HOUGHTON, Mich. – Michigan Tech defeated Arizona State 5-3 Saturday (Feb. 17) at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena after getting goals from five different players. The Huskies scored three times in the second period to climb out of a 1-0 first intermission deficit and added two more tallies in the third to improve to 16-14-5 on the season.
"It was a battle out there tonight," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "We're just trying to find a way to have some success. It was a decent hockey game, and I give our guys a lot of credit."
ASU (8-19-5) scored with 16 seconds left in the first period when Brinson Pasichnuk found the back of the net from David Norris and Johnny Walker.
Early in the second period, Tech went on a 5-on-3 power play and Mark Auk quickly tied it up 2:55 after intermission. He received a pass from Seamus Donohue in the high slot and patiently fired a wrist shot through traffic for his seventh goal of the season and third in the last five games. Jake Lucchini added the secondary assist as he extended his point streak to six games.
With just over 4:00 remaining in the second period, the Huskies took their first lead of the game when Joel L'Esperance scored on a breakaway after a long stretch pass from Auk. Goaltender Devin Kero was credited with the secondary assist as the Huskies scored again on a 5-on-3 power play.
The Sun Devils then scored back-to-back goals to tie it back up as Walker put in his second and third goals of the weekend. He buried on the power play with nine seconds left in the second and then 3:37 into the third.
Gavin Gould scored the game-winning goal 6:39 into the third, burying his 12th of the season. L'Esperance had the setup pass after Gould created a turnover right in front of the ASU net.
Fourteen seconds later, Dane Birks went to dump in the puck from center ice and his shot ricocheted off a stanchion and into the open net after ASU goalie Joey Daccord went to play the puck in the corner. Steman added the assist on the fifth goal of the season for Birks as he won the faceoff.
For the second night in a row, Tech dominated in shots 45-23. The Huskies took 15 shots in the first, 14 in the second, and 16 in the third. Daccord had 40 saves, while Kero finished with 20.
The two teams combined for 24 penalties, totaling 59 minutes. Many were called after the final horn sounded.
Saturday was Econo Kids Day at Michigan Tech as the women's and men's basketball teams hosted Lake Superior State in the afternoon before the hockey game. Econo Foods purchased 500 tickets for youth 14 and under to attend all three events.
Tech wraps up the regular season next weekend with a home-and-away series versus Northern Michigan.
"We have to take the positives out of this weekend," L'Esperance said. "We have to find a way to play better on Fridays. Going into playoffs, we have to find a way to play a complete weekend."
The two teams will meet in Marquette Friday with Saturday's finale taking place at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Evan Anderson, Mark Auk, Brent Baltus, Dane Birks, Mason Blacklock, Alex Gillies, Devin Kero, Joel L'Esperance, and Dylan Steman will be honored after the game on Senior Night.