Despite an improved performance by the Michigan Tech Huskies, Boston College needed just one third period goal and a controversial officiating decision to hand the Huskies their fourth straight loss, 2–1.
Eagles forward Brian Dumoulin scored at the 10:50 mark of the third period, slipping an otherwise harmless shot from the bottom of the right circle past the low glove side of Huskies goalie Josh Robinson, who made a costly positional error. “I’ve gotta have that second goal”, Robinson posted to his Twitter account following the game. Coach Pearson agreed during his post-game press conference that Josh would like that one back.
It would have been easy for the Huskies to pack it in right there, but they battled back. Michigan Tech nearly knotted the score with an extra attacker goal by Blake Pietila with only 28.9 seconds to play, until it went to the booth. Following a lengthy video review, the goal was waived off as the official ruled the puck had been tipped to Pietila off of Jordan Baker’s high stick. The official was roundly booed by the crowd after the decision, some of which can likely be attributed to the arena staff’s surprising decision to show multiple angles of the replay on the jumbotron, allowing everyone in the building a chance to form an own opinion. Coach Pearson and Baker both took the high road during the post-game, despite disagreeing with the call. Said Baker, “It’s a tough break, unfortunately. I didn’t think it was a high stick. It hit me and went right to Blake, but you have to trust the replay officials.”
The game began similarly to Thursday’s tilt with Michigan State. Boston College opened the scoring early in the first with Michigan Tech defenseman Steven Seigo off for interference. Chris Kreider scored almost immediately on the ensuing Eagles power play, putting the Huskies down 1–0 just 4:04 into the contest. Michigan Tech had difficulty sustaining pressure in Boston College’s zone for much of the first period, but caught a break after Huskies defenseman Riley Sweeney was sent to the box for boarding at 14:57. Just moments later, forward Dennis Rix skated up the left wing on the penalty kill and fired a slapshot from above the left circle that seemed to surprise Eagles goalie Parker Milner, who watched the puck go past him low blocker side and knot the game at one. The first ended with the Eagles on the powerplay after Alex MacLeod was sent off for slashing at 19:34.
The Huskies’ play improved as the second period wore on, which began with a successful kill of a Boston College 5-on-3 power play after Jordan Baker was whistled for hooking just 13 seconds into the period. Michigan Tech used the momentum built towards the end of the second to play a very good third period, despite the outcome. At one point, the Huskies had Boston College running around in their defensive zone for a solid 4–5 minutes, but unfortunately there were no goals to show for it. The Huskies outshot the Eagles 10–4 in the final period.
Overall, Michigan Tech improved their play compared to the game against Michigan State, but it wasn’t quite enough. Regardless, the Huskies went toe-to-toe with the third-ranked team in the country for much of the game, and this was the kind of loss they can learn a lot from. If they can play the kind of game they played in the third period on a more consistent basis, they’re in for a competitive second half of WCHA conference play. It all starts in two weeks, when Alaska Anchorage pays a visit to Houghton for two of just seven remaining home games. Until then, there’s a lot of drills and soul searching to be done. Going winless in a highly-anticipated Great Lakes Invitational stinks, but the possibility for home ice and a Final Five trip are still within reach.