HOUGHTON, M.I.–Michigan Tech (5-2-0, WCHA 3-2-0) stayed undefeated at home, beating the #3 ranked Denver Pioneers, 7-2 in a game closer than the score indicates. MTU welcomed backed their leading scorer from a year ago, Milos Gordic tonight and started where he left off, getting a hat trick for the Huskies.
Tanner Kero started the scoring, when he was able to beat the netminder just 2 minutes into the game. But the lead did not last long, as DU tied the game just 3 minutes later. Then on the power play, Gordic recorded his first of the season and first of the game, when he put in a rebound on a Jordan Baker shot. Just seconds later, Ryan Furne made it 3-1 when the top line each touched the puck on a great set of passes.
“We got off to a terrific start in the first period, then started to sag a bit” Head Coach Mel Pearson stated. “Denver is a good hockey team, you can’t give them any time or space cause they are going to beat you.”
MTU outshot Denver in the first, 11-4 and came away with a 3-1 lead.
In the second, the play was controlled by Denver, but the home team was able to weather the storm and Josh Robinson was able to keep the puck out of the net, stopping all 21 shots he faced in the second.
MTU managed only 7 shots in the second, but was able to come away with the only goal, when Gordic tipped in a Daniel Sova shot from the point, it was also on the power play.
In the third, Denver tried everything, including pulling the goalie with 7:07 remaining. It was then that Gordic scored on the empty net to gain his hat trick. After the first empty netter, DU decided to leave the goalie on the bench, a play that proved costly, as Brett Olson was able to score on the empty net, making it 6-1. Even after that goal, DU left the net empty and Dennis Rix was able to find the back of the net for a third ENG, making the score 7-1.
These two teams will meet again Saturday night for the series final.
Front page image courtesy of Bob Gilreath