Looking to end a three-game losing streak that cost them a chance to at least tie for the MacNaughton Cup for the second consecutive season, Michigan Tech used four goals from seniors to lift it to a 5-2 victory over Ferris State on Saturday at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
Winger Reid Sturos led the way for the Huskies with a pair of goals. He was named Winter Carnival Most Valuable Player for his efforts. His concern was more with breaking the losing streak than his individual honor.
“It was nice,” said Sturos. “This was our class’ fourth year winning [Winter Carnival], so it was nice getting the win and beating that losing streak. We came out and played and found the back of the net tonight.”
Friday night, Huskies coach Mel Pearson suggested that if they continued to play as they had in that game, good things would happen. His words proved almost prophetic as freshman Thomas Beretta found the back of the net on a dump in from the red line near the Huskies’ bench just 6:10 in.
Justin Kapelmaster, who had stopped 39 of 41 Huskies’ shots on Friday, was victimized again later in the first when Sturos beat him between the pads while falling at 14:59.
“Reid played strong,” said Pearson. “Good for Reid, because he had some good opportunities last night. That line played well in that Mike Neville, Reid Sturos and Jake Jackson really created some good opportunities. They played strong.”
After the Bulldogs cut into the Huskies’ lead with a power play goal from Mitch Maloney 5:48 into the middle frame, they shifted their defensive zone coverage to having four skaters back and one high, looking for a lead pass off of a turnover. They earned a few scoring chances with the change.
Bulldogs coach Bob Daniels liked the effort his players gave Saturday.
“I actually felt we played a better game tonight than we did last night,” said Daniels. “Tonight I was happier with our performance. I’m just not as happy with the outcome.”
The style change put the Huskies back on their heels a bit, but they were able to earn a key 5-on-3 power play later in the period and a chance to build their lead.
With 31 seconds of that two-man advantage to work with, the Huskies wasted little time, as freshman Mitch Reinke faked a shot from the high slot before finding senior Tyler Heinonen on the back door for a one-timer goal at 16:47.
“That was a big goal,” said Pearson. “It was good to see Tyler score. I thought he had a good game last night, and I thought he had another strong game tonight.”
It took just 1:04 of the third for the Bulldogs to cut the Huskies’ lead back to one, 3-2, when captain Jared VanWormer scored his second goal of the weekend on a one-timed blast from the left circle.
The Bulldogs kept the pressure on after the goal, but Huskies netminder Angus Redmond answered everything they threw at him.
With about 80 seconds left in the contest, Daniels pulled Kapelmaster, but 15 seconds later Huskies senior Chris Leibinger out-muscled a Bulldogs defender for a puck and deposited it into the empty net.
Just 10 seconds after the goal, Sturos netted his second of the night by catching Kapelmaster on his way back to the bench after another turnover.
Alabama-Huntsville 5, Bemidji State 2
After Kyle Bauman and Gerry Fitzgerald struck just 2:33 apart to give the Beavers a 2-1 lead in the first period, the host Chargers struck twice in the second and twice more in the third to earn the win. Tyler Poulsen scored both second-period tallies with Brennan Saulnier, Matt Salhany, and Hans Gorowsky getting the other Chargers’ goals.
Northern Michigan 2, Alaska 0
Atte Tolvanen made 48 saves to extend his shutout streak to 335:49 as the Wildcats earned a victory over the Nanooks at Marquette, Mich. Tolvanen’s fifth consecutive shutout tied an NCAA record. Robbie Payne scored both goals for the Wildcats just 3:06 apart in the second period.
Alaska-Anchorage 4, Lake Superior State 4
The Lakers had three different leads throughout the night, but each time the Seawolves found an answer to earn the tie at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Gage Torrel, Diego Cuglietta, Luke Morgan, and Aidan Wright scored for the Lakers. David Trinkberger, Chase Van Allen, Mason Mitchell, and Nicola Erb-Ekholm found the net for the Seawolves.
Bowling Green 3, Mercyhurst 0
Chris Nell made 22 stops to earn the shutout as the host Falcons earned a non-conference victory over the Lakers. Pierre-Luc Mercier, Mark Friedman, and Tyler Spezia scored for the Falcons.