DULUTH, Minn. – Michigan Tech won the 2017 Ice Breaker Tournament with a 4-3 victory over host, and No. 6-ranked, Minnesota Duluth Saturday (Oct. 7) at AMSOIL Arena. The Huskies scored three straight power play goals after falling behind 2-0 and received the game-winning goal from freshman Justin Misiak midway through the second.
Mark Auk was named the Tournament MVP after scoring two goals and adding two assists on the weekend. Joel L'Esperance joined him on the All-Tournament Team after scoring a pair of goals in Friday's win over No. 16 Union.
"We're honored to be here and honored to show well and represent our school and community well," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "To have some success is immeasurable early in the year."
Auk started the scoring for Tech 11:47 into the game, capitalizing on a 5-on-3 power play with a long wrist shot to the back of the net. Mitch Reinke and Jake Lucchini assisted on Auk's second of the weekend.
Raymond Brice tied it up 62 seconds later for his first collegiate goal after he created a turnover on the same power play. Brice had two great scoring chances earlier in the period and was finally able to put one in.
"We got a break on the five on three, especially with a lot of time on the clock," added Shawhan. "We were fortunate to pop one in and tie the hockey game. That was the turning point. It could've turned into a rout if that hadn't occurred."
Tech took its first lead of the game 6:58 into the second period when Gavin Gould scored his first of the season with the assists going again to Lucchini and Reinke.
UMD (1-1) tied it on a tally by Scott Perunovich, but Justin Misiak quickly gave the Black and Gold the lead back with his first of the season. Alex Smith set up Misiak on the game winner with Keegan Ford adding the secondary assist.
Tech was outshot 36-17, but Patrick Munson backstopped the Huskies with 33 saves. He stopped 13 shots in the first and 10 in each of the second two periods. The Huskies hit three posts to help UMD goaltender Nick Deery who finished with 13 saves.
"It's huge to have somebody back there giving you a chance to win every game," Shawhan said. "I love all of our goaltenders and right now Packy's back there and playing well."
Munson added, "It's just nice to be playing games again. It's been a lot of fun. The guys have scored a lot of timely goals, and the defense has given me the chance to see the puck."
Riley Tufte opened the game's scoring 39 seconds in to give the home team the lead. Nick Wolff added to the lead at the 8:32 mark of the first.
"To hold a team like that scoreless for the last 25 minutes is great," Shawhan said. "There's a lot of character within our locker room. Now it's on our team and our staff to cultivate that and allow that to nurture and grow and see where it can take us."
No. 3 Minnesota defeated No. 16 Union 2-0 in the third place game. Anthony Rinaldi (Union), Riley Tufte (UMD), Scott Perunovich (UMD), and Eric Schierhorn (UM) were also named to the All-Tournament Team.
Tech is now 2-1 on the season with all three games against top 20-ranked teams. The Huskies open WCHA play at Lake Superior State next weekend.