Weekend Wrap-Up: Huskies split with Lakers

Michigan Tech started the 2012–13 regular season on Thursday at Lake Superior State and were unable to hold on to a 2–1 lead in the third period , falling to the Lakers 4–2. The rematch was Saturday night in Houghton, where the home team came out strong and took a 3–0 lead after one period. The Lakers found their feet and scored a few goals, but the Huskies’ offense was too much, adding five more goals en route to an 8–4 victory.

Thursday

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The Huskies came out flat on Thursday, gave up a goal in the first minute and soon after lost freshman forward Jujhar Khaira to a 5-minute major and game misconduct. Down 1–0 after one period, the team rebounded with an excellent second period, tying the game when Blake Pietila slapped in a loose puck at the goal mouth for his first score of the year. In the third period, however, Michigan Tech played perhaps its worst 10 minutes under Head Coach Mel Pearson. After going up 2–1 with a power play goal from Dennis Rix, Tech gave up three goals in the last 14 minutes and played some horrendous defense. "You’re not going to win many hockey games when you give up three (goals) in the third period," said Pearson. "We need to learn how to play better defensively. We did not play strong enough in the third period." Pheonix Copley was in net and played well, making 18 saves.

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Coverage

Saturday

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With expectations high in Houghton, the Huskies came home and played in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 3,904. The 1961–62 Huskies were honored as the first team to be inducted into the Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame, and the team wanted to play well for them. They came out like a hurricane, scoring three goals in the first period courtesy of Daniel Sova, Tanner Kero and Carl Nielsen. The Huskies' defense was strong and only allowed four shots in the period. The second period started a little more even, and after failing to convert a penalty shot, Lake Superior State scored an even-strength goal. Milos Gordic then responded for the Huskies to get the three-goal lead back. Soon after the Gordic goal, the Lakers made it 4–2. Michigan Tech had enough and put in three more (from Dennis Rix, Alex Petan and Gordic) to close out the second period, and the Huskies went to the locker room up 7–2. Penalty trouble plagued the Huskies in the third period and allowed the Lakers two chances with a 5-on-3 advantage and a 5-minute power play. The Lakers scored two goals to reduce the gap to three. The Huskies closed the scoring when Blake Pietila found the back of the net on the power play with eight minutes remaining.

"I thought our guys were ready to play. We came out and took it to them," said Pearson, "but we have a lot of things to get better at, as you know. I thought guys played stronger and harder tonight and out-battled them. We have Minnesota coming next week and you won't get away with some of the things we did, so we have things to work on this week."

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Stick Salute

This week we salute Milos Gordic for scoring his first two goals of the year Saturday night. But beyond the goals, he played very well below the goal line. "I like his goal. He didn't handle the puck and just took a shot," said Pearson. "He does so well in the corners." If he continues his strong play, Gordic is on track to be one of the top offensive players on this year's team. We look forward to seeing Milos do just that in his junior season.