Mike Barrett, LSSULakers.com
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — After seeing a combined nine goals scored in their season opener, the Lake Superior State men's hockey team, under head coach Damon Whitten, settled things down in their second game against the Merrimack Warriors in non-conference action.
The Lakers (2-0-0, 0-0-0 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) scored the only goal of the contest early in the second period, as they swept Merrimack (0-2-0, 0-0-0 Hockey East) on the road at Lawler Arena.
Max Humitz, who was the Lakers' leading scorer last season with 13 goals, found the back of the net less than a minute into the middle frame, as the junior from Livonia, Michigan, beat Warriors goaltender Craig Pantano for the only tally of the game. Pantano was lured across the crease when Brayden Gelsinger brought the puck around the back of the net. Gelsinger dumped it off for Humitz, who had a wide open net to take advantage of.
Lakers goaltender Mareks Mitens stopped all 31 shots he faced, picking up the second shutout of his collegiate career. The goose egg did not come easy, however, as the Warriors kept offensive pressure on the native of Ventspilis, Lativa, the entire game, especially as time wound down and Merrimack pulled Pantano for an extra skater.
In taking the loss, Pantano stopped 23 of 24 shots.
Both teams were fruitless on the power play, as Lake Superior was 0 for 4, while Merrimack went 0 for 7. This came just a day after the two teams combined for five power play tallies.
With the sweep, the Lakers now lead the all-time series between the two schools 3-1. Prior to this weekend, they had not played since a two game, total goals series in the 1988 NCAA Tournament.
Lake Superior will return home to the Taffy Abel Arena this week for a two game exhibition set against the Lakers of Nipissing College. Tickets may be purchased at the Norris Center Ticket Office or online at lssulakers.com/tickets. A special online only ticket promotion is going on for these two games, where single tickets are just $3.50, in commemoration of the 350th anniversary of the founding of Sault Ste. Marie.