HOUGHTON, Mich. — With a controversial overtime goal, Michigan Tech drew first blood in the Huskies’ two-game series with visiting Wisconsin with a 2-1 victory.
Jordan Baker netted the game winner 2:53 into the extra session while Badgers’ goaltender Landon Peterson was out of his crease looking to play the puck.
Peterson had skated behind his net with the goal of capturing the puck along the boards when a teammate fell on top of him. MTU captain Brett Olson completed a pass to Baker, who was skating into the slot, and then proceeded to slide the puck into the vacated net.
When the play finished, Blake Pietila was on the ice next to Peterson and the Badgers’ bench was looking for an interference call on the play instead of a Husky goal.
“Judging by the sheepishness of the two young referees, they had no command of the play,” said Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves.
The goal brought the Badgers their second overtime loss this season, the first coming last Friday to Northern Michigan.
The Huskies got off to a quick start in the game, dominating puck control and races to the puck.
“You could tell it was our first game together on a small sheet of ice, things happen too quick, (Michigan Tech) won more races to pucks and won more battles,” said Eaves.
The first period ended scoreless, but the Huskies would use their momentum in the second period to get the first goal of the game at 7:41 when Tanner Kero scored the first of his career, redirecting Riley Sweeney’s shot from the right point.
The Huskies headed into the third period with the lead, but the Badgers came back to the ice ready to put up a fight.
Their hard work paid off during their second power play of the game after Tyler Barnes dragged Huskies’ goaltender Josh Robinson across the crease, then slipping the puck into corner at 7:24.
Baker’s game ending goal marked his second game winner of the season.
“Its always exciting to win in overtime, especially in a game like that,” said Baker. “We want to make a statement, we’re here to play, we’re not going anywhere especially at home. This is our house and teams have to earn points on us.”
MTU head coach Mel Pearson was also happy with his team’s play, but is already looking for the next win.
“I’m extremely happy for the players,” said Pearson. “They’ve so far really bought into what we’re trying to do and the style were trying to play. When it’s early in the season, we’re only scratching the surface with that, so I think we have a lot of growth still within our team, but I’m proud of them.”
The teams will be back tomorrow night at 7:07 p.m. for game two of the series.