HOUGHTON, Mich. - Sophomore Milos Gordic tallied a hat trick in his first game of the season to help Michigan Tech upend No. 2-ranked Denver 7-2 tonight at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Five different Huskies had multi-point nights and goaltender Josh Robinson made 38 saves to keep Tech undefeated at home at 5-0-0.
Tech (5-2-0, 3-2-0 WCHA) jumped out of the gates with a strong first period. The hosts recorded a 11-4 advantage in shots and led 3-1 after 20 minutes. Freshman Tanner Kero broke the ice with an even-strength goal just 1:53 into the game. Denver (3-2-0, 2-1-0 WCHA) answered less than three minutes later to tie the game at 1-all.
Gordic then scored the first of his three goals by driving home a rebound of a Jordan Baker shot on the power play. The marker came at the 10:06 mark of the first. Just 16 seconds later, Ryan Furne made it a 3-1 score by capitalizing on a nice passing sequence from linemates Brett Olson and Blake Pietila. Furne ran into DU goalie Adam Murray after the puck had crossed the goal line. Murray was injured on the play and did not return to action. Juho Olkinuora replaced Murray in net for the Pioneers.
It was Huskies' goalie Robinson sparking in net in the second period, making 21 of his 38 saves to keep the talented Pioneers off the scoreboard. At least two of the saves came on point-blank chances for the visitors.
Gordic expanded Tech's lead with his second power play marker of the game. This one was a deflection of a Daniel Sova shot from the left point at the 3:17 mark of the middle frame.
The teams skated hard through the first 13 minutes of the third period scoreless. Denver coach George Gwozdecky elected to pull Olkinuora with 6:54 remaining in the contest. Gordic completed his three-goal hat trick with an empty net tally less than a minute later. Olkinuora remained on the bench while Tech added two more empty net goals-one from Olson and another from Dennis Rix.
Denver finished scoring with 56 seconds left to make it a five-goal margin.
"We had a really good first period and played well for the first half of the game," said head coach Mel Pearson. "They took it to us a little bit for the final 30 minutes or so, but I thought Robinson had a heck of a game.
"It's also nice to see our top two goal scorers from last year (Gordic and Furne) get their first goals of the season."
Tech converted 2-of-5 power play chances while holding DU scoreless on three opportunities.
The final shot tally showed a 40-28 advantage for the Pioneers.
Robinson is now 4-1-0 on the season with a .922 saves percentage.
The two teams will wrap up their WCHA series tomorrow. Faceoff is set for 7:07 p.m. at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
Notes: Tech has won two of its last three games with Denver ... The seven-goal output was the Huskies' first since Oct. 20, 2007, vs. Minnesota State ... Tech's last hat trick came from Brett Olson on Oct. 9, 2009, vs. Northern Michigan.