HOUGHTON, Mich. – The No. 15-ranked Michigan Tech hockey team fell 4-2 to Alabama Huntsville Saturday (Oct. 21) at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Tech had its five-game unbeaten streak snapped and is now 4-2-1 overall and 2-1-1-1 in the WCHA.
After the Huskies took an early lead, the Chargers scored three straight to gain control. Gavin Gould brought Tech back to within one with 2:10 left in the game, but UAH sealed the win with an empty net tally.
"Special teams were the difference in the game tonight," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "Again, I give full credit to Huntsville. They're competing hard all game long, and we have to take that same mentality."
Thomas Beretta gave the Black and Gold the lead 4:56 into the game with a one-timer from Alex Gillies who was playing in his 100th career game. For Beretta, it was his first of the season and fifth of his career, as Alex Smith added the secondary assist.
The Chargers (1-3-0, 1-1-0 WCHA) then tied it up with their fourth power play goal of the weekend at the 9:17 mark of the first. They scored earlier on the same power play, but the officials waved it off after a Charger was in the crease. Kurt Gosselin took the long shot that made its way through traffic into the net.
Josh Kestner gave the visitors the lead as he whacked in a backdoor pass from Christian Rajic with just under 4:00 remaining in the first.
John Teets made it a 3-1 lead 10:29 into the second, scoring on a shorthanded breakaway.
The story of the night was Huntsville's penalty kill. Tech had four cracks on the man advantage in the third period alone but came up empty each time, finishing the game 0-for-8.
"I don't think we occupied hard ice," added Shawhan. "I don't think we took enough shooting opportunities at the net. They were occupying the middle and getting in shot blocking areas. You can usually find some rebounds in there, but I don't think we spent enough time in that greasy area in front of the net."
The Huskies did manage a goal late in the game to cut the margin to 3-2. Brent Baltus chipped the puck up to Gould who carried it into the zone on a 2-on-0 breakaway. Gould zipped it across to Baltus and then waited for the return pass as he calmly put it into the wide open net for his fourth of the season.
Tech goaltender Patrick Munson was pulled with 1:56 left, but the Huskies couldn't keep the puck in the offensive zone, and Huntsville's Hans Gorowsky scored into the empty net with 1:17 remaining to ice it.
The Huskies dominated in shots on goal for the second night in a row, peppering Uhelski with 43. Tech freshman goaltender Robbie Beydoun got the start and had one save in the first 9:17 of play. Munson finished with 15 saves in the final two and half periods.
Along with Beydoun, defensman Cooper Watson also made his Husky debut on Saturday.
The Huskies head back on the road next weekend (Oct. 27-28) for a WCHA series at Minnesota State.
"We have a lot of work to do to get ready for arguably the best team in the country," Shawhan said. "Mankato is loaded in every aspect of the game and especially on their home ice."
The Mavericks are ranked No. 14 and split at Bowling Green over the weekend. The puck drops at 8:07 p.m. (Eastern) both nights at the Verizon Wireless Center.