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Friday, October 09, 2009

Huskies top rival NMU at Showcase

By Andy Bourdeau/Michigan Tech Beat Writer

Michigan Tech opened the season at home against rival Northern Michigan with a 5-3 win tonight at the Superior Showcase.

MTU beat the Wildcats for the first time in the showcase since it was started two years ago.

Northern started the scoring in the seventh minute of the first, when Eric Gustafsson shot one past netminder Josh Robinson. Tech responded quickly when sophomore Brett Olson tipped in a rebound. Northern took two penalties giving Tech a 5-on-3, but then the Huskies were whistled for one, giving themselves a 4-on-3 power play. Brian Stewart stood strong in net for the first half of the power play, but then it was junior Jordan Baker getting his first goal of the season and MTU's first power play goal of the year.

MTU struck one time more when Olson blasted a slap shot over the right shoulder of Stewart for his second of the game. MTU let their guard down with one minute remaining in the first and the Wildcats were able to capitilize on the power play with Gregor Hanson getting the goal.

The second period saw each team with a couple of power play chances, but both goalies stood strong. It was in the third when scoring continued, when MTU took a 4-2 lead on Olson's third of the game. Senior captain Malcolm Gwilliam put the home team up, 5-2, with the third power-play goal of the game for the Huskies. The goal also chased Stewart out of the net.

Northern pulled their goalie with four minutes to go. They were able to get a goal on a 6-on-4 power play when Brian Nugent buried a rebound. That was all that NMU could muster as the Huskies stayed strong and made it to the end with the lead.

Robinson ended with 15 stops, while Stewart made 29 on the night.

NMU head coach Walt Kyle was not pleased with the performance of all Wildcats, stating, "We had a lot of guys who we expect to score for us who didn’t compete very hard tonight."

It was just the opposite in the Huskies' locker room.

"We played a good game, and got good production from our special teams," MTU head coach Jamie Russell said. "I am proud of our kids, they competed hard and we started off on the right foot."

Both teams play the second half of the Superior Showcase on Sunday. NMU travels to Duluth to take on the Bulldogs, while the Lake Superior State Lakers travel to Houghton to play the Huskies.

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