on paper, you’re supposed to win. Our guys did what they needed to do to get the four points on the weekend.”
Pheonix Copley evened his record on the season at 8-8-5 with a 16-save performance in
50:48 of work. Matt Wintjes relieved Copley for the final 9:04 and stopped three of four shots he saw.
Tech was 2-for-4 on the man advantage, and UAH went 2-for-3.
Michigan Tech has won four consecutive games and five of their last six to move into third place in the WCHA standings. The Huskies’ last streak of four wins within WCHA play came Jan. 25-Feb. 7, 1991.
Tech stays at home for three more games. Alaska Fairbanks comes to Houghton Feb. 14-15.