Tech rally falls short at St. Cloud

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Michigan Tech scored three goals in a five-minute span in the third period to pull within one, but it was No. 7-ranked St. Cloud State gaining a 5-3 victory in WCHA play at the National Hockey Center tonight. Trailing 4-0 midway through the third period, Tech scored three consecutive goals. SCSU tallied its fifth goal at the 15:34 mark and held on for the victory.

“Our third period was really good, but there are no moral victories this time of year,” said Tech coach Mel Pearson. “Our defense has to be better. We have to play the whole game like we played the third period, and you can’t give up five goals, especially on the road.”

Ryan Furne nearly put his team on the board one minute into the contest as his shot beat Ryan Faragher and bounced straight back out. The puck hit the cross bar and side post but never entered the goal. The breaks seemed to go like that all night for the Black and Gold.

SCSU took a 1-0 lead with a power play goal after a shot from the point deflected off a Tech defenseman in front of Pheonix Copley.

The score remained 1-0 until the early in the second period when Ben Hanowski blasted a shot from the slot. The margin grew to 4-0 in the frame as the hosts tallied two more late goals.

Tech seemed as though it would have no luck with offense as its generated more chances in the third without results. The visiting Huskies finally broke through at 9:50 when Jujhar Khaira created a turnover in the offensive zone and put a shot on Faragher. Milos Gordic flipped home the rebound for his fifth goal of the season.

Less than two minutes later, it was Aaron Pietila cleaning up another rebound-this one off C.J. Eick’s initial shot.

SCSU was called for its first penalty of the game at the 14:13 mark, and just 14 seconds into the power play, David Johnstone zipped a shot through traffic to pull Tech within 4-3.

Tech’s pressure continued, but a bad bounce led to a St. Cloud insurance goal. Jonny Brodzinski took a shot from a wide angle, it hit and broke a defenseman’s stick and caromed across the crease to Kalle Kossila who put in his second of the game at 15:34.

Coach Pearson ordered the extra attacker on the ice with 3:34 to play, but the two-goal differential remained.

Michigan Tech (10-17-4, 6-15-4 WCHA) held a 22-8 advantage in shots on goal in the third period and a 45-37 margin for the game.

Faragher tallied 42 saves to earn the win. Copley posted 32 saves for Tech.

The teams will close out their two-game series tomorrow night at 8:07 p.m. (ET).