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Huskies fall Friday to Alaska in home opener

Huskies fall Friday to Alaska in home opener Play Video

HOUGHTON, Mich. – No. 9 Michigan Tech fell 4-1 to Alaska Friday (Oct. 13) in the home opener at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. The Huskies led 1-0 after the first period but gave up four goals in the second.

"We don't know what type of team we are yet. We have a long way to go and we have a lot of work to do," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "Fairbanks is a good hockey team and played really good tonight. They outplayed Denver last Saturday night and outcompeted us in many areas tonight."

The teams combined for six penalties in the first period before the Huskies got on the board late. Max Koskipirtti scored his first collegiate goal with 1:50 left in the first period, putting in a rebound after a shot by Isaac Gordon was saved.

Alaska tied it up 2:40 into the second period when Brayden Nicholetts tipped in a shot by Braden Birnie. Cade Neilson also assisted.

The Nanooks took the lead 67 seconds later with a shorthanded goal by Harrison Israels. Teammate Brady Risk created a turnover behind the Tech net and fed it out front to Israels.

Kyle Kukkonen had a chance at the equalizer on a shorthanded breakaway later in the second but his shot was steered to the corner.

Harrison Israels scored on the power play 11:31 into the second for a 3-1 Alaska lead. He redirected in a long shot by Arvils Bergmanis with TJ Lloyd also assisting.

Anton Rubtsov scored the fourth goal when he slipped in a loose puck under the goaltender and across the line. Arvils Bergmanis and Brady Risk were credited with assists.

Alaska outshot Tech 31-24. Blake Pietila made 21 saves through the first two periods. Max Vayrynen had six saves in the third. Pierce Charleson made 23 saves for the visitors.

Tech was 3-for-4 on the penalty kill and 0-for-4 on the power play.

The teams will wrap up the non-conference series at 6:07 p.m. Saturday in game two of a three-game season series.