IceBreaker: Michigan Tech Takes the Trophy
Munson, Power Play Drop Minnesota Duluth
CHN Staff Report
Michigan Tech picked up the first trophy of the young 2017-18 season, defeating host Minnesota Duluth, 4-3, to win the 2017 IceBreaker at Amsoil Arena.
"It was a privilege just to be here," Michigan Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "To have some success in it, for our guys, is immeasurable early in the year. ... We're honored that we represented the university well."
The Huskies used a typical underdog's formula of dominant goaltending and timely scoring to get the win. A little luck didn't hurt. Neither did some undisciplined play for UMD.
Packy Munson stopped 33 of the 36 shots he faced to help the Huskies put the game away.
"It's huge to have somebody back there giving you a chance to win every game," Shawhan said. "Late addition, very late addition, ... he's the guy right now doing it for us."
UMD controlled play from the opening faceoff. Sophomore Riley Tufte scored just 39 seconds into the game. Nick Wolff doubled the lead at 8:32. The Bulldogs continued to control the game offensively. However, penalties would be their undoing.
Michigan Tech would score two power-play goals in a 1:02 span to tie the game in the first period. Mark Auk and Raymond Brice were the goal-scorers.
"We got a break, no question, with the 5-on-3," Shawhan said. "We got a break getting that with a bit of time on the clock. We were fortunate to pot both ends of it and tie the hockey game. That was the turning point."
With the game tied three in the second period, Justin Misiak scored at 10:14. The goal would prove to be the game-winner.
UMD was forced to kill nine minutes of penalties in the final 20 minutes as it tried to tie the game. Freshman defenseman Dylan Samberg was the biggest offender. After serving a 2-minute minor for slashing, he immediately received a 5-minute major and game misconduct for a hit to the head of a Michigan Tech player as he left the penalty box. The major penalty proved to be the end of UMD's comeback effort.
Minnesota 2, Union 0
Union and Minnesota had decidedly more to play for the last time they met. It was April 12, 2014, and a national championship was the prize for the victor. Union got the victory that day.
Saturday afternoon in Duluth, Minn., both teams were just looking for their first win. Minnesota got it.
The Gophers won the consolation game of the IceBreaker, getting past Union, 2-0. The Dutchmen fall to 0-3-0 on the season. The Gophers improve to 1-1-0.
Minnesota carried play for most of the game, outshooting Union, 18-9, in the first period. The goals, however, would wait until the second period.
Casey Mittelstadt and Rem Pitlick scored in the middle frame to stake the Gophers to their lead. Eric Schierhorn locked it down from there. The junior made 26 saves for the shutout.
The Gophers get right into Big Ten play next weekend, hosting Penn State for two. Union hosts a pair of Hockey East teams for their first home games of the season — Massachusetts and Vermont travel to Achilles Center.