Michigan Tech Huskies also need overtime in Game 3 of WCHA playoff semifinal series to advance
MANKATO, Minnesota — Jake Jackson scored with 4:54 left in overtime to give Michigan Tech a 2-1 victory at Minnesota State-Mankato on Sunday night and send the Huskies into the WCHA Championship game for the second year in a row.
MTU (21-16-5) won the third game of a best-of-three league semifinal series against Mankato for the second straight year, though the 2017 series was played in Houghton.
“I’m incredibly proud of our group for the effort they put in,” Tech coach Joe Shawhan said in a news release from Michigan Tech. “I’m also happy that our league can get another team into the national tournament, knowing that Minnesota State will get an at-large bid.”
The playoff champion wins the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament along with the recently inaugurated Jeff Sauer Trophy.
The two teams combined for 18 penalties in the first two periods, while no penalties were whistled in the third. Tech’s Joel L’Esperance was whistled for a tripping call 6:42 into the extra session, but the Huskies’ penalty killing unit stepped up and allowed just one shot to reach goaltender Patrick Munson.
Munson then made the biggest save of the game with eight minutes left when he gloved down a shot by Brad McClure on a 2 on 1.
Just over three minutes later, Jackson carried the puck across center ice and into the Mavericks’ zone, going up against three defenders. He fired a wrist shot from the top of the circle past Connor LaCouvee, who was screened by his own players. The unassisted goal was Jackson’s second of the game, third of playoffs and 12th of the season.
“I was just trying to get it over the red line, and then I saw a loose gap when I came across the blue line,” Jackson said. “I tried to get it through that screen like I did earlier in the game when I missed the net. This one just had eyes, so it worked out.”
“I was just hoping we would get one good shot and one good look at the net,” Shawhan said.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.