HOUGHTON, Mich. - The Michigan Tech hockey team suffered its first home loss of the season tonight, falling by a 6-3 score to Minnesota State in front of 3,618 fans at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. The No. 16-ranked Huskies (6-3-1 overall, 4-3-1 WCHA) and Mavericks (2-6-0, 1-3-0) combined for 90 shots on goal in an end-to-end battle.
The teams were skating tied 3-all in the third period before the Huskies were whistled for back-to-back penalties. The Mavericks converted the ensuing 5-on-3 to grab a 4-3 advantage. Five minutes later, a shot by MSU's Mat Knoll deflected off a defenseman in front of Josh Robinson and into the net for a 5-3 lead.
The visitors would add an empty net tally for the final margin.
"I thought it was an even game for the most part, but taking the two quick penalties was the difference," said Michigan Tech head coach Mel Pearson. "They scored on that five-on-three and we couldn't get back into it after that."
One night after making 40 saves in a 1-0 loss, Minnesota State goaltender Austin Lee made 42 saves. Eighteen of those came in the first as the Huskies showed life early.
It was MSU which drew first blood, however. Jean-Paul Lafontaine received a nice pass from Johnny McInnis in the crease on the power play at the 11:46 mark of the opening stanza.
Tech answered less than three minutes later as Jacob Johnstone buried a shot from the left circle off a timely feed from Dennis Rix. Aaron Pietila also assisted on the goal at 14:26.
The Black and Gold gained their first and only lead of the game on Blake Pietila's shot on a partial breakaway. Brett Olson gained possession in his own end and found a streaking Pietila down the right side. The rookie beat Lee to the far post for a 2-1 advantage with 4:44 remaining in the opening period.
The lead wouldn't last long. Just a minute later Michael Dorr tied the game for the Mavericks got a shot to squeeze past Robinson.
Both teams tallied goals in the second period. MSU's Lafontaine scored his second of the game at the 13:32 mark, and Tanner Kero tied the game on a rebound off a David Johnstone shot.
Robinson made several tough saves down the stretch to keep the Huskies in the game, but the tide turned for good to the visitors on the 5-on-3 advantage.
Penalties were six apiece in the game, and both teams had five power plays. The Mavericks converted two to the Huskies' none.
Robinson finished with 39 saves in net including 32 in the final two periods.
Michigan Tech will now have a weekend off before continuing WCHA play at Alaska Anchorage on Nov. 18-19.