January 19, 2013

Tech and Bemidji Skate to 2-All Tie

HOUGHTON, Mich. — Michigan Tech overcame a pair of one-goal deficits to earn a 2-2 tie with Bemidji State tonight at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Ryan Furne and Blake Pietila each scored to help the Huskies grab three points in the WCHA standings this weekend and 7-of-8 points from the Beavers on the season.

Bemidji State controlled play in the opening period with a 14-3 advantage in shots on goal. A large number of those came because of five Huskies' penalties in the opening 20 minutes.

Despite the time on the man advantage, it was a shorthanded goal that put the visitors on the board. Ben Kinne collected a loose puck in the neutral zone, then skated in all alone on Pheonix Copley and scored with a low shot.

Michigan Tech responded in the second period with Furne's goal. The junior stole a BSU pass along the wall, walked to the left faceoff dot and buried a shot inside the near post.

Bemidji answered back with a give-and-go play between Aaron McLeod and Brance Orban. That goal came at the 11:25 mark of the second period.

Tech knotted the game at 2-all 3:06 into the third period as Pietila cleaned up a rebound in front of Andrew Walsh. The goal was his third on the weekend, and Tanner Kero and Alex Petan each picked up an assist.

The teams skated hard through the third period and overtime, but neither could break the deadlock. Copley was sharp in net for the Huskies down the stretch. He made several key saves including an incredible kick stop with five minutes left in regulation.

David Johnstone was whistled for tripping at the 4:05 mark of overtime. Fifty seconds later, Pietila was called for slashing, but it resulted in only five seconds of 5-on-3.

The game ended in a 2-all tie, extending Tech's record in extra session games to 2-0-4 this season.

"It was a tough start tonight," said head coach Mel Pearson. "They were more ready to go, and it showed in the first period.

"I thought Pheonix Copley was the difference. It could have been four or five to zero at the end of the first, but he kept us in it."

Copley stopped 31 shots including 14 in the opening frame. He was also a huge factor in the Huskies killing off all seven Beavers' power plays tonight (all 11 for the weekend).

Tech went scoreless on two chances on the man advantage.

The final shots on goal totals favored Bemidji State 33-30, but the Huskies held a 27-18 advantage after the first period.

Michigan Tech (7-12-4, 4-10-4 WCHA) will have a weekend off before traveling to Nebraska-Omaha for a league series Feb. 1-2. The Huskies are planning an intrasquad game for next Saturday (Jan. 26) at 6:30 p.m. at Dee Stadium. More details will be released by Monday.