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Huskies hockey returns home with sweep of red-hot Falcons

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — The Michigan Tech Huskies hockey team earned its first six-point CCHA sweep of the season with a 3-1 comeback victory over the Bowling Green State Falcons on Saturday at the Slater Family Ice Arena. The Falcons entered the weekend 6-1-1 in their last eight games before facing the Huskies.

The Huskies improved to 14-13-6 and 11-9-2 in the CCHA and will head into the final weekend of the regular season tied for third in the standings with St. Thomas. The Huskies scored 10 goals from nine different players on the weekend.

HUSKIES COME BACK TO EARN SWEEP SATURDAY

After two periods of scoreless hockey, the Falcons struck first early in the third period. However, three straight goals by the Huskies sealed the sweep.

“It would’ve been easy to feel sorry for ourselves after we got down 1-0,” Huskies coach Joe Shawhan said. “We were tired, hurt, and banged up and struggled in the second period, but we found grit and took the game over. We played off of our defense and got some good looks at the net.

“I’m just extremely proud of the group and also the guys that aren’t here who have been working hard to help us get ready to play. These were six huge points.”

After a scoreless first two periods, Bowling Green (13-18-1, 11-10-1 CCHA) opened scoring 2:54 into the third with the first tally of the weekend for the home team. Seth Fyten scored in the slot after a pass by Tommy Pasanen up into the middle.

It didn’t take long for the Huskies to tie the game when sophomore defenseman Evan Orr found space in front of the net and senior winger Tyrone Bronte fed him for his first goal of the season and the third of his career at 5:28.

Tech kept the offensive pressure on in the third period, and freshman defenseman Chase Pietila picked the perfect time to score his first collegiate goal. Sophomore winger Kash Rasmussen fed the puck back to the point. Chase took his time for a big wind-up and blasted it through traffic. Junior winger Jack Works also assisted for his fourth assist on the weekend.

The Falcons pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker with 2:19 left. They worked the puck to the front of the Michigan Tech net before freshman winger Isaac Gordon cleared it away and co-captain Logan Pietila hit the center of the net from his own defensive zone for a 3-1 Tech lead. It was Logan’s ninth goal of the season and 41st of his career.

Tech led in shots 35-20 in the game. Alternate captain Blake Pietila earned his 71st career win with 19 saves. He stopped 47-of-48 shots faced on the weekend for a .979 save percentage.

Cole Moore made 32 saves for the home team.

The Huskies were 2-for-2 on the penalty kill with a 2:00 5-on-3 late in the first period that carried over into the second period.

HUSKIES OVERWHELM FALCONS FRIDAY

The Huskies began their final road weekend with a dominant 7-0 shutout victory at Bowling Green Friday. Six different Huskies scored on the night, and Blake Pietila recorded his school-record 22nd career shutout with 28 saves.

“We had a depleted lineup tonight, but everyone bought in and did their job,” Shawhan said. “I love the way the defense played and loved the way the forwards transitioned the puck. We didn’t let up. The week off certainly helped us.”

The Huskies found the back of the net three times in the first and twice in each of the final two periods to improve to 13-13-6 overall and 10-9-2 in the CCHA.

Co-captain Arvid Caderoth scored his sixth of the season 10:55 into the game when he finished off a backdoor pass from senior defenseman Jed Pietila. Junior defenseman Trevor Russell also assisted on Caderoth’s 14th of his career.

Junior winger Alex Nordstrom scored on a rebound at 17:20 for his third of the season from Russell and freshman winger Henry Bartle. It was Bartle’s first collegiate point.

Alternate captain Ryland Mosley stole the puck behind the net and found Gordon wide open out front for a one-timer with eight seconds left in the first. It was Gordon’s team-leading 15th of the season.

Jed Pietila scored his second goal in the last three games when he collected a pass from Jack Works and fired in his third career goal 14:44 into the second period. Rasmussen added the second assist.

Bronte tipped in a shot by Works with 29 seconds left in the second for a 5-0 lead — Tech’s largest of the season up to that point. It was Bronte’s fifth goal of the season and the 13th of his career.

Junior winger Marcus Pedersen scored on the power play 1:22 into the third period for his fifth of the season. Works fed him the puck from the corner and Pedersen kicked the puck to his stick and fired in his sixth career goal. Jed Pietila also assisted.

Nordstrom buried his second of the night for the final tally with 2:06 remaining in the third. He whacked in a centering pass from Henry Bartle for his second two-goal game of the season. Senior center Blais Richartz added the second assist.

It was the fifth time Tech has scored at least seven goals on Bowling Green and the first since December 1982. The last and only time the Huskies scored seven against the Falcons in Ohio was in December 1972.

The last time Tech scored seven goals and had a seven-goal victory margin was on Feb. 8, 2022, at Northern Michigan, when the Huskies won 8-1.

Tech led in shots 56-28 which is a season-high. Blake Pietila made four saves in the first, 13 in the second, and 11 in the third for his second shutout of the season. Moore had 37 saves through the first two periods, and Christian Stoever stopped 12 shots in the third.

The teams combined for 12 minor penalties. Tech was 1-for-1 on the penalty kill and 1-for-4 on the power play.

UP NEXT

The Huskies host St. Thomas in the regular season finale this weekend. The Huskies are out of the race for the MacNaughton Cup, but can climb to the No. 2 seed for the CCHA Playoffs.

The eight seniors will be honored after Saturday’s game as Bronte, Caderoth, Mosley, Blake Pietila, Jed Pietila, Logan Pietila, Richartz, and junior center Levi Stauber will play their final regular season game at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

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