SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - The Lake Superior State hockey team dropped the series opener against the Bemidji State Beavers by a final score of 4-1 on Friday, Nov. 29 at the Taffy Abel Arena. With the loss, the Lakers record falls to 5-12-0 overall and 3-6-0 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) play this season.
In the first period, the Beavers will get on the scoreboard first as Alex Adams would score his fifth goal of the season at 10:23. The goal was scored at even strength although the Lakers had just finished killing off a minor penalty taken by Collin Saccoman seconds before the goal was scored.
The rest of the period saw the Lakers continue to put pressure on the Beavers as Hampus Eriksson had a great chance when he deflected a shot from right outside of Bemidji goaltender Zach Driscoll. Before the end of the period, the Lakers would have an opportunity to even the game while on the power play. The Lakers best chance came from Mitchell Oliver who was stopped on a one timer by Driscoll.
The Lakers would even the game when captain Max Humitz netted his team-leading ninth goal at 5:56 of the second period. Humitz would connect on a pass from Alex Ambrosio while the Lakers were shorthanded for a breakaway. On his way in on Driscoll, Humitz would force the goalie to make the first move before eventually tucking the puck in behind Driscoll's right pad. Ambrosio's third assist of the season would add to his season-high total in the category.
Lake State's effort throughout the game was on full display during a second period penalty kill when the Lakers were led by junior defenseman Will Riedell who would make two huge blocks on the Beavers before clearing the puck out of the zone on the same shift.
Later in the second period, the Beavers would regain the lead following an offensive zone face-off that would lead to the goal. Following a shift of pressure on the Lakers defense and goaltender Mareks Mitens, Nick Cardelli drove to the net and would get off a shot that found its way just past the goal line to beat Mitens for a 2-1 Bemidji advantage.
The Beavers would extend their lead to two goals at 4:22 of the third period when Aaron Miller would get a shot past Mitens following Bemidji capitalizing on a defensive zone turnover by the Lakers. Miller's goal was assisted by Tyler Kirkup and Ethan Somoza.
In the final minutes of regulation, the Lakers would put pressure on Driscoll and the Beavers looking to score a pair of goals to force extra time. Humitz was stopped on a point blank shot and with the Lakers net empty, senior assistant captain Brendan McKay would make a diving play to prevent an empty net goal from the Beavers. Despite the strong effort in the game, the Lakers fell by a final score of 4-1 as the Beavers would score an empty net goal before the end of the game.
The Lakers and Beavers will complete the weekend series tomorrow evening at an early Saturday start time of 5:00 p.m. at the Taffy Abel Arena.