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Lakers fall 2-1 to close weekend series against Minnesota State

Photo Courtesy Kati Doty
Photo Courtesy Kati Doty
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SAULT STE. MARIE- Lake Superior State fell for the second time this season, 2-1 against Minnesota State, in Saturday's Western Collegiate Hockey Association game played in front of 2,230 fans at Taffy Abel Arena.

The Lakers fall to 6-2-0 overall and drop back into third place of the league standings, but still hold a pair of games in-hand over the Mavericks (7-3-0, 5-3-0 WCHA). With the weekend split, the Lakers are also a point ahead of Michigan Tech, next weekend's opponent.

Both sides skated for 19 scoreless minutes before Brad McClure's power-play tally put MSU on the board with 48 seconds left in the opening period.

Midway through the second period Jordan Nelson put the Mavericks ahead 2-1 with a shorthanded goal, assisted by Max Coatta and Michael Bigelbach.

Moments later the Lakers went back on a power play and finally broke through to end Jason Pawloski's shutout bid. Junior forward J.T. Henke netted his fourth goal of the season off a feed from Anthony Nellis behind the net. Freshman Max Humitz also assisted on the play.

Henke's goal was the last blemish Pawloski would allow as he earned his first win of the season, posting 19 saves in the effort. Conversely, Lakers goaltender Gordon Defiel suffered his first loss of the season after posting 23 saves and is now 6-1-0 to open his junior campaign.

Both teams connected once on the power play, with LSSU receiving five opportunities and the Mavericks earning two. MSU out-shot the Lakers 25-20.

Helping to keep the shots on goal so low, Lakers skaters managed 19 blocked shots and the Mavericks had 16 blocked shots as a team.

LSSU is on the road at Michigan Tech next weekend, followed by two more road series. The Lakers play at Ferris Stat on Nov. 18-19 and at Michigan on Nov. 25-26. The Lakers return home for a Dec. 2-3 matchup against Bowling Green.