Cullen Maksimowski, LSSULakers.com
MARQUETTE, Mich.— The Lake Superior State hockey team came up short in its Western Collegiate Hockey Association series opener at Northern Michigan Friday falling to the Wildcats, 3-2, inside the Berry Events Center.
With the loss, the Lakers fall to 6-17-4 overall and 4-12-3 in the league. NMU improves to 14-10-3, 12-5-2.
LSSU struck first when junior forward Diego Cuglietta scored unassisted at the 4:33 mark in the first period.
NMU tied it up just 55 seconds into the second period and took lead at the 2:10 mark on goals from Adam Rockwood and Darien Craighead.
Senior forward J.T. Henke pulled Lake State to within one when he scored on the power play at the 14:58 mark in the second on a Collin Saccoman assist. The Lakers outshot the Wildcats, 15-7, in the third but couldn't draw even.
"I thought it was a really good hockey game and I liked our compete level tonight," said Lake Superior coach Damon Whitten. "I thought a lot of guys played well for us and gave us a chance to win a hockey game tonight.
"There is no moral victories but I certainly can't fault our effort or execution tonight. We have to be a bit better to beat these (NMU) tomorrow, obviously, but we need the same effort and the same guys to show up that we did tonight."
Junior netminder Nick Kossoff turned in another respectable performance solid night in between the pipes for LSSU with 31 saves on 34 shots faced.
For the game, Lake Superior was outshot by Northern Michigan, 34-29, in the loss and were 1-of-3 on power play opportunities. NMU was 1-of-4 with the man advantage.
The Lakers will be gunning for the series split tomorrow as they take on the Wildcats in the finale at 7:07 p.m.
LSSU is back home for their final home series of the year (Jan.26-27) as they take on Bowling Green.
Lake State Tickets are available at the Norris Center Ticket Office or online at lssulakers.com/tickets.