Tech hockey sweeps Alaska

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – The Michigan Tech hockey team picked up its first WCHA sweep of the season with a 5-1 win over Alaska Saturday (Nov. 25) night at the Carlson Center. The Huskies scored the game’s first five goals, including a pair by Jake Jackson, to win their 12th straight over the Nanooks.

Tech improved to 7-6-4 overall and 5-5-4-1 in the WCHA. The Huskies are one point behind first-place Minnesota State in the league standings after winning their second straight and staying undefeated in their last four and in six of their last seven.

“The guys played great tonight,” Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. “They played with determination, protected the net well, and killed off a lot of penalties. I couldn’t be happier for the group. It’s fun to score 10 goals, and it looks like we’re finding some chemistry in the lines.

“Half of our league schedule is now done, so we needed the points. It was a good trip up here with us taking eight of the 12 possible points.”

The goals came early and often for the Black and Gold. Brent Baltus scored for the second game in a row 4:47 after puck drop as he finished off a stretch pass by Alex Smith for his fourth tally of the year.

Thomas Beretta scored 10:00 later as he chipped in a backdoor pass from Dane Birks and Dylan Steman. It was also Beretta’s fourth of the season.

Jackson scored two goals 3:00 apart in the second period for the 4-0 lead. He first tipped in a shot by Baltus 1:49 after intermission to tally his fourth of the season. Mitch Reinke also assisted. At the 4:50 mark he backhanded a rebound into the back of the net with Smith adding the assist.

Seamus Donohue scored his first collegiate goal before the second period ended for the 5-0 lead. Gavin Gould added the helper as he tied Reinke for the team lead with 12 points.

Alaska (4-10-2, 2-7-1-1 WCHA) got on the board 12:50 into the third as Justin Woods took a long shot through traffic on a delayed Tech penalty. 428 stuffed animals rained down on the ice after the goal, during UAF’s annual Teddy Bear Toss.

Patrick Munson stopped over 30 shots for the second game in a row and sixth time this season. He improved his record to 7-5-3, making 34 saves on 35 shots.

The two teams combined for 16 calls and 43 penalty minutes. Tech was 0-for-4 on the man advantage and 7-for-7 on the penalty kill.

The Huskies and Nanooks will meet again on January 19-20 at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

Tech has next weekend off before hosting Ferris State (Dec. 8-9) and Lake Superior State (Dec. 15-16) in December.