Michigan Tech entered the third period of both its games with Alaska Anchorage this past weekend in a position to win.
The Huskies trailed just 2-1 in the series opener and were tied 2-2 in the finale. But Anchorage scored a pair of goals in both games in the third to sweep the series.
"I thought Friday we were just OK," Tech coach Jamie Russell said. "I thought our offensive zone play, our cycle, was very good. We created a lot of turnovers off our forecheck. I thought we weren't very crisp on our breakouts.
"I thought we played with a lot more jump Saturday. Our breakouts were much improved. We did a great job generating scoring chances.
"We've had so many one-goal games. We've had so many games where it's tied. That's where the game is on the line and you need to elevate your game. We need our older players to lead by example and our younger players need to take that step. You need to execute plays at that critical time. We haven't taken that step and that's preventing us from being successful."
Redshirt freshman Milos Gordic had a successful return to the lineup in the series opener. Gordic scored his 12th goal of the season with 2:16 gone in the second period to level the score at 1.
"He's such a presence in front of the net on the power play and his power-play goal was a great tip," Russell said of Gordic. "I thought Friday his timing was a little bit off not having played a game in three weeks.
"I thought Saturday his timing was much improved and he was back, more of a force 5-on-5."
Junior forward Evan Witt netted his second goal in as many weekends in the series finale. Witt, who was sick before the game, battled his way through his illness to have another impressive performance.
"I have to give Evan just a ton of credit," Russell said. "I was in talking to the team with my pregame preparation after warmups, and as I'm talking I hear this screaming and it's Evan Witt getting sick.
"We were going to put a player who was a scratch in to play for him. He said he felt better after getting sick and I thought he played very well."
Senior defenseman Deron Cousens had a point each night in the series on a pair of assists. Cousens is now tied with Steven Seigo for second on the team's scoring list with 17 points.
Cousens has two goals and 15 helpers for the season. Gordic leads the team in scoring with 18 points.
K.D. Warvie can be reached at kwarvie@mininggazette. com.