HOUGHTON, Mich. - Michigan Tech remains undefeated in the WCHA after a 3-3 tie of Bemidji State Friday (Nov. 30) at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Jake Lucchini scored in the 3-on-3 overtime to clinch the extra conference point for the Huskies, finishing off a 2-on-1 break with Brian Halonen.
"It was the game that everybody expected," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "It was two even teams battling. I thought we had a good start to the game and the second two periods were pretty even. We have a great group of guys who are working hard right now at every position to get better."
Tech (6-5-1, 6-0-1-1) began the second period down 1-0 and had an early power play. Alex Smith slipped in a rebound but the initial shot knocked off the Bemidji State goaltender's helmet and the goal was waved off.
Eric Gotz did tie it up 11:37 after intermission with his first career goal. He kept the puck in the zone with his glove, settled the puck down, and wristed in a shot that found its way into the back of the net. Greyson Reitmeier assisted on the goal.
"The puck came bouncing out," Gotz said. "I went forward with it and regrouped it. I didn't expect it to go in, but it beat him on the short side. We got going after that."
The Huskies took their first lead of the game less than 2:00 later when Thomas Beretta buried his first of the season on the power play. Beretta one-timed a pass from Dylan Steman for his 12th career goal. Gotz added the second assist on the dump pass to Steman.
Bemidji State (6-5-2, 4-2-1-0) tied it up before the end of the second with a 5-on-3 power play goal by Charlie Combs. Adam Brady and Aaron Miller assisted.
Alec Broetzman put the home team back in front 3:46 into the third. He worked with Halonen to dig the puck out of the corner and brought it out front, jamming it past goaltender Henry Johnson for his third goal of the season. Halonen was credited with the assist.
Combs again tied it up for the Beavers with 5:42 left in the third. Owen Sillinger and Dan Billett assisted.
In the overtime, Tech was called for an early penalty. The Huskies killed it off and were the beneficiaries of a huge save by Devin Kero midway through the extra session.
Justin Misiak had a chance in the final seconds after a steal, but Johnson made a save at the doorstep and also stopped the rebound. Shots were 3-2 in favor of Tech in the 5:00 overtime.
In the 3-on-3, Keegan Ford created a turnover deep in the defensive zone. Lucchini picked up the puck and fed it up to Halonen crossing the blue line. He protected the puck and faked a drop pass to Ford before delivering a feed to Lucchini for the tip-in goal.
"Brian did a good job protecting the puck on that play," said Shawhan. "He saw what he liked and made a perfect pass to Lucchini. That's a great learning experience for a young guy like him."
Tech outshot BSU 30-28 on the night. Kero had 25 saves and Johnson made 27.
The Beavers opened scoring 8:55 into the game on a goal by Adam Brady, his first of two points on the night.
The Huskies were 1-for-5 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill.
"We have to stay out of the box tomorrow," Lucchini said. "Our power play also needs to create more chances. I think we just have to play simple hockey and we'll be good."
The two teams will wrap up the series on Saturday (Dec. 1) at 7:07 p.m.