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Nellis notches a pair of goals, Lakers sweep Chargers on the road

Photo courtesy Kati Doty
Photo courtesy Kati Doty
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.- Led by a pair of goals from Anthony Nellis, Lake Superior State picked up an important road-sweep over Western Collegiate Hockey Association rival Alabama-Huntsville Saturday evening with a 5-2 victory.

The Lakers (4-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA), the 59th ranked team in scoring (1.80 goals per game) in 2015-16 are averaging six goals per game to start the season. The victory also gives LSSU their first 4-0-0 start since the 2013-14 season, when the team started 4-0-1.

The Chargers (2-5-1, 2-3-1 WCHA) opened the scoring just a minute into the game with Max Mchugh's fourth goal of the season. McHugh's goal came unassisted and put Huntsville ahead 1-0.

LSSU trailed for  just under eight minutes, for the first time this season, before Nellis (3-2--5) slammed in the tying power-play goal. J.T. Henke (3-4--7)and Luke Morgan (0-4--4) each added assists on the tying tally.

With under five minutes to play in the first period, freshman Bryan Basilico scored his first collegiate goal in his first game wearing the anchor. Sophomore forward Josh Nenadal added the assist on the Basilico goal for his first point of the season.

LSSU took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission  with the shots on goal tied at 7-7.

The Lakers came out hot again in the second period and quickly took a 3-1 lead on an even-strength goal from Mitch Hults (2-5--7), 1:33 into the period. Freshman Brayden Gelsinger (3-4--7), coming off a two-goal game on Friday, added the assist for his seventh point of the season. Freshman defenseman Collin Saccoman (0-4--4) also factored on the goal, tallying the second assist, for his third assist on the weekend.

With 5:40 left in the period, Nellis scored his second goal of the night after leaving the ice with an injury on the previous shift. Henke and Morgan again assisted on the goal by Nellis.

After 40 minutes of play the Lakers held a commanding 4-1 lead and were outshooting the Charges 18-11.

McHugh notched his second goal of the game on the power play, just 2:18 into the third period.

The Lakers and Chargers would stay at 4-2 through much of the final frame until a centering pass from the boards by Nenadal found a streaking Diego Cuglietta (3-2--5) who tipped in the fifth goal for the Lakers with 1:51 left in regulation. Cuglietta made an acrobatic dive to complete the goal and crashed into the boards with his third goal and fourth point of the series.

Gordon Defiel was strong in net, despite the two goals against and made 18 saves in his fourth win of the young season. His counterpart, Jordan Uhelski started and saved 28 shots for the Chargers.

The Lakers return home next weekend to face WCHA opponent Alaska for LSSU's annual Pink in the Rink Weekend.  Single game tickets to all of the Lakers home games cost $12 for adults and $6 for children (17-under) unless a special promotion is running. Tickets for all LSSU Athletics events can be purchased online at or by calling the Norris Center ticket office at (906) 635-2602.