Huskies shutout Bulldogs Friday downstate

Huskies shutout Bulldogs Friday downstate

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BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – No. 14 Michigan Tech shutout Ferris State 1-0 Friday at Ewigleben Ice Arena. Hobey Baker and Mike Richter Award candidate Blake Pietila extended his nation-leading shutout mark to six and his school record career shutout mark to 16 while winning his 50th career game.

“I liked our game from the goaltender on out,” Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. “This isn’t an easy place to win in. Everybody played well and we transitioned the puck well and played fast. We didn’t score on the power play but we got quality chances. Their goaltender was outstanding.”

Kyle Kukkonen scored the game-winning goal with 12.8 seconds left in the first period. Jake Crespi had a centering pass that Kukkonen corralled and shot backhanded for his ninth goal of the season. Logan Pietila also assisted.

Blake Pietila stopped five shots in the first, nine in the second, and seven in the third. He had a huge blocker save on a partial breakaway in the first to keep it scoreless.

Both teams went scoreless on the power play. Tech had six tries and Ferris had five. Tristan Ashbrook had one-timers in the slot in each of the second two periods that were saved on the man advantage. Nick Nardella racked up five shots on goal with a number of quality chances on the power play, including one that hit the crossbar.

FSU (10-11-2, 7-7-1 CCHA) hit the crossbar early in the third. The home team added the extra attacker late in the game but couldn’t control play. Ryland Mosley had a chance at the empty net but his shot went high as a defender dove in front.

Pietila’s shutouts this season have been against Alaska, St. Lawrence (2), Lake Superior State, St. Thomas, and Ferris State. It was his second straight Friday with a shutout. Blake’s 50 wins rank third in program history behind Bruce Horsch (58) and Jamie Phillips (57).

The Huskies improved to 16-7-3 overall and 9-5-3 in the CCHA.

The two teams will meet for the third time this season and wrap up their only CCHA series at 6:07 p.m. Saturday.

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