DETROIT - Michigan Tech held a 46-26 advantage in shots on goal but fell 3-1 to Michigan State in the first semifinal of the 47th annual Great Lakes Invitational Hockey Tournament at Joe Louis Arena. Down 2-0 after two periods, the Huskies (9-10-1) pulled within one with 12 minutes to play before the Spartans (11-6-2) added an empty net goal.
"I'm proud of our team," said Tech's head coach Mel Pearson. "We played a pretty good game today and just didn't get the bounces. I'm disappointed for the guys because I feel like we deserved a better result."
The Huskies registered the game's first six shots on goal in just two minutes and held a 15-6 advantage in shots through the first period. Unfortunately, it was the Spartans who held a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes thanks to a power play goal. Greg Wolfe fired home a rebound of a Matt Crandell shot to net the first goal of the 2011 GLI.
MSU added to its margin 5:20 into the second on a nice pass to the side of the net from Trevor Nill to Chris Forfar.
The score remained 2-0 until the Huskies broke through on the power play at 7:28 of the third. The Spartans were whistled for hooking at the 5:43 mark and tripping at 6:40. The Black and Gold converted the ensuing 5-on-3 with a goal from Ryan Furne from the slot. David Johnstone and Steven Seigo drew assists on the play.
The Huskies pulled goaltender Josh Robinson to gain the extra attacker with 98 seconds remaining but couldn't get the equalizer. Michigan State's Brett Perlini tacked on the empty net goal with 14 seconds left.
MSU netminder Drew Palmisano stopped 45-of-46 shots while Robinson saved 23 of the 25 shots he faced.
Michigan Tech will face either Boston College or Michigan in tomorrow's GLI Third Place game at 4:06 p.m.
Notes: Junior forward Chad Pietila played his first game in a Tech uniform after sitting out a year because of NCAA Division I transfer rules ...Junior defenseman Tommy Brown saw his first action since the opening weekend against American International. He had sat out with a medical condition.