DULUTH, Minn. — Junior Michael-Lee Teslak was in top form Friday night in returning to Michigan Techs lineup. After missing two home games last weekend with a sore back, and being out of action for four days, he was back in goal against No. 17 Minnesota Duluth at the DECC.
Teslak needed to be sharp to match UMD sophomore Alex Stalock.
They were the players of the game in a 1-1 overtime tie to open a Western Collegiate Hockey Association mens series before a crowd of 4,521.
Teslak had 27 saves, Stalock 26.
That was a hard-fought defensive game and both goalies played really well, said UMD winger Nick Kemp, who tested Teslak four times, but couldnt break through. The effort was there for both teams and one point is better than none.
UMD (4-3-2 overall, 3-3-1 WCHA) scored on a Josh Meyers goal 9:09 into the game and No. 18 Michigan Tech (5-5-1, 4-4-1) tied it on a Tyler Shelast power-play goal with 2:47 left in the second period.
The Bulldogs led 28-27 in shots on goal and remained unbeaten at home this season at 3-0-2, allowing just six goals in that stretch.
Teslak had tweaked his back at Wisconsin on Nov. 3, and then it worsened last Friday before facing St. Cloud State at home and he was unable to play. He sat out and his squad lost twice.
I got on the ice Wednesday and had a couple of good practices. Tonight I felt like I hadnt missed a beat, said Teslak, 3-2-1 this season. Both teams created chances tonight, but no one gave up a lot. It was very even all the way around.
Defenseman Meyers had the only goal of the first period. He scored from the slot on a Michael Gergen rebound for his second goal of the season. The Bulldogs had a 7-3 shots-on-goal advantage with 7:00 left in the opening period, and then held a 9-8 margin overall.
Teslak saw Kemp the most, including a stop on a short-handed breakaway with 65 seconds left in the first period.
We had our moments and they had their moments, said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. I liked the beginning of the game and some of the third period, but the second wasnt our best effort.
UMDs penalty killers, ranked No. 1 in the WCHA, took a hit with 2:47 left in the second period. Michigan Tech winger Shelast connected for a team-leading sixth goal of the season as he redirected a Peter Rouleau shot past Stalock at the crease. Stalock stopped Jordan Baker one-on-one with 6:32 left for his best save.
Stalock stopped Shelast twice earlier in the period, while Teslak turned away Kemp twice.
In the third period, Teslak got a stick on a Gergen shot with 9:30 left and stopped a Jason Garrison attempt with 46 seconds to go.
The Huskies had stopped a three-game losing streak.
We played a smart road game and our specialty teams helped, and both goalies were good,” said Michigan Tech coach Jamie Russell. “It was an exciting game.”
Kevin Pates covers Minnesota-Duluth for the Duluth News-Tribune in Duluth, Minn.