Mike Barrett, LSSULakers.com
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Looking for their second series sweep on the young season, the Lake Superior State hockey team, under head coach Damon Whitten, rallied for two goals in the third period en route to a 2-1 win over the Chargers of The University of Alabama in Huntsville in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) action.
Lake Superior (4-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) went a perfect 4-0 in the month of October, while the Chargers (0-8-0, 0-2-0 WCHA) had an October to forget.
Hungry for their first win of the season, the Chargers, under head coach Mike Corbett, came out strong in the first period, outshooting the Lakers 10-8. Neither Lakers goaltender Mareks Mitens nor Chargers netminder Mark Sinclair surrendered a goal in the opening 20 minutes.
Alabama Huntsville got on the board first when Jack Jeffers found the back of the net just over four minutes into the middle frame. Despite the shots tilting in favor of the Lakers that period, the visitors at the Von Braun Center were stymied by Sinclair until the third period.
Senior forward Anthony Nellis earned his third goal of the season at the 7:08 mark of the third period. The native of Breakyville, Quebec nearly had another tally later that period, but the puck clanged off the post. Nellis is averaging a point per game thus far this season.
Lake Superior looked to take the lead when Alabama Huntsville's Bailey Newton was sent to the penalty box for interference just past the midway point of the period. Although they came up fruitless on the ensuing power play, Hampus Eriksson found the back of the net mere seconds after Newton left the box. Eriksson's first goal of the season put the Lakers on top for the first time that night.
While Alabama Huntsville held the better of the play down the stretch in a desperate attempt to tie the game, Mitens and the Lake Superior defense stood tall, enabling the Lakers to prevail by a 2-1 final score.
Neither team produced a power play goal, as the Lakers were 0 for 3 with the man advantage and the Chargers were 0 for 4.
In goal, Mitens stopped 29 of 30, earning his second win of the season. 180 feet away, Sinclair made 24 of 26 saves in taking the loss.
The Lakers and Chargers will meet again this season in Sault Ste. Marie during the month of January.
Next weekend, the Lakers will return home for Great Lake State Weekend (GLSW). This year, Lake Superior will play host to the University of Michigan in a renewal of a classic Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) rivalry. The first game, on Friday, November 2nd, is set to start at 7:37 p.m. EST. Tickets may be purchased at the Norris Center Ticket Office or online at lssulakers.com/tickets.