HOUGHTON, Mich. - Brian Halonen scored 3:05 into overtime to lift Michigan Tech to a 4-3 win over Northern Michigan Friday (Dec. 18) at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
"NMU's a good hockey team," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "They play hard and are well-coached. They have a lot of pride, and we're fortunate to come out with the win.
"A lot of guys played extremely well. We got a little loose in the third period but overall, I thought we did a really good job.
The Huskies generated six shots on goal in the extra session. The game-winning play started with a rush to the net by Trenton Bliss. NMU goaltender Nolan Kent made the initial save but fell down and out of the play. Halonen whacked the puck in after Colin Swoyer couldn't get full control.
NMU (1-1) tied the game with 8.1 seconds left in the third period when a wraparound puck deflected off an official out in the front of the net. AJ Vanderbeck was there to tie it up in the final seconds.
Justin Misiak and Carson Bantle both had great chances for the game-winner early in overtime before Halonen's heroics.
Tech built a 3-1 lead after two periods. Tommy Parrottino got the Huskies on the board with his first of the season 3:50 into the game. Bliss fed Parrottino for a tap in after a backhanded pass in the crease. Misiak added the secondary assist after creating a turnover.
The Wildcats tied it up when David Keefer scored from Andre Ghantous 5:49 into the second.
The Huskies quickly took their lead back when Carson Bantle buried his second of the season with a partial breakaway shot through the five-hole of Kent 16 seconds later. Colin Swoyer picked up his first of two assists on the night and goaltender Blake Pietila recorded his first point with the secondary assist.
Trenton Bliss made it a two-goal game with 4:11 left in the second. Misiak pulled the puck off the sidewall and found Bliss in the slot. A quick wrist shot deflected off an NMU defenseman's stick and into the net. Bliss leads the Huskies with three goals on the season and now has 21 for his career.
Northern drew within one with a penalty shot goal by Vincent de Mey only 23 seconds into the third period.
Both teams were 0-for-1 on the power play. Tech was whistled for three penalties and NMU had two.
Each team had 34 shots on goal. Blake Pietila had 31 saves for his second straight win. Nolan Kent stopped 30 shots for the visitors in his first appearance of the season.
"Blake is giving us a chance to win every night, and that's all you can ask out of your goaltender," Shawhan added. "He's making big saves when he needs to. I'm glad the tough goal at the end of the third didn't cost him the win."
The Huskies and Wildcats will wrap up the non-conference series at 6:07 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 19). The game will be televised locally on Fox UP.