Tempe, Arizona – No. 16 Michigan Tech won the 2023 Desert Hockey Classic with a 3-2 win over No. 6 Boston College at Mallett Arena on Saturday. The Huskies led the first period with his 3–0 lead to retain his third regular season tournament championship under Coach Shohan.
“It was goaltending, goaltending, goaltending. Blake gave us chances. We scored enough goals in the beginning and held on. We couldn’t be prouder of this group. They I keep finding a way.”
Blake Pietilä was named tournament MVP after stopping 31 shots in the title game and 24 shots in the semifinals against hosts Arizona State.
“I feel good after coming out of the GLI and having a rough show in the first game,” Blake Pietilä said. “We knew we had to stick to our game plan tonight. They’re a fast-moving team, so we had to stick to D-zone coverage, as we’ve done throughout the year.”
Tech scored all the goals in the opening match. Logan Pietilä gave the Huskies a 7:06 lead. Jed Pietilä drove traffic into Logan’s backdoor and he circled the pass to score his fifth goal of the season.
Kyle Kukkonen added to the lead with 4:03, catching a pass from Logan Pietilä on his skate and smashing it for the eighth time of the season. Ryland Mosley also assisted on the play.
Tristan Ashbrook made it 3-0 with his second goal of the weekend. Jed Pietilä collected the puck behind his Tech net for Michigan and Long bounced his pass towards Ashbrook. Jake Crespi recorded his second assist.
Jed Pietilä said, “We have a great group that come together and play for each other.” I accepted the pass from the wall, went in and scored.”
BU (13-6-0) scored in each of the final two periods. Matt Brown cut into the lead scoring with 5:33 exits from Jeremy Wilmer and Lane Hutson.
Kyle Kukkonen had two chances to bring the lead back to three. In the second period, he found himself open in front of the net, but BU goaltender Drew Comesso made a surprising skating save.
Commesso stopped Kukkonen on the third shorthanded breakaway. Jed Pietilä also had a great chance when he hit the pipe midway through the third.
The Terriers made it a one-goal game at 10:50 with a goal credited to Devin Kaplan after being redirected from a Tech player, bouncing off Blake’s pad and crossing the line.
BU added an additional attacker with 1:48 remaining. The Terriers controlled the play and had many back door chances that never made it to the net. Parker Saletsky and Avid Caderos won some important duels, Brett Thorne blocked a shot and Blake Pietila sealed the win with a big save.
It was Tech’s second win at the Desert Hockey Classic after winning the first event at the Gila River Arena in 2016.
The shot was in favor of BU 33-23. The Huskies were 3-3 in penalty kills and 0-1 in power plays.
In the Neutral Site game, Tech consistently improved to 7-0 against BU. The last time the two teams met before Saturday was in November 1988.
Arizona State beat Air Force 2-0 in a consolation match after Tech’s victory.
Under Coach Shohan, the Huskies also won the 2017 Icebreaker Invitational and the 2019 Great Lakes Invitational.
The Huskies will return to play the CCHA next weekend and host St. Thomas. Friday is Teacher Appreciation Day, Saturday is Junior Hockey Night, and we’ll be skating with the huskies after the game.