The Michigan Tech Huskies were excited to host their Upper Peninsula rivals, the Northern Michigan Wildcats on Tuesday night. The Huskies were very bad hosts, notching four goals in each of the first two periods en route to an 8-2 victory. [ytplaylist id="PLcmRWKZazXpyq5VMkGDCijvDa5MzD6ZDq"]
“It’s definitely fun,” said Huskies’ center Tanner Kero. “Growing up always watching the Northern and Tech rivalry, seeing how good it feels to beat them, it’s kind of fun…we had to get a few wins and getting the offense going is huge.”
The Huskies (10-14-4 overall) were playing without their hottest scorer, David Johnstone.
“It’s huge not having David Johnstone,” said Huskies’ head coach Mel Pearson. “He’s one of our leading scorers, probably our best forward or has been over the course of the last two games. Our other guys stepped up, and that’s what you need to do.”
Just 46 seconds into the game Huskies’ defenseman Riley Sweeney ripped a shot that hit Kero in front of the Wildcats’ goal. Kero grabbed the puck, spun to his forehand, and wristed a shot over Jared Coreau’s left shoulder to give the Huskies the quick lead. Not quite five minutes later Blake Pietila fed the puck across the top of the crease to a streaking Jacob Johnstone, who scored his first goal of the season at 5:28 to give the Huskies a two-goal lead.
Wildcats’ defenseman Jake Baker was going to going to be whistled for a holding penalty when the Huskies struck a third time. Blake Pietila crashed the net and had the puck bounce off of Coreau and off his skate before going in at 7:34. On the ensuing power play, the Huskies struck again when leading-scorer Alex Petan who snatched up the rebound off a shot from Steven Seigo, beat Coreau at 8:24.
The Huskies scored 8:54 into the second period. Freshman Walker Hyland took a pass at the point from Blake Pietila and wristed a shot past Michael Doan, who had replaced Coreau, on the power play. Another Huskies’ freshman extended the lead to five when Jujhar Khaira intercepted a clearing pass in the high slot. Khaira took his time, looked for an opening, and beat Doan cleanly with a wrist shot at 13:12.
Kero’s second of the game came on the power play. Hyland ripped a shot from the point that rebounded to Kero as he crashed the net. Kero lifted a backhand shot over Doan’s leg at 14:24. Furne picked up the Huskies’ eighth goal of the night at 15:09. Furne crashed the net and took a pass from Johnstone before burying the one-timer behind Doan.
Huskies’ goaltenders Pheonix Copley and Jamie Phillips combined for 24 saves on the night.
- Eight feels great: Tech hockey destroys NMU 8-2 in rivalry rout – Daily Mining Gazette
- Northern Michigan hockey team matches worst loss ever to Michigan Tech – The Mining Journal
- Hockey Huskies Romp 8-2 over NMU in Final Non-Conference Game – Michigan Tech Athletics
- Wildcats Fall at Michigan Tech on Tuesday - Northern Michigan Athletics
Center Tanner Kero earned Tuesday’s stick salute with his two-goal, two-assist effort against the Wildcats. Counting his two assists over the weekend, Kero has six points in the last three games. It’s a perfect time for the sophomore to catch fire. With two consecutive tough road trips coming up, Kero will be counted upon to continue his hot hand.