TEMPE, Ariz. - Michigan Tech scored three goals in the final 16:00 of the game but couldn't find the equalizer before the final horn in a 4-3 loss at No. 17 Arizona State Saturday (Jan. 4). Justin Misiak had a goal and an assist and Alex Smith had two assists as the Huskies fall to 12-9-1 overall.
"I give a lot of credit to our players for the way we came out in the third," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "We're a good third-period team. We transitioned the puck well and were much harder on the puck. We played with good pace."
Tech was down 3-0 entering the third period. Brian Halonen got the Black and Gold on the scoreboard 4:57 after the second intermission. He found some open space in front of the crease and slipped the puck past the goaltender with assists going to Smith and Misiak.
ASU (11-7-3) quickly extended its lead back to three when Filips Buncis scored 16 seconds later.
Alex Smith almost scored on a rebound and then the Sun Devils were whistled on a penalty after a scrum as the play ended. Alec Broetzman capitalized on the power play with his 10th of the season to make it a two-goal game at 4-2. Parker Saretsky got the assist.
Misiak then buried his second of the year as he gathered a pass from Tyler Rockwell and fired it into the net with 2:46 remaining. Smith added the secondary assist.
Goaltender Blake Pietila, who came in relief for the final 13:46, was pulled for the extra attacker with a minute to go. Colin Swoyer took three shots in the final moments but only one got through to the net with ASU defensemen blocking the others.
ASU outshot Tech 23-22 in the game. Tech had four shots in the first, five in the second, and 13 in the third. Matt Jurusik started for the Huskies and had 16 saves in 45:13 of action. Pietila had three saves in his third game.
The Sun Devils jumped out to a 3-0 lead with two goals in the first and one in the second. Willie Knierim opened scoring 4:42 into the game. PJ Marrocco added to the lead with 4:42 remaining in the third. Jordan Sandhu found the back of the net 81 seconds into the second.
Tech was 1-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
The two teams will wrap up the nonconference series with a Sunday (Jan. 5) matinee at Oceanside Ice Arena. The puck drops at 3:05 p.m. Mountain/5:05 p.m. Eastern.