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Lakers Eliminated from 2019 WCHA Playoffs with 2-0 Loss to Mavericks


MANKATO, Minn. – Fourth-seeded Lake Superior State was eliminated from the 2019 Western Collegiate Hockey Association Playoffs with a 2-0 loss at top-seeded Minnesota State on Saturday night at Verizon Center.

Lake Superior State (23-13-2) dropped the WCHA Semifinals best-of-three series 2-0 after also losing Friday night's game 2-1.

Minnesota State (31-7-2) scored the only two goals in the first period of play. The game was scoreless until Lake Superior State was called for a five-minute major penalty and Minnesota State scored twice during the extended power play. Julian Napravnik scored the first goal at the 12:14 mark and Reggie Lutz scored the second goal at 13:27. The Lakers had 10 shots on goal in the period, but they trailed 2-0 going into the first intermission.

The Lakers outshot the Mavericks 11-6 in the second period, but were unable to score and the Lakers went into the second intermission trailing 2-0. Junior forward Brayden Gelsinger had a scoring chance on a Laker power play after a nice pass had given him some net to shoot at, but Gelsinger's shot missed the net. 

Lake Superior State kept fighting in the third period, but they were unable to solve Minnesota State's netminder Dryden McKay (23-6-2). Shots were 10-10 in the third period as time ran out on the Lakers.

Lake Superior State outshot Minnesota State 31-30 in the game.

Senior goaltender Nick Kossoff (17-8-2) made 28 saves for the Lakers, while McKay stopped 31 shots as he earned the shutout for the Mavericks.

Lake Superior State went 0-of-3 on the power play and Minnesota State was 2-of-5.

With the loss, the Lakers' 2018-19 season comes to an end. This season, the Lakers won their most games in a season since 1995-96, recorded the longest winning streak since 1996-97 (seven games), swept Ferris State in a road series for the first time since 1993-94, swept Michigan Tech in a series for the first time since 1983-84, won 16 WCHA Player of Week and five WCHA Player of the Month awards, have two Hobey Baker Award nominees, claimed the first Great Lakes Invitational Championship in program history and captured their first-ever WCHA Playoffs series win.

Watch head coach Damon Whitten's postgame interview below.