Michigan Tech starts quickly, defeats NMU Hockey to keep home ice chances alive
Michigan Tech won its fourth straight game with an 8-4 victory at Northern Michigan Friday (Feb. 28). Trenton Bliss had a hat trick as the Huskies scored their most goals ever in the Berry Events Center and tied for the most goals in a single game in the all-time series.
Tech also won its third game this season over Northern and improved to 19-14-3 overall and 14-11-2-0 in the WCHA.
"I liked the offensive creativity we had tonight," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "Our big players really stepped up. Going into the game, I thought that we could have success here on the big sheet and we did. I'm very proud of the effort."
The Huskies led 4-3 entering the third and blew things wide open. Logan Ganie scored the eventual game-winner 4:47 after the second intermission with his second of the season from Parker Saretsky and Seamus Donohue.
Bliss picked up his second goal of the night when he tipped in a shot by Brenden Datema 36 seconds later. Tommy Parrottino added the second assist as the Huskies went up 6-3.
Alec Broetzman finished off a shorthanded 2-on-1 break from Alex Smith at 11:17 to make it a four-goal game. It was Broetzman's team-leading 16th of the season.
Vincent de Mey scored on the power play for the Wildcats before Bliss finished off the hat trick with a spinning shot as the goaltender whiffed on the poke check with 3:09 left in the game. Parrottino and Colin Swoyer assisted on the 12th goal of the season for Bliss.
"The biggest thing tonight is that guys worked through some struggles early in the game and got better as it went on," Shawhan said. "Trenton's been great all year for us and pucks went in for him tonight."
The Huskies jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period. Greyson Reitmeier scored his fourth career goal in Marquette, and second of the season, 10:52 into the game with assists going to Jake Crespi and Raymond Brice.
Broetzman scored his first of the game on the power play at 14:23 of the first from Brian Halonen and Eric Gotz to make it 2-0.
Smith found the back of the net 2:05 later from Halonen and Broetzman for his sixth of the season.
NMU (17-14-4, 15-11-1-1 WCHA) cut into the lead with a pair of 5-on-3 power-play goals by Philip Beaulieu and Darien Craighead before the first period ended.
Bliss scored his first of the night 3:41 into the second with a power-play goal from Keegan Ford and Parrottino.
Griffin Loughran made it a 4-3 game with 7:00 left in the second.
"I enjoy this group," added Shawhan. "I like what the seniors have done and what the leaders have done. We continue to get better and grow as a team, and you can't ask for more than that."
NMU was credited with 38 shots on the night. Matt Jurusik had nine saves in the first period—including a huge stop on a 2-on-1 2:00 into the game—10 in the second, and 15 in the third. He improved to 17-9-3 on the season. Nolan Kent had 22 saves for NMU on 30 shots.
Tech was whistled for six penalties and NMU had five. Each team scored three power-play goals.
Bliss joins Alec Broetzman (Robert Morris – Oct. 6), Tommy Parrottino (Bowling Green – Oct. 26), and Logan Pietila (GLI vs. Michigan – Dec. 31) who have also recorded hat tricks this season. The last time Tech had four hat tricks in a season was 1991-92 and the last time the Huskies had four hat tricks from four different players was 1983-84.
Broetzman's shorthanded goal was his second of the year after scoring the game-winner in overtime at RMU on Oct. 5. The Huskies now have four shortys this season.
The two teams will wrap up the regular season on Saturday (Feb. 29) at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
"We gave ourselves a chance for home playoffs tonight," said Shawhan. "They're going to be a hungry team tomorrow night. I expect they'll bounce back and give us their best."
The puck drops at 6:07 p.m. Seniors Raymond Brice, Keegan Ford, Matt Jurusik, Todd Kiilunen, and Alex Smith will be honored after the game.