ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Michigan Tech hockey team won its fourth straight with a 3-2 victory over Alaska Anchorage at Sullivan Arena Friday (Nov. 18). The Huskies got over the .500 mark on the season, improving to 7-6-2 overall and 6-2-1-1 in the WCHA.
"We'll take the three points and move on," Tech coach Mel Pearson said. "That's a pretty good hockey team. We got sloppy at times and didn't take advantage of our scoring opportunities. When you let a team hang around you're asking for trouble."
Tied up at two, Alex Smith buried the game-winner midway (10:14) through the third period. Matt Roy took an initial shot that hit the crossbar and was cleared behind the net. The two teams weren't sure if the puck went in, so Smith quickly fired the puck off the back of UAA goaltender Olivier Mantha and into the back of the net. The play was reviewed and credited to Smith. Tyler Heinonen picked up the secondary assist on Smith's fourth of the season.
The Seawolves (1-10-0, 0-5-0-0 WCHA) waited until 1:45 left in the third to pull Mantha and add the extra attacker. Tech was whistled for a penalty with 40 seconds left and had to kill off the rest of the game down two players.
The penalty kill continued its quality play to seal the win, killing off the fourth of the game and the 20th in a row dating back to November 5 at Michigan State.
The Huskies dominated the first period, outshooting the Seawolves 14-2 and building a 2-0 lead. Shane Hanna opened the game's scoring just 2:43 after puck drop with his fourth of the season from Matt Roy and Alex Smith. Hanna took a long blast through traffic that found the back of the net. For Roy, he picked up an assist in his fifth straight game.
Joel L'Esperance added to the lead to extend his point streak to five games with 1:28 left in the first. He carried the puck off the wall and to the top of the circle, firing in his team-leading fifth of the season. Hanna and Jake Lucchini assisted.
The two teams were called for 10 penalties in the second period. The Seawolves cut into the lead with a shorthanded goal by Mason Mitchell 4:00 into the middle period.
UAA tied it up 3:54 into the third period off the stick of Brad Duwe.
Tech outshot UAA 31-18. Angus Redmond had 16 saves in the win and was the beneficiary of three shots that hit the post. Mantha stopped 26 shots for the home team.
The two teams wrap up the WCHA series Saturday (Nov. 19) at 11:07 p.m. Eastern.
"We need to better on power play, face offs, and we have to manage the puck better tomorrow night," added Pearson.