HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech hockey team skated to its third tie in a row with a 4-4 draw against No. 20 Minnesota State Friday (Jan. 20) night at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. The Mavericks earned the extra WCHA point with a goal in the third round of the sudden death shootout.
The back and forth game saw the Huskies go up 2-0 in the second period before falling behind 4-2 in the third. The home team tied it back up with goals midway through the final period and the overtimes were well-defended with minimal scoring chances.
Four Huskies had at least two points on the night. Tech is now 14-9-6 overall and 11-3-5-2 in the WCHA.
"It was a real good hockey game tonight," Tech coach Mel Pearson said. "With the momentum swings, the lead changes, and the 3-on-3, it was an exciting game for the fans.
"I thought we shot ourselves in the foot. We had the lead going into the third period and then made some bad decisions with some costly turnovers. They're a good hockey team. They're built to win and they've been there before and good teams capitalize on mistakes."
Down 4-2 in the third period, Jake Lucchini scored his team-leading ninth of the season 9:16 into the frame. He beat his defender on a rush to the net and slid it under the Mavericks' goaltender with assists going to Gavin Gould and Chris Leibinger.
Tyler Heinonen then scored his second of the night—both coming on the power play—as he chipped in a rebound right out front of MSU's net. Chris Gerrie assisted on the play, taking the initial shot, and Mitch Reinke added the secondary assist.
"Tyler had a good game," added Pearson. "He was strong on the puck and did a lot of little things. Maybe he's getting hot and that's what we need from him at this point in the season.
"I liked his line tonight with Chris and Jake. Jake's having a real good year. He brings energy and passion every night. He does so many good things, and we wish we had a couple more guys like him."
Neither team hit the net during the first overtime as the Huskies had to kill off a penalty after a late boarding call in regulation.
MSU's (14-8-3, 10-6-3-1 WCHA) Brad McLure had a breakaway early in the 3-on-3 overtime but missed the net on the shot.
The first five shooters had their shots saved in the shootout. Heinonen, Gould, and Mark Auk got the call for the Huskies. Parker Tuomie finally found the back of the net as the sixth shooter.
The Huskies jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Heinonen buried 13:50 into the game on a goal similar to his equalizer in the third. He cleaned up a rebound after a shot by Reinke, while Shane Hanna also assisted.
Gerrie then scored for the second game in a row, putting in a rebound after a Lucchini shot only 78 seconds into the second period. Heinonen added the assist.
McClure made it 2-1 10:55 into the second period as he finished off a 2-on-1 play as the Huskies were stuck out on a long shift. Marc Michaelis and Zach Stepan added the helpers.
CJ Franklin tied it a two 2:42 into the third as a Tech penalty expired with McLure and Daniel Brickley assisting.
Zeb Knutson scored twice in an 86-second span to give the visitors a 4-2 lead. He had an unassisted goal at 5:51 and scored on a 2-on-1 rush at 7:17 with Michaelis adding the assist.
The Huskies outshot the Mavericks 41-28 with 15 in the first, 10 in the second, and 14 in the third. Angus Redmond had 24 saves for Tech, while Aaron Nelson stopped 37 shots for the visitors.
Tech was 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and 2-for-3 on the power play.
The two teams wrap up the series Saturday (Jan. 21) at 7:07 p.m. It is Youth Hockey Night with numerous prizes available to youth during Skate with the Huskies after the game.