The No. 8 Michigan Tech Huskies played a key home and home series this weekend against U.P. rival Northern Michigan. The Huskies had to battle back from a two-goal deficit Friday night to earn a tie. On Saturday, the Huskies battled back from a two-goal deficit again, but this time still wound up on the losing end in overtime. With the one point earned, the Huskies remain in second in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
Trailing 1-0 after a power play goal, the Huskies evened the game just over 30 seconds later when co-captain Tanner Kero scored at 10:16 of the first period. Things remained tied until the Wildcats broke the tie with nine seconds left. The Wildcats jumped up 3-1 with a power play goal just 4:12 into the third.
The Huskies were awarded a five-minute major power play in the second half of the period. Winger Tyler Heinonen pulled the Huskies within one when he scored at 13:24. The Huskies were then awarded a five-on-three while still on the major power play. Defenseman Shane Hanna tied the game at 15:51.
The Huskies appeared as though they might skate the Wildcats right off the rink, but it was the visiting Wildcats who struck twice in the final minute and a half of the first. Heinonen cut the lead in half 1:06 into the second. Center Dylan Steman tied the game at 8:56. Winger Malcolm Gould scored on the power play at 12:20 to give the Huskies the lead. The Wildcats tied the game on a power play of their own.
The Huskies regained the lead late in the second when winger Brent Baltus put one home at 18:58. The Wildcats tied the game on the power play in the third. In overtime, the Huskies hit the post at one end and the Wildcats scored the game-winner at the other 2:47 in.
“We dug ourselves a hole,” said Huskies coach Mel Pearson. “We can’t continue to do that. You’re not going to beat many teams when you give five goals up at home.”
This weekend’s Stick Salute goes to assistant captain Alex Petan. The junior winger led all Huskies this weekend with five points, all assists. He picked up assists on all three Huskies’ goals on Friday night at the Berry Events Center. On Saturday, he added two assists in the second period. After the weekend, he is second on the Huskies in scoring with nine goals and 15 assists for 24 points.