Huskies win 20th game with sweep at Bemidji State

Michigan Tech forward Jack Works controls the puck during a game against Bemidji State on Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena in Houghton. (David Archambeau/For the Gazette)

BEMIDJI, Minn. — No. 12 Michigan Tech earned a CCHA series sweep of Bemidji State with a 3-2 victory Saturday at the Sanford Center. The Huskies had a 3-0 lead and held on late to win their fourth straight and 20th game this season, improving to 20-7-4 overall and 13-5-4 in the CCHA.

“To come in here and win two games is huge. They’re a good team, and they play well on their home ice,” Huskies coach Joe Shawhan said. “It was a great game, and I thought we played and competed well. Blake played tremendous for us like he always does, and that’s a huge win for us for a lot of reasons.”

The Huskies scored a goal in each period. Logan Pietila gave Tech the lead 9:53 into the game with a 5-on-3 power play goal. Nick Nardella and Parker Saretsky set up the tic-tac-toe passing play for Logan’s 10th of the season and second on the power play.

Saretsky made it 2-0 with 3:55 left to play in the second period. Chris Lipe was hooked in front of the net and the referee’s arm went up. The whistle hadn’t blown yet and the players stalled. Tristan Ashbrook went to the corner and fed it out front to a wide-open Saretsky who scored his seventh of the season. Jack Works was also given an assist.

Marcus Pedersen made it 3-0 in favor of the Black and Gold 7:35 into the third for his first career goal. He cycled with Arvid Caderoth and fired a sharp-angled shot that trickled through the goaltender. Jed Pietila added the secondary assist.

BSU (11-12-5, 9-8-3 CCHA) scored its first goal of the weekend 43 seconds later when Jere Vaisanen blasted in a long rebound from Lleyton Roed and Will Zmolek.

The Beavers pulled the goaltender for the extra attacker with 5:07 remaining. After three icings by the Huskies, the home team drew to within one when Lleyton Roed tipped in a shot from Kaden Pickering with 3:39 left in the third.

Tech held on down the stretch only allowing three shots to get to goaltender Blake Pietila.

After no penalties were whistled on Friday, the teams combined for four infractions in the first period and seven in the game. Tech was 1-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. The Huskies haven’t allowed a power-play goal in nine games and only one in the last 13 games.

BSU led in shots 39-21. Blake Pietila finished with 37 saves, making 30 saves for the eighth time this season. He had nine saves in the first, 13 in the second, and 15 in the third for his 54th career win.

Huskies get fourth straight Friday shutout

BEMIDJI, Minn. — Blake Pietila earned his fourth straight Friday night shutout as the Huskies defeated the Beavers 2-0 at the Sanford Center. Blake pushed his single-season school record mark to eight shutouts and his career record to 18.

“It was the game we expected it to be,” Shawhan said. “They pressure and make you make plays. Blake did what Blake does and held us in there early which allowed us to get our legs under us. We got a nice play out of Worksy to get the lead and got a nice play with their goalie out.

“The guys were resilient again. I think we did leave some performance on the table and can improve on that tomorrow night, but I give our guys a ton of credit to come out with the points.”

The Huskies improved to 19-7-4 overall with the win and are now one point behind first-place Minnesota State with a 12-5-4 CCHA record. With the win, the Huskies have now beaten every team in the CCHA at least once this season.

Works scored the eventual game-winning goal 6:16 into the second period. He had the puck down in the corner and walked it into the circle and ripped a wrist shot over the glove for his seventh of the season. Jake Crespi and Tristan Ashbrook assisted on the play.

Blake Pietila finished with 25 saves, stopping seven in the first, 10 in the second, and eight in the third. His biggest save was on a breakaway midway through the first period. The Beavers totaled 63 shots but missed the net on 21 attempts and the Huskies blocked 17.

Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore–who was coaching in his 800th career game–pulled Mattias Sholl for the extra attacker with 1:45 left. Jed Pietila controlled the puck in front of Blake and flipped a backhand pass up to Nardella at center ice. Nardella gloved it down and made a move before whacking in his first of the season to seal the win with 1:38 left.

Tech generated 19 shots on goal and Sholl finished with 18 saves.

Neither team was whistled for a penalty. The last Michigan Tech game to not have a penalty was on Oct. 30, 2015, when the Huskies defeated Ferris State 5-4 in overtime at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

Freshman defenseman Kasper Vaharautio made his Michigan Tech debut Friday.

Up next

Tech wraps up its home schedule next weekend with the annual Winter Carnival series. The Huskies will host Bowling Green in a total goal series for the MacInnes Trophy. The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. Friday and 5:07 p.m. Saturday at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.


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