WCHA: Lucchini's goal, assist boost Michigan Tech past Bowling Green

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In a game that featured the no. 2 (Michigan Tech) and no. 3 (Bowling Green) scoring defense in the WCHA, you would expect a low-scoring game. Tonight, Michigan Tech used two power-play goals and a short-handed goal to defeat the Bowling Green Falcons in a tight defensive game, 3-1.

Michigan Tech turned away all five Bowling Green power plays and blocked a total of 18 shots along the way.

“It’s frustrating to say the least to lose the game the way we did; we told them all week long how Tech was going to play and it’s up to us to figure out a way to get shots through,” said Bowling Green coach Chris Bergeron.

After a scoreless first period that saw the Falcons outshoot the Huskies 12-8, both goalies turned away breakaways a short time apart. First it was Chris Nell stopping Huskies goal leader Joel L’Esperance, who took a breakout pass up the middle of the ice but couldn’t beat Nell short side. Right back came the Falcons with a two-on-one the other way, but Angus Redmond was up to the task, making a left pad save at 17:58 to keep the game scoreless.

The game remained scoreless until 6:50 of the second period when Falcons sophomore Stephen Baylis came streaking up the right wing and let a wrist shot go that beat Redmond far side over his blocker.

“Freddie (Letourneau) made a great play along the boards to spring me free and I just happened to put it in the net,” said Baylis.

The lead didn’t last long, as on a power play Huskies defenseman Matt Roy sent a shot through traffic that beat Nell over his shoulder to tie the game at one.

Bowling Green had chances on a five-on-three for 40 seconds during the middle of the period, but failed to score.

The third period was quite a chess match between the very evenly matched teams, and it looked like it might be headed to overtime, but the Huskies would have none of that. With Bowling Green on a power play, Jake Lucchini used a hard forecheck in the Falcons’ zone to steal the puck and in one motion sail a shot high over Nell’s blocker to give the Huskies a 2-1 lead at 14:56.

Michigan Tech added a second power-play goal from Tyler Heinonen at 18:42 to make the final score 3-1 in Tech’s favor.

“We told them all week long if we are going to get where we need to be it goes through them(Tech); we have to be more mentally checked in tomorrow night or the result will be the same,” admitted Bergeron.

WCHA roundup

Alabama Huntsville 4, at Northern Michigan 1
The Chargers scored four unanswered goals after giving up the first one to defeat the Wildcats 4-1. Dominik Shine gave the ‘Cats the lead in the first period, but goals from Cody Marooney and Brandon Parker had the Chargers ahead 2-1 after one. The Chargers added goals from Max McHugh and Josh Kestner in the second period to finish off the scoring. Jordan Uhelski made 32 saves getting the win for Huntsville.

No. 13 Bemidji 1, Lake Superior State 1
The Beavers and Lakers each scored a second-period goal and would get nothing else in a game that ended 1-1. Kyle Bauman scored for the Beavers and JT Henke got the Lakers’ goal. Gordon Defiel made 33 saves for the Lakers while Michael Bitzer made 17 saves for Bemidji. The Beavers won the shootout to secure the extra point.

Ferris State 3, Minnesota State 0
The Bulldogs got a 36-save shutout performance from Darren Smith and three goals in the second period for the 3-0 victory over the Mavericks. Corey Mackin, Chad McDonald, and Gerald Mayhew scored the goals for Ferris.

Alaska-Anchorage at Alaska
Jonah Renouf had two assists and Olivier Mantha made 30 saves as Alaska-Anchorage rallied from an early 1-0 deficit to defeat in-state rival Alaska, 3-2. The win snapped Alaska’s three-game winning streak, and the Seawolves took game one of the four-game Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup.

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