HOUGHTON, Mich. - Michigan Tech earned its first sweep of Wisconsin since 2007 with a 3-2 overtime victory tonight at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Senior captain Brett Olson tallied the game winner just 20 seconds into the extra session to give Tech its fourth straight win to start the season-the first time the program has started 4-0 since its national championship season of 1974-75.
Olson skated out from behind the net and beat Badger goalie Joel Rumpel through the five hole with a short wrist shot.
"This is special for me," said Olson, a Superior, Wis., native. "I got together with my linemates before the overtime and told them we had to get something done. Rumpel swung his stick at me as I came by and I was able to get it through him."
The teams skated through a very even 60 minutes. Tech had two one-goal leads only to see the Badgers tie it up both times.
The Huskies (4-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) seemed to be on their way to a victory after it killed a five-minute major penalty by Alex MacLeod midway through the third. Tech had four short-handed shots while being down a man. UW had just one shot on goal during the span.
The Badgers seemingly tied the game at the 15:49 mark on Justin Schultz's blast from the left point. The goal was waved off following a review that found a Wisconsin skater made contact with Josh Robinson in the crease.
Less than two minutes later, the UW's Mark Zengerle came down on a rush and passed the puck across to Tyler Barnes who put it home. That goal held up to tie the score at 2-2.
Tech had a decent scoring chance in the final minute of regulation that was saved by Rumpel, and the teams went to overtime.
The Huskies won the draw to start overtime, sent the puck deep and got the goal from Olson, his second of the season.
"This was a great college hockey game," said head coach Mel Pearson. "We got the last bounce in a really tight game."
"The guys are playing hard and learning how to win. I'm very proud and happy for the players."
Freshman Tanner Kero opened scoring for the second straight night with another tip-in. This time, it was a Daniel Sova pass from the point on the Huskies' first power play that Kero chipped past Rumpel at the 9:02 mark of the first.
Tech appeared to go up 2-0 midway through the second frame as Blake Pietila drove the puck hard to the net and a UW defenseman tipped it in. The goal was reviewed, then nullified as the officials said Pietila had interfered with Rumpel.
Later in the period, Wisconsin (1-3-0, 0-2-0 WCHA) tied the game on a goal from Keegan Meuer. The center slapped a shot that bounced off the left goal post right back to him. He buried a backhand shot over Robinson from the near slot.
The Huskies regained the advantage early in the third period on Jacob Johnstone's third goal of the season-a power play tally. Johnstone redirected a hard pass from Blake Pietila into the top left corner of the goal.
Tech killed off the major penalty before UW tied it and sent the game to overtime.
For the second straight night, Robinson was strong in net. The senior stopped 21-of-23 shots to finish at 44-of-47 (.936) for the weekend.
Rumpel stopped 25-of-28 Huskies shots on goal.
Tech excelled on special teams, going 2-for-3 on the power play and holding UW scoreless on five chances.
Michigan Tech's string of five straight games (including the Oct. 1 exhibition game) at home has ended. The Huskies will play on the road for the first time next weekend with a Friday-Saturday (Oct. 21-22) series at Bemidji State.
Notes: The Huskies' last four-game winning streak came Oct. 14-26, 2007-a four game home stretch that encompassed a win over Lake Superior State, two vs. Minnesota State and another vs. North Dakota ... The last time Tech swept two straight series was in 2006, when they won two at Vermont (Oct. 20-21) and two more at home vs. Alaska Anchorage (Oct. 27-28) ... Tech has already matched its win total from 2010-11.