HOUGHTON, Mich. - Michigan Tech extended its winning streak to six games after shutting out Northern Michigan 2-0 Saturday in non-conference action at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena. In a game that got added to the schedule only 23 hours prior to puck drop, the Huskies scored a goal early in the first and late in the third to improve to 7-3-1.
"I am extremely appreciative of Grant, the NMU administration, and their players for scheduling this series," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "Getting these games in is very important after not being able to play in 20 days."
Mark Sinclair earned his second shutout of the season and second win as a Husky with 32 saves. He had to stop only five in the first but 12 in the second and 15 in the third.
"It feels great," Sinclair said. "We had a good week of practice after 10 days off. I'm just trying to help out when I get a chance to play, and it's always nice to get a shutout."
"Mark was a pleasure to watch tonight," Shawhan added. "He was ahead of the play and waiting for pucks. He anticipated everything and didn't have to make spectacular saves. Our goaltending has been tremendous. Jamie Phillips has done a great job with them."
Eric Gotz got the scoring started 3:00 after puck drop with his third of the season and third on the power play. Arvid Caderoth fed the puck out to the point from the goal line, and Gotz sent it through traffic and to the back of the net. Jake Crespi added the second assist.
NMU (2-9) was whistled for a pair of penalties at the 11:25 mark of the first period, resulting in a rare 7:00 power play for the Huskies. An elbowing call on Tech negated 2:00 of the power play and NMU goaltender Nolan Kent kept the puck out of the net to keep it a one-goal game.
Tech dominated in shots 12-5 in the first period but the second was evenly played. Sinclair had a huge save midway through when he flashed his glove on a long shot through traffic.
The Wildcats pressured in the third before the Huskies got an insurance goal from Tristan Ashbrook for his first as a Husky in his second game. Logan Pietila took a faceoff deep in the defensive zone. Brett Thorne flipped the puck up to a streaking Ashbrook who went in on a 2-on-1 with Blais Richartz. Ashbrook took a quick snapshot to score his 10th collegiate goal.
"Thorny gave me a great pass, and Blais hustled so the defenseman had to make a decision," Ashbrook said. "The goal is nice but it's better to get a win in the best college hockey rivalry in the UP.
"I've watched a lot of games from both teams growing up. It's a cool feeling being a part of UP college hockey. I'm happy to be here and happy to be able to play in the UP."
NMU added the extra attacker with 2:40 to go and then got a power play with 50 seconds remaining, but Sinclair made two huge saves in the final moments to secure the shutout-Tech's fourth of the season.
NMU outshot Tech 32-31. The Huskies were 1-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Tech was initially scheduled to host Lake Superior State this weekend in a WCHA series but had it postponed two hours before puck drop on Friday. The Huskies also had games at Minnesota State and Ferris State rescheduled this month.
The Huskies and Wildcats will wrap up the nonconference series on Monday at 5:07 p.m. at the Berry Events Center.