HOUGHTON, Mich. - Senior Jordan Baker tallied a hat trick with a goal in the first and two more in the third to lift Michigan Tech to a 6-4 victory over Alaska Anchorage tonight at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena. The Huskies (8-7-1 WCHA) evened their overall record on the season at 11-11-1 by earning the series sweep of the Seawolves (6-12-2, 3-12-1).
In addition to Baker's three gaols, Bryce Reddick scored twice and Milos Gordic added another-the game winner-in the highest scoring weekend by the Huskies since it put up 14 total goals vs. UAA in 2006. Tech had 12 this weekend with a 6-2 win last night.
"We needed a good start tonight, and we got it with an excellent first period," said head coach Mel Pearson.
The Huskies grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the contest. Senior Reddick scored the first two goals of the game-both assisted by Dennis Rix. The first came on a cross-ice pass to the left circle. The second was a pass to the left of the crease. Reddick buried both opportunities for his first two goals of the season and fourth and fifth of his career.
Baker made it a 3-0 score midway through the first after UAA goaltender Dusan Sidor misplayed the puck while trying to cover it. Baker collected it, skated around Sidor and flipped it into an empty net.
UAA got on the board late in the period when Mitch Bruijsten shot a goal through traffic in front of netminder Josh Robinson.
The visitors tied the game in the second period with a pair of even-strength goals. One came from Curtis Leinweber at the 6:38 mark and the other from Jade Portwood at 12:03. The Seawolves made it four unanswered goals when Bruijsten was the recipient of a fortunate bounce. Robinson went behind the net to play a wrap-around, but the puck took a bad carom off the glass to the front of the net. Robinson scurried back and pushed the puck to the side, but Bruijsten stole it and scored. That goal gave UAA a 4-3 advantage with 15 minutes to play.
It took Baker less than 30 seconds to even the game as Brett Olson skated the puck behind the net and fed Baker waiting at the back door.
Baker assisted on Gordic's eventual game-winner at the 9:37 mark by passing the puck from behind the Seawolves goal.
UAA pulled Sidor with 1:20 remaining, and Baker completed his hat trick into an empty net.
Reddick took a diving swipe at a empty netter with less than a minute to play for his hat trick, but just missed.
"We haven't played with the lead like that all year, and it's a learning experience," said Pearson. "The most important thing is we got the win and took care of business at home. This was a very important weekend for us as we work towards our goal of getting home ice for the playoffs."
Robinson finished with 21 saves to improve his record to 10-9-1 on the season. Sidor made 25 stops in his first career start.
The teams were a combined 0-for-20 on the power play during the weekend. Tech was 0-for-7 tonight while UAA was 0-for-4.
Michigan Tech will play again next Saturday (Jan. 21) when it faces Northern Michigan. Faceoff at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena is set for 7:07 p.m.
Notes: Baker's hat trick was the first of his career and second by a Tech player this season. Milos Gordic had three goals in his season debut vs. Denver Oct. 28 ... Baker's four points was a team high this season ... Tech hadn't tallied six goals in back-to-back games since 2005 (6-2 win vs. Notre Dame in Green Bay Jan. 18 and 6-3 win at Minnesota Jan. 21) ... The Huskies improved to 8-3-1 at home with the win.