It was more of the same for Michigan Tech during its recent trip to Detroit for the annual Great Lakes Invitational.
The battered and bruised Huskies played hard, were in both games, but failed to come away with a victory in either contest.
Tech dropped its first game of the tournament to Michigan by the score of 4-2. The Huskies, who trailed 1-0 after two, tied the score at 1 and at 2 on goals by Milos Gordic and Ryan Furne.
But the Wolverines answered with two goals of their own over the final nine minutes to lock up the victory. Michigan's final goal came into an empty net after Tech had pulled goalie Josh Robinson for the extra attacker.
"I thought we played a good hockey game," Tech coach Jamie Russell said of the opener with the Wolverines. "I thought the kids worked hard.
"We were trailing in the game and we fought back on two different occasions to tie it. I thought a bounce here or a bounce there and we were right there with a top-10 team."
The Huskies dropped a 5-3 decision to Michigan State the following night. The two teams were tied at 2 early in the second period after Jacob Johnstone's fourth goal of the season at 5:14.
But the Spartans scored the next two goals to go in front 4-2 early in the third. Tech closed to within one on Aaron Pietila's second goal of the game, but Kevin Walrod's tally with 14:15 left upped the margin back to two and closed out the scoring.
"I thought in trying to fight back in the third with the quick turnaround playing the afternoon game, we didn't have a lot of jump in our legs," Russell said of the contest with MSU. "We shortened the bench in the third period against Michigan to go for the win and I thought that caught up to us in game two."
Four different Huskies had multi-point games at the GLI. Gordic and Furne each had a goal and an assist against Michigan.
Pietila had two goals and Dennis Rix added three helpers against MSU. And Johnstone recorded a point each night with a goal and an assist in the two games.
"Our young kids are doing extremely well," Russell said of his multi-point scorers. "They've been thrust into some pretty important roles with the injuries we have and they've done a terrific job of responding and producing."
K.D. Warvie can be reached at kwarvie@mininggazette. com.