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Friday, January 21, 2005

Tech with Another Upset, 6-3 over #4 Minnesota

Michigan Tech had a harder time getting to the arena in the snow storm than scoring on Minnesota netminder, Kellen Briggs. It took Tech over an hour to travel from their hotel to the arena, so the game was delayed for 4 minutes. That delay seemed to help the gophers early as MTU did not have their feet underneath them and were beat to nearly all loose pucks in the first 15 minutes of the game. The outcome was not the same as the first 15 minutes, as the "Run DMC" line (Tech's first line consisting of Taggart Desmet, Colin Murphy, and Chris Conner)ended the night with a total of 8 points, enough to help the Huskies to a 6-3 victory over the nationally ranked Gophers.

It was Lars Helminen that got it going with 5 minutes to go in the first, when he took a nice pass from Chris Conner and buried it past Kellen Briggs. Also assisting on the play was captain Colin Murphy, his 27th of the year. Cam Ellsworth was perfect in the first period, keeping Tech in the game early.

Tech came out hitting on all cylinders, lead by the "Run DMC" line. They had good opportunities early and often in the second, but did not capitalize until a defensive give away by the gophers. They gave it away to the wrong guy, and Colin Murphy found Taggart Desmet out front for the goal. MTU took a 3-0 lead when the teams were playing 4 on 4. Chris Conner, Murphy and Lars Helminen came down on a 3 on 1, Conner skated it in, fed a nice pass to Murphy who scored his second chance. The Gophers made it a game scoring 30 seconds later, then again at the 16 minute mark, making the game 3-2 Huskies going into the third.

Tech knew Minny would come out strong in the third, but Cam Ellsworth was up for the task. MTU’s Jimmy Kerr was the first to find paydirt in the third, taking a pass from Mike Batovanja. Brandon Schwartz also got an assist on the goal. The Gophers were not out of it, they scored and made it a one goal game with 6 minutes to go. The game-ender came just minutes later when Colin Murphy made a nice pass off of the boards to Chris Conner who came in on Kellen Briggs, with a defender riding on his back. His first shot was stopped, but the rebound bounced off Conner or the D man, and went in. Either way, Conner got credit for the goal and Murphy got his third assist on the night and 29th of the year.

Minnesota pulled its goalie with 2 minutes left with no success. MTU took a penalty with a minute remaining giving the Gophers a 6 on 4 opportunity. Ryan Markham blocked a shot from the point with 15 seconds remaining, controlled the rebound and shot the puck three quarters of the ice into the empty net to end all scoring on the night.

Tech received their 3rd win in the last four games and their second win in a row. It is also the second win over a top ranked team in the last two weekend series. Tech’s six goals tonight were scored by six different players. The Huskies now have a chance to get the sweep tomorrow night.

The 3 Stars on the night were 3rd - Cam Ellsworth, 2nd - Chris Conner, and 1st - Colin Murphy

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