HOUGHTON, Mich. — Senior Jarrett Weinberger scored a natural hat trick as Michigan Tech defeated Minnesota-Duluth, 3-2, before a Winter Carnival crowd of 3,314 at MacInnes Arena on Friday night.
“My parents were up and this might be the last time they get to see me play a college game,” said Weinberger. “It feels great because they’ve always supported me, but most importantly the team pulled out a victory. It was close and they [Minnesota-Duluth] fought until the end, but we were able to hold it.”
Brad Patterson added a pair of assists for Tech (7-18-2, 5-15-1 WCHA) and Brian Rogers made 28 saves.
“Brian Rogers was outstanding tonight when we needed him,” said Tech head coach Mike Sertich. “We’re a different team when he’s on top of his game.”
Rob Anderson was stellar in goal for the Bulldogs, stopping 38 shots.
After a choppy first period that lacked flow, the action picked up in the second period.
Drew Otten gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 when he raced in on a breakaway and beat Rogers with a low shot 1:51 into the middle period.
But the Huskies wasted little time responding.
Just seven seconds after Otten’s goal, Weinberger cut to the front of the UMD net and flipped the puck past Anderson to tie the game.
Following the offsetting goals, both teams picked up their speed and intensity.
Tech’s Paul Cabana came close to putting his team ahead twice. While the Huskies were shorthanded, the shifty junior unleashed a rocket from the right circle that eluded Anderson but trickled just wide.
A short time later, Cabana took a lead pass from Tab Lardner and was off to the races, only to be stopped by Anderson.
“Paul’s biggest asset is that he plays the whole game,” said Sertich of his star forward. “He’s physical, he’s aggressive, he skates well, he checks well, and he can win a draw when we need it.”
At 16:45 — just seconds after a penalty to UMD’s Steve Rodberg had ended — the Huskies took the lead when Weinberger fired a shot over Anderson’s glove and into the top right corner of the net.
At 2:31 of the third period, Weinberger gave MTU a 3-1 lead when he put the puck through Anderson’s five-hole to complete the natural hat trick.
Tom Nelson pulled the Bulldogs back to within one when he lifted a shot over Rogers’ shoulder at 8:18.
Minnesota-Duluth (5-22-2, 2-18-1) had several opportunities to tie the game, but Rogers held his ground to preserve the victory.
“We had our opportunities, several outstanding chances that we didn’t tuck away,” said Sertich of his team’s inability to put the game away. “But give credit to Duluth. They hung right in there until the end.”
The Bulldogs failed to score on any of their five power-play opportunities, while Michigan Tech went 0-for-4.
The two teams wrap up their season series at 5:05 ET tomorrow.