SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - For the second time on the weekend series Lake Superior State and Upper Peninsula rivals Northern Michigan skated to a 1-1 tie, Saturday night, however, it was NMU coming away with the extra point towards the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings with a shootout win after one round on Saturday night.
NMU forward Dominik Shine lifted the Wildcats (5-17-4, 3-12-3 WCHA) with a shootout goal in the first round after junior J.T. Henke's attempt for LSSU was saved by Atte Tolvanen.
With the tied result, the Wildcats claimed the Cappo Cup rivalry trophy back from the Lakers (9-12-3, 6-9-3 WCHA) with a 1-1-2 record in the season series and a 10-9 lead in total goals. NMU now holds a 15-9 all-time Cappo Cup advantage, originally awarded in the 1991-92 season and played for every season since 1994-95.
NMU opened the scoring 39 seconds into the game with Shane Sooth depositing a rebound past Gordon Defiel to put the Cats ahead 1-0 early. Rylan Yaremko earned an assist on the play after his initial shot was blocked by Defiel, and Jordan Klimek also factored on the assist.
After one period of play, NMU took a 1-0 lead into the intermission, despite LSSU leading 11-8 in shots on goal.
Freshman Max Humitz evened things up on a power-play goal with 2:39 remaining in the second period to claim the team-lead in goals with 11 on his rookie campaign. Henke and Collin Saccoman each tallied assists on the goal by Humitz.
In fact, in Friday's 1-1 tie, it was also Humitz scoring the lone goal for the Lakers with Saccoman and Henke also adding the assists.
Following a third period featuring a wealth of physical play but no goals, the teams headed to a five-on-five overtime period.
For the second time in as many nights, the decision was not decided in the regulation overtime and the teams skated to another 3-on-3 overtime period to decide the extra WCHA point. On Saturday, however, neither team found the back of the net, setting up the sudden death shootout, in which Shine scored following Tolvanen's save on Henke.
Defiel was stellar in net once again for the Lakers, making 35 saves in regulation time and the five minute 5-on-5 overtime period, and also three saves in the 3-on-3 overtime, which do not count towards official statistics.
Tolvanen finished with 21 saves in regulation and, after not facing any shots in the 5-on-5 overtime, made five unofficial saves in the 3-on-3.
The Lakers return home next weekend to face WCHA foe Alabama-Huntsville in a two-game series on Jan. 20-21.