HOUGHTON, Mich. — Michigan Tech Huskies used some Winter Carnival magic to sting No. 18 Colorado College in the first period and third periods of a penalty-filled affair en route to a 2-2 tie Friday night at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
The Tigers havent won in Houghton now in four years.
We did a good job defensively, said Huskies head coach Jamie Russell. I thought we got into a good rhythm in the third period.
The Tigers (13-9-2 overall, 9-8-4 in the WCHA) had a short-lived 5-on-3 advantage in the opening minutes of action, but couldnt find a way to beat Huskies netminder Rob Nolan who would finish the first period with seven saves.
Freshman forward Alex MacLeod started the parade the penalty box for both teams as he was sent off for checking from behind, giving the Tigers a five minute man advantage. The Huskies ended up with a power play after two Tigers were whistled, but they couldnt beat Tigers goaltender Richard Bachman.
The Huskies (5-18-6 overall, 1-14-6 WCHA) did finally get one past Bachman at 12:57 on a 5-on-3 advantage as sophomore defenseman Deron Cousens wristed a laser beam over Bachmans left shoulder. His third goal of the season was assisted by freshman center Brett Olson and sophomore winger Bennett Royer.
We needed to get the crowd into the game here, said Cousens.
The Huskies had some golden opportunities, but freshman winger Bryce Reddick missed both with a rebound and later with a near-perfect tip off a shot from junior defenseman Drew Dobson.
It didnt the Tigers long to even the game early in the second period as Tyler Johnson roofed a shot past Nolan just 1:25 in. The unassisted goal was his fourth of the year.
For us this is symbolic of the way our season has been, said Tigers head coach Scott Owens.
(Tylers) goal energized him and it energized the team. I didnt want the second period to end.
With the Huskies back on their heels after surrendering the goal, the Tigers continued to press and at 5:37 were rewarded with a power-play tally of their own. Assistant captain Chad Rau buried a shot past Nolan after setting up on the back door. Brian Connelly hit Rau with the pass after originally getting the puck from Bachman. The goal was Raus 12th of the season.
The Huskies got their feet back underneath themselves and were able to get some pucks through to Bachman, but none could find the back of the net as Bachman made six of his 27 saves in the middle frame.
Both teams seemed to struggle to get shots to the net in the early stages of the third. Through the first six minutes, neither team had more than a single shot on goal.
The Huskies broke through in a big way a minute later when Olson his ninth goal of the season at 7:04. Royer took a head-manned pass from captain John Schwarz and hit Olson cutting to the net for the one-timer.
We knew we had to put pressure on them, said Olson. John made a great pass to Bennett. I was just trying to poke (the pass from Royer) in there.
After the game was tied, the Tigers appeared to fall back on their heels a bit as the Huskies gained momentum. Dobson nearly hit senior center Alex Gagne for a goal about 15 minutes in, but Bachman managed to make the stop.
The Tigers did have one great chance to regain the lead when forward Scott McCulloch took a lead pass behind the Huskies defense, but Nolan made one of his three stops for the period as McCulloch attempted a deke. Nolan finished with 19 saves.
In overtime, the Huskies jumped all over the Tigers early and often, forcing Bachman to make four saves including a golden opportunity by sophomore winger Jordan Baker after an initial shot by Dobson.
After McCulloch got behind the Huskies defense, causing Nolan to again stop him cold, Dobson nearly gave the Huskies the win by intercepting a clearing pass from Bachman. Dobson moved the puck out front towards Baker, but the puck hit Nick Dineen of the Tigers and nearly ended up in the back of the net.
The save (by Nolan) was huge, said Russell. You talk about your goaltender playing well, and its not just the saves but also the timing of the saves. Obviously the game was on the line at that point and that was a game-saving stand.
The Huskies finished 1-7 on the man advantage. The Tigers managed one goal on six attempts.
The teams will meet again tomorrow at 5:07 p.m.