Tech rallies from 3-1 hole, loses to Ferris State 4-3

Michigan Tech’s Mitch Reinke battles with Ferris State’s Zac Tierney Friday, at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena. (Daily Mining Gazette/David Archambeau)

HOUGHTON — Coaches in the game of hockey like to talk about one key word: momentum. The Michigan Tech Huskies had it twice Friday night, but they also lost it twice in a 4-3 loss to the visiting Ferris State Bulldogs at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

Coming off a bye week, the Huskies knew they wanted to come out strong, and they did just that, taking a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. The lead could have been bigger if not for Bulldogs goaltender Justin Kapelmaster, who stopped 20 of 21 Huskies’ shots in the frame.

Then, things changed drastically as the Bulldogs struck three times in the middle frame to carry a 3-1 lead into the third period. The Huskies were able to even things at 3-3, but a late power-play goal by Andrew Dorantes proved to be the difference in the contest.

Huskies head coach Joe Shawhan was disappointed he could not send the partisan crowd home with a win.

“We just have to keep growing and getting better,” said Shawhan. “I am not happy with not coming out with some success.”

The Huskies absolutely got the start they wanted as they drew three power plays in the first 20 minutes of play and their hottest scorer, junior winger Jake Jackson, had a chance to break through on the first power play, but his breakaway was stopped by Kapelmaster.

Jackson would get his revenge at 18:19 when he buried a rebound off a shot from captain Brent Baltus. Sophomore center Alex Smith also assisted on the goal as the Huskies’ second line continued their hot streak over the last four games.

Jackson extended his scoring streak to five games (three goals, four assists) on the play. Spending the whole season alongside Baltus, Jackson feels that the pair is starting to click.

“I think that Smitty moves the puck really well, I mean he moves the puck up to Baltus and I really well,” said Jackson. “Me and Balts can basically just fly around.”

Baltus and Jackson hooked up again in the third as Jackson, who was covering at the left point, pinched in, stole the puck and fed it into the slot for a one-timed slapshot by Baltus, which evened the game at 3-3 at 9:21.

For Baltus, the goal and assist added to his three-game streak (three goals, three assists).

“I think our line … We seem to be reading off of each other pretty well,” said Baltus. “We’ve been generating some scoring chances and I think that maybe we could have capitalized on a few more of them [Friday].”

After taking 21 shots and striking once in the opening frame, the Huskies (7-7-4 overall, 5-6-4-1 WCHA) knew the Bulldogs would push back, and push back they did. Head coach Bob Daniels did not have to say much to motivate his troops between the first and second periods.

“There wasn’t much we needed to say to them,” said Daniels. “I just felt we needed to move the puck quicker. I thought we struggled breaking out of our own zone.”

Dorantes scored his first of the night at 5:12 of the second when he took advantage of a blocked shot that kicked off a Huskies’ defender and right onto his stick.

Just 4:03 later, the Bulldogs (9-9-1 overall, 6-4-1-0 WCHA) were rewarded for their hard work again when a blocked shot from Huskies freshman defenseman Todd Kiilunen was quickly converted into a rush the other way when his partner, junior Dane Birks, missed on a pinch at center ice. Coale Norris finished off the play with a goal from the left boards that Huskies goaltender Patrick Munson would probably want back.

Things then went from bad to worse 5:16 later when Munson misplayed a puck in the right corner, leading to a goal for Craig Pefley in front.

The third goal ended the junior’s night in goal as he was replaced by freshman Robbie Beydoun, who made seven saves over the remainder of the game.

Looking for a spark in the third, the Huskies got it in the form of a goal from freshman Justin Misiak, who scored just 23 seconds in. It was the kind of goal the Huskies have been missing from their arsenal all season.

“We’ve been talking about getting a lot more rebound goals, greasy goals,” said Baltus. “Around the paint, we haven’t had a lot of those this year.”

The teams will return to action tonight with the opening faceoff at 7:07 p.m.

– – –

Ferris State 0 3 1- 4

Michigan Tech 1 0 2 – 3

1st period

1, MTU, Jake Jackson (Brent Baltus, Alex Smith), 18:19

2nd period

2, FSU, Drew Dorantes (Trevor Recktenwald), 5:12

3, FSU, Coale Norris (Taylor Fernandez, Tyler Dorantes), 9:15

4, FSU, Craig Pefley (Fernandez), 14:31

3rd period

5, MTU, Justin Misiak, :23

6, MTU, Brent Baltus (Jackson), 9:21

7, FSU, Drew Dorantes (Mitch Maloney, Ryker Killins), PP, 14:52

Saves

Kapelmaster, FSU 20 10 15 – 45

Munson, MTU 7 8 0 – 15

Beydoun, MTU 0 1 5 – 6

Penalties

FSU: 3/6; MTU: 2/4

Power plays

FSU: 0/2; MTU 0/3

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