HOUGHTON, Mich. - No. 20 Michigan Tech defeated No. 18 Lake Superior State Tuesday (Feb. 23) to earn a WCHA series split with the Lakers. The Huskies scored three goals in the second period to take control and improve to 15-8-1 overall and 5-5 in the WCHA.
"We needed that win," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "I give credit to the players. They just kept grinding. We've been doing the right things and not getting the result. Tonight, some goals went in for us and that was the difference."
Trenton Bliss opened scoring 18:25 into the game with his team-leading 11th of the season. Brett Thorne had a shot from the point that was tipped by Logan Pietila into the chest of Mareks Mitens. Bliss was waiting at the side of the net to put in the rebound.
The Lakers (12-5-3, 6-4 WCHA) tied the game 6:58 into the second period when Pete Veillette finished off a tape-to-tape cross-ice pass from Jack Jeffers. Louis Boudon added the secondary assist.
Only 27 seconds later, Brian Halonen potted the eventual game-winner when he muscled control of the puck in the crease and flipped it up for his sixth of the season. Chris Lipe had the primary assist with a shot towards the net and Tristan Ashbrook had the secondary assist for the first of two points on the afternoon.
"We got a really good effort from everybody tonight, but I thought Ashbrook's line with Halonen and Nardella was above and beyond," added Shawhan. "They had good legs and worked great together all night."
Nick Nardella added to the lead 6:30 later when he finished off a setup feed by Ashbrook for his second of the season.
Alec Broetzman got into the action at 16:06 of the second when he caught a cross-ice pass from Parker Saretsky and fired in his 10th of the season. Lipe added another assist after a pass up the ice.
Tech led in shots 36-34 on the afternoon. Blake Pietila stopped 33 shots and earned his 12th win of the season. Mitens had 32 saves for the Lakers.
Brian Halonen led the Huskies with six shots on goal while Jake Crespi added five. In the first period, Crespi beat his defender to the outside and created a shorthanded partial breakaway that Mitens had to come up big for. He created a similar play in the third but his shot at the five-hole was closed just in time.
Tech was 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and didn't receive any power-play opportunities for the first time this season.
Tech wraps up the week, and its seven-game homestand, by hosting Northern Michigan on Friday for Senior Night. The Huskies will honor Justin Misiak, David Raisanen, Greyson Reitmeier, Tyler Rockwell, Marcus Russell, Mark Sinclair, and Cooper Watson after Friday's game.
"There are no secrets in this game," said Shawhan. "Northern knows what we're going to bring and we know what their strengths are. We'll see how the game unfolds and who the bounces go in favor of. I'm looking forward to it."
The Huskies and Wildcats will meet in Marquette on Saturday.