DULUTH, Minn. – The No. 17-ranked Michigan Tech hockey team suffered a 6-0 loss to No. 6 Minnesota Duluth in the season-opener for both teams Saturday (Oct. 1). The Huskies and Bulldogs wrap up the nonconference series Sunday at 5:07 p.m. at Amsoil Arena.
"We were a step behind right from the get go tonight," Tech coach Mel Pearson said. "We just were not sharp, and they played a good game, finished their chances, and had good goaltending.
The Bulldogs scored two goals in the first period, three in the second, and one in the third.
Hunter Miska stopped all 21 of Michigan Tech's shots. Alex Gillies tested him early, blasting a one-timer from right out front after Dylan Steman dug the puck out of the corner 90 seconds into the season.
UMD got on the scoreboard 5:45 into the game after a five-minute major was called on Tech. Parker Mackay tipped in a shot by Neil Pionk. Blake Young added the second goal for the Bulldogs in the first.
Late in the opening frame, a Cliff Watson shot nearly found the back of the net after it deflected off Miska's blocker, bounced in the air, hit the crossbar, and bounced in the crease. Mason Blacklock had a similar shot in the second period that Miska missed with his glove, hitting him in the facemask.
Willie Raskob and Kyle Osterberg scored goals in the second period for the home team.
Devin Kero relieved Tech starter Matt Wintjes between the pipes for his first regular season action of his career. Wintjes had 11 saves in the first period in a half, while Kero finished with 10. Kero slammed the door on Dominic Toninato on a penalty shot with 2:27 left.
Jake Jackson had two scoring changes in the third. He blasted a one-timer wide on the power play and then missed a partial breakaway with 75 seconds left in the game.
Tech was 0-for-4 on the power play while the Bulldogs capitalized on 3-of-6 chances. Tyler Heinonen led the Huskies with four shots on goal.
"We found out where we are tonight," said Pearson. "We have a lot of work to do. It's only one game. We have a long year and a lot of games in front of us. We have to learn from our performance tonight and get better."
Tomorrow's game can be heard on Mix 93.5 FM WKMJ or online at Pasty.net. Puck drop is set for 5:07 p.m. Eastern.