November 16, 2012

Huskies Score Four Straight To Beat Bemidji 5-4 in Overtime

BEMIDJI, Minn. — Jujhar Khaira scored two third-period goals and assisted on the game-winner to help Michigan Tech defeat Bemidji State 5-4 in overtime tonight in WCHA hockey. The Huskies (3-6-0, 2-5-0 WCHA) trailed 4-2 with less than eight minutes to play before mounting the comeback for their first road win of the season.

"I'm happy for the guys," said head coach Mel Pearson. "They've worked so hard. They deserved this."

Tech actually scored the final four goals of the game. Blake Pietila's tally with just 20 seconds left in the second period answered Bemidji's fourth goal just 43 seconds earlier. Pietila's team-leading sixth goal of the season put the momentum in the Huskies' favor heading into the third.

Bemidji State (2-4-1, 1-3-1 WCHA) had some great chances to start the final frame, but Tech goaltender Kevin Genoe was up to the task. The senior saved all 12 shots he saw to post a shutout in the final 20 minutes.

"Kevin made some incredible saves to give us a chance," said Pearson. "That's all you can ask of your goaltender is to give you a chance, and he certainly did that."

BSU took its fourth penalty of the game at the 12:18 mark of the third, and Khaira made it count 14 seconds later with his first career goal. The 6-3 center fired home a rebound to pull Tech within 4-3 on the scoreboard.

Then at 17:01, the Black and Gold went back on the power play. Khaira scored again on a rebound, sliding the puck just inside the right post after Alex Petan had taken the initial shot. The game-tying goal came at the 17:43 mark.

The Beavers put on some pressure in the final 90 seconds, but Genoe again made big saves.

Tech controlled play in overtime and scored after 2:48 of sudden-death action. Riley Sweeney took a shot from the right point that was knocked down in front of BSU goalie Andrew Walsh. Khaira made a hat trick bid by swiping at another rebound. Walsh made the second save, but Petan was there on the back door. He found the upper corner from a tough angle for the game winner.

Both teams finished with 30 shots on goal. Genoe made 26 saves while Walsh had 25.

Michigan Tech, which had seven power-play goals on 38 chances on the season entering the contest, was 3-for-5 on the man advantage tonight. BSU was 2-for-3.

Steven Seigo scored his first goal of the season with a shot from the center blue line on Tech's first power play of the game. The marker came just 2:59 in the contest to give the visitors an early lead.

A couple of defensive miscues allowed the Beavers to finish the period up 2-1.

The score remained 2-1 deep into the second period two more quick goals by BSU made it a 4-1 count. Pietila then set up the third period comeback with his goal at the 19:40 mark of the second.

Michigan Tech and Bemidji State will wrap up their two-game league series tomorrow night at 8:07 p.m. (ET).

Notes: Tech freshmen and sophomores accounted for four goals and 11 points tonight … Petan now has five points in his last two games … The win was the Huskies' first-ever victory in Bemidji (now 1-4-0).