TEMPE, Az. Logan Pietila scored the game-winning goal with 2:05 remaining to give Michigan Tech a 3-2 victory at No. 17 Arizona State Sunday. The Huskies improved to 13-9-1 overall and wrapped up nonconference play with a 5-3-1 record.
"It's fun coming down here. We enjoyed the heck out of this trip," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "We had a great following and were able to get a lot of alumni here.
"Our guys find their team unity in these third-period situations. We seem to come together. It's a great quality for this team to have coming back from third-period deficits."
The two teams were tied at one after 40:00 of play. Alex Smith gave Tech its lead back 11:50 into the third with a redirect of a shot by Eric Gotz. It was Smith's fourth of the season and he extended his point streak to seven games (three goals, five assists).
ASU (11-8-3) tied it back up at the 16:50 mark with a power-play goal by Willie Knierim.
It didn't take long for the Huskies to regain its lead when Tommy Parrottino stole the puck while entering the zone. He had a backhanded cross-ice pass to Trenton Bliss who could've shot but instead found Pietila wide open in front of the net for the tap in. Pietila now has four goals in the last three games and five on the season.
The Sun Devils pulled their goaltender with 90 seconds left but were then whistled for a penalty and the Huskies controlled play only allowing one shot through to Matt Jurusik.
"We stuck with the process again with a big third period for the third game in a row," assistant coach Chris Brooks said. "Bliss made a great play on the game-winning goal after some big saves by Jurusik."
Tech opened scoring 6:02 into the game with a power-play tally by Bliss from Seamus Donohue and Jurusik. Bliss notched his ninth goal of the season and now ranks sixth in the nation with six power-play tallies. It was Jurusik's second assist of the season on the breakout pass.
Brinson Pasichnuk scored the lone goal of the second period with a shot through traffic to tie the game up 6:27 after intermission.
Tech led in shots 24-23. The Huskies pounded 12 shots on goal in the first and added five in the second and seven in the third. Jurusik had 21 saves and won his 12th game of the season.
"We just continue to grow with this young group," added Brooks. "Experiences like this are only going to benefit us. That's why we play such a tough nonconference schedule."
Former hockey Huskies Tony Stiles, John Rockwell, Scott White, Brian Watts, Brian Butlin, Joey Sparks, Rick Williams, Jamie Ram, Rick Yeo, Steve Yoshino, Al Patterson, Scott Watson, Grey Hay, and Darcy Way were all in attendance at the games. Peter Roberts, Bob Lorimer, Steve Coates, and Jim Husted also participated in alumni events while the Huskies were in town.
Tech returns home next weekend (Jan. 10-11) to host No. 11 Bowling Green. The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. Friday and 6:07 p.m. Saturday at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.