HOUGHTON, Mich. — Michigan Tech suffered a 6-1 setback at the hands of No. 8 North Dakota tonight. The Huskies (4-9-3, 3-7-3 WCHA) got down 2-0 but scored early in the second period and just missed on a great scoring opportunity to tie the game at 2-all moments later. UND (9-5-3, 6-2-3 WCHA) went on to score the next four goals to earn the victory.
"I was impressed with North Dakota," said head coach Mel Pearson. "They don't miss.
"I thought it was a good game up until the halfway point. We battled hard, but we have to make sure we eliminate the mistakes. We left too many guys open in front of the net. It seemed like we got caught on the wrong side of the puck a lot of the night."
Tech and North Dakota skated evenly through the first 15 minutes of the game. The visitors got on the scoreboard at the 14:57 mark with a power-play goal from Rocco Grimaldi.
The teams seemed as though they'd enter the first intermission just one goal apart, but a turnover in the defensive zone led to Corban Knight's first goal of the night at 19:59. The officials reviewed whether the puck entered the goal before time expired. It counted, and one player from each team had to come back out from their locker rooms to take the faceoff with :01 on the clock.
The Huskies regrouped at the intermission and scored the next goal. David Johnstone, who returned to the lineup after missing last series with injury, stole the puck in the offensive zone and fed Blake Pietila for the tally. Pietila fired a quick wrist shot inside the left post for his team-leading 10th goal of the season.
Alex Petan had a golden opportunity to knot the game at 2-2 just moments later but missed the cage high.
North Dakota took control of the contest later in the frame with three goals including one on the man advantage and another within seconds of a power play ending.
Freshman Jamie Phillips replaced Kevin Genoe in the Huskies' net at the second intermission.
The visitors added a sixth goal the 7:12 mark of the third period.
North Dakota went 2-for-5 on the power play while the Huskies were scoreless on five chances despite nine shots on goal with the man advantage.
Final overall shot totals were 38-35 in favor of UND. Clarke Saunders earned the win in net for the visitors with 34 saves. Genoe posted 23 saves and Phillips nine.
The teams will finish up their two game series tomorrow at 7:07 p.m. It will be both teams final game before entering Christmas break.
Notes: Blake Pietila and David Johnstone each have 12 points on the season … UND's Knight posted four points in the game with two goals and two assists.