#Offense: Huskies score another seven goals in defeating Beavers
HOUGHTON — The Michigan Tech Huskies, looking to build off a 3-3 tie in which they earned the extra WCHA point in double overtime Friday, did just that Saturday, scoring four second-period goals en route to 7-2 victory over Bemidji State at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
It was the second straight Saturday in which the Huskies steamrolled an opponent at home, which has proven to be a reversal of fortunes from early in the season when Michigan Tech struggled mightily on the second night of weekends.
“I think Bemidji had a good push to start the game and we were fortunate to get a couple of timely goals,” said Huskies coach Joe Shawhan. “It was even, but it was good (and) competitive, hard hockey and we were able to put a couple past.
“I think we came out in the second period and were fortunate to open it up a little bit. I thought a lot of guys played really well, through the whole lineup (and) in every situation.”
It did not take the Huskies long to break through offensively as junior center Alex Smith poked a puck past Beavers goaltender Zach Driscoll just 2:44 into the game on the Huskies’ first shot.
Sophomore defenseman Tyler Rockwell, who later set up a goal by freshman Alec Broetzman, picked up an assist on the play.
Michigan Tech would make it a 2-0 game when freshman winger Tommy Parrottino potted his fifth of the year after a feed through the middle of the rink by sophomore center Greyson Reitmeier. Parrottino blew around a Beavers defender and surprised Driscoll with a low wrist shot at 17:32.
Despite being up 2-0, the Huskies were actually outshot in the first period, 7-5. That disparity did not last long into the middle frame as the Huskies got their cycle working and held the puck in the offensive zone for long stretches of the period. The hard work took about nine minutes to pay off.
Junior winger Gavin Gould, who had tried to set up co-captain Jake Lucchini earlier in the period, connected with co-captain Dylan Steman on the back door for an easy-looking tally at 9:07.
Then Rockwell struck again.
Taking a lead pass from his defensive partner, sophomore Seamus Donohue, Rockwell got his head up and fed the puck up the middle of the ice to Broetzman. The rookie then carried the puck into the offensive zone and beat Driscoll cleanly just 24 seconds after the Steman goal.
For Rockwell, the two assists gave the youngster five points, one goal and four assists, in his last three games. Shawhan was really pleased with how he and the rest of the defensemen pushed the puck up the ice quickly.
“We transitioned the puck really well and we tilted the ice a little bit,” he said. “We didn’t play a lot in our zone (and we only) gave up one or two shots in the period. I thought our defense did a great job of getting the puck transitioned to our forwards.
“I thought our forwards did an excellent job of climbing and moving the puck well (and) funneled the puck pretty well in the net area with bodies there.”
Smith then picked up his second of the night at 12:16 when he buried a pass from freshman winger Brian Halonen.
“I thought we played really good,” said Smith. “Obviously when you score that many goals it’s a good thing. We played really hard with them (Friday) night. It was a really good 2-1 game. You’ve got to learn how to win both types of games, 2-1 and you win 7-2. They’re two types of games where you’ve got to play (for) 60 minutes and I think we did that today and (Friday) night.”
Smith scored two goals and he is using it as experience when adapting to different types of game scenarios. With Northern Michigan up next weekend, Smith sees his team playing good hockey.
“Whenever we play Northern, it’s an exciting time,” he said. “We’re playing good hockey right now. Five out of six points is good against a good team that beat St. Cloud and Minnesota State. We’ve just got to keep playing our game for 60 minutes and we’ll keep having success.”
Junior Thomas Beretta picked up the fourth Huskies’ goal of the period when found a small window on Henry Johnson at 14:14 while the Huskies were on a power play.
Shawhan highlighted the play of Thomas Beretta over the weekend along with the importance of leadership from the upperclassmen and how it has been influencing the team’s culture.
“Look at the effort of Tommy Thomas Beretta this weekend, absolutely incredible,” Shawhan said. “He answered every call that we asked of him to do. He did a tremendous job and we’re getting more pull from our top end, which are bringing those guys and teaching them.
“Every meeting I have with every player is (about) how much they enjoy the chemistry (and) culture of the upper class.”
Beavers forward Nick Cardelli would get the Beavers on the board 7:22 into the third when he took advantage of a turnover by Huskies freshman defenseman Colin Swoyer. They struck again at 16:16 when Owen Sillinger found the net.
Bemidji State coach Tom Serratore said a tough second period lead to their loss.
“The game didn’t go well at all,” he said. “It was a tough start (and) we got behind the eight ball 2-0 in the first period and then they just took to us in the second period. We got what we deserved.
“They had more speed. They had more jump. They had good transition. We should’ve went home last night with the way we showed up in the second period. We’ve just got to forget about it and move on. You can’t dwell on it there’s too much season left.”
Steman added his second goal of the night at 12:49 of the final frame shorthanded off a pass from freshman T.J. Polglaze to give the Huskies their seventh of the night.
Bemidji State 0 0 2 – 2
Michigan Tech 2 4 1 – 7
1, MTU, Alex Smith (Tyler Rockwell), 2:44
2, MTU, Tommy Parrottino (Thomas Beretta, Greyson Reimeier,) 17:32
3, MTU, Dylan Steman (Gavin Gould), 9:07
4, MTU, Alec Broetzman (Rockwell, Seamus Donohue), 9:31
5, MTU, Smith (Brian Halonen, Eric Gotz), 12:16
6, MTU, Beretta (Keegan Ford, Broetzman), PP, 14:14
7, BSU, Nick Cardelli, 7:22
8, MTU, Steman (T.J. Polglaze, Donohue), SH, 12:49
9, BSU, Owen Sillinger (Ross Armour, Dillon Eichstadt), 16:06
BSU, Driscoll 3 11 0 – 14
Johnson 0 6 6 – 12
MTU, Jurusik 7 2 17 – 26
BSU: 0/5; MTU: 1/4
BSU: 5/13; MTU: 6/12