Coming into the weekend, the Michigan Tech Huskies were looking both build off of their split with No. 6 Ferris State and cut into the seven-point gap that separated them from the Bowling Green State Falcons. On Friday night, the Huskies struck twice in the first and twice more in the second before the host Falcons got on the board. The Huskies held on for a 5-2 victory. Saturday, the Falcons twice led by two goals. The second time, the Huskies fought back to even the game, After tying the game for the second time to force overtime, the Huskies drew a power play in the extra session and struck when Blake Pietila found the back of the net for the Huskies’ third power play goal of the weekend in a 5-4 win.
The Huskies came out hard and fast in the first period Friday night. On their first power play of the game, freshman Shane Hanna set up junior David Johnstone for a one-timer goal at 12:08. Hanna figured into the second Huskies’ tally when he fed the puck to sophomore C.J. Eick who fed sophomore Malcolm Gould crashing the net at 13:57.
David Johnstone and assistant captain Tanner Kero struck in a four-minute span starting at 5:52 of the middle frame to expand the lead to four. The Falcons cut into the lead before senior Jacob Johnstone took a pass from Hanna to regain the four-goal lead at 19:54. The Falcons did pick up one goal in the third but could not find another gap in sophomore Pheonix Copley, who finished the game with 19 saves.
“We just don’t seem to make things easy,” said head coach Mel Pearson. “We haven’t played with a lot of leads. [This was] a huge two points.”
The Falcons came out much better than they had on Friday by grabbing a two-goal lead by the 9:18 mark. The Huskies needed a quick response and got it when Gould struck at 10:07. The Falcons again took a two-goal lead. After a batch of penalties for both teams, David Johnstone pulled the Huskies back within one on a five-on-three power play.
Jacob Johnstone evened the game for the Huskies at 1:57 of the third. The Falcons regained the lead just eight seconds later. The elder Johnstone again evened the game at 16:18. The Huskies, rolling from their strong third period, drew a power play in overtime. Freshman Reid Sturos picked up his third assist of the weekend when he found Pietila for the game-winning goal at 1:22. Sophomore Jamie Phillips made 27 saves to get the win.
“I can’t say enough about our team,” said Pearson. “Just to hang in there and play like we did, I couldn’t be more proud of these guys. It’s a tough building to play in.”
This week’s Stick Salute goes to senior forward Jacob Johnstone. Having only scored one goal through his first 17 games this season, Johstone struck three times this weekend to help lift the Huskies to victory both nights against the Falcons. While his goal Friday night did not carry the weight that both of his tallies from Saturday did, it does prove that Johnstone is poised to finish his final season in Black and Gold strongly.