SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - Lake Superior State surrendered a lead late in the second period of Friday's (Feb. 10) Western Collegiate Hockey Association series opener against Alaska-Anchorage to fall, 3-2, at home inside Taffy Abel Arena.
The Lakers (11-14-4, 8-11-4 WCHA) received a pair of second-period goals by sophomore Anthony Nellis to take a 2-1 lead with 5:49 remaining in the middle frame. Nellis opened the scoring for the Lakers with a power-play tally 50 seconds into the second period to tie the game at 1-1. Just over 13 minutes later, the native of Breakeyville, Que., added his second goal of the night and his 20th point (8g-12a) of the season by chipping the puck over Olivier Mantha on a goal-mouth scramble.
With 2:36 remaining, Tanner Johnson tied the game at 2-2 with a power-play goal for the Seawolves (7-17-5, 6-12-5 WCHA), his second point of the night. Matt Anholt also picked up his second of three assists for the game on the goal by Johnson.
Early in the third period, the Seawolves' Mason Mitchell scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season with Jeremiah Luedtke and Anholt each factoring in on the assists. The goal was Mitchell's second of the night, after opening the game with a goal 4:09 into the first period.
Mantha earned the game's first star while making 27 saves to pick up his seventh win of the season. Gordon Defiel was saddled with the loss for the Lakers, making 21 saves on 24 shots.
Both teams scored once on the power play in a game that featured 48 combined penalty minutes and each team lost a player to game misconduct penalties. The Seawolves went 1-for-6 on the power play while the Lakers scored once in four tries with the man advantage.
The Lakers and Seawolves resume the series at 7:07 p.m. Saturday evening. Saturday's series finale will feature a special Make-A-Wish Foundation Chocolate Punch-A-Bunch game inviting fans to punch out slots of a game board for a chance to win gift cards and prizes from local sponsors. Tickets are $5 per turn, everyone is a winner, and all proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.