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Huskies earn four points from weekend with Wildcats

Michigan Tech forward Tyrone Bronte crashes the net while Northern Michigan defenseman Colby Ennis (5) attempts to defend during a game Saturday at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena in Houghton. (David Archambeau/For the Gazette)

Mosley leads Huskies to split

HOUGHTON — With two goals from assistant captain Ryland Mosley, the No. 18 Michigan Tech Huskies hockey what coach Joe Shawhan referred to as their best 60-minute game of the season in a 3-1 win over the Northern Michigan Wildcats at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

It was not a perfect game, by any means, as the Huskies went just 1-for-7 on the man advantage that included a four-minute 5-on-3, however, the one power play goal they got from Mosley was key to holding onto their lead in the third period..

The Huskies (10-4-3 overall, 6-3-3 CCHA) were having trouble penetrating the slot on the power play throughout the night, but they were able to get some pucks through from the perimeter. On the power play in the third, freshman defenseman Evan Orr could have passed the puck back to co-captain Brett Thorne at the top of the right circle. Instead, Orr quickly moved the puck over to Mosley in the left circle, who turned, moved slightly, and wired a wrist shot over Wildcats goaltender Ben Halasz’s shoulder at 10:44.

Mosley’s previous goal broke a 1-1 tie when he struck from a similar spot at 13:29. Freshman defenseman Topi Heiskanen had gotten the puck over to Mosley in the left circle before he fired a wrister over Halasz’s shoulder.

The third-year winger has spent a lot of time working to improve how he shoots the puck, and he attributes a lot of his success this season to the coaching staff.

“I work with (Tyler Shelast) and Jordy (Murray) a lot with the shooting and stuff, changing the angle,” Mosley said. “I got two nice goals tonight.”

With a two-goal lead for the second half of the third, the Huskies, who had given up late goals the last two games they played to tie the games, worked hard to fight for pucks and keep the Wildcats’ forwards from being able to find the slot themselves more often than not.

Shawhan was proud of the effort his team put in, especially in the game’s final 20 minutes.

“It was a good third period for us,” he said. “I don’t know how they would feel about their third period, but it was a good third period for us, got some penalty kill in there. We did well on special teams. We got some goaltending.”

The Huskies had taken a 1-0 lead 5:16 into the second period. After failing to strike on the lengthy 5-on-3 power play, Shawhan had put the line of junior center Nick Nardella, sophomore winger Levi Stauber and junior winger Tyrone Bronte on the ice.

Stauber and Nardella crashed the corner to Halasz’s left, trying to create a loose puck. As the puck came loose and Nardella put it out into the slot, Bronte jumped into the slot with speed and quickly fired a shot that caught Halasz before he could get set.

“I just found myself in the middle, and the puck kind of creeping towards me,” he said. “I know Nadella and Stauber did a great job on the forecheck, so the puck came right out to me. I just essentially closed my eyes and hit it as hard as I could.”

Shawhan was very excited to get the effort he got from his fourth line, whether they scored or not. He was also impressed with the effort of sophomore winger Marcus Pedersen, whom he subbed in on the line at various points in the game.

“Wow,” he said. “I mean, wow, that is all I can say. They were incredible. Their line was doing so well that you had to roll with that.”

The Wildcats (10-8 overall, 6-4 CCHA) were able to even things on a power play of their own at the 8:00 of the middle frame. David Keefer crashed the net. He ran into Huskies senior defenseman Ryan O’Connell and knocked him into senior goaltender Blake Pietila.

Upon review, the goal counted, as it was ruled that co-captain Arvid Caderoth bumped into Keefer, who then bumped into O’Connell, so there was no goaltender interference on the play.

Despite giving up that goal, the Huskies outshot the Wildcats 19-6 in the frame and did what they could to keep the pressure on all over the ice.

Pietila made 25 saves to earn the win. Halasz stopped 44 of 47 Huskies shots.

Huskies fall in overtime at NMU on Friday

MARQUETTE — The Huskies fell 4-3 in overtime in Marquette Friday. The Huskies never trailed until the shorthanded game-winning goal with 80 seconds left.

“I thought we played hard and had some guys step up,” Shawhan said. “We had the game won but gave it up late. We seem to struggle when it turns into a skill game.”

Kash Rasmussen scored two first-period goals to give the Huskies the lead. He redirected a shot by Brett Thorne only 16 seconds after faceoff for his third of the season. David Jankowski extended his point streak to six games with the second assist.

Rasmussen made it 2-0 with a power-play tally 11:23 into the first for his second power-play goal of the season and fourth overall. Jankowski took a shot that Rasmussen redirected in, while Topi Heiskanen also assisted.

NMU tied it up in the second period. Joey Larson got free in front and finished off a centering feed from Artem Shlaine 7:46 after intermission.

Keefer tied the game with 46 seconds left in the second after finishing off a cross-ice pass from Alex Frye.

Logan Pietila gave Tech the lead 1:13 into the third when he finished off a centering feed from Mosley. Kyle Kukkonen also assisted on Pietila’s fourth of the season.

NMU pulled its goaltender for the extra attacker with 2:10 left in the third and was able to find the equalizer on a goal by Josh Zinger with 1:31 left in regulation.

Midway through overtime, Caderoth was tripped, drawing a power play with 2:23 left.

A shot by Tech was blocked and then cleared out to center ice. Alex Frye picked up the puck, made a move, and ended Tech’s 10-game winning streak at the Berry Events Center.

NMU led in shots 29-27. Pietila made 25 saves for the Huskies and Halasz had 24 for the Wildcats.

Tech was 1-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.

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