Huskies use big third period to defeat Alaska Friday

HOUGHTON, Mich. – Michigan Tech scored four goals in the third period to break open a 1-1 tie and defeat Alaska 5-2 Friday (Jan. 19) at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Mitch Meek had two goals and an assist, while Devin Kero stopped 29-of-31 shots in net.

"I loved our start," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "When we get some time off to prepare our group and get the message across, our team responds well. We pushed the guys over the last two weeks to try to build some mental toughness. That's been the biggest thing that has held us back this season."

Knotted up at one entering the third, Meek scored his second of the night—and third of the season—2:10 after intermission for the lead. Greyson Reitmeier found Meek wide-open in front of the net after Raymond Brice dug the puck out of the corner.

Brice made it 3-1 just over 10:00 later, cleaning up a rebound after his initial shot was blocked by an Alaska defenseman. Mark Auk and Dylan Steman assisted on Brice's third of the season.

Alaska (9-14-2, 7-11-1-1 WCHA) quickly answered, as Chad Staley found the back of the net 15 seconds after Tech had taken the two-goal lead.

Auk pushed the lead back up with a long slap shot through traffic on the power play 14:25 into the third. Meek and Steman assisted on his fourth of the season and second on the man advantage.

Thomas Beretta finished off scoring with a shot from behind the red line as Alaska goaltender Anton Martinsson tried to dive back into the shot lane when he was heading off for the extra attacker. Beretta's fifth goal of the season was unassisted with 39 seconds left in the game.

Tech (12-9-5, 8-6-5-2 WCHA) took the lead 7:05 into the game when Meek wristed in a shot from just inside the blue line. Alex Smith had the lone assist.

"I tried to shoot it high there, and I was lucky it went in," Meek said. "Joel had a great screen in front."

Tyler Cline tied it at one 27 seconds into the second period, capitalizing on a 5-on-3 power play.

Tech outshot Alaska 42-31, including a commanding 15-4 first period. Kero made four saves in the first, 15 in the second, and 10 in the third. He now has wins in two of the last three games, while starting his third straight. Martinsson stopped 37 shots for the visitors.

Both teams were whistled for seven penalties. Tech was 1-for-6 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill.

The two teams will play for the fourth time this season on Saturday to wrap-up the first WCHA series in over a month at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m.

Saturday is Junior Hockey Night and Skate With The Huskies after the game with the first 200 youth into the building receiving a goodie bag with coupons and candy. Dining Services will have popsicles on sale for 50 cents, while supplies last. There will also be a variety of door prizes during Skate With The Huskies, including a week of Michigan Tech sports camp of choice, a signed jersey, signed sticks, mini sticks, and much more.