November 9, 2013

Huskies Sweep Spartans with Petan's OT Goal

HOUGHTON, Mich. — Alex Petan scored 3:52 into overtime to give Michigan Tech a 3-2 victory tonight and the series sweep over Michigan State at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. The sophomore shot home a rebound from the slot to bag the game winner. The Huskies improved to 3-0 at home with the victory.

Blake Pietila fired a shot from the left goal line extended that bounced out front of MSU netminder Will Yanakeff. Petan got enough on his rebound effort to get it to carom off Yanakeff into the net.

"Our plan in overtime is to get it deep and throw pucks on net," said Petan, who assumed the team point lead with a four-point weekend. "Blake shot it and it ping-ponged to me. I just threw it toward the net, and it maybe got under his arm. I'm not sure, I'm just happy it went in."

The score not only whipped the crowd of 3,370 into a frenzy, it perhaps proves that the bounce of the puck does even out.

"It was a good performance by our team tonight," said head coach Mel Pearson. "We maybe got a couple bounces that we didn't get in other games.

"My hats off to our crowd and especially our student section. We really feed off that energy. And what a great way to send them home with an overtime win."

Tech held a pair of one-goal leads in the game but Michigan State fought back each time.

Rookie Brent Baltus staked the hosts to a 1-0 lead just 3:00 into the contest, scoring on a rebound from a Cliff Watson shot from the left point.

The Spartans answered 57 seconds into the second frame. A wrap-around attempt was stopped by Pheonix Copley, but David Bondra managed to chip the rebound high into the net. The tally broke Copley's nearly 81 minutes of shutout against MSU.

The game appeared to be going tied into the third period, but a late penalty by the Spartans led to a Huskies' goal. Pietila waited patiently behind the net with the clock winding down before feeding a pass to Tanner Kero at the side of the net. Kero buried his second goal of the weekend through the legs of Yanakeff for a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.

MSU scored another early-period goal when Lee Reimer redirected a shot past Copley. The power-play marker at 4:00 was the first and only in six MSU man advantages on the weekend (three tonight).

Both teams had chances in the remainder of the stanza but neither could get the go-ahead.

Petan's marker came on assists from line mates Pietila and Kero. The trio accounted for six points tonight and a dozen on the weekend.

"That line played well for us," said Pearson. "We need them to continue that if we're going to be successful."

Copley finished off a two-win weekend with 17 saves on 19 shots. Yanakeff turned away 35 of the Huskies' 38 shots on net.

Michigan Tech, with a 3-6-1 overall record and 1-1-0 WCHA slate, will remain at home for a pair of league games next weekend. Lake Superior State comes to Houghton for tilts Friday and Saturday (Nov. 15-16) at 7:07 p.m. both nights.