HOUGHTON, Mich. – No. 20 Michigan Tech and Alaska Anchorage skated to a 3-3 tie Friday (Jan. 13) at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena for the second meeting in a row. The Seawolves earned the extra WCHA point in a 3-on-3 overtime after both teams scored in the final two minutes of regulation to push it into extra time.
"I don't think we were ready to play tonight," Tech coach Mel Pearson said. "We didn't play as hard, or as strong, as we need to beat this team."
The Huskies (14-9-4, 11-3-3-1 WCHA) scored three straight goals after trailing 2-0. Jake Lucchini cut into the margin with his team-leading eighth of the season 7:08 into the second. Joel L'Esperance took a shot that deflected off a defenseman's skate and out to Lucchini. The sophomore forward gathered the puck and wristed a shot that just got across the goal line. Gavin Gould also assisted on the play.
Michael Neville tied it up 11 minutes later, scoring for the second game in a row. His linemate Reid Sturos kept the puck in the offensive zone and fed it to a wide-open Neville. He made a move and calmly backhanded it up into the net for his sixth of his senior season.
"That was a heck of a goal," Pearson added. "Mike's having his best year his senior year, and that's what we ask all of our seniors to do. He's all in with this team, and we need more guys to get all in like Mike Neville."
The game had on overtime feel to it until Matt Roy gave the Black and Gold its first lead of the game with 1:14 left on the third period clock. Neville chipped it out to the blueline, and Roy ripped a shot into the net for his third of the season with Chris Leibinger getting credit for the secondary assist.
The Huskies were then whistled for an interference penalty with 56 seconds left, and the visitors capitalized, scoring a power play goal with 24.9 seconds remaining off the stick of Austin Azurdia after adding the extra attacker.
Tech outshot UAA 6-0 in the first overtime and had a great scoring chance by Sturos on a wraparound. Goaltender Rasmus Reijola was there to make one of his 45 saves on the night.
Matt Anholt scored on a breakaway in the 3-on-3 overtime to give the Seawolves the extra league point.
"We fought our way back, and I give our team credit for that," said Pearson. "It wasn't an easy game to play, but we got the lead and now we have to learn how to close."
UAA (5-14-4, 4-9-4-2) opened scoring when Mason Mitchell buried a breakaway 18:08 into the game. Tad Kozun and Nolan Nicholas assisted on the play.
Tanner Johnson made it 2-0 only 13 seconds into the second period after Mitchell created a turnover in Tech's defensive zone.
Tech outshot UAA 48-30. Angus Redmond finished with 27 saves for the Huskies.
Both teams were whistled for seven penalties with the Huskies receiving a 5-minute face-masking penalty late in the second.
The two teams wrap-up their season series against each other on Saturday (Jan. 14) night at 7:07 p.m.