DENVER – The Lake Superior State hockey team travelled to Denver to take on the defending national champion Denver Pioneers in non-conference action. The Lakers took the top ranked team in the country into overtime, coming away with a 3-3 tie.
Laker netminder Nick Kossoff, with 63 saves on the night, set the school record for saves in a game. The previous record of 60 was set by Matt Violin against Alaska on January 17th, 2003.
Denver (1-0-2, 0-0-0 NCHC) came out in the early going with guns a-blazing. Kossoff, however, kept the Pios off of the scoreboard in the early going, despite two power play opportunities. Shots favored the Pioneers 17 to 7 after the first period.
Lake Superior (1-2-2, 0-1-1 WCHA) got a chance to get on the board when Henrik Borgström went to the box for tripping. On the power play, Brayden Gelsinger collected a pass from Max Humitz and buried the puck past Pioneers goaltender Tanner Jaillet.
Early in the second period, the Lakers went up 2-0 when Humitz picked the pocket of Borgström right in front of Jaillet and put the puck over the shoulder of Jaillet.
Denver eventually solved Kossoff, when Borgström lifted a puck over the right pad of Kossoff, cutting the Lakers' lead to one. Despite constant pressure and a 36-12 shots disadvantage, the Lakers held their lead going into the second intermission.
Early in the third period, Lake Superior took a major hit when sophomore defenseman Collin Saccoman took a hit from Borgström, forcing him to be assisted off of the ice.
The Pioneers finally managed to tie the game when Dylan Gambrell got in all alone and got the puck over the outstretched leg of Kossoff with just under 8 minutes left in regulation.
The tie would not hold for long, however, as junior forward Diego Cuglietta got the puck away from Denver's Ian Mitchell. Cuglietta slipped it to Gage Torrel, who then passed it to Jake Hand. Hand tipped the puck behind Jaillet to restore the lead for the Lakers.
The Pioneers managed to re-tie the game with 3:35 remaining with a goal from Liam Finlay. Finlay's goal forced overtime. The shots continued to pile up for Denver, with shots 64-16 headed into the extra session.
With 53 seconds to go in the 5 on 5 overtime, Lake Superior's Brendan McKay went off for slashing, getting the puck away from Michael Davies who had a tremendous chance to end the game.
Since both leagues play a 3 on 3 overtime, the teams played that overtime. Blake Hillman ended the overtime with a goal. The NCAA officially recognizes the game as a 3-3 tie.
Kossoff put together a tremendous performance for Lake Superior, stopping 63 of 66 shots. Jaillet countered with 14 saves on 17 shots.
On special teams, the Pioneers went 0 for 4, while the Lakers went 1 for 1.
The Lakers and Pioneers will conclude their series on Saturday, October 21st. Puck drop is at 9:05 p.m. Eastern.