Michigan Tech crushes UAA hockey team

Doyle Woody

Whatever momentum UAA gained from Friday night's stunning come-from-behind victory at Michigan Tech lasted about as long as the average hockey shift.

Saturday night, the Huskies ran the Seawolves out of the MacInnes Student Ice Arena in Houghton.

Michigan Tech again pierced UAA for three first-period goals, but this time never permitted a sniff of a comeback in a 6-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association throttling of the visitors.

Once again, the Huskies chased the Seawolves' starting goaltender. Rob Gunderson, who came on in relief of Chris Kamal in the first period Friday to seize the win, lasted just one period Saturday before giving way to his fellow junior.

Once again, the Huskies turned the Seawolves' zone into a shooting gallery, firing 43 shots one night after unloading 44, the most UAA has surrendered in a game this season. Michigan Tech's 21 second-period shots were the most allowed by UAA in a period this season, surpassing the Huskies' 19-shot barrage in Friday's second period.

Once again, the Seawolves' penalty-killing unit was exposed as awful. Michigan Tech scored two power-play strikes for the second straight night. In UAA's last 10 games, opponents have converted 15 of 38 power-play chances, which is 39.5-percent efficiency, which is a ridiculous number in a span of that many games.

UAA's penalty killers snuff just 72.7 percent of opposing power plays, which ranks 58th of 59 Division I teams, eclipsed only by Sacred Heart's 69.6 percent ---- of course, Sacred Heart is a nation-worst 0-24-2.

The six goals last-place and flu-bitten UAA (4-17-7, 2-16-6 WCHA) allowed were the second-most it has surrendered this season, and the five-goal spread in the final score matched its second-most lopsided defeat. Both of those marks were surpassed only by Minnesota's 7-1 demolition of visiting UAA on Jan. 12.

Michigan Tech (9-14-4, 6-12-4 WCHA) received a power-play goal from defenseman Walker Hyland and an even-strength marker from Malcolm Gould 70 seconds apart before the first period was half over. Milos Gordic added a goal for the Huskies before period's end.

Gordic, who also had an assist and was named Most Valuable Player of the weekend Winter Carnival series, is something of a Seawolves killer. The junior owns 4-5--9 totals in eight career games against UAA. In 80 career games against other opponents, his totals are 24-14--38.

UAA leading goal scorer Scott Allen racked his 11th goal of the season midway through the second period, but Alex Petan and C.J. Eick cracked Kamal before period's end. Petan added a power-play goal in the third period.

Huskies goalie Pheonix Copley of North Pole stopped 21 of 22 shots before giving way to fellow freshman Jamie Phillips for the last nine-plus minutes.

UAA returns home to entertain Nebraska-Omaha this week in its last WCHA series of the season at Sullivan Arena.

Seawolves notes

Junior wing Jordan Kwas assisted on Allen's goal for his fourth point of the series. The helper also extended Kwas' point streak to six games -- he has generated 3-6--9 totals in that span.

Saturday marked the second straight game UAA gave up three goals in the first period, the most it has surrendered in an opening period this season.

Michigan Tech's 87 shots on goal were the most UAA has given up in a series this season, surpassing the 75 Minnesota State-Mankato launched in a sweep of the visiting Seawolves in December.

Senior center Tyler Currier was all over the score sheet Saturday -- in the place where penalties are listed. Currier took five minor penalties to give him six for the series. Good news: only two of Currier's penalties put the Huskies on the power play. Bad news: the Huskies scored both times.

Michigan Tech went 4 for 7 on the power play in the series (57.1 percent). Minnesota in four games against UAA this season converted 10 of 22 power-play chances (45.5 percent).

Find Doyle Woody's blog at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.

UAA 0 1 0 -- 1

Michigan Tech 3 2 1 -- 6

First Period -- 1, MTU, Hyland 1 (Kero, Gordic), 7:57 (pp); 2, MTU, Gould 3 (B. Pietila, Stebner), 9:01; 3, MTU, Gordic 4 (Furne, Rix), 18:06. Penalties -- Currier, UAA (interference), 6:01; Crowell, UAA (elbowing), 10:53.

Second Period -- 4, UAA, Allen 11 (Kwas), 8:56; 5, MTU, Petan 9 (D. Johnstone, Hyland), 17:14; 6, MTU, Eick 1 (Rix, A. Pietila), 18:10. Penalties -- B. Pietila, MTU (holding the stick), 5:20; Currier, UAA (cross-checking), 5:20; Eick, MTU, double-minor (slashing, roughing), 18:37; Currier, UAA, double-minor (cross-checking, roughing), 18:37.

Third Period -- 7, MTU, Petan 10 (Furne, D. Johnstone), 9:27 (pp). Penalties -- D. Johnstone, MTU (checking from behind), :41; Currier, UAA (charging), 9:06; Sova, MTU (roughing), 11:45; J. Johnstone, MTU (roughing), 11:45; Sproule, UAA, triple-minor, served by Pettitt (cross-checking, roughing, roughing), 11:45; Gellert, UAA (roughing), 11:45; A. Pietila, MTU (interference), 13:55; Furne, MTU (misconduct), 18:23; Gellert, UAA, served by Pettitt (cross-checking), 18:23.

Shots on goal -- UAA 5-12-8--25. MTU 13-21-9--43.

Power-play Opportunities -- UAA 0 of 2. MTU 2 of 5.

Goalies -- UAA, Gunderson, 2-8-4 (13 shots-10 saves); Kamal, entered 0:00 2nd period (30-27). MTU, Copley, 6-10-1 (22 shots-21 saves); Phillips, entered 10:44 3rd period (3-3).

A -- 3,576 (4,466). T -- 2:15.

Referees -- Derek Shepherd, Marco Hunt. Assistant referees -- Tony Czech, Dan Juopperi.