HOUGHTON, Mich. - Jamie Phillips made 22 saves including 12 in the third period as Michigan Tech defeated Lake Superior State 2-1 tonight to split a weekend series at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Senior Ryan Furne scored for a 2-0 lead with 9:27 left, but it took several key saves from Phillips to earn the 2-1 final score.
"It was a hard-fought game tonight," said head coach Mel Pearson, whose team improved to 2-2-0 in WCHA play with the win. "I thought we played hard and grinded out a gutsy win.
"We put Jamie in a tough spot not having played well and not seeing a lot of shots the first two periods. But when the game was on the line in the third, he played extremely well."
Even though it had a 36-10 advantage in shots on goal through 40 minutes, the Black and Gold held just a 1-0 lead on the scoreboard until midway through the third period.
Furne's eventual game winner came when he dug the puck off the half wall and walked out to the right faceoff dot before picking the upper corner for his second goal of the season. Mike Neville earned his fifth assist of the campaign on the play.
The two-goal margin didn't last long, however. LSSU's Andrew Dommett beat Phillips from the right circle two minutes later to pull the visitors within 2-1.
The Lakers applied pressure to get the tying goal including 57 seconds with an extra attacker but could not solve Phillips, who was making his first start since Oct. 20 at Notre Dame.
"It feels good to be back in net," he said. "The team battled hard in front of me and blocked a lot of shots. I owe the win to them for sure."
Tech scored the game's first goal for the fifth consecutive home game this season, but it didn't come until period two tonight. Alex Petan took a shot from in tight on goaltender Kevin Kapalka, then collected the rebound as he was skating to the corner. Petan turned a fired toward the front of the net, and it deflected off a defenseman's skate over Kapalka's shoulder for a 1-0 lead. Line mate Tanner Kero picked up an assist on the goal coming at the 1:40 mark.
The teams combined for 18 penalty minutes after Petan's goal, but neither scored on numerous power-play and odd-man situations.
Tech peppered Kapalka with a season-high 47 shots including 24 in the second period. Seven of those 24 came on three power-play chances in the period. The Huskies finished 0-for-3 on the man advantage while holding LSSU scoreless on six tries.
Michigan Tech, which is now 4-7-1 overall with a 4-1-0 record at home, will head to Alaska for back-to-back series in the 49th state the next two weekends. The first series is against Alaska Anchorage Friday and Saturday (Nov. 22-23) with faceoffs at 11:07 p.m. ET each night.