HOUGHTON, Mich. - Freshman David Johnstone scored a pair of power play goals less than two minutes apart in the second period but it wasn't enough to keep Michigan Tech from falling to Northern Michigan 5-2 tonight in front of a season-high crowd of 3,708 at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena. With the decision, the Wildcats (11-8-5) earned the season sweep of the Huskies (11-12-1).
For the second straight game against NMU, the Huskies dug a 2-0 hole after a period of play. Justin Florek scored four minutes into the contest as he received a pass from the side wall and beat Josh Robinson between his legs. The margin grew to two 42 seconds later as Kyle Follmer deflected a centering pass through Robinson.
The Huskies made a change in net following the second tally, putting in Kevin Genoe.
After not scoring on its first four power plays, Tech finally broke through midway through the second. Johnstone received a pass from Blake Pietila and put a shot on Jared Coreau. The rebound came right back to Johnstone who buried it for his fifth goal of the season.
On another power play less than two minutes later, Johnstone sniped a shot from the left circle past Coreau to knot the game at two.
NMU regained its lead later in the frame on a 5-on-3. Blake Pietila was called for boarding, and during the delayed call Jordan Baker was whistled for elbowing. Just 20 seconds into the two-man advantage, Florek scored from the near slot.
The Wildcats regained their two-goal margin just 41 seconds into the final period as Matt Thurber scored. Another NMU goal was waved off later in the period because of a man in the crease. The visitors added an empty net goal with :55 left.
"NMU put us behind the eight ball," said head coach Mel Pearson. "The took advantage of their chances in the first period.
"I thought we had all the momentum after Johnstone's goals, but giving up the 5-on-3 and the first shift of the third period were turning points."
Tech, which held a 30-24 advantage in shots on goal, hit pipes on four other shots. The Black and Gold finished 2-for-7 on the power play while NMU was 1-for-8.
Coreau, who made 28 saves, improved to 7-3-2 on the year. Genoe absorbed the loss after playing 54 minutes and registering 17 saves on 19 shots faced.
Michigan Tech will play its first WCHA road series since Dec. 9-10 when it travels to No. 1 Minnesota Duluth next weekend. Games are Friday and Saturday (Jan. 27-28) at 8:07 p.m. ET both nights.