SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Michigan Tech hockey team picked up a WCHA series sweep at Lake Superior State after a 2-1 win Saturday (Nov. 16). Brian Halonen and Trenton Bliss scored the goals and Matt Jurusik stopped 34 shots at Taffy Abel Arena.
"I'm proud of our team," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "Lake Superior State is a good hockey team and they played really well. They may have deserved a better fate tonight but goaltending is a part of this game and ours was outstanding tonight. I feel fortunate we were able to come out with a sweep."
Halonen scored his second of the weekend to give the Huskies the lead 14:37 into the first period. He caught a pass from Colin Swoyer and wristed it past Mareks Mitens. Logan Pietila assisted on Halonen's fourth of the season.
LSSU (4-10, 2-4 WCHA) quickly tied it up 12 seconds later when Pete Veillette scored from Uki Miura and Lukas Kaelble.
Tech had a chance to regain the lead later in the first when Justin Misiak drove the net. The puck sat at the doorstep for moment and Halonen had a whack at it, but the defense cleared it away.
The Huskies killed off a full 2:00 5-on-3 in the second period and then capitalized on a power-play chance of their own when Bliss scored through traffic for the 2-1 lead. Seamus Donohue and Eric Gotz assisted on the third goal of the weekend for Bliss and his fifth of the season at the 10:04 mark.
The Lakers applied tons of pressure in the third period, racking up 18 shots on goal. Mitens was pulled for the extra attacker with a minute left but Jurusik stood tall. He made six saves in the first and 10 in the second.
"Jurusik was as good as a goaltender can be tonight," Shawhan added. "Lake Superior forced us into a lot of turnovers but Jurusik was incredible."
Tech was a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and went 1-for-4 on the power play after both teams were whistled for four minor penalties.
"Our penalty kill was outstanding again," said Shawhan. "We got a power-play goal tonight and that was the difference tonight."
Shots were 35-18 in favor of the home team.
Tech improved to 5-6 overall and 3-5 in the WCHA and continues WCHA play against an Upper Peninsula opponent next weekend with a home and away series against Northern Michigan. The two teams will meet in Houghton on Friday and Marquette Saturday.