SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Lake Superior State hockey team opened their Great Lake State Weekend (GLSW) series and Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) play against the Michigan Tech Huskies on Friday, October 13 at the Taffy Abel Arena. The Lakers (1-2-0, 0-1-0 WCHA) were unable to rebound from two quick third period goals by the Huskies (3-1-0, 1-0-0 WCHA) en route to a 4-3 loss.
"As a hockey game, it was very entertaining," said Lakers head coach Damon Whitten. "I've got to believe the fans enjoyed the pace, the skill and the compete level. From a coaching perspective, I thought we were a bit too loose, giving up too many odd man rushes. We've got to tighten that down."
The Lakers found themselves behind early, as a goal by Michigan Tech's Gavin Gould gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead just 1:05 into the game. The Huskies went up 2-0 when Jake Jackson beat junior goaltender Nick Kossoff on a power play with 46 seconds remaining in the first period.
Lake Superior got on the board late in the second period, as sophomore forward Max Humitz solved Husky goaltender Patrick Munson. The Lakers had played against Munson in the past, as he was the netminder for the Vermont Catamounts when Lake Superior played in the Catamount Cup during the 2015-16 season.
"It's of critical importance," said Whitten on keeping the Huskies off the board in the second period. "If you go down 3-0, that's a pretty tough lead to come back from. We pushed back, we showed some resiliency and some toughness, and now we've got to put all of the pieces together."
Early in the third period, Lake Superior tied it up at two goals apiece when junior forward Anthony Nellis scored on a goal that briefly got lost in Munson's pads before Nellis poked it behind the netminder and into the net.
With the game tied, the Lakers came out in full force, pressuring the Huskies while looking for the go ahead goal. The Huskies, however, kept the Lakers off of the board, and Tech's Gould squeaked a puck past Kossoff for his second of the night. Less than a minute later, Greyson Reitmeier put a puck behind Kossoff to make the score 4-2 in favor of the visitors.
Sophomore forward Brayden Gelsinger helped the Lakers capitalize on a power play late in the 3rd period to cut the Tech lead to one goal. Unfortunately for the Lakers, they were unable to beat Munson again, with the Huskies preserving their 4-3 lead for the win.
Kossoff made 26 saves on 30 shots. Munson, his counterpart, stopped 21 of 24 shots on net.
Lake Superior went 2 for 3 on the power play, while the Huskies were 1 for 2. Despite a physical battle by both teams, only five penalties were assessed during the game.
As they did in their games against Northern Michigan, the Lakers dressed seven
Both teams are back in action Saturday, October 14th at the Taffy Abel Arena.
"I liked some of our offensive zone pressure and playing within our structure to create more offensive zone time," remarked Whitten. "We want to continue that and be disciplined with how we played."
Game time is 7:07 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the Norris Center Ticket Office or at lssulakers.com/tickets.