SAULT STE MARIE, Mich. - The Lake Superior State hockey team recorded a 3-2 victory in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) game against the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves on Friday, Jan. 24 at the Taffy Abel Arena.
The Lakers would fall behind to the Seawolves in the first period by a pair of goals. Alaska Anchorage would strike first in the game at 9:24 when Rylee St. Onge netted his sixth goal of the season from Zach Court and Trey deGraaf.
At 14:52 of the period, the Seawolves would double their lead when deGraaf capitalized on an odd man rush while shorthanded. deGraaf and Court broke out for a two-on-one play up the ice for Alaska Anchorage with Lukas Kaelble back on defense for the Lakers. When Kaelble went to break up the pass between the Seawolves skaters, the puck would deflect off the defenseman's stick, changing its path forcing Laker goaltender Mareks Mitens to make a last second save to keep the puck out of the net. Mitens would keep the puck from crossing the goal line but let out a rebound that deGraaf would send high into the open net to give the Seawolves a 2-0 advantage on the scoreboard.
In the closing minutes of the opening period, the Lakers penalty killers would be called upon to keep the game at a two goal differential as the Seawolves had a 1:43 five-on-three power play opportunity. With two of the Lakers defensemen in the penalty box, the home team was able to kill off the pair of penalties led by a pair of big shot blocks by Yuki Miura and Kaelble.
After killing off an early power play for Alaska Anchorage, the Lakers would have three straight power play opportunities of their own in the second period. During a tripping penalty taken by Seawolf forward Alex Frye, Max Humitz would score his team-leading 15th goal of the season to put the Lakers on the board at 14:56 of the period. The play leading up to the goal was started when defenseman Jacob Nordqvist kept the puck in the zone and would get the puck to Laker forward Hampus Eriksson in the offensive zone. Eriksson would then find Humitz, who attempted a pass to Louis Boudon who was stationed in front of the net. The pass hit off of a Seawolf stick to bounce back to Humitz, who would then take the shot on goal, beating UAA goaltender Kris Carlson with a high shot.
After trailing the Seawolves for most of the third period, the Lakers were finally able to net the equalizer at 16:32 when freshman forward Louis Boudon scored the team's second power play goal of the game. Miura begin the play as he would find Nordqvist, who then carried the puck up the ice before entering the offensive zone to set up the Lakers power play unit. Nordqvist dropped a pass to Boudon at the top of the faceoff circle and Boudon would fire off a quick wrist shot that beat Carlson five hole to tie the game with less than four minutes in regulation left.
It marked the second time this season that the Lakers have scored two or more power play goals in a game.
With only a 1:03 remaining before the clock expired, Pete Veillette would score his team-leading third game winning goal of the season when he notched his eighth goal for the Lakers this season. After an offensive zone faceoff win by Hampus Eriksson, who won 18 of the 25 draws he took in the game, Humitz collected the puck and held onto it near the boards before finding Kaelble open at the blue line. The defenseman would then find an opening to take the shot that Veillette would redirect to put the Lakers ahead for the first time in the game.
The Lakers played solid defensively as the team limited the Seawolves to 17 shots on goal in the game, which marks the lowest total they have allowed in a game this season. Lake State recorded 28 shots on goal, including 12 in the third period.
Mitens finished the game with 15 saves to register his eighth win of the season while Carlson stopped 25 shots in the loss.
The Lakers and the Seawolves will wrap up their season series tomorrow night at 7:07 p.m. at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.