BEMIDJI, Minn. – The fifth-ranked Michigan Tech hockey team is the only undefeated team left in Division I college hockey as the winning streak hit double digits after a 4-2 come-from-behind victory over Bemidji State Saturday (Nov. 15) at the Sanford Center. The Huskies are 8-0 in the WCHA after the sweep of the Beavers and are on their fifth 10-game winning streak in school history.
“We had a really good third period and did what we needed to do on the road,” Tech coach Mel Pearson said.
“Who would’ve thought we would be 10-0. I’m so happy for our players, fans, and alumni. We’re off to a good start but we have a lot of hockey to go.”
Down 2-1 midway through the second period, Tyler Heinonen scored his fourth goal in five games on the power play. He hammered in a rebound after Malcolm Gould‘s shot was saved. Tanner Kero also assisted to pick up one of his three points on the night.
The Huskies came out flying in the third period. Alex Petan gave Tech its first lead 45 seconds in after a great play with Kero and Matt Roy. Petan dropped a pass back for Roy who found Kero. Kero slipped it to a wide-open Petan who had to only push it across the goal line.
Later in the third, Reid Sturos had a chance to add to the lead with a shot that went through the Beaver crease.
The Huskies then had to kill of a pair of penalties, including a delay of game call with 2:34 left in the game. The penalty-killing unit pulled through in crunch time, and Kero sealed the win with an empty net goal with 19 seconds left. Heinonen and Mike Neville assisted on the game’s final tally.
“We really turned it up in the third period with the game on the line,” Pearson said. “That late penalty kill was a game-saver. The guys did an excellent job after that penalty. I couldn’t be prouder of our guys. What a gutsy effort.”
Jamie Phillips stopped 30 shots for the third time this season, making 33 saves. He had nine saves in the first, 10 in the second, and 14 in the third.
Nate Arentz gave the Beavers the 1-0 lead 7:10 into the game, as he slid in a rebound after Phillips saved an initial shot by Kyle Bauman. It was the third time this season the Huskies didn’t score the first goal of the game.
Later in the period and the Beavers going in on a 2-on-1 shorthanded break, Petan got down on the ice to block a pass on a goal-saving play. Bemidji again almost added to the lead four minutes into the second, but Phillips flashed the leather with a glove save.
Five and half minutes (9:28) later Sturos tied the game with a power play goal. David Johnstone took the initial shot. Blake Pietila had the first rebound shot that was saved, but it was Sturos who finally snuck it five-hole on BSU goaltender Andrew Walsh.
With Bemidji State on their second power play, Phillips again got down and made a glove save. Moments later (11:47), Brendan Harms gave the Beavers the 2-1 lead with a screen shot from the top of the circles.
The four other times Tech won 10 in a row was 1977-78 (11 wins), 1975-76 (11), 1970-71 (16), and 1961-62 (20).
The Huskies and Beavers meet again on Feb. 6-7 at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena for the annual Winter Carnival series.
(Information Courtesy of MTU Athletics)