Even result: Huskies and Beavers skate to 3-3 tie Friday
HOUGHTON – Looking to continue their hot start in WCHA play, the Michigan Tech Huskies answered everything that the visiting Bemidji State Beavers sent their way Friday night at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
The Huskies and Beavers skated to a 3-3 tie, officially, but the Huskies also gained a second point in the 3-on-3 overtime session when co-captain Jake Lucchini buried the puck past Henry Johnson 1:34 in.
“I thought we had a great first period,” said Huskies coach Joe Shawhan. “We didn’t give up scoring chances in the first. They scored the one goal from behind the net, (but) I thought we played a good start to the game. It turned around a bit when they got that late powerplay (goal) with 2:24, I think we we were up in shots at that point.. Pretty even in the last two periods.
“I think it was the game that everybody expected.”
Bemidji State struck first when Adam Brady’s attempted pass out front hit Huskies netminder Devin Kero’s stick and bounced into the net at 8:55.
Freshman defenseman Eric Gotz evened things for the Huskies in the second when he grabbed a feed from sophomore center Greyson Reitmeier and snuck a puck through Johnson at 11:37.
“The puck came bouncing out so I went forward with it, battered it down, regrouped it, stepped inside the defense, (and) shot it,” he said. “I didn’t expect it to go in, but it beat him on the short side. We kind of got a start after that.”
Michigan Tech would take the lead 1:42 later when junior winger Thomas Beretta buried his first of the season off a well-placed pass from co-captain Dylan Steman. Gotz also picked up an assist on the play.
“Steman made a play to the point and somehow got it back into the middle,” said Beretta. “I just screamed at him to give me it and (then) just shot at the net and it went in.”
The Beavers (6-5-2 overall, 4-2-0-1 WCHA) would even the score at 2-2 with a late period 5-on-3 power play goal from Charlie Combs at 18:36.
Beretta felt the Huskies (7-5-1 overall, 6-0-1 WCHA) needed to focus on their chances.
“In the first, we were making some cute plays and they were kind of waiting for us to make a mistake,” he said. “They were just keeping it simple and dumping it back in every time. There was no fold for us offensively, but we regrouped in the first intermission and bared down on our chances and made sure we made plays going to the zone.”
“We didn’t give them a lot of scoring chances, maybe in overtime there were a couple of scary ones. (We) just (brought) more energy.”
Freshman winger Alec Broetzman would put the Huskies back in front at 3:46 of the third
Combs notched his second goal at 14:18 to tie the game and send into overtime.
“In the second intermission we came in and talk about if we want to be a really good team these are the games we’re going to need to win,” said Lucchini. “There’s not going to be a lot of scoring, so these tight-knit games are very big for us as confidence for points in the standings. To get that extra point is going to go a long way in the end, hopefully.”
Shawhan was really pleased to see Lucchini finish the game strong despite knowing that his game-winning goal will not count in the season statistics.
“(Jake) Lucchini has been absolutely incredible as a player but also has a leader,” said Shawhan. “There is nothing phony about Jake Lucchini.
“He holds me accountable and that’s a great thing. He’s a great young man (and) a great leader. He’s going to be successful at whatever he does. Good things happen to good people. Your best players have to be your best people and he fits that mold perfectly.”
Shawhan was pleased with much of the Huskies’ game.
“I thought we did a pretty good job tonight, (but) I think there are a few things that we focused on that we can do a little bit better,” he said. “I think individually some guys are still figuring it out.”
Bemidji State coach Tom Serratore thought his team played well on the road but credits Jake Lucchini for his strong and timely finish.
“It was a good hockey game,” said Serratore. “I felt we played a good road game (with) a good first period where we just wanted to settle in. We knew that they were going to have their legs. “They dictated play in the second, but we got into penalty trouble and they took advantage of that.”
Serratore felt the game ended as evenly as it was played
“The game probably deserved to end in a tie like it did,” he said. “We just want to play good sound hockey. We’re both playing for the win tomorrow, but it was nice coming in on a Friday night and getting a point. They made that play, and when you make a play like that, you deserve to win.”
Bemidji State and Michigan Tech will face off again tonight at 7:07 p.m.
Bemidji State 1 1 1 0 0 – 3
Michigan Tech 0 2 1 0 1 – 4
1, BSU, Adam Brady (Justin Baudry), 8:55
2, MTU, Eric Gotz (Greyson Reitmeier), 11:37
3, MTU, Thomas Beretta (Dylan Steman, Gotz), PP, 13:21
4, BSU, Charlie Combs (Brady, Aaron Miller), PP, 18:36
5, MTU, Alec Broetzman (Brian Halonen), 3:46
6, BSU, Combs (Owen Sillinger, Dan Billett), 14:18
Overtime (5 on 5)
Overtime (3 on 3)
7, MTU, Jake Lucchini (Halonen, Keegan Ford), 1:34
BSU, Johnson 7 8 9 3 0 – 27
MTU, Kero 4 11 8 2 2 – 27
BSU: 1/6; MTU: 1/5
BSU: 5/10; MTU: 6/12