MTU Hockey seeking split with Sun Devils

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TEMPE, Az. Michigan Tech scored three goals in the final 16:00 of the game but couldn't find the equalizer before the final horn in a 4-3 loss at No. 17 Arizona State Saturday (Jan. 4). Justin Misiak had a goal and an assist, and Alex Smith had two assists as the Huskies fell to 12-9-1 overall.

"I give a lot of credit to our players for the way we came out in the third," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "We're a good third-period team. We transitioned well and were much harder on the puck. We played with good pace."

Tech was down 3-0 entering the final period. Brian Halonen got the Black and Gold on the scoreboard 4:57 after the second intermission. He found some open space in front of the crease and slipped the puck around the goaltender for his eighth of the season with assists going to Smith and Misiak.

ASU (11-7-3) quickly extended its lead back to three when Filips Buncis scored 16 seconds later.

Alex Smith almost scored on a rebound but the Sun Devils were whistled on a penalty after a scrum as the play ended. Alec Broetzman capitalized on the power play with his 10th of the season to make it a two-goal game at 4-2. Parker Saretsky got the assist as Broetzman fired in his fifth power-play goal while getting tripped.

Misiak then buried his second of the year as he gathered a pass from Tyler Rockwell and fired it into the net with 2:46 remaining. Smith added the secondary assist.

Goaltender Blake Pietila, who came in relief for the final 13:46, was pulled for the extra attacker with a minute to go. Colin Swoyer took three shots in the final moments but only one got through to the net with ASU defensemen blocking the others.

ASU outshot Tech 23-22 in the game. Tech had four shots in the first, five in the second, and 13 in the third. Matt Jurusik started between the pipes for the Huskies and had 16 saves in 45:13 of action. Pietila had three saves in his third appearance.

The Sun Devils jumped out to a 3-0 lead with two goals in the first and one in the second. Willie Knierim opened scoring 4:42 into the game. PJ Marrocco added to the lead with 4:42 remaining in the first, and Jordan Sandhu found the back of the net 81 seconds into the second.

Tech was 1-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.

The two teams will wrap up the nonconference series with a Sunday (Jan. 5) matinee at Oceanside Ice Arena. The puck drops at 3:05 p.m. Mountain/5:05 p.m. Eastern.