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No. 20 Huskies Earn Extra WCHA Point After Tying Alaska Anchorage

HOUGHTON, Mich. – Like the night before, No. 20 Michigan Tech and Alaska Anchorage tied after regulation and the first overtime. This time it was the Huskies earning the extra WCHA point as Jake Lucchini scored in the shootout, ending a 1-1 draw Saturday (Jan. 14) from the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

"Tonight was a lot like last night," Tech coach Mel Pearson said. "They play a style that is effective and hard to play against. They play so well defensively and they're getting great goaltending. We shot ourselves in the foot with all the penalties. There was no rhythm to the game with all the calls, but we've got to be better in that area and play five on five."

"We'll take the two points and move on. We still have control of our own destiny in this league. Our third period was really good. We hit posts and crossbars and just didn't get any puck luck tonight."

Down 1-0, Chris Gerrie picked the right time to score his first career goal with 21 seconds left on the second period clock. The play started with a stretch pass from Chris Leibinger to Gerrie for a breakaway. UAA goaltender Rasmus Reijola made the initial save, but Gerrie dug the putck out of the corner and fired another shot that found the back of the net.

"I've been waiting a long time for that one," Gerrie said. "I've had a lot of good scoring chances this year, so it was nice to get that out of the way and feel some relief. I was actually trying to get a pass out to the point but the stars aligned for me, and I put it on net."

Tech (14-9-5, 11-3-4-2 WCHA) had chances to get the go-ahead goal in the third period, outshooting UAA 11-4 in the frame. Reid Sturos hit the crossbar and the play had to be reviewed to see if it went in. Tyler Heinonen also had a chance at an open net with under five minutes to go but ran out of real estate at the side of the net.

In the first overtime, Shane Hanna hit the crossbar three minutes in as both teams registered two shots on goal.

The 3-on-3 overtime was back and forth with four breakaways. Angus Redmond had a big save 45 seconds into the second extra session and then got some help from the speedy Jake Jackson moments later who cleared the puck out of harms way.

UAA (5-14-5, 4-9-5-2 WCHA) scored three minutes into the second overtime but the goal was waved off after goaltender interference.

Lucchini had a chance to put it away moments later on a breakaway but missed the net. He got his redemption as the first shooter in the sudden death shootout, scoring on a backhand move as the Huskies won their first shootout of the season in their third try.

The Seawolves took the first lead of the game, for the second night in a row, as
Cam Amantea tipped in a shot by Nicolas Erb-Ekholm in front of Redmond 14:11 into the game.

Tech was called for 12 penalties, racking up a season-high 43 penalty minutes. The penalty-killing unit was a perfect 8-for-8.

The Huskies outshot the Seawolves 36-21. Redmond finished with 20 saves while Reijola stopped 35 shots.

The Back and Gold continue WCHA play at home next weekend (Jan. 20-21), hosting No. 18 Minnesota State in a matchup of the two teams who secured the MacNaughton Cup last season.

"It's going to be a long week of practice," added Gerrie. "We have to get our compete level up and keep things simple next weekend. They're going to be a hard team to beat, so it's going to be a big weekend for us."

The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. both nights. There will be a raffle for an on-ice shooting chance to win a $50,000 truck from Keweenaw Chevrolet on Friday and Saturday is Youth Hockey Night with Skate With The Huskies following the game.