The Huskies traveled over the weekend to play a pair of games against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Penalty trouble cost the Huskies both games, as they took 11 penalties for 22 minutes on Friday and 18 penalties for 85 minutes on Sunday afternoon. The Irish scored five times on the man advantage to win 3-2 Friday night and 7-3 on Sunday.
Things did not start off the way the Huskies would have liked as Steven Fogarty and Robbie Russo combined to give the Irish a 2-0 lead before the first period ended. Sophomore C.J. Eick notched his first of the season while shorthanded just 2:21 into the second period to get the Huskies back into the game. Senior Ryan Furne evened the game on a five-on-three power play at 10:25 after getting the puck from junior Riley Sweeney. Freshman Brent Baltus also assisted on the goal. The game remained tied until 12:59 of the third when T.J. Tynan broke the tie.
“I thought our guys put in a real gutsy effort,” said Huskies’ head coach Mel Pearson. “I thought our team played very well. We did a lot of good things in this game.”
Sophomore Pheonix Copley was extremely busy for the Huskies, making 40 saves while helping keep the Irish to 1-for-10 on the power play.
Sunday afternoon appeared to pick up where Friday night left off as the Huskies suffered through three five-minute major penalties and a few five-on-three power plays as well. The Irish had a 2-0 lead in the second period when Huskies’ freshman Tyler Heinonen scored his first career goal at 2:12 off a great pass from junior Blake Hietala. Sophomore Alex Petan knotted the game at two just over a minute later after taking a pass from captain Blake Pietila and burying the puck at 3:16.
After Huskies’ freshman Mike Neville took a five-minute major for checking from behind, the Irish struck twice on the ensuing power play and once more on a four-on-four to take a 5-2 lead. Trailing 6-2 late in the third, Heinonen scored again for the Huskies at 15:34 with Hietala again assisting. The Irish would beat sophomore Jamie Phillips one last time with 2:00 remaining in the game.
“I felt bad for our team,” said Pearson. “In five-on-five hockey, this is a three-three game. We have to learn to not let refereeing take over a game. Other than that, the guys played pretty hard.”
Freshman winger Tyler Heinonen earns our Stick Salute this week after scoring twice in Sunday afternoon’s contest. Having dressed now for three games, the Delano, Minn., native showed some real chemistry with Blake Hietala, despite not starting Sunday’s game on the same line. The youngster now has two goals and is a +1 on the season.