Huskies blow lead late, fall in overtime to Mavericks
HOUGHTON — For the second straight night, the Michigan Tech Huskies hockey team and the No. 6 Minnesota State Mavericks played a very even game. In fact, the game followed much of the same script.
The teams were scoreless after one, the Huskies scored first on the power play, and they held a one-goal lead late in regulation. For the second straight night, the Mavericks found the equalizer and forced overtime.
In the bonus 5-on-5 session, Connor Mackay tipped a pass past Huskies goaltender Matt Jurusik for the Mavericks 3-2 win just 1:45 in.
Despite the outcome, Huskies coach Joe Shawhan liked the compete level he saw on the ice.
“I thought our guys played well,” said Shawhan. “A lot of guys improved their game. I think if we play that way all the time, they’ll get better individually and maybe give themselves a chance to have some enjoyment at this game.
“I thought a lot of guys played hard, and that’s the effort we’ve been asking for for a long time.”
The Huskies broke the scoreless tie 1:18 into power play in the second period when co-captain Dylan Steman tipped a shot from junior defenseman Keegan Ford past Dryden McKay at 8:32.
“I think overall we played a better game tonight,” said Steman. “You can’t fault the effort. We were there. In the end, we just keep finding a way to shoot ourselves in the foot and that’s something we’re going to have to get over. It’s tough.
“We’re not really in the business of trying hard. We’re in the business of winning hockey games. I think at some point that has to happen. I can’t say that we played a bad game. We just have to find a way to win in the end.”
“Keegan( Ford) made a great shot to my stick,” said Steman when asked about his goal. “I just had to tap it in. (It was a) tip we were talking about in between periods, that was going to be there and it was.”
Michigan Tech took advantage of a second Minnesota State tripping penalty by Parker Tuomie and grabbed a 2-0 lead when sophomore winger Justin Misiak redirected a shot from sophomore defenseman Seamus Donohue past McKay at 17:58.
“It was a little different then (Friday),” said Misiak. “We kind of took it to them and I think we outshot them today. We just tried getting pucks to the net today and create more offense on the neutral zone. I think it was a good battle today.”
The Mavericks cut the Huskies lead in half thanks to a long-range shot by Tuomie. Mavericks co-captain Marc Michaelis snuck through the slot and redirected the shot over Jurusik with just 51 seconds left in the middle frame.
Donohue took a major penalty for contact to the head when he hit Michaelis in the latter stages of the third period, putting the Mavericks in a situation that would allow them to take their time tying the contest. It did not take them long as Michaelis snuck behind Jurusik and knocked a loose puck home at 15:17.
Michaelis earned Winter Carnival Most Valuable Player honors after the game.
“I don’t disagree with the last call,” said Shawhan. “I don’t disagree with the five minute major. It was a very un-intelligent hockey play at that stage of the game. Not to discredit the effort that we put in, but we find a ways of making things very difficult on ourselves.”
“I think you get what you deserve in life,” said Shawhan. “Mankato found a way two nights in a row to come out on top, however they did it, and we found a way to come out on the other end of it.”
All the Huskies goals scored in this series came off of power plays, keeping 5-on-5 play a concern for Shawhan.
“We put consistent efforts together,” said Shawhan. “We still didn’t score on 5-on-5 on the weekend. We still have a long ways to go in a lot of areas.
“I liked the effort from the group. I thought our guys played very hard and I congratulate Mankato for finding a way. We have to get back to that level.”
Mavericks coach Mike Hastings was not overly pleased with the effort his team gave throughout the night.
“We went to the box too often,” said Hastings. “I thought we just kind of hung in there. Getting down 2-0 in their building and to find a way to find a way to fight back and get it to overtime again and then finding a way to get it done in overtime.
“(This is) a very difficult place to play and i feel fortunate we were able to get points out of the weekend.”
Hastings was happy that his team was able to get one on the major, but felt that the Huskies shut down everything they tried after the goal.
“For us to be able to get it to even gave us a little bit of breathing room but I thought that Tech picked up their pace and came after us,” said Hastings. “The rest of that power play we didn’t have many looks at all.”
“Then when we got to overtime, sometimes it’s just the bounce and we had a guy make a play and (are) fortunate to get out of here with a win,” said Hastings.
Minnesota State 0 1 1 1 – 3
Michigan Tech 0 2 0 0 – 2
1, MTU, Dylan Steman (Keegan Ford, Brian Halonen), PP, 8:32
2, MTU, Justin Misiak (Seamus Donohue, Thomas Beretta), PP, 17:58
3, MSU, Marc Michaelis (Parker Tuomie, Ian Scheid), PP, 19:08
4, MSU, Michaelis (Tuomie, Scheid), PP, 15:17
5, Connor Mackey, 1:45
MSU, McKay 7 9 8 3 – 35
MTU, Jurusik 10 12 13 o – 35
MSU: 7/14; MTU: 4/19