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Huskies Sweep LSSU To Remain Undefeated at Home

HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech hockey team won its third straight game to remain undefeated at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena with a 4-2 victory over No. 20 Lake Superior State Saturday (Nov. 12). The Huskies swept the Lakers to improve 6-6-1 overall and 5-2-1-1 in the WCHA.

"We got off to another good start tonight," Tech coach Mel Pearson said. "It was a good overall team weekend for us. Our depth was tested with some guys out of the lineup but we responded and our penalty kill was outstanding all weekend."

Down 2-1 late in the second period, the Huskies scored the game's final three goals. Joel L'Esperance scored the equalizer with 3:55 left in the middle frame. Gavin Gould stole the puck from an LSSU defender and fed it to an open L'Esperance in the slot who buried his third of the season.

The Huskies went on a 7:00 power play that included 4:00 of 5-on-3 at the end of the second and into the third. With only eight seconds left in extended power play, Tyler Heinonen gave Tech its lead back with a long shot from the middle of the zone. Laker goaltender Gordon Defiel was screened out front and never saw the puck go between his legs. Shane Hanna and Mitch Reinke assisted on Heinonen's third of the season.

"We were fortunate to get a goal there," said Pearson. "You could sense a momentum switch if we didn't score. They made it tough for us during that whole power play. It starts with their goaltender and he played well."

LSSU (6-4-0, 4-4-0-0 WCHA) was called for a penalty late in the game and L'Esperance added to the lead with 1:14 left on the clock. Mark Auk fed it over to L'Esperance for the one-timer and his 27th career goal.

"Joel is doing some things away from the puck better and that's translating into his offensive game," Pearson said. "Tonight is only going to help his confidence because he's an important player for us."

Angus Redmond improved to 5-1-0 between the pipes for the Huskies with 18 saves, making six saves in each period. Defiel stopped 43-of-47 shots for the visitors.

"Angus was sharp again tonight," added Pearson. "Our defensemen are doing such a good job limiting shots on our goal. Angus has been in a number of these games where we outshoot our opponents, and he's stayed sharp throughout."

The two teams combined for 12 penalties totaling 27 minutes. The Huskies killed off all five LSSU power plays to bring the weekend total to 11-for-11. Tech was 3-for-7 on its power play tries.

Jake Lucchini opened the game's scoring with his fourth goal of the season—all coming on the power play. Auk and Matt Roy worked the puck over the top of the zone to Lucchini who buried the 11th of his career 5:25 into the game.

Diego Cuglietta tied it for LSSU 7:00 later. Gage Torrel gave the Lakers a 2-1 lead 2:57 into the second.

It was the only meeting of the season between the two teams. Tech has now defeated LSSU five straight times and is unbeaten in the last nine meetings.

The Huskies head back on the road for the next two weekends in Alaska. Tech plays at Alaska Anchorage next weekend (Nov. 18-19) and Alaska (Nov. 25-26) the following weekend.