Hockey Falls Sunday After Late UMD Goal

DULUTH, Minn. – The No. 17-ranked Michigan Tech hockey team suffered a 4-3 loss to No. 6 Minnesota Duluth on Sunday (Oct. 2) after the Bulldogs scored with 15 seconds left on the clock. The Huskies drop to 0-2 on the season and open WCHA play at Minnesota State next weekend.

"We played much better and competed much harder tonight," Tech coach Mel Pearson said. "If we continually improve like we did from last night to tonight, we'll be fine. We just can't give up 10 goals on a weekend and expect to win."

Reid Sturos scored the first goal of the season for Michigan Tech 3:46 into the game. Mark Auk was patient with the puck and found Sturos wide open between the circles for his 19th career goal.

Tyler Heinonen added to the lead as he corralled a blocked shot and fired it under UMD goaltender Hunter Miska. Dylan Steman and Dane Birks assisted on the goal 8:21 into the first.

UMD (2-0-0) cut into the lead on a Kyle Osterberg goal with only 29 seconds left on the first period clock.

Joel L'Esperance again gave Tech a two-goal lead as he caught a pass from Brent Baltus to the right of Miska. L'Esperance found the upper corner of the net with Birks recording his second assist of the night.

Devin Kero was solid between the pipes for the Huskies in his first career start. He had two big saves on breakaways, the first leading to the Sturos goal early in the game. He then stopped Osterberg 13:27 into the second with his glove and finished the night with 27 saves.

The Bulldogs drew to within one with a power play goal late (17:09) in the second on a 5-on-3 power play. They tied it up 11:35 into the third. The goal was reviewed for a high stick but stood.

Alex Iafallo scored the game-winner with 15 seconds left as Neal Pionk found him wide open in front of Kero for the tip in.

The Huskies pulled Kero in the final moments and got the puck deep in the UMD zone but couldn't get a quality scoring chance.

The Huskies had 21 shots on goal during the game and hit the iron a couple times. Baltus hit the post in the first and Heinonen found it in the second.

Tech was called for seven penalties, including a five-minute major. The Bulldogs were 1-for-7 on the power play. The Huskies were 0-for-6 on the man advantage after six UMD penalties.

The Huskies and Mavericks shared the MacNaughton Cup last season and fittingly open conference play against each other. Puck drop is set for 8:07 p.m. both nights at the Verizon Wireless Center.

"It's going to be a heck of a series down in Mankato next weekend," added Pearson. "Their building is going to be electric on their opening weekend. I know the coaches and players are excited, and we're also excited to get some good practices in this week."