Looking to build off a strong performance last Saturday at home against the Lake Superior State Lakers, the Michigan Tech Huskies traveled to Anchorage, Alaska. The Seawolves proved less-than-grateful hosts on Friday night, striking twice in the opening 20 minutes of play before skating away with a 3-1 victory. On Saturday, the Huskies played much better, earning a 2-2 tie of their own.
Sophomore Jamie Phillips got the start for the second straight night in goal in the series opener. If may not have mattered if the Huskies were backstopped by Martin Brodeur, as there was little Phillips could do on either of the two goals the hosts scored about three minutes apart. He would finish the night with 17 saves.
The Huskies earned about five minutes of power play time in the second period, but only managed six shots on goal. The visitors were able to build upon the puck control they had in the middle frame, and assistant captain Tanner Kero was able to cut the lead in half when he beat Seawolves’ goalie Rob Gunderson at 10:20 of the third. Freshman Shane Hanna and sophomore Alex Petan both assisted on the goal. The Seawolves manage to recover their two-goal late in the game.
“There a just a lot of little things we have to do better,” said Pearson. “We had a lot of guys who gave very average efforts tonight.”
The Huskies jumped on the Seawolves early as senior Ryan Furne was able to get the visitors on the board with his second goal in three games 9:12 in the first period. Freshman Mike Neville and sophomore Malcolm Gould assisted on the goal. The lead was short-lived however, as the Seawolves evened the game just over two minutes later.
After forcing the Seawolves into a five-on-three advantage, Kero potted a rebound to regain the lead for the Huskies at 4:07 of the second. Petan assisted on the goal. The lead would stand until 7:55 of the third when the Seawolves evened the game on a power play of their own. The Huskies outshot the Seawolves 28-18 for the game.
“We put in a good, honest effort tonight,” said Pearson. “We obviously wanted the win, but we’ll take the point.”
This week’s Stick Salute goes to Tanner Kero, who scored a pair of power play goals over the weekend. Pearson and his staff challenged Kero to be better after the Michigan weekend, and since then, Kero has racked up four goals and eight points in the last six games. With nine points, he now leads the team in scoring.