Montana Tech Hockey’s Triumphant Comeback in Butte

By Merrick Parnell

Montana Tech  University Hockey made a triumphant return on Saturday in Butte.

After a hiatus that lasted several years, Montana Tech University (Tech)  Diggers hockey dramatically returned this weekend as they beat the Moose Knuckles 6-4 in front of a record crowd at the Butte Community Ice Center.

“The atmosphere tonight was unbelievable. The amount of support we received from the school and the community was pretty overwhelming, and the players fed off it,” said Tech’s Head Coach, Dave Rathgeber.

The game would sea-saw back and forth as both teams were able to capitalize on quality chances. Mike McKay would make Tech hockey history as he scored the first goal in Tech’s new hockey era in the first period. Nolan Samples would net the second goal in the opening frame.

However, the Moose Knuckles ended the first period with a 3-2 lead. Samples would score again in the second period for Tech, but the Moose Knuckles would add to their lead by the end of the second period to make it 4-3.

The third and final period would be an offensive surge for tech as they would muster an attack that saw three unanswered goals as  Brad Rutherford would score, McKay would score his second of the night, and Samples would add another to cap off a hat-trick performance. The scoring spree would lift Tech to a 6-4 victory.

“We’re incredibly excited for the return of Tech Hockey, and from the looks of the crowd, all of the campus and the community are as well. The crowd was electric, and bringing home the win was perfect,” said Montana Tech University Chancellor Dr. Les Cook.

Tech’s next scheduled games will take place on March 1st and 2nd in Butte against Idaho State University. For more info, follow Montana Tech Orediggers Hockey on Facebook or Instagram or email