Huskies Hockey: McKay, No. 3 Mavericks shut out Tech 3-0
HOUGHTON — Dryden McKay ensured Michigan Tech’s scoring drought lasted at least one more game.
McKay made 31 saves to help No. 3 Minnesota State to a 3-0 win over the Huskies on Friday night.
The Huskies (3-5, 1-4 WCHA) have scored five goals in the last five games and were blanked for the first time this season with McKay’s second shutout of the year and sixth of his career.
“I feel really good. It was a huge team win,” McKay said. “We had to grind it out through the first there. Right away in the second we started to play our game. We got a goal and I felt played really well all the way around.”
Minnesota State (7-1, 4-1) has won two in a row including Friday. Tech has lost two in a row. Saturday’s game starts at 6:07 p.m. as the Huskies will not only try to avoid getting swept, but get their first home win after three losses.
“I thought a pretty good road period in the first period. I thought when we did break down, Dryden McKay was exceptional,” Minnesota State head coach Mike Hastings said. “I thought we could’ve came out of the first period behind because I thought Tech, especially with the back half of the first period, pushed the pace a little bit and he made some saves that were really important.”
The Mavericks took three penalties in the third period. McKay anchored the team all night, but especially when made a sprawling save in the third period in which he dove to block a shot with his stick paddle on the goal line.
“They kind of threw it across. I overplayed the backdoor guy and he threw it in front and I was scrambling a little bit,” McKay said. “It found its way into the back door and I tried to get anything I could in front of the net and it hit my paddle right on the goal line, so that was nice.”
McKay’s luck was Tech’s misfortune as the Huskies peppered Minnesota State with 16 shots in the third period. Sophomore left wing Alec Broetzman rang a shot off the post. In the first, he saucered a pass to Logan Ganie, who deflected the puck to the net but McKay lunged across for a glove save.
Both teams played an evenly matched end-to-end first period with strong forechecks. But another theme so far for the Huskies, starting slow in the second period, haunted them.
Reggie Lutz threw a puck at MTU goaltender Robbie Beydoun from the corner. The puck deflected off Beydoun’s left skate and into the net. He was assisted by Jack McNeely and Dallas Gerads.
“I thought we came out ready to play,” Michigan Tech head coach Joe Shawhan said. “I thought what we were trying to do worked. I didn’t see really any adjustments out of Mankato in the second. I saw us go into a bit of a lull like we’ve done the last few games. We’ve gotta resolve that.”
Huskies defenseman Tyrell Buckley was given a five-minute major for elbowing about 10 minutes later and the Mavericks’ sophomore left wing Julian Napravnik scored soon after, with assists from Marc Michaelis and Connor Mackey.
Jared Spooner scored unassisted 61 seconds into the third period to put the Mavericks up by three. Shawhan pulled Beydoun in favor of freshman goalie Blake Pietila.
“I’ve been looking for a chance to play Blake. We’ve been playing great competition. I don’t wanna throw Blake in and put him in a situation where he’s gonna fail. I’m looking for him to be our future. He’s gonna be an outstanding goaltender. We’re at Bowling Green for two. I don’t wanna beat him up there. We’re at North Dakota. All those games are relatively tight and we’re in them. Tonight, I felt virtually all three goals, I thought were on the softer side, two from behind the net. I thought it was a good opportunity and I thought the team reacted around it. I thought Blake did an excellent job. Robbie’s been really good for us. He starts out the year good. He gives us that first start, it’s always a good one, could be a shutout. We gotta find ways to support him a little better.”
Beydoun stopped 22 shots. Pietila stopped six shots the rest of the game.
“Blake did a good job and I thought he sparked the team a little,” Shawhan said. “Another young guy playing and good for him. I’m happy for him.”
Tech went 0 for 5 on the power play. They’re 5 of 38 on the season with the man advantage (13 percent).
Michigan Tech captain and Houghton senior Ray Brice said the team’s focus has to stay locked in for a full 60 minutes.
“I think it’s probably just a lack of focus,” he said. “I think we gotta remain hard on pucks like we do in the first and maintain a good structure like we have been in the first. We haven’t been carrying that from the first. Focus is a big word right now. It’s been a theme that we haven’t been putting together a full 60 minutes, that we gotta work on.”
MSU 0 2 1 — 3
MTU 0 0 0 — 0
First Period–Penalties — MSU, Michaelis (unsportsmanlike), 16:56. MTU, Saretsky (unsportsmanlike), 16:56. MSU, Spooner (hooking), 19:03.
Second Period–1, MSU, Lutz (McNeely, Gerads), 6:08. 2, MSU, Napravnik (Michaelis, Mackey), pp, 12:16. Penalties–MSU, McNeely (interference), 6:45. MTU, Buckley (elbowing), major, 11:55.
Third Period–3, MSU, Spooner, 1:01. Penalties–MSU, Duehr (holding), 11:34. MSU, Zmolek (interference), 16:16.
Shots on goal–MSU 5-19-7–31; MTU 7-8-16–31
Power-play Opportunities–MSU 1 of 2; MTU 0 of 5.
Goalies–MSU, McKay 7-8-16–31; MTU, Beydoun 5-17-0–22 (25 shots-22 saves), B. Pietila 0-0-6–6.
Referees–Dan Kovarik, Ryan Gordon. Linesmen–Dan Juopperi, Matthew Hampton.