HOUGHTON, Mich. — The Michigan Tech Huskies had already stunned North Dakota once this season.
Why not twice?
The Huskies came close, but ended up settling for a 2-2 tie with the No. 3 Fighting Sioux on Friday night at MacInnes Arena.
Tech appeared to have scored a go-ahead, power-play goal with 1:46 left in regulation when Paul Cabana tipped a shot past Karl Goehring. But referee John Boche ruled that Cabana was in the crease.
“It was a melee in front of the net,” said Goehring, who made 29 saves. “[Cabana's] skates just happened to be in the crease. He made an unbelievable tip, but we were just fortunate that the ref saw him in the crease. It was a good break for us.”
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t win because I thought it was a clean goal,” said Michigan Tech head coach Mike Sertich. “But that’s the way it goes.”
“I thought it was a great game both ways,” said UND coach Dean Blais, who credited Boche with making the proper call. “Tech did a good job of not allowing us to get to the net. We’ve been watching them all year long get better and better. They’ve arrived and I don’t want to play them in the playoffs.”
Brett Engelhardt and Cabana scored for the Huskies (8-19-4, 6-15-3 WCHA), and Brian Rogers made 35 saves.
David Lundbohm and Tim Skarperud scored for the Fighting Sioux (21-5-9, 17-4-6).
Tech made it 1-0 when Engelhardt pounced on the rebound from a Frank Werner shot and scored from close range 7:52 into the game.
The Huskies made it 2-0 when Cabana scored a power-play goal at 15:45. Just six seconds after North Dakota’s Chad Mazurak was sent off for checking from behind, Cabana grabbed a rebound in the low slot and fired the puck past a Goehring.
The Fighting Sioux dominated the middle period. Although they efficiently cycled the puck in the MTU zone, generating chance after chance, their first goal developed as the result of a fortunate bounce.
While on the power play, Jason Notermann charged through the slot, but lost control of the puck when he was met by the defensemen. But David Lundbohm took a backhanded chop at the bouncing puck near the bottom of the right circle and beat Rogers to the far side.
After being outplayed for most of the second period, Tech rebounded well in the third period.
Goehring made a nice stop on a rocket by Engelhardt from the bottom of the left circle early in the period, and then somehow managed to keep the puck out of the net during a wild goal-mouth scramble a short time later.
At the 10:12 mark, the Sioux got the equalizer. After Justin Brown lost control of the puck along the boards in his own zone, Paul Murphy picked up the puck, raced alone to the front of the net, and left a drop pass for Tim Skarperud, who beat Rogers on the near side.
“It was a pretty intense game,” said Goehring. “It was back and forth and both teams had a lot of good chances. We got a tie out of it and we’re happy to take a point away from that game being down two goals early.”
“The second period hurt us,” said Cabana. “Overall, I thought we played pretty well. A couple lapses cost us and you can’t do that against a team like North Dakota.”
“We took a few stupid penalties right away,” Blais said. “Penalties were not too smart tonight.
“We’ll probably play Andy Kollar tomorrow night. We’ve got both of them and they’re both capable of playing well at any time. That’s the advantage of having two good goalies. When [we] get in the playoffs, we’re going to need both of them.”
North Dakota finished 1-for-7 on the power play, while Michigan Tech went 1-for-6.
The two teams wrap up the weekend series at 7:05 p.m. Eastern Saturday night.