HOUGHTON, Mich. – The ninth-ranked Michigan Tech hockey team defeated Alaska Anchorage 3-1 on Saturday (Nov. 8) night at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena to earn the WCHA series sweep and improve to 8-0 overall and 6-0 in the WCHA.
Shane Hanna had a goal and an assist as Tech scored the first two goals before the Seawolves finally snuck one past goaltender Jamie Phillips early in the third. An empty net goal by Tyler Heinonen iced the game. The Huskies are 8-0 for the first time since the 1972-73 season.
The 1965 NCAA National Championship team was on hand to drop a ceremonial puck, as they were inducted into the Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame on Friday (Nov. 7).
“Anchorage played a whale of a game tonight,” Tech coach Mel Person said. “They shut us down and had some real good chances. If not for Jamie Phillips, we would probably all be in a different mood right now.”
Hanna gave the Huskies an early lead with a blast from inside the blue line 3:08 into the game. From behind the net, Blake Pietila fed the puck out to Hanna who buried the fifth of his career. Reid Sturos also added a helper.
With five minutes (14:46) to go in the second, and the Huskies on a 5-on-3 power play, Alex Petan carried the puck out top and wristed in a long shot over UAA goaltender Michael Matyas for his third goal of the season. Malcolm Gould extended his point streak to four games (2-3=5) with an assist. Hanna added the secondary assist.
After the Huskies killed off most of a 5-minute major late in the second period, the Seawolves continued the power play in the third. Jarrett Brown scored 1:39 into the period with a screen shot from the point to finally get one past Phillips.
The Seawolves had a chance to even it up with a breakaway seven minutes later but missed the net. A Husky penalty with just over six minutes left gave the visitors another quality chance, but the penalty-killing combo of CJ Eick and Mike Neville dashed UAA’s chances.
Matyas was pulled for the extra attacker with just over a minute to go, and Heinonen capitalized, scoring for the third game in a row with 29 seconds left with a shot from just past mid ice.
Both teams had 27 shots on goal. Phillips stopped 13 in the first period, seven in the second, and six in the third. Matyas had 24 saves (10-9-5) for UAA.
The two teams combined for 55 minutes of penalties that included three 5-minute majors and three 10-minute misconducts. Both were 1-for-4 on the man advantage.
“I felt our penalty killers were our big boys tonight,” Petan said. “We counted on them huge tonight.”
Honored during the first intermission were other Husky Hall of Fame inductees: former hockey player Tom Bissett, longtime football coach Bernie Anderson, former basketball player Matt Cameron, former football player Alex Kowalski, former basketball player Jenny Sorenson (Wypych), and former football player Nick Sturm.
Tech takes to the road next weekend (Nov. 14-15) for a WCHA series at Bemidji State. The Beavers are 3-5 overall and 2-2 in the league.