DULUTH, Minn. — A guy with ties to Minnesota’s nearby Iron Range gave Michigan Tech a night to remember Friday at the DECC.
Senior center Eli Vlaisavljevich, whose dad, Steve is from Eveleth, and whose cousin, Dan, played at Eveleth and the University of Denver, scored with 5:53 to play as the last place Huskies defeated No. 18-ranked Minnesota Duluth 3-2 in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association mens game witnessed by 4,490 — most unbelievers.
UMD (6-4-1 overall, 3-3-1 in the WCHA) outshot Michigan Tech 50-19 and led 2-1 early in the third period. Additionally, they came into the game 5-1 at home, 4-0-1 on Fridays and 4-0-2 the last six games against Michigan Tech at the DECC.
Vlaisavljevich and about 75 Michigan Tech fans, making the four hour drive from Houghton, Mich., believe. Freshman goalie Kevin Genoe helped, saving 48 in the win.
“He played a heck of a game and we played a simple take-care-of-the-puck game, said Vlaisavljevich, from Shoreview, Minn., who has three career goals and is a 4.0 student applying for a Rhodes Scholarship. We dont make fancy plays, we just play hard.
The Bulldogs couldnt put Michigan Tech away, but were in a good position to gain a victory.
They fell behind 1-0, then scored twice on power plays from Jack Connolly, his seventh of the season, for the only goal of the second period, and from freshman winger Mike Seidel, his fourth goal in four games, at 4:31 of the third period.
Michigan Tech (3-6, 2-5) had lost three straight games and six of seven, and was being dominated for most of the game.
Our effort was definitely there, the intensity, and a bounce here or there and the game couldve been wide open [in UMDs favor], said Seidel. Genoe was phenomenal and Michigan Tech took advantage of the mistakes we made.
Seidel had put in a Travis Oleksuk rebound for UMDs only lead of the game, but it lasted just 34 seconds. On the next shift, Seigo scored unassisted for his first collegiate goal to make it 2-2. UMD goalie Kenny Reiter stopped Jordan Baker a few minutes later on a breakaway to keep it tied.
And as the shots continued to mount in UMDs favor (95-38 in total attempts for the game), the Huskies converted on a turnover. Ultimately, winger Ryan Bunger slid the puck to Vlaisavljevich in the crease and he had a tap-in into an open net.
You cant complain about a game when you get 50 shots. For the most part, I thought we played well, said UMD defenseman Mike Montgomery. But Michigan Tech blocked shots  and is a good defensive team.
UMD was throwing shots at the net until the final buzzer, but a four-game home win streak was broken as Michigan Tech won in Duluth for the first time since Jan. 14, 2005.
To be playing only our third road game of the season, and to show the composure we did, made this was a huge win, said Michigan Tech coach Jamie Russell.
There wasnt much more UMD coach Scott Sandelin could do but shake his head on Friday the 13th.
We did a lot of good things, we just didnt score enough.