HOUGHTON, Mich. - The Michigan Tech hockey team got back in the win column with a 3-2 victory over Alaska Anchorage Friday (Feb. 22) at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Jake Jackson scored the game-winning goal on the power play with 11:00 remaining in the third.
"It's nice to see the guys smile in the locker room," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "It's been a grueling second half, but you grow through this stuff. I think we're getting better in a lot of ways and we haven't lost our energy at all."
"Tonight, is a good step forward, especially closing out a one-goal win," said Jackson. "It's hard to learn how to win and we have so many young guys in the lineup. It's a big step, and it's something to build on going towards the playoffs."
UAA (3-25-3,2-20-3-2 WCHA) opened scoring when Jonah Renouf finished off a breakaway 4:43 into the second period. Gavin Gould had a breakaway on the previous rush but the puck came out and Nicolas Erb-Ekholm found Renouf streaking to the net.
Jake Lucchini tied it up 2:06 on Tech's first power play of the night. He was camped out in the slot, caught a pass from Eric Gotz and calmly wristed a shot past Kristian Stead for his ninth of the season. Seamus Donohue had the secondary assist.
Tech (13-16-4,12-10-3-1 WCHA) took its first lead 4:21 into the second period when Brian Halonen scored for the fifth straight Friday. An initial shot by Donohue was saved and Trenton Bliss got a whack at it before Halonen cleaned up the rebound for his team-leading 11th of the season.
The Seawolves quickly tied it back up 70 seconds later on a long shot by Drayson Pears. Trey deGraaf and Carmine Buono had the assists.
Jackson's game-winner was set up on a stretch pass from Donohue for his third assist of the night. Jackson caught the pass just across the red line and used his speed to go in on a breakaway and fired in his third of the season.
"It feels good to score that goal," Jackson said. "I had a few chances earlier in the night but it felt good to get that one.
"Seamus sees the ice well and makes good plays," Shawhan added. "He's having a good year offensively. He's a great young man that puts the team first."
Tech was 2-for-4 on the power play and ranks fifth in the nation with 30 goals scored on the man advantage. The Huskies were also 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Shots were 42-14 in favor of the Huskies. They piled up 15 shots in the first period, 12 in the second, and 15 again in the third for a season-high in shots on goal.
Matt Jurusik had 12 saves for the Huskies in his seventh straight start. Kristian Stead had 39 saves for the visiting team.
Michigan Tech helped raise over $700 for the KDR Challenge at the game. It was created in memory of Kelsey Dawn Raffaele who was tragically killed in an automobile accident on January 24, 2010. KDR focuses on the youth in Michigan educating them on the dangers of using a cell phone while driving. KDR stands for Kids Driving Responsibly and are Kelsey's initials. Kelsey's mother Bonnie was present.
The Huskies and Seawolves will meet for the fourth and final time on Saturday. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m.
"They play man to man all over the ice, so we have to win one-on-one battles again tomorrow," added Jackson. "We have to beat them up the ice with speed, transition the puck like we did tonight, and score some goals."
It will be Junior Hockey Night and Skate With The Huskies after the game. The first 200 youth into the building will receive coupons and candy. There will also be a variety of door prizes during Skate With The Huskies.