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April 18, 2024

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Falcons split series against Michigan Tech

The Falcon hockey team split their series against the Michigan Tech Huskies, falling 4-0 on Saturday night but winning 7-2 on Friday night.

“We’ve done lots of good things,” Falcons head coach Chris Bergeron said. “We’ve won five in a row and we’ve had a good second half here, so we’re not going to let one game throw us sideways, and that comes down to our older guys managing the highs and lows, guys that have been through it before.”

In the first period of Saturday’s game, Michigan Tech took the first lead of the game as forward Gavin Gould scored at the 12:49 mark, and the teams went into the locker room with Michigan Tech holding the early 1-0 lead. The Falcons were able to outshoot Michigan Tech 10-7 in the first period, but the team believes they could have done better with the opportunities.

“I thought we were skating, I thought we were competing,” Bergeron said. “It seemed like we were better with the puck tonight than we were last night as far as execution goes, unfortunately it didn’t amount to much, there was a little territorial advantage, but that was about it.”

The second period was all Michigan Tech, as forward Jake Lucchini scored at 9:06 to double the Michigan Tech advantage, followed by a power play tally courtesy of defenseman Mark Auk to make it a 3-0 advantage, which they held going into the third period. The Falcons allowed three power play opportunities in the second period, one of which was a five minute major which Michigan Tech capitalized on. The team believes that giving up the power play opportunities hindered their chances to gain momentum offensively.

“The second period, we had to kill off a lot of penalties,” senior forward Tyler Spezia said. “Any time you’re killing penalties, you’re giving up five on five and gaining momentum that way, you can only hope to build a little bit of momentum from the penalty kill.”

The third period saw the Falcons get a few scoring opportunities late as Michigan Tech gave up four power play chances late in the going, but the Falcons were unable to capitalize. Michigan Tech added another goal from Lucchini at 14:30, which the Falcons were unable to come back from as Michigan Tech grabbed the 4-0 victory, the first time the team has been shut out so far this season.

“There was not enough offense generated,” Bergeron said. “We must have used all of our bounces last night… we just didn’t do enough good things to earn bounces around the other team’s net, and we don’t get shut out often, but Michigan Tech defended extremely well, and when we did get through, the goalie was there.”

On Friday, the first period went scoreless, but the second period was all Falcons as senior forward Mitch McLain led off the scoring with a goal at the 2:28 mark. The scoring didn’t stop there as just over two minutes later, sophomore forward Jacob Dalton scored his first goal of the season at 4:57 on the power play to make it a 2-0 game. Two minutes after that goal, however, the team continued to add to the lead with a goal from sophomore forward Frederic Letourneau, which forced Michigan Tech to pull goaltender Patrick Munson in favor of Robbie Beydoun. The Falcons followed up the previous goal with freshman forward Max Johnson scoring just 24 seconds later at 7:22 to give the team a 4-0 lead, which they went on to hold into the start of the third period.

“Pucks went in their net for sure,” Bergeron said. “In the first we just didn’t have enough shots and we turned over too many pucks and that was the main difference (in the second). In the first period, we turned over too many pucks either in the D-zone or through the neutral zone so we couldn’t get to the offensive zone at all, which gave us no chance. In the second period, we didn’t do that as much, at least, it didn’t seem like we did.”

The third period saw Michigan Tech try to claw back into the game, as forward Alex Smith scored at 3:48 to cut the Falcon lead to 4-1, however the Falcons responded at 11:01 as senior forward Brett D’Andrea scored on another power play chance. Just over two minutes later, Michigan Tech once again cut the lead to three as junior forward Jake Lucchini scored. However, the Falcons would finish strong as freshman forward Connor Ford scored at the 16:55 mark, followed by junior forward Stephen Baylis adding another goal 19 seconds later to seal the 7-2 victory.

The team was also happy to continue to score goals late into the game with the lead.

“It’s important for us to win periods, especially when you go into a period up 4-0,” Bergeron said. “Knowing that last weekend we went into a couple of periods up three goals and didn’t do great, so I don’t like giving up goals, but I liked the fact that we won the third period. I thought that was big.”

The team will next play on Thursday, Feb. 15 and Friday, Feb. 16 on the road against the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves.

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