Last season Michigan Tech went through a four-month, 26-game winless streak and won only four games.
How fortunes change. On Friday, the Huskies came to Mariucci Arena and upset the No. 2-ranked Gophers 3-2 in overtime before an announced crowd of 9,451.
Senior captain Brett Olson scored the game-winner 33 seconds into the extra period on a rush down the left side to the net.
"It was a nice chip up the wall," Olson said. "I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and it turned into a good old foot race."
Olson had a half-stride on Gophers defenseman Seth Helgeson.
"It went five-hole," Olson said. "I just got a quick little whack on it. [Helgeson] was coming down on me hard. He was making a good angle on me. And I just turned to try to protect the puck. I just got a last final step on him there."
The Gophers (13-5-1, 10-3-0 WCHA) had won seven games in a row against the Huskies. Michigan Tech's last victory in the series was 6-5 in overtime on March 6, 2009, in Houghton.
This was the Gophers' fourth loss in their past five Friday games, and it cost them sole possession of first place in the WCHA standings. No. 1 Minnesota Duluth and Wisconsin tied 3-3 in Madison, so UMD and the Gophers have 20 points now.
Olson's goal was his sixth of the season. He also had a goal to beat the Badgers 3-2 in overtime in Tech's fourth game Oct. 15.
"I don't know where the horseshoe is right now," he said, "but it is a good feeling."
The Gophers outshot Tech 36-26 but were frustrated by Tech goalie Josh Robinson.
"We had far too many turnovers," Gophers coach Don Lucia said. "[And] when we had chances to finish, we didn't do a very good job with that.
"I thought Robinson had a real good game night. Both goalies did. Three of the goals tonight went off people before they went into the net. We just have to be sharper [Saturday]."
Defenseman Mark Alt gave the Gophers a 1-0 lead midway through the opening period on a shot that deflected off a Tech forward.
Huskies freshman Blake Pietila answered with an unassisted goal with 3:25 left in the opening period. He dumped the puck in front and it ricocheted in off a defenseman.
The Gophers outshot the Huskies 14-5 in the second period and had a power play which lasted 3 minutes, 50 seconds. But the home team went 0-for-4 on the power play.
The Huskies (9-7-1, 6-6-1) had their third power-play chance at the start of the third period and capitalized. Jacob Johnstone scored at 1:07 for a 2-1 Tech lead. Helgeson tied the scored six minutes later from 40 feet out.
"Our defensemen ended up with both goals tonight and we didn't get anything from up front," Lucia said. "We have to get some scoring from up front, too."
Going into the third period tied with a highly ranked team was a familiar scenario for Tech. Last weekend in Houghton, the Huskies and UMD were tied both nights after two periods. The Bulldogs won both games 5-3.
"We were very disappointed and frustrated after last weekend because we thought we played well enough to win," first-year Tech coach Mel Pearson said, "but they are quick learners.
"Like I told them after [this] game: The biggest thing to me is, I am not surprised that we won."