Late L'Esperance Goal Lifts Michigan Tech Past Alaska, 6-5
Sophomore forward Joel L'Esperance scores twice for Huskies

Sophomore forward Joel L'Esperance scored twice for the Huskies
Prd Time  Team Score Type Scored By Assists
1st 9:08  MTU1-0 SH Mike Neville (2)Mark Auk/9, Reid Sturos/9
1st 11:08  MTU2-0 EV Joel L'Esperance (11)C.J. Eick/15, Malcolm Gould/15
1st 13:07  MTU3-0 EV Max Vallis (6)Reid Sturos/10, Mike Neville/7
1st 16:28  MTU4-0 EV Matt Roy (6)Tyler Heinonen/8, Shane Hanna/13
2nd 8:35  AKF1-4 EV Josh Erickson (2)Nick Hinz/8, Josh Atkinson/8
2nd 11:18  AKF2-4 PP Zach Frye (3)Nick Hinz/9, Tayler Munson/5
2nd 15:22  AKF3-4 PP Justin Woods (2)Peter Krieger/15
2nd 17:42  MTU5-3 EV Max Vallis (7)Mike Neville/8, Matt Roy/10
3rd 8:47  AKF4-5 PP Justin Woods (3)Marcus Basara/8, Alec Hajdukovich/7
3rd 15:17  AKF5-5 EV Josh Erickson (3)Ryker Leer/4, Peter Krieger/16
3rd 19:22  MTU6-5 EV GW Joel L'Esperance (12)Dylan Steman/5, Mark Auk/10
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd Final
Alaska  0325
Michigan Tech  4116
Shots on Goal 1st 2nd 3rd SOG
Alaska  519630
Michigan Tech  14151645
Team Stats and Records  PP PIM SHGF
Alaska (8-19-4)  3/4 5/10 0
Michigan Tech (18-8-5)  0/3 6/12 1
Alaska Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Jesse Jenks20:004 100010
Davis Jones (L, 3-11-1)39:242 0141529
Empty Net0:360     
Michigan Tech Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Jamie Phillips (W, 18-7-5)59:575 516425
Empty Net0:030     

HOUGHTON, Mich. - Joel L'Esperance scored two goals - including the game-winner in the final minute of play - and the line of Max Vallis, Michael Neville and Reid Sturos combined for three goals and seven points to help No. 14 Michigan Tech outlast Alaska 6-5 in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association contest tonight (Feb. 26) at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

"It was a tale of a lot of different hockey games tonight," said head coach Mel Pearson. "We got away from our game a little bit after the first period and for the most part we didn't manage the game well in the second and third periods. We'll take the win and the two points are important but we have to be much better tomorrow."

L'Esperance's heroics came with just 36 seconds left in regulation. After Dylan Steman forced a turnover at the offensive blue line and took a long shot, L'Esperance flew to the net and converted on the rebound put the Huskies in front for good.

Four different Huskies scored in the first period to help Tech build a 4-0 lead after one. Neville made it 1-0 9:08 into the game when he picked up a loose puck, skated in a shorthanded breakaway and picked a corner. Then, just two minutes later, L'Esperance finished a beautiful tic-tac-toe play when he took a pass from CJ Eick and put a wrister just inside the near post.

Vallis scored the first of his two goals at 13:07 by going hard to the net and knocking a perfect backdoor pass from Sturos home, and Matt Roy closed the impressive first-period outburst with a rocket from the point that found the back of the net through traffic.

Alaska answered for three goals by the 15:22 mark of the second, but Vallis buried again to make it 5-3 through 40 minutes. A quick pass up the rink by Roy allowed Neville to enter the zone with speed before dishing it to Vallis at the top of the left circle. Vallis walked in and sent a shot just under the crossbar for his seventh goal of the season.

The Nanooks connected for a pair of goals in the third period to pull even at 5-5, setting the stage for L'Esperance to notch the game-winner.

Vallis' two tallies marked his second two-goal night of February, while Neville set a career-best with three points (1-2) and Sturos notched a pair of helpers.

Roy (1-1) and Mark Auk (0-2) also had multi-point games, while Malcolm Gould, Shane Hanna and Tyler Heinonen all had single assists.

Goaltender Jamie Phillips earned his 18th win of the season by stopping 25 shots between the pipes for the Huskies.

Michigan Tech (18-8-5 overall; 15-7-3 WCHA) and Alaska close the two-game WCHA series tomorrow (Feb. 27) at 7:07 p.m. Tickets still remain and can be purchased at the SDC Ticket Office, online at and over the phone at 906-487-2073.

NOTES: Tech outshot Alaska 45-30 ... The Huskies were 0-3 on the power play. The Nanooks scored three times in four power-play chances.