BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Lake Superior State men's hockey team fell in the final minute of overtime to the No. 13/15 Providence College Friars in the opening game of the Catamount Cup by a final score of 2-1 on Saturday, Dec. 28 at the Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington, Vt.
Following the first twenty minutes of play, the Lakers would trail the Friars, 1-0. Providence defenseman Spenser Young would score for the Friars at the 13:33 mark of the period when he capitalized on a pass from Jamie Engelbert to fire a one timer past Lake Superior goaltender Mareks Mitens.
The Lakers would kill a pair of penalties against the nation's fourth best power play in the first period, allowing only one shot on goal in the four minutes of the man advantage to keep it at a one goal game.
The second period would begin with Mitens stopping a number of shots from the Friars to preserve the one goal game. At 7:41 of the period, the Lakers would receive their first power play opportunity of the game when Providence was assessed a tripping minor. Despite the Lakers not being able to score on the man advantage, Lake State kept the puck in the Providence zone for the entire minor. Junior defenseman Lukas Kaelble made a diving play off the opening face-off to keep the puck in the zone which led to a number of scoring chances.
The Lakers and the Friars would trade a pair of minor penalties in the middle of the period with both teams recording successful penalty kills.
With 3:01 left in the period, Lakers forward Yuki Miura would receive a pass to set him up for a breakaway opportunity. Miura had Providence goaltender Michael Lackey beat on the play but was slashed on the play. Miura's shot went high but the Lakers were awarded a power play as a result of the play. For the third time in the period, the Lakers were not able to find the back of the net on the power play despite generating a number of scoring chances. The line of Humitz, Louis Boudon and Pete Veillette created the Lakers best offensive opportunities but the period would end with the Lakers still down a goal.
In the third period, special teams would once again prove to be the main storyline as the Lakers were finally able to cash in on the power play when Humitz scored his team-leading 12th goal of the season and his first power play goal to tie the game at 6:25. Humitz deflected in the puck after a shot from the face-off circle by Boudon. Mitchell Oliver would record the secondary assist on the play.
The Lakers penalty killers would have one final test in the game as Ashton Calder was called for interference at 15:27 of the third period. Led by Mitens, the Lakers would kill off the penalty and the game would go into overtime to decide the winner.
In the five minute overtime period, Providence forward Greg Printz would score the game winning goal at 4:39 to take the opening game of the tournament by a final score of 2-1.
The Lakers special teams would end the game going one-for-four on the power play, generating eight shots while on the man advantage, and a perfect four-for-four on the penalty kill against the Friars.
Mitens finished the game with 26 saves while Providence's Lackey stopped 30 shots by the Lakers in the game. The Lakers outshot the Friars, 31-28, marking only the fourth time this season that Providence has been outshot in a game.
The Lakers will close out the Catamount Cup against tournament host, the Vermont Catamounts, tomorrow Sunday, Dec. 29 at 7:00 p.m. at the Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington, Vt.