A trio of Michigan Tech goals early in the second period earned the Huskies a spot in the 53rd Annual Great Lakes Invitational championship game. After the 5-2 victory over the Michigan State Spartans the Huskies will face conference-foe Bowling Green in the final on Tuesday.
With under eight minutes played Jake Jackson found himself alone on netminder Lethemon after catching the Spartan defense flatfooted. Lethemon was up to the task, stopping Jackson’s attempt with a pad save.
The Spartans opened scoring late in the first period on the power play after Todd Kiilunen was called for Holding the Stick. Spartan Zach Osborn caught Beydoun scrambling across the net after a rebound off a David Keefer shot put the Husky goalkeeper out of position.
Alex Smith put the Huskies on the board just over two minutes into the second period when he deflected a centering pass from Brent Baltus past Lethemon with his skate. Officials confirmed the goal after a quick review showed no distinct kicking motion.
Just over a minute later Jake Lucchini sniped a goal from the top of the circle to give the Huskies the lead.
A top of the crease backhand goal by Alex Gillies would be the eventual game winner at 5:26 into the second period. Gillies was left undefended by the Spartans.
Later in the second period a sprawling Beydoun came up big for the Huskies with after deflecting a Patrick Khodorenko shot wide with the tip of his glove hand. A Khodorenko snipe would find the back of the net for the Spartans with about a minute-and-a-half remaining in the middle period.
With under seven minutes remaining in the game MSU’s Taro Hiro slashed a breaking Dylan Steman leading to a Husky penalty shot attempt. Steman’s penalty shot attempt went of the left post after it beat the Spartan netminder.
Alex Smith forced a turnover by MSU’s Jerad Rosburg at the goal line that was quickly converted into a goal by Gavin Gould.
Jake Jackson sealed the game with an empty net goal with 21 seconds remaining.
The Huskies will be playing in their third straight GLI Championship game, the longest streak since Michigan Tech appeared in 15 straight title matchups between 1970 and 1984.
Brandon is a 2010 graduate of Michigan Tech. He co-founded Tech Hockey Guide with Tim Braun as a outlet to expand the coverage of Michigan Tech Hockey. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon with his wife Lindsey and corgis Quincy and Niko.