Looking to keep their four-game unbeaten streak going, the Michigan Tech Huskies needed another five-goal effort, as they skated to a 5-5 tie with the Minnesota State Mavericks at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena. The Huskies remain unbeaten, and are off to their best start since 1972.
“I thought we had a great start,” said Huskies coach Jamie Russell. “We showed great mental fortitude in not hanging our heads (when we were down) and battling back.”
The Huskies needed just 3:27 to get on the board, as freshman defenseman Daniel Sova skated the puck into the offensive zone and fired a shot at Mavericks netminder Austin Lee. Lee made the stop, but no one picked up sophomore winger Mikael Lickteig, who buried the rebound for his first goal of the season.
A little over a minute later, the Huskies (3-0-2 overall, 1-0-1 WCHA) struck again as junior winger Alex MacLeod chipped the puck past a Mavericks defender and skated in short-handed, firing a wrist shot that beat Lee over the left shoulder. The goal, MacLeod’s second of the season and first short-handed, was unassisted.
“It’s nice to get off to a great start,” said MacLeod. “I shot high (on the short-handed goal) and I got lucky.”
The scoring continued at 7:13 as defenseman Tyler Elbrecht scored his first career goal to cut the Huskies’ lead in half. Elbrecht picked up the puck at his own blue line, carried it the length of the rink, and buried a wraparound on his backhand.
The Mavericks (0-1-3 overall, 0-1-1 WCHA) tied the game at the 12:08 mark of the opening frame when defenseman Kurt Davis picked up a rebound off a shot from Mike Louwerse and buried it behind Huskies goaltender Josh Robinson.
“Quality opportunity to quality opportunity, we just didn’t get the job done,” said Mavericks coach Troy Jutting. “I thought we played a pretty good game all in all.”
Robinson surrendered another Mavericks’ goal almost two minutes later off a long shot from forward Joe Schiller, and was given the hook. Sophomore Kevin Genoe came in to replace him.
Needing just 1:31 in the second period, the Huskies evened the game at three when freshman winger Jacob Johnstone buried a rebound off a shot from senior center Eric Kattelus for his second goal of the season. Sophomore defenseman Carl Nielsen also assisted on the goal.
Genoe looked sharp until a turnover at the defensive blue line led to Cameron Cooper regaining the lead at 12:54. Cooper’s blast snuck just under the crossbar, and Genoe never saw the puck, as he was screened.
The Mavericks continued to pepper Genoe with pucks for the remainder of the middle frame, but couldn’t find a way to beat Genoe. As the period drew to a close, captain Rylan Galiardi took a bad penalty for hooking, putting the potent Huskies’ power play back on the ice.
The Huskies needed just 27 seconds, as sophomore defenseman Steven Seigo fired a shot from the blue line that MacLeod redirected over Lee’s left shoulder at 19:30. Kattelus also assisted on the goal.
The third period was played evenly until sophomore forward Aaron Pietila got loose and carried the puck into the Mavericks zone. Pietila took the initial shot, which was blocked, but Seigo, jumping up into the action, grabbed the puck and buried it, putting the Huskies back on top at 11:13.
The Huskies’ lead would stand for a little over four minutes when Mavericks forward Chase Grant found himself alone in front of Genoe. Grant tipped a shot from defenseman Channing Boe past Genoe on a power play at 15:20 to tie the game again.
As time wound down in the third, MacLeod and Mavericks defenseman Ben Youds fought for a loose puck and both players fell to the ice. Youds, questionably, was whistled for holding at 19:51. With the power play stretching into overtime, the Huskies had a couple of great chances to win the game, but couldn’t quite pull the trigger.
The Huskies finished one-for-six on the man advantage while the Mavericks finished one-for-five. Genoe and Robinson combined for 41 saves in the tie. Lee made 27 saves for the Mavericks.