Power Play lifts Tech to sweep vs. Ferris

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – The Michigan Tech hockey team swept No. 8-ranked Ferris State with a 2-1 win on Saturday (Oct. 25) in front of a sold out Ewegleben Ice Arena crowd. Power play goals by Alex Gillies and David Johnstone and 34 saves by Jamie Phillips pushed the Huskies to 4-0 overall and 4-0 in the WCHA.

After a scoreless first period, Tech opened the game’s scoring 2:25 into the second with a power play goal from Gillies. Tanner Kero held the puck in at the blue line and dished it over to Malcolm Gould. Gould found an open Gillies in front of the net for his first goal as a Husky.

Matt Robertson tied up the game five minutes later (7:29) with an even strength tally from Kyle Schempp and Ryan Lowney. Robertson broke down the right side and made a move on a Husky defender before firing one top shelf.

Johnstone’s game-winner was scored 13:30 into the third, after FSU’s Mitch Maloney headed off on a five-minute major for boarding. Blake Pietila worked the puck over to Reid Sturos who found Johnstone. The senior from Grand Ledge, Mich., faked a shot and made a move to his backhand for the winner around a sliding CJ Motte. For Johnstone it was his second goal of the season—both on the man advantage—and the 16th power play tally of his career.

Like Friday night when Tech won 1-0, Ferris pulled goaltender Motte for the extra attacker with 90 seconds left. The Huskies handled the Bulldogs’ pressure and held off the home team for their second sweep of the season, both on the road.

“I thought we put in a gutsy effort tonight,” Tech coach Mel Pearson said. “We didn’t have our best period in the second but came out and had a real good third. That was the difference.

“What a great move by David Johnstone. That was a big time goal. Not many players have the patience and poise that he has in those type of situations.”

Phillips finished with 34 saves, including 14 in the second period alone.

“Jamie played against Ferris all four games last year. He’s familiar with them,” added Pearson. “He did a great job tonight and made some big saves in the second and third. He battled all weekend. It’s the hardest I’ve seen him battle and you can really see how focused he is right now.”

Motte had 31 saves between the pipes for the Bulldogs who are now 2-3 overall and 0-2 in WCHA play.

The Huskies were 2-for-8 on the man advantage. They also killed off all three FSU power plays. The Bulldogs are only 1-for-21 on power play chances this season.

Michigan Tech plays its home-opening series at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena next weekend (Oct. 31-Nov. 1) against the Michigan Wolverines. The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. both nights.

(Information Courtesy of MTU Athletics)