HOUGHTON, Mich. — If you’ve followed sports in the United States the last six weeks, you’ve seen some wild comeback victories. Michigan Tech got into that act Saturday night at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena as the Huskies scored three times in the final 2:05 to erase a 6-3 Northern Michigan lead and then won it in overtime when Colin Murphy completed a natural hat trick at 2:58 of the extra session.
Many of the 3,854 fans headed for the exits when NMU’s Kevin Gardner scored on the power play at 15:22 of the third period to put the Wildcats up 6-3. Poor souls.
Tech would make it 6-4 with 2:05 left as sophomore Nick Anderson scored from the center point through a screen on the power play. Senior forward Jon Pittis keyed the play by winning the faceoff back to Anderson. The magical comeback continued :38 later when Murphy scored the first of his three straight goals. He started the play with a solid check on the end wall in the offensive zone. The puck was picked up by Taggart Desmet who made a great feed back out in front to Murphy and he put it between goaltender Craig Kowalski’s legs to bring Tech to within a goal.
The Huskies continued the pressure and with netminder Cam Ellsworth pulled, Murphy took a nice feed from Marek Dora from the right point and somehow found the back of the net as he fired one up high past Kowalski from the bottom of the right faceoff circle.
That set the stage for overtime. Tech had all the pressure on in the extra session and it paid off. The game-winning play came off the faceoff as off the faceoff Jon Pittis drew it back to Murphy who wristed one past Kowalski from the slot.
“I’m happy for our guys,” said head coach Jamie Russell. “They deserved a better fate last night and tonight, they never gave up. It’s one of those games that will people will remember for an awful long time I’m sure.”
Chris Conner staked the Huskies to a 1-0 lead in the game at 5:46 for his fourth goal of the weekend. NMU , however, tied it just 2:14 later and the game was even after 20 minutes.
Sophomore Brandon Schwartz and Murphy both scored in the opening 5:34 of the second to stake the Huskies to a 3-1 advantage, but NMU got to within a goal by the end of the stanza.
The visitors tied the game just :43 into the third and proceeded to take their first lead of the game just 2:58 later. NMU also got goals from Andrew Contois and Kevin Gardner at 12:51 and 15:52 to build what appeared to be a comfortable 6-3 lead.
Cam Ellsworth picked up the win in the MTU net with 25 stops, while Kowalski had 43 saves in the loss for NMU.