HOUGHTON, Mich. — The Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves are the latest squad to gain at Michigan Tech’s expense, earning an all-important WCHA road sweep with a 5-4 win Saturday evening at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Kevin Clark notched a hat trick for the Seawolves, as they extended the Huskies’ winless streak to 15 games.
“I thought we were lucky,” said Seawolves’ coach Dave Shyiak. “We had one line going, obviously, in Tommy Grant, Nick Haddad, and Kevin Clark.”
With the game tied at 4-4 in the third period, Sean Wiles tipped a shot from Drew Darwitz past Huskies’ netminder Josh Robinson just 1:29 in. The goal stood as the game-winner. The Seawolves (7-14-1 overall) improved to 5-12-1 in WCHA play, thanks to the goal.
“I was proud of the kids,” said Huskies’ coach Jamie Russell. “I thought that tonight was a 60-minute effort.”
Needing a better effort than Friday night’s performance, the Huskies (3-20-1 overall, 2-16-0 WCHA) came out hard and were rewarded for their efforts, as they found a hole in Seawolves’ goaltender Jon Olthuis’ armor.
Assistant captain Brett Olson got the Huskies on the board with a shot at 7:54 that eluded Olthuis. Olson’s twelfth of the season was set up by captain Malcolm Gwilliam and junior forward Bennett Royer.
“Tonight’s game was a complete turnaround from last night,” said Olson. “Malcolm made a great play; he made a heck of a pass. All I had to do was keep my stick on the ice.”
Olson nearly extended the Huskies’ lead to two, but his shot sailed just over the net and ended up heading back the other way into the Huskies’ net.
Clark notched the first of his two goals unassisted off the ensuing rush. Clark, who scored at 11:19, blew past Huskies’ defenders and made a quick move to his backhand to beat Robinson.
Clark struck again just over two minutes later on a power play. Brad Gorham fired a shot that Clark redirected past Robinson at 13:33. Tommy Grant also assisted on the goal.
Grant extended the Seawolves’ lead in the second period with an easy tap-in goal at 3:05 while Robinson’s attention was elsewhere. Clark picked up the lone assist on the goal.
Clark netted his third goal by punching a rebound past Robinson at 4:22. Grant took the initial shot for the Seawolves.
Assistant captain Jordan Baker began the Huskies’ rally at 14:35 by lifting his own rebound shot past Olthuis. Senior Drew Dobson and junior defenseman Deron Cousens both picked up assists on the goal, Baker’s sixth of the season.
Russell left Baker out on the ice and the move paid off, as he scored again just over a minute later. Junior center Eric Kattelus and Gwilliam both assisted on the goal, which came at 15:33.
The Huskies continued to pressure the Seawolves and forced the visitors to take a pair of penalties 20 seconds apart. On the ensuing five-on-three, freshman defenseman Steven Seigo ripped a slap shot past Olthuis to tie the game at 18:50. Baker and Olson both assisted on the goal, Seigo’s second of the season and first power-play tally of the season.
With time winding down late in the game, the Huskies earned a power play when Nils Backstrom was whistled for tripping. Russell used his timeout to discuss the advantage.
Robinson was pulled in lieu of an extra attacker shortly after the faceoff. Royer drew a second penalty on Gorham to help the Huskies to a six-on-three advantage.
Kattelus and Gwilliam both had chances to score with Olthuis down and out, but neither could find the back of the net. Olthuis finished with 32 saves. Robinson made 17 stops in the loss.
Both teams scored on the power play, with the Seawolves going one-for-three and the Huskies going one-for-four.