College Hockey:
Conner Gives MTU Series Split With Minnesota State

— Chris Conner’s shorthanded goal at 3:46 of the third period proved to be the game-winning score for Michigan Tech in a 3-2 victory over Minnesota State in WCHA action Saturday night at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

The win salvaged a series split for the Huskies and improved their record to 4-15-1 overall and 3-10-1 in the WCHA. Minnesota State now owns a 5-11-3 overall mark and a 3-8-3 league record.

As on Friday night, Tech got on the scoreboard early. This time Brandon Schwartz was the scorer, as the senior capitalized on a rebound off MSU goalie Dan Tormey just :52 into the game.

Mike Batovanja took a shot from the top of the right point and the puck caromed off Tormey’s pad out to Schwartz, who put a shot up high in the net. Schwartz’s lamplighter was his sixth of the season, while Batovanja’s assist was one of two for him on the night.

Neither team scored again until the 1:56 mark of the second stanza, when Travis Morin notched his eighth goal of the year for Minnesota State to even the score at 1.

Tyler Skworchinski gave the Huskies a 2-1 advantage at the 18:48 mark of the middle frame with his first marker of the 2005-06 campaign. Skworchinski put home a pass through the Mavericks’ goal crease from Conner on the stick side. Conner’s helper was his eighth of the season. John Scott was credited with the second assist on the play, his first helper of the year.

Conner provided his team-best 12th marker of the season and his second breakaway goal of the series to spot the home team a two-goal lead. Batovanja sent a pass from near his own blue line that found Conner’s stick near MSU’s high slot, and from there the alternate captain sped in alone and slipped the puck low through Tormey’s pads. Batovanja’s second assist of the night was his fourth of the year.

The Mavericks scored once more at 11:54 off a Kyle Peto tally, but Michigan Tech held on the rest of the way to secure the split on home ice.

Michael-Lee Teslak tied a career-high by stopping 41 saves and recorded his fourth win as a rookie. Tormey made 21 saves in the loss for the Mavericks.

MSU outshot MTU 43-24 on the evening, as neither team scored on the power play.

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