DENVER — Michigan Tech held a 28-22 advantage in shots on Denver but didn't get the bounces in a 5-1 loss at No. 5 Denver tonight. The Pioneers got a strong performance from goaltender Sam Brittain to improve to 3-0-1, 1-0-0. The Huskies fell to 2-3-0, 1-2-0 WCHA.
The game's turning point came in the second period with Denver leading 2-1. The Pioneers scored on a delayed penalty call on the Huskies. Tanner Kero was whistled for a five-minute major for kneeing and given a game misconduct. Tech killed off 3:10 of the major to end the period trailing only 3-1, but Denver scored just 14 second into the third to make it a
Tech had three consecutive power-play chances in the third period to try to get back in the game. The Huskies hit two pipes, but could not find the back of the net.
DU finished off scoring at the 15:32 mark of the third.
"Denver did a great job," said head coach Mel Pearson. "They played well and won the battles. Most of our shots were from the outside, and we didn't work hard enough to get grade A scoring chances."
Michigan Tech held a 12-6 advantage in shots on net in the opening period but trailed 1-0 on Dakota Mermis' goal through traffic.
The first period was penalty free, but special teams played a huge role in the remainder of the game. The teams combined for 31 penalty minutes (21 that were served) in the final two periods.
The Pioneers took a 2-0 lead 8:49 into the second as David Makowski's shot from the center of the blue line deflected off a Husky and over goaltender Pheonix Copley's shoulder.
Justin Fillion gave the Huskies life with a hard shot from the right point on the power play five minutes later. Malcolm Gould and Jujhar Khaira assisted on the goal. Tech had opportunities to tie the game before the sequence on Kero's penalty.
"It's a game we're going to have to put behind us," said Pearson. "We have to play much better to get the job done no matter who we're playing."
Copley started his third straight game and made 11 saves on 15 shots before being replaced by fellow freshman Jamie Phillips with 18:00 left in the third. Phillips made six saves on seven shots.
Brittain posted 27 saves for DU.
Final power play totals showed Denver 1-for-4 and Tech 1-for-6.
Michigan Tech and Denver will wrap up their two-game series tomorrow night at 9:07 p.m. ET.