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      Huskies tie Mavericks 1-1; will travel to BGSU for playoffs

      Courtesy: MTU

      Michigan Tech and No. 17 Minnesota State skated to a 1-1 overtime tie at Verizon Wireless Center on the final day of the regular season. The Huskies needed a win to clinch home ice in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The Mavericks needed a win to clinch a share of the WCHA title. Neither team got it.Tech, which finished the regular season 14-17-7 overall and 12-11-5 in the WCHA, will be the No. 5 seed in the WCHA Playoffs traveling to No. 4-seeded Bowling Green State for a three-game series next weekend (Mar. 14-16). MSU (22-13-1, 20-7-1 WCHA) will be the No. 2 seed hosting either Northern Michigan or Alaska Anchorage.The game was played up and down the ice with quality scoring chances for both teams. Final shots on goal were 26 apiece with neither team converting on roughly seven minutes of power-play time."It was a great hockey game," said coach Mel Pearson. "It's encouraging for our team to come into a setting like this and play well against a really good opponent."I'm disappointed that we didn't get the two points and home ice, but I couldn't be more proud of the effort in a game where there was a lot on the line for both teams."Rookie Shane Hanna staked Michigan Tech to a 1-0 lead 5:55 into the first period when CJ Eick brought the puck in on the rush and dropped it to him in the slot. Hanna one-timed his shot past Cole Huggins for the Huskies' first goal of the weekend.The Black and Gold had a five-minute power play spanning the first intermission to try to add to the margin but could not. They did hold a 10-3 advantage in shots on goal in the second frame and carry a 1-0 margin into the third.MSU, which owns the WCHA's best power play, had three minutes of man advantage to start the third period. Tech killed it off.Bryce Gervais evened the score 7:09 into the third with a quick shot off a centering pass to the slot.Both teams killed off cross checking penalties later in the period.Neither team would score again despite several good chances in the final minutes of regulation and overtime.Knowing Bowling Green had won earlier in the evening, Pearson admitted it was tempting to pull the goalie and go for the win in overtime in order to try to get home ice."We talked about it as a staff, but had we given up an empty net goal and Alaska Anchorage won their game later tonight, we would have been traveling to Fairbanks," he said. "Plus it would have been tough walking out of here without at least a point with how well we played."Pheonix Copley, starting his eighth straight game for the Huskies, made 25 saves on 26 shots. Huggins had identical stats.Tanner Kero and David Johnstone tied for the game high in shots on goal with five each. Kero seemed to have quality chances all night including a clean shorthanded breakaway in the second.Michigan Tech went 2-1-1 vs. Bowling Green this season. The two wins were at BGSU Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.The best-of-three playoff series is scheduled to be played Friday (Mar. 14), Saturday (Mar. 15) and if necessary Sunday (Mar. 16) at 7:07 p.m. each night.