HOUGHTON, Mich. — Needing to have a strong showing at home after struggling to 13 games without a win, the Michigan Tech Huskies came out flat costing themselves dearly in a 6-2 loss to the Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves Friday night at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
I felt the first 40 minutes of the game I didnt think we moved our feet, said Huskies head coach Jamie Russell. We didnt defend well. We didnt win battles.
Jade Portwood notched a pair of goals, including an empty-netter in sealing the Seawolves seventh victory of the season and first of 2010.
Tommy Grant got the visitors on the board first at 5:33 of the opening frame with a power-play goal. Kevin Clark set up the goal with a nice pass. Brad Gorham also assisted on the goal.
Portwood put the Seawolves up by a pair with a shot through traffic that eluded Huskies netminder Kevin Genoe at 5:48. Ken Selby and Craig Parkinson assisted on the goal.
The Huskies looked to fall even deeper into a hole when senior defenseman John Kivisto took a penalty for checking from behind, but instead, the Huskies rallied.
Picking off a Seawolves pass at center ice, assistant captain Brett Olson blew past two defenders and deked the puck around Jon Olthuis for a shorthanded tally at 10:16. The goal was Olsons 10th of the season.
The Huskies nearly evened the game on the next shift as assistant captain Jordan Baker and junior center Eric Kattelus skated in on a 2-on-1 as Baker fed Kattelus, but his shot was stopped by Olthuis for one his five first period saves. He would finish with 27.
The second period was all Seawolves as Mitch Bruijsten scored at 4:40 on an unfortunate bounce for Genoe. Curtis Leinweber assisted on the goal.
Sean Wiles got loose at 10:39 to score a shorthanded goal off a turnover by the Huskies in their offensive zone.
That goal gave us some breathing room, said Seawolves head coach Dave Shyiak. Anytime you are on the road and can go up two or three goals, I think thats a positive thing.
In the third, Olson cut the lead in half again with a power-play marker at 5:17. His 11th goal of the season was set up by a shot wide of the net by Baker. Kattelus also picked up an assist on the goal.
The Huskies controlled play for much of the period, but couldnt find the net behind Olthuis again.
We came out and we did some good things in the third, said Russell. You need to do that right off the opening drop of the puck.
Russell pulled Genoe with 2:14 left, but the move backfired as Portwood and Clark both notched empty net goals in a 55 second span.
Genoe finished the game with 29 saves in the loss.
The Huskies (3-19-1 overall, 2-15-0 in the WCHA) were 1-for-5 on the man advantage while the Seawolves (7-13-1, 5-11-1) finished 1-4.
The teams meet again tomorrow afternoon for the last time in the regular season.