Weekend Wrap: Huskies drop pair to Wolverines

The Michigan Tech Huskies returned to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the first time since 1984. Also, head coach Mel Pearson returned to Ann Arbor for the first time since taking the helm of the Huskies. Unfortunately, it was the host No. 4 Michigan Wolverines who got the better of the weekend, taking a pair of one-goal games from the Huskies, 3–2 on Friday and 2–1 on Saturday.

Friday

On Friday night, the Huskies appeared poised to surprise the Wolverines in the first period, outplaying and outshooting the hosts. However, they found themselves down 1–0 after 20 minutes. That lead would extend to 2–0 before co-captain Blake Pietila redirected a shot from Alex Petan past Zach Nagelvoort to get the Huskies on the board at 11:09 of the second. C.J. Eick tied the game almost six minutes later when he got loose for a shorthanded breakaway at 17:05.

Pheonix Copley make 40 saves for the game, but would probably wish he had one last chance at the Wolverines’ final shot in overtime. After a Huskies’ clear hit a referee at center ice, the Wolverines pushed the puck back into the zone and Andrew Copp beat Copley at 3:26 of the extra session.

“I am so proud of this team and how they played,” said Pearson. “There are no more moral victories, you know. We have to find a way to win on the road. However, that being said, there are so many good things on this team.”

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Saturday

Saturday night’s game felt very similar to Friday’s game in that the Huskies were giving the Wolverines all they handle for much of the period. A pair of late period penalties helped the hosts earn an 11-6 edge in shots and Copp found daylight behind Copley at 19:33. The game remained 1–0 until 3:28 into the third when the Wolverines took a 2–0 lead. Dennis Rix beat Nagelvoort with a backhander at 7:55 to cut the lead in half, but that was as close as the Huskies would get.

Copley finished the night with 28 saves.

“I thought we got off to another real good start tonight,” said Pearson. “The game sort of settled down and there wasn’t a lot going on either way. Both teams looked tired. I liked our resiliency. This team will start winning.”

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Coverage

Stick Salute

Goaltender Pheonix Copley earns this week’s Stick Salute. The sophomore has now started four consecutive games, and has given the Huskies a chance to win every single one. On Friday, he made 40 saves in helping to force overtime. While he was not as busy on Saturday, he made several key stops, allowing the Huskies to work on cutting into that 2–0 Wolverines’ lead.

Daver Karnosky

Daver has been around Michigan Tech hockey since his family moved to Houghton in 1983. A 2007 graduate of Michigan Tech who completed his Master's Degree in Rhetoric and Technical Communication in 2010, he has covered the Huskies as an arena reporter for USCHO.com for the last eight seasons. Daver has also covered Huskies' games for outlets such as the Daily Mining Gazette, Minneapolis Star Tribune, St. Cloud Times, and the Michigan Tech Lode.