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Blue Team Downs White Team in Intrasquad Exhibition

Blue wins intersquad exhibition
Photo Courtesy Kati Doty

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - Playing two 20 minute periods with a running clock, plus a 3 on 3 overtime and shootout, the Lake Superior State men's hockey team played their annual blue versus white match Saturday afternoon at the Taffy Abel Arena.  

The blue team, led by head coach Damon Whitten, defeated the white team, coached by assistant coach Mike York, in overtime.  

The white team got on the board first, when junior forward Josh Nenadal slipped the puck past sophomore goaltender Cooper Lukenda to go up 1-0.  Nenadal added another goal later in the period, sending the white team back to the dressing room up 2-0.

In the second period, both teams changed netminders, as Lukenda was relieved by junior Nick Kossoff and freshman Roman Bengert, who saw little action in the first period, was replaced with fellow freshman Mareks Mitens.

The second period saw the blue team tie the game with two quick goals from sophomore Brayden Gelsinger and junior Jake Hand.  The white team got a puck past Kossoff courtesy of sophomore Brendan McKay, but junior Diego Cuglietta tied the game for the blue team to force overtime.

In overtime, the teams chose to forego the traditional 5 on 5 overtime and instead play the 3 on 3 overtime that the Western Collegiate Hockey Associaion (WCHA) had introduced in the 2016-17 season.  In league play, the 3 on 3 overtime is used when a game is tied at the end of regulation and remains tied after a five minute 5 on 5 overtime.  Should nobody score in either overtime period, a sudden death shootout is used.  Each team will have a chance to score in the shootout.

Early in the overtime period, junior Gage Torrel put the puck past Mitens to claim victory for the blue squad.  Opting to play the entire five minutes, the blue team got two more pucks in the net, as freshman defenseman Will Riedell and Gelsinger each beat Mitens in the 3 on 3 stanza.

To practice shootouts, the teams went through four shootout rounds.  Hand scored for the blue team, while senior forward J.T. Henke and junior forward Anthony Nellis were successful for the white squad.

The Lakers are back in action on Sunday, October 1st, as they take on Laurentian University in an exhibition game.  Puck drop is scheduled for 3:07 p.m. at the Taffy Abel Arena.  Fans are advised to note that the time printed on their game tickets may be incorrect, as some tickets were inadvertently printed with 7:07 p.m. as the start time.

Those looking to purchase tickets for Sunday's game, or any other games this season, may do so at or at the Norris Center Ticket Office.