MADISON, Wis. – Michigan Tech opened its 2021-22 season with a 5-2 victory at No. 13 Wisconsin on Friday (Oct. 8). The Huskies scored four goals in the second period and Logan Pietila had two goals and an assist while Alec Broetzman also had three points.
“It was an enjoyable game with a lot of pace,” Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. “A lot of the top teams we’re going to have to beat this season play with pace, and that’s been a focus in the preseason. I liked the speed of the game and the way our guys played with that speed and pressure.”
The Huskies found themselves down a goal only 1:13 into the game but responded with three straight. Brett Thorne buried his second career goal with a one-timer from the point on the power play to tie the game 10:09 into the first period. Tyrone Bronte and Parker Saretsky assisted.
Tech scored twice in the first 3:00 of the second period. Saretsky stole the puck in the slot and found Brian Halonen for a quick wrist shot and a 2-1 lead 1:14 after intermission. Nick Nardella added the second assist on Halonen’s 33rd career tally.
Logan Pietila scored his ninth career goal when he jammed in a centering feed by Broetzman to give Tech a two-goal lead. Tyrell Buckley had the second assist.
Wisconsin’s Mathieu De St. Phalle stole the puck and scored on a breakaway to make it a one-goal game again 6:53 into the second.
The Huskies scored twice more before the end of the second to take a three-goal advantage. Broetzman and Pietila hooked up again at the 8:49 mark to make it 4-2.
Broetzman then rounded out scoring with his 38th career goal. Matthew Quercia had a centering pass to the slot that Broetzman whacked in. Pietila had the second assist as he carried the puck into the zone.
UW outshot the Huskies 40-26. Blake Pietila had 38 saves to earn his 15th career win. Cameron Rowe had 12 saves for the Badgers and was relieved by Jared Moe after Tech’s fifth goal. Moe stopped nine shots. Each team hit the crossbar once in the game.
“I was happy with Blake for answering the call after that first goal,” added Shawhan. “I was really happy for Logan. The Pietilas got the player awards and that was good to see. I’m happy for them to get off to a good start to the season.”
Caden Brown scored the first goal of the game 1:13 after puck drop.
Tech was 1-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Tyrone Bronte, Michael Karow, Matthew Quercia, and Trevor Russell made their debuts in a Michigan Tech uniform.
“Wisconsin hockey means a lot to players from this state,” Shawhan said. “For Bliss, Broetzman, and Karrow to play well here meant a lot to those guys.”
Tech and Wisconsin wrap up the nonconference series at 8 p.m. Eastern on Saturday (Oct. 9) at the Kohl Center.