BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — The Lake Superior State hockey team brought its nation-leading road record to Ferris State University to take on the Bulldogs. The Lakers, under head coach Damon Whitten, improved on that road record with a 6-3 win over the Bulldogs in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) play at the Robert L. Ewigleben Ice Arena.
Lake Superior (17-8-2, 12-7-2 WCHA) earned their first win in Big Rapids since the 2015-16 season, when they defeated the Bulldogs 3-2 in the regular season finale.
Ferris State (7-19-1, 4-14-1 WCHA) got on the board first when Frankie Melton put the puck past Laker goaltender Nick Kossoff following a Laker defensive zone turnover late in the opening period. The Bulldogs, however, had almost no time to capitalize on any momentum, as Coale Norris, who assisted on the goal, received a game misconduct just 12 seconds after the goal.
The Lakers, who came into the weekend ranked No. 20 in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll, took full advantage of the ensuing five minute power play, as freshman forward Ashton Calder tied the game up before the end of the period. With time still on the major penalty, it was Calder again, who potted his second of the night right before the penalty expired.
Less than a minute later, senior forward Diego Cuglietta scored his team leading 18th goal of the season, giving the Lakers a 3-1 lead.
In the final period, the Laker onslaught continued, as Gage Torrel put Lake Superior up 4-1 just 1:06 into the period during a pileup in front of Bulldog netminder Justin Kapelmaster. Later, senior Anthony Nellis victimized Kapelmaster twice, giving Lake Superior a commanding 6-1 lead.
Bob Daniels' crew tried to make things interesting late with power play goals by Ryker Killins and Joe Rutkowski, but the comeback was too little, too late, as the Lakers prevailed with the 6-3 victory.
In net, Kossoff collected his 13th win of the season, making 32 saves on 35 shots. Across the ice, Kapelmaster stopped 24 of 30 shots faced.
On special teams, the Lakers went 3 for 6 with the man advantage, while Ferris State was 2 for 7.
With the win, Lake Superior is now 13-2 in games away from the Taffy Abel Arena, including the two neutral site games at the Great Lakes Invitational in December.
The two teams conclude their weekend series on Saturday, Feb. 2 in Big Rapids. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m. EST. Lake Superior will be looking to win its first series at Ewigleben Arena since the 2006-07 season.
Following this weekend, the Lakers will have a bye week before hosting Upper Peninsula rival Michigan Tech at the Taffy Abel Arena Feb. 15-16. Tickets may be purchased at the Norris Center Ticket Office or online.