Michigan Tech (8-19-2) wins the Winter Carnival tournament for the first time since 2001 with a 1-1 tie Friday and a 4-2 win Saturday. The Huskies also get a much needed 3 points in the WCHA against Minnesota State - Mankato. Tech fans showed up in full force, loading the MacInnes Ice Arena with over 3400 fans both nights. MTU is now 7-3-1 in the last 11 and have not lost in the last 4 games.
Two of the seniors stepped up for there last carnival, Colin Murphy had a goal Friday night and a goal and an assist Saturday and Cam Ellsworth stopped 63 of the 66 shots he faced. But It was Freshman Jimmy Kerr that shined in the second game, tallying 2 goals and an assist for the Huskies, including a shorty.
Friday saw two goalies at there best, both making great save after great save. It was MSU-M that took the first lead, it came in the third period, in the first 2 minutes. It appeared to be a tie when Chris Conner came down and put a shot on net, the rebound came loose and look as if it when in and under a lifted goal. It was not counted.
Tech pulled the goalie with just over a minute to go. Taggart Desmet won the draw in the MSU-M zone to Murphy who waited for traffic in front of the net, then let a wrist shot go, and it found the back of the net. Regulation ended in a 1-1 tie.
In OT, both teams had chances, the best chance coming from the Mavericks, when a one-timer got past Ellsworth and appeared to go in and come out just as fast, no light went on and the goal was not allowed. The period had one recorded shot, and ended in the 1-1 tie.
Saturday night was a different story as both teams came out fast and firing. MSU-M took an early lead, at the 1:00 minute mark. It was Kerr that tied the game up when he took a pass from Brandon Schwartz and buried the one-timer. The period ended in a deadlock, 1-1.
The second started almost identical to the first, MSU-M scored early, this time it was at the 1:20 mark. Tech looked again as if it was tied, when Conner had a shorthanded breakaway. Conner put the shot on and the rebound went in, the light went on, but the referee came in and waved it off, saying that the net was off before the puck went in. Kerr made sure there was no question on his shorthanded goal, his second of the night, when he tapped in a rebound on a Murphy shot. Murphy received the only assist on the goal. Kerr was involved in the game winning goal as well, when he put a pass to Schwartz who was waiting on the back door and just needed to tap it in.
In the third, Murphy put it away for the Huskies when he put in his 11th goal of the season, on a beautiful goal. Tyler Shelast did the hard work, getting the puck off of the wall and finding Murphy all alone, who waited for Chris Clark to go down then lifted it over him to the top corner.
Murphy was named the tournament MVP and now has a nation’s leading 36. He also extended his scoring streak to 9 games on the weekend and solidified the claims of being a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award.
Next weekend Tech will take on Upper Peninsula rival Northern Michigan with a home and home series on Thursday and Saturday night.