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The mystique of Winter Carnival continues to hold true for the Michigan Tech Huskies. The hosts notched two goals in a span of 23 seconds early in the final frame to earn a 3-1 win over the No. 6 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena Friday night.
Junior center Eric Kattelus and assistant captain Brett Olson each notched a goal and an assist in the win. Tonight was the first time the Huskies (5-12-1 overall, 4-17-0 WCHA) won when trailing after two periods since Nov. 30, 2007, when they knocked off Minnesota in Minneapolis, 2-1.
“I thought we had a great push,” said Huskies’ coach Jamie Russell. “I thought our penalty kill did a great job of bending and not breaking.”
The first Huskies’ tally came 2:09 into the third as Olson, a sophomore, found junior winger Bennett Royer in the faceoff circle to Bulldogs’ goaltender Kenny Reiter’s right. Royer lifted the puck over Reiter for his third goal of the season and first on the power play. Kattelus also assisted on the goal.
“I think everybody knew we still had a chance,” said Kattelus. “Coach [Russell] came into the locker room between periods and said that it was within reach.”
Kattelus notched the game-winner by crashing the net on the ensuing shift at 2:32. After a forward turned the puck over at the Bulldogs’ blue line, assistant captain Jordan Baker carried the puck in deep before finding senior forward Drew Dobson, who fired a shot that snuck through Reiter and sat near the goal line for Kattelus to tap in.
“It’s a 60-minute game,” said Bulldogs’ coach Scott Sandelin. “We had plenty of opportunities. We didn’t come out and get it done.”
The Huskies started the game well, firing a couple of pucks at Reiter before the visitors could get their feet wet. Once the game settled down, the Bulldogs (17-11-1 overall, 13-7-1 WCHA) got to work, earning a couple of power plays and firing 16 shots at Huskies’ goaltender Kevin Genoe.
On the Bulldogs’ first man advantage, Jack Connelly found himself unabated near Genoe, but Genoe was ready for both chances. While the Bulldogs couldn’t get anything out of that power play, they did strike shortly after.
Genoe thought he controlled the rebound off a shot from David Grun, but the puck kicked out in the slot to Rob Bordson who found the back of the gaping net at 8:07. Scott Kishel also assisted on the goal, Bordson’s eighth of the season.
The Bulldogs fired another 15 shots at Genoe in the second period, but the Huskies’ freshman stopped everything thrown his way. He finished the game with 35 stops. He now has four of the Huskies’ five victories this season.
“I was really happy with the way Kevin responded after a poor first goal,” said Russell. “For a young goalie at Winter Carnival to refocus, I thought his rebounds were outstanding after that.”
The Huskies righted the ship throughout the third period as they out hustled the Bulldogs to loose pucks and made things happen, outshooting the Bulldogs 9-5 over the course of the period. Reiter finished the game with 20 stops in the loss.
The Huskies finished one-for-four on the power play while holding the Bulldogs to zero-for-five.
The two goals in 23 seconds was the fastest two goals of the season for the Huskies. They scored two in 28 seconds against Colorado College back on Oct. 24.