HOUGHTON, Mich. - The Michigan Tech hockey team defeated Alaska 2-1 Friday (Nov. 23) at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena to remain unbeaten in the WCHA at 5-0. Tommy Parrottino scored the game-winning goal in the second period on the power play.
The Huskies wore special Copper Country Strong jerseys during the game and hosted volunteers from the Father's Day Flood during the first intermission. Thatcher Markham's family was also in attendance and dropped the puck on the game.
"It was good to get a win on this night. It sure was a great outpouring of support from our community, and we're very fortunate to be able to play for them," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "We came out and had a really good first period and carried the momentum throughout the game."
Goaltender Devin Kero-the cousin of Thatcher-picked up his first win of the season with 20 saves.
"It was an emotional night for the whole team, and you can multiply that by ten for Devin," added Shawhan. "He held is composure extremely well. I couldn't be happier for him."
"The guys realized that we were playing for more than just ourselves tonight," Captain Jake Lucchini said. "Devin was focused all night long and played really well. We were really excited for him and, he deserves every bit of it."
Tech (6-5, 5-0 WCHA) opened the scoring when Brian Halonen redirected a pass from Colin Swoyer into the back of the net 11:08 after puck drop. It was Halonen's third goal of the season.
Alaska (2-9-2, 2-4-1 WCHA) quickly tied it up 2:45 later with a power play tally by Ryker Leer. Sam Ruffin and Antti Viirtanen assisted on the play.
In the second period, the Nanooks were whistled for a 5:00 major penalty and the Huskies took advantage. Alex Smith carried the puck into the zone and whipped a pass to Lucchini streaking to the net. Lucchini redirected it on goal and the rebound came out to Parrottino for a quick chip into the back of the net at the 15:10 mark. It was Parrottino's fourth goal of the season.
The Huskies dominated in shots 48-21, taking 19 in the first period, 16 in the second, and 13 in the third. Gustavs Grigals had 46 saves for the visitors.
Tech was 1-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.
"Every point matters in this league," said Shawhan. "Right now, we're taking care of business in league play, and we need to continue to get better."
The two teams will wrap up their only meeting of the season at 7:07 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 24) night.
The special jerseys were auctioned off with all proceeds going to the Portage Health Foundation's Flood With Love Initiative.