By Andy Bourdeau, MTU Beat Writer
Courtesy of TechHockeyGuide.com
The Michigan Tech Huskies started off the season with an exhibition game against Canadian university Lakehead Saturday night and came away with a 5-3 victory.
Jacob Johnstone led the way, getting the first hat trick of the year for the Huskies.
“There are some things we need to work on, but overall, the team played well tonight,” MTU head coach Mel Pearson stated. “It is good for the team to play late in the third with the lead, so they can learn to hold it.”
Tech took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission when Johnstone took a pass from Ryan Furne and buried his chance on the Lakehead netminder. Ryan Sweeney was credited with an assist as well.The Huskies continued to pressure, but could not find the net again in the first.
In the second, Lakehead scored two in a row, both on the power play. Blake Pietala tied it back up at 2 when he found the rebound off of a Jordan Baker shot and buried it. Brett Olson also received an assist on the goal, but 30 seconds later, Lakehead took the lead again, 3-2.
The Huskies battled back and tied the game at 3 when Patrick McCadden netted his first of the season. Assists went to Alex MacCleod and Carl Nielson. Then it was Johnstone getting his second, from Tanner Kero and Nielson. Tech also put one in the net at the end of the second, but time expired just before the puck crossed the goal line.
In the third, both teams came out and looked a bit sluggish. With the goalie pulled, David Johnstone had a great chance to get his first goal, but ended up missing an empty-netter. A minute later his older brother did not miss the empty net and completed his first hat trick as a Husky.
“I really like how we battled back, especially in the second when we were down a goal”, Pearson added.
When talking about the young players, Pearson said, “I like Sweeney and his ability to carry the puck. (Blake) Pietala is big and you can tell he has already played college games and Kero really showed his speed tonight.”
Josh Robinson started in net and played the entire game, making 21 saves on 24 shots.
Pearson explained, “I really liked how Robo bounced back after letting in a few goals. We thought it was important to let him have that oppurtunity.”
MiCHO Analysis: The Huskies got off to the start they had hoped, getting a win, letting the offensive open up and getting many people to the game - 2520 to be exact. The student section was completely full. In fact, the arena had more people at this game than MiCHO saw in the last year and a half. The student section was loud and rocking and the Huskies came out and showed speed and skill. Although the team has some items to work on, this is a team that will surprise some teams.