SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — No. 18 Lake Superior State dropped the second game of a two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series against Bemidji State 5-3 on Saturday night at Taffy Abel Arena.
With the loss, Lake Superior State (16-8-2, 11-7-2-0 WCHA) and Bemidji State (13-12-3, 11-8-1-0 WCHA) split their weekend series. The Lakers won Friday's game 5-2.
Lake Superior State fell behind 2-0 in the first seven minutes of play of Saturday's game. Alex Adams and Charlie Combs scored for Bemidji State at 2:19 and 6:34 of the first period, respectively.
In the second period, Lake Superior State and Bemidji State each scored one goal to make the score 3-1 in favor of the Beavers at the second intermission. The Lakers cut into the Beaver lead when sophomore defenseman Will Reidell scored his fourth goal of the season at the 13:59 mark. Riedell's goal was assisted by senior winger Anthony Nellis, a 2019 Hobey Baker Award nominee. However, Tyler Kirkup answered back for the Beavers less than a minute later — scoring at the 14:49 mark.
Bemidji State and Lake Superior State each scored twice in the third period to put the final score at 5-3 in favor of the Beavers. Bemidji State scored the first two goals of the period to push its lead to 5-1. Nick Cardelli scored at 2:07 and Ethan Somoza found the back of the net at 10:54. The Lakers showed life as they scored the final two goals of the game, but time ran out on their comeback attempt. Junior winger Brayden Gelsinger scored his seventh goal of the season, assisted by Ashton Calder, at 12:02 of the period and Bryan Basilico tallied his fourth goal of the season, assisted by junior center Brendan McKay, at 13:31 to make the final score 5-3.
Senior netminder Nick Kossoff (12-4-2) made 30 saves on the night for the Lakers and Zach Driscoll (8-6-1) stopped 24 shots for the Beavers.
Each team went 0-of-5 on the power play.
Nellis (11-13--24) and senior center Diego Cuglietta (17-9--26) are both on the 2019 Hobey Baker Award ballot. Fans are allowed to cast a vote for one player each day by going to https://www.hobeybaker.com/vote.
Lake Superior State contnues WCHA play with a two-game series at Ferris State next weekend.
The Lakers are back at Taffy Abel Arena on Feb. 15-16 when they will be facing WCHA foe Michigan Tech. The 11th annual Check.Slash.Survive game will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16 when the Lakers face off against the Huskies at 7 p.m. Check.Slash.Survive, the revamped "Pink in the Rink" fundraiser, focuses on raising funds for local organizations that help battle all types of cancer. For this year's Check.Slash.Survive game, the Check.Slash.Survive committee voted to place an emphasis on drawing awareness to childhood cancer.
Tickets may be purchased at the Norris Center Ticket Office or online. For additional ticket information, call (906) 635-2602.
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Watch head coach Damon Whitten's postgame interview below.