SAULT STE. MARIE - Lake Superior State had something to prove after giving up a season-high 11 goals to Bowling Green State during an early February road series.
The Lakers (17-19-1) shut out BGSU 2-0 Friday at Taffy Abel Arena to take a 1-0 lead in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association First-Round Playoff Series. Junior goaltender Kevin Kapalka (7-8-1), who took the loss in a 4-1 decision at Bowling Green on Feb. 1, stopped all 31 shots on goal to record his third shutout of the season and ninth of his career.
Kapalka and the Laker defense stood tall during a five-minute BGSU power play that started when LSSU forward Kellan Lain took a major penalty and game misconduct at 1:19 of the first period. The Lakers later scored two second-period goals despite behind out-shot, 14-8.
With some checking help along the boards from teammate Eric Drapluk, junior Dan Radke fed a pass to senior Domenic Monardo, who scored LSSU's first goal 21 seconds into the middle period. It was Monardo's CCHA-leading 20th goal of the season.
Two minutes later, Bryce Schmitt scored from long range to make it 2-0. Zach Sternberg and Nick McParland drew the assists.
LSSU finished 0-for-3 on the power play, while Bowling Green (13-19-5) was 0-for-2. Falcon goalie Andrew Hammond totaled 26 saves. For the game, BGSU out-shot LSSU, 31-28.
LSSU and BGSU play Game 2 of the playoff series at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Taffy Abel Arena.