Hockey falls in championship game

By Zane Miller and By Zane Miller

The Falcons hockey team fell to the Michigan Tech Huskies in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Championship game 3-2 on Saturday night in double overtime. The loss ended the Falcons’ seven game winning streak, going back to Feb. 11.

“I thought we played hard,” Falcons Head Coach Chris Bergeron said. “I really thought that, from a scoreboard perspective, it didn’t go the way we wanted. I didn’t think we played too bad, we just sort of fell on the wrong side of too many plays.”

Saturday’s game went scoreless through the first period until Michigan Tech got on the board in the second period with a goal at the 4:53 mark. Michigan Tech then doubled their advantage at 12:25 to make it a 2-0 lead, which they held until the end of the period. In the third period, the Falcons cut the lead in half with sophomore forward Joe McKeown scoring at 6:36. Just 24 seconds later, the team tied it up as senior forward Matt Pohlkamp got the equalizer. The teams remained tied through the end of the third period, resulting in the game going into overtime.

In the first overtime period, both teams went scoreless despite scoring opportunities coming from both sides. The second overtime moved into four on four a side action, where Michigan Tech scored the game winning goal at the 6:35 mark to take the WCHA championship.

“Michigan Tech defended hard, which is what they always do,” Bergeron said. “I thought we got off to a decent start, which is what we envisioned as far as not getting behind at the start, because we knew we were going to have a good hard push right away… We couldn’t get a whole lot generated, but I think that’s as much because of what they were doing defensively as it was what we were doing, or not doing, from an offensive perspective.”

The team felt they were able to make the comeback in the third because of their determination.

“We stuck with it,” Bergeron said. “Obviously the second period didn’t go the way we wanted… (in the third) the guys made the decision that it wasn’t going to end this way and they were just going to keep playing and that’s what they did.”

The team also felt the senior leadership on the team was the biggest part of the playoff run and winning streak.

“I’m proud of our seniors and our leadership for basically turning our team around from a consistency basis,” Bergeron said. “We were much more consistent the second half of the year, in particular the last six or seven weeks.”

The team’s 2017-2018 season will likely begin around October.