SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - The No. 20 Lake Superior State hockey team earned a 2-1 win over the University of Alabama Huntsville Chargers by a final score of 2-1 on Friday, Feb. 19 at the Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) game. Jacob Nordqvist scored the game tying goal for the Lakers in the third period and Will Riedell scored the game winner with nine seconds left in regulation. Mareks Mitens finished the game with nine saves for his 30th career win, tying him for the 10th spot all-time in program history.
With the win, the Lakers improve to 11-4-3 overall and 5-3-0 in conference play this season. Lake Superior State has now won four consecutive games to sit in fourth place in the WCHA standings with 14 points.
The two teams played to a scoreless first period with the Lakers outshooting the Chargers by a 13-3 margin.
Alabama Huntsville would take a 1-0 lead at 12:29 of the second period when Bennett Stockdale beat Laker goaltender Mareks Mitens.
At 11:15 of the third period, the Lakers would tie the game when Jacob Nordqvist scored his second goal of the season. With the two teams skating four-on-four, Lukas Kaelble skated into the top of the circle with the puck before finding Hampus Eriksson who was wide open across the ice. Eriksson sent a slap shot on goal and after UAH netminder, David Fessenden, made the initial stop but let out a rebound. Nordqvist drove to the net on the play and was able to send the puck past the Chargers goaltender to tie the game at 1-1.
In the final seconds of the game, the Lakers were given a power play opportunity with just under 22 seconds remaining on the clock after Louis Boudon was slashed. After the Lakers regained possession of the puck following an offensive zone face-off, Riedell would fire off a quick shot that just missed the net. The puck would make its way into the corner, and Nordqvist and Brandon Puricelli would work to free the puck. Puricelli got control of the puck and sent a pass from the corner boards to Riedell, who was all alone. With a clear path to the net, the senior defenseman would skate into the slot and get off a slap shot that beat Fessenden high with 9.2 seconds left on the clock to give the Lakers a 2-1 lead.
The game would end with Mitens earning his 30th career victory, as he stopped nine shots in the game. The senior goaltender is now tied with Gordon Defiel for tenth place all-time in wins in program history. In addition, Mitens has allowed two or fewer goals in 14 of his 16 appearances in net this season.
Fessenden stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced in the game from the Lakers.
The Lakers and Chargers will wrap up the season series tomorrow evening at 5:07 p.m. at the Taffy Abel Arena.