SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - The No. 19 Lake Superior State hockey team defeated Michigan Tech by a 3-1 final in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association matchup on Saturday evening in Taffy Abel Arena.
This is the first time that the Lakers have reached the 20-win plateau since 2006-07, when the team ended with a 21-19-3 record. After tonight's win, the Lakers are tied with Bowling Green for second place in the WCHA. The last time the Lakers swept a series with Michigan Tech was 1993.
Diego Cuglietta got Lake Superior State (20-8-2, 15-7-2 WCHA) on the board 7:10 into the first period, with assists coming from Max Humitz and Anthony Nellis. Lake State extended the lead to 2-0 off a goal from Humitz at the18:10 mark of the first the frame. Diego Cuglietta assisted on the tally, making it both Humitz and Cuglietta's second points of the night. The Lakers led in shots 15-11 after the first period.
In the second period, Michigan Tech (12-16-4, 11-10-3-1 WCHA) found the back of the net at the 14:18 mark to cut the Lakers' lead in half. Lake State tacked on seven more shots in the frame compared to nine from the Huskies.
The third frame was scoreless until Michigan Tech pulled goaltender Matt Jurusik for an extra attacker at the end of the period and the Lakers capitalized on the empty net, extending the lead to 3-1. Cuglietta notched his second goal of the game with the empty-netter. That goal was Cuglietta's 20th of the season. The last time a Laker notched 20 goals in a season was in 1996-97 when Jason Sessa and Joe Blaznek each notched 22. Final shots on goal ended 32-28 in favor of the Huskies.
In goal for the Huskies, Matt Jurusik (7-7-2) stopped 25-of-27 shots faced. On the other end of the ice, Nick Kossoff (14-4-2) backstopped the Lakers, saving 31 of the Huskies' 32 shots.
Both teams were 0-for-2 on the man advantage.
The Lakers return to action on the road next weekend, facing Northern Michigan on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.