When scanning through Friday night's results, it would be easy to skip over the WCHA's second seed, Michigan Tech winning Game 1 of their playoff series against seventh seed Alabama-Huntsville. It was the expected result, for sure. But Michigan Tech had to work harder than anyone could have expected to get that result thanks to a brilliant performance from Alabama-Huntsville netminder Carmine Guerriero.
Guerriero held the Huskies, who have the nation's fourth-best offense, scoreless for nearly six periods of hockey, making 77 saves in a 1-0 triple overtime loss. The game was the second-longest in WCHA history, and Guerriero's 77 saves broke the old WCHA record of 75 saves in a game. Guerriero finished 10 saves shy of the NCAA record, set last week by Notre Dame's Cal Petersen.
Alabama-Huntsvile put just 13 shots on goal through regulation, but Guerriero took the game to extra time with 34 saves of his own. The shots for the first two overtime periods were even more lopsided with Michigan Tech outshooting the Chargers 18-5 in the first overtime and 14-3 in the second overtime. The most even period of the game might have been the third overtime, with shots an even 11-11 each, but Michigan Tech's Tyler Heinonen finally broke through with a goal at 18:49 of the third overtime to give the Huskies the win.
It was a bitter end to what was one of the best goaltending performances of the season, and arguably ever. The Chargers will get another opportunity at Michigan Tech tomorrow night, needing a win to extend their season.