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Lakers rally falls short against Michigan State in 4-3 loss

Riedell defending

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Continuing their non-conference road swing, the Lake Superior State hockey team played the first of their two game set against the Michigan State Spartans on Friday, October 27th.  The Spartans (3-2-0, 0-0-0 Big Ten) jumped out to a 4-0 lead early in the third period and withstood a comeback by the Lakers (1-4-2, 0-1-1 WCHA) to earn a 4-3 win.

Facing a lot of rubber in the first period, Lakers goaltender Nick Kossoff saw 15 shots by the Lakers' former Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) foe.  The Spartans capitalized on one of those shots by Sam Saliba at 15:17 of the period.  The Lakers only managed four shots against Michigan State netminder John Lethemon, who sent the Lakers back to the dressing room down by a goal after 20 minutes.

Midway thru the second period, Michigan State's Patrick Khodorenko, who led the Spartans in scoring (3-3—6) coming into the game, put his team up 2-0.  The Spartans added another goal with 3:08 left in the period, when Jake Smith put the puck behind Kossoff unassisted.

Starting off the third period, Logan Lambdin scored to give the Spartans a 4-0 lead at the 1:19 mark.  Less than a minute later, however, the Lakers solved Lethemon with a goal by Brayden Gelsinger to cut the deficit to three.  The goal came on a delayed penalty, as Lambdin took a tripping penalty right before Gelsinger scored.

With Lambdin in the box, Lake Superior made the score 4-2 when Bryan Basilico netted his first goal of the season with six ticks on the penalty clock for Lambdin.

Lake State managed another power play goal when Max Humitz put the Lakers within one with under seven minutes remaining.  The Lakers, who came into the weekend having scored on 35 percent of their power plays, went 2 for 4 against Michigan State.  The Spartans were 0 for 3 with the man advantage.

With a comeback in sight, the Lakers pulled Kossoff for an extra skater.  Unfortunately for the Lakers, Michigan State held the puck in along the boards to kill the clock and the Lakers' chance for a comeback.

Kossoff, who made 63 saves in his outing last weekend against Denver, stopped 37 of 41 shots.  His counterpart Lethemon made 19 stops on 22 shots to collect a win.

Michigan State outshot the Lakers in each period, as the Spartans took 14 shots in the second period to the Lakers' 7, and outshot Lake Superior 12-11 in the final period.

The two teams are back in action on Saturday, October 28th at Munn Arena in East Lansing.  Face off is at 7 p.m.  Fans in Sault Ste. Marie can listen to the game on WYSS 99.5 FM.