Neville’s late goal helps No. 4 Michigan Tech top No. 9 Minnesota-Duluth 4-3

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HOUGHTON, Mich. — Michael Neville scored his first goal of the season with 19 seconds left in the third to break a 3-3 tie and give fourth-ranked Michigan Tech a 4-3 win against No. 9 Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday.

The Huskes’ win wraps up a non-conference weekend split between the two sides.

Michigan Tech (13-3-0) entered the third period with a two-goal cushion.

UMD got goals by Dominic Toninato (7:28) and Austyn Young (13:07) to tie it up at three. The Bulldogs controlled much of the play in the third, outshooting the Huskies 17-7.

With overtime looming, Tyler Heinonen and Neville broke into the UMD zone on a 2-on-2 rush. Heinonen carried it across the blue line and faked a drop pass before kicking it back up to his stick. He then swung it out front to a wide-open Neville, who chipped it over Bulldog goaltender Matt McNeely for the game winner. Blake Hietala also had an assist on the goal.

“It was a developing 2-on-2. Tyler was ahead of me,” Neville said. “The most important thing was communicating with him. He knew I was there. He made a good play and sucked both D to him. It was an unbelievable play by him.”

Tech used its momentum from the third period of Friday night’s game and jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 5:00. Heinonen shelved a backhanded shot 3:33 into the game for his fifth of the year from Hietala and Cliff Watson.

Just 87 seconds later CJ Eick took a backhander that was saved by UMD’s starting goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo. The rebound came out to Alex Gillies who buried his third of the season. Dylan Steman added the secondary assist. McNeely replaced Kaskisuo after the goal.

Tanner Kero had a great shorthanded scoring chance 4:00 into the second and Eick dinged one off the crossbar 3:00 later.

UMD (12-6-0) got on the board just past the midway point of the game (10:25) with a tip in goal by Austin Farley. He redirected a shot by Tony Cameranesi to make it 2-1.

The Huskies quickly answered to swing the momentum back into their favor and take a 3-1 lead with a snipe by Shane Hanna. Reid Sturos supplied the traffic out front of the UMD crease as Hanna scored his seventh of the year from Matt Roy and Max Vallis. For Vallis, it was his first point of the season in his first appearance.

“I’m proud of our team,” Tech coach Mel Pearson said. “It was a struggle in the third period. We found a way to hang in there and win the game. I couldn’t be more proud of a guy like Mike Neville.”

Jamie Phillips stopped 33 shots on the night, making five saves in the first, 13 in the second and 15 in the third. Kaskisuo had two saves while McNeely finished with 24.

Tech killed off four power plays and were unsuccessful on three man-advantage situations.

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