BEMIDJI, Minn. – The No. 5-ranked Michigan Tech hockey team improved to 9-0 for first time in its 94-year history with a 2-1 WCHA win at Bemidji State Friday (Nov. 14) night at the Sanford Center. CJ Eick and Alex Petan supplied the offense while goaltender Jamie Phillips stopped 35 shots.
"It was a hard fought and very important win for our team," Tech coach Mel Pearson said. "We came in a did what we needed to do. We scored on our opportunities and got some good goaltending.
"The two points are huge. I can't say enough how important these points will be at the end of the year. It was a good team win and I'm proud of this team. To have five road wins early in the season is huge."
Tech also improved to 7-0 in the WCHA.
After a scoreless first period, and a Husky penalty, Eick chased down a loose puck at center ice and went in on a breakaway. He sniped a shot into the back of the net on the glove side of BSU goaltender Michael Bitzer for his first goal of the season and third shorthanded goal of his career 3:21 into the second.
Less than four minutes later (7:03), Petan made it 2-0 as he flipped in a rebound out front of Bitzer, after Tanner Kero took the initial shot. Brent Baltus also assisted on Petan's fourth of the season and 30th of his career.
Bemidji State (3-6-0, 2-3-0 WCHA) scored with less than five minutes (15:49) left in the second on a screen shot in front of Phillips. Markus Gerbrandt tipped in a shot taken by Brett Beauvais. Brendan Harms picked up the secondary assist.
Bitzer vacated his net to add the extra attacker with 79 seconds left in the third. Phillips stood tall for the Huskies, making numerous saves on screen shots from the point to seal the win.
"We haven't played a team with their style," added Pearson. "They play a simple game with speed and quickness and put a lot of pressure on you.
"We got off to a good start and played pretty well until we got into penalty problems. We're going to have nights where things don't go our way, but I'm proud of our team for getting the win."
The Beavers outshot the Huskies 36-22 in the game. Phillips had to make 11 saves in the first, 15 in the second, and nine in the third.
After tonight's game, Phillips ranks fourth in the nation in goals against average (1.11) and save percentage (.960).
Bemdiji State wore camouflage jerseys on Military Appreciation Weekend at the Sanford Center.
The two teams wrap up the WCHA series at 8:07 p.m. Eastern on Saturday (Nov. 15).
GAME NOTES: Tech is now unbeaten in seven straight games against Bemidji State…Friday's win was only the third for Tech in Bemidji…Eick now has nine career goals…Tech leads the nation in scoring margin (2.22) and is second in the country in scoring defense (1.11) and penalty kill (95.7 percent).