Huskies fall to Wolverines in GLI semis

DETROIT, Mich. – The No. 5-ranked Michigan Tech hockey team outshot Michigan 41-21 but couldn’t capitalize on numerous scoring chances late, as the Wolverines won 2-1 at the 50th Great Lakes Invitational on Sunday (Dec. 28) at Joe Louis Arena. Tech falls to 13-4-0 on the season.

“It was a disappointing loss,” Tech coach Mel Pearson said. “I thought we did a lot of good things and the right things to put ourselves in position to win tonight, but you got to score goals. You aren’t going to win many games scoring only one goal.”

The Huskies dominated the first period, outshooting the Wolverines 17-5, but it was Michigan (9-7-0) taking a 1-0 lead 6:28 into the game. Cutler Martin took a shot from the left point that deflected off a Husky defender on its way over Tech goaltender Jamie Phillips‘ shoulder. Zach Hyman and Nolan De Jong assisted on the goal.

Tech tied it up four minutes later (10:28) on a nice passing play. Riley Sweeney pinched from the blue line and sent the puck into the corner. Tanner Kero dug it out to Alex Petan, who fed it across to Malcolm Gould waiting alone in front of the net. For Gould, it was his sixth goal of the season.

After no scoring in the second period, Hyman scored the game winner for UM 3:44 into the third on the power play. Andrew Copp dropped a pass to Hyman who found the upper corner. Michael Downing also assisted on the play.

The Huskies had many chances late in the game to tie it up. Blake Hietala found Sweeney wide open backdoor, but the puck bounced over Sweeney’s stick.

Phillips went to the bench with 63 seconds left in the game to add the extra attacker. The Huskies buzzed around UM goalie Steve Racine but couldn’t sneak one past him.

Phillips finished with 19 saves, stopping four in the first, nine in the second, and six in the third. Racine racked up 40 saves for his third win of the season.

“Steve Racine had a great performance tonight for them, but they’re a good hockey team,” added Pearson. “They deserved to win tonight.”

Both teams took three minor penalties. Tech was 0-for-2 on the power play while UM was 1-for-2.

“You can’t get too high when you win or too low when you lose,” Pearson said. “We have a game tomorrow.”

Tech now moves to the GLI Third Place Game at 3:30 p.m. Monday (Dec. 29). The Huskies will face Ferris State for the third time this season as the Bulldogs were shutout 2-0 to Michigan State in the second semifinal. Fans can watch the game live on Fox Sports Detroit Plus.

(Information Courtesy of MTU Athletics)