SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - In front of a nearly capacity crowd inside Taffy Abel Arena on the final night of Great Lake State Weekend, Lake Superior State defeated Michigan State 7-3, to claim the series sweep. LSSU scored four goals in the first period Saturday (Oct. 15) to take a 4-0 lead into the break, tallied two in the second period and finished with a goal late in the third.
The Lakers improved to 2-0 with the victories and combined for 13 goals in the series, the most by a Lakers team since outscoring Western Michigan 13-1 in November 2005. Saturday's seven goals were also the most by the Lakers since defeating Robert Morris 7-6 on Jan. 2, 2009.
Freshman Max Humitz opened the scoring 6:26 into the first for the Lakers with a power play goal and the second goal in just his second collegiate game. Senior captain Gus Correale then scored an even strength goal just over mid-way thru the first and Gage Torrel's even-strength marker put the Lakers ahead 3-0, just 40 seconds later.
Correale's second goal, a shorthanded tally, came two minutes after Torrel and gave the Lakers a 4-0 heading into the first intermission. The shorthanded strike by Correale, assisted by Diego Cuglietta and freshman Collin Saccoman, would eventually record as the game winner.
20 minutes of action and 13 shots were all freshman goaltender John Lethemon would see after getting the start for the Spartans in game two. Lethemon, making his collegiate debut, saved just nine shots in recording the loss and was replaced by junior Ed Minney to start the second period. Minney finished the game by allowing three goals on 17 shots.
The Spartans tallied two goals within 1:18 of each other to cut into the Lakers lead 4-2, early in the second period with even-strength tallies from Logan Lambdin and Zach Osburn.
LSSU responded with a pair of goals to go up 6-2 with an even strength goal by Anthony Nellis and a power-play marker by Mitch Hults. The goal for Nellis was his second point on the night and third for the weekend. Hults' tally capped a four-point weekend for the Stoughton, Wis., native after tallying three assists in Friday's 6-1 victory.
MSU tallied their third and final goal with 18 seconds left in the second period to head to the second intermission trailing 6-3. Gordon Defiel started his second consecutive game in net and made 30 saves while the Spartans outshot the Lakers 33-30.
J.T. Henke's goal with 2:22 left in the final frame drove home the final nail and wrapped up a three point night for the junior and a four point weekend.
After scoring a goal and adding two assists on Friday, Garden River, Ont., native Owen Headrick dished out three assists on Saturday evening and led the Lakers with six points for the weekend.
A crowd of nearly 3,500 were on hand at Taffy Abel Arena to watch the Lakers finish off the sweep of the Spartans, the first time LSSU swept their former Central Collegiate Hockey Association rivals since hosting MSU five years earlier on Oct. 14-15, 2011.
The Lakers 2-0 start to the season is their first since opening the 2013-14 season with a sweep at home over Robert Morris on Oct. 11-12, 2013.
LSSU opens Western Collegiate Hockey Association play on the road next weekend against Alabama-Huntsville. The Lakers and Chargers are slated for consecutive 7:07 p.m. CT starts on Oct. 21-22.