Month: February 2018

Bulldogs drop Lakers, playoff hopes dwindle

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Needing at least one win for any hope of qualifying for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) postseason, the Lake Superior State hockey team could not connect, as the Bulldogs of Ferris State took a 4-1 win at Ewigleben Ice Arena.

Ferris State (13-21-1, 10-16-1 WCHA) snapped the Lakers’ four game winning streak — all of which came on the road.  

Lake Superior (10-21-4, 8-16-3 WCHA) hoped to go into Ewigleben and get a quick goal to silence the crowd.  A quick goal was scored, but by the home team, as Captain Corey Mackin put the Bulldogs up 1-0 just 45 seconds into the game.

Despite surrendering the early lead, the Lakers remained determined, giving Ferris State netminder Darren Smith plenty to do, as the shots favoured Lake State 13-10 after twenty minutes.

The Bulldogs got another early goal in the second period, as Mackin again capitalized.  The captain collected a pass from Mitch Maloney behind the net and beat Lakers goaltender Nick Kossoff on the right side.  Ferris State added another goal later in the period from Zach Szajner, sending the Lakers back to the dressing room trailing 3-0 after two periods.

Lake Superior, after peppering Smith with shots all night, finally managed to get one by him, as Hampus Erikkson got a piece of an Anthony Nellis shot, cutting the Bulldogs’ lead to two goals.

Despite pulling Kossoff for an extra skater at various points throughout the period, the Lakers could not solve Smith again.  An empty netter with 5 seconds remaining from Coale Norris sealed the Lakers’ fate.

In goal, Kossoff made 27 saves on 30 shots.  Across the ice, Smith was credited with 37 saves on 38 shots.

Coupled with an Alabama Huntsville win over Bowling Green, the Lakers’ postseason hopes appeared to be all but over.  However, the series between Alaska and Alaska-Anchorage also has bearings on the WCHA playoff picture.  With the Seawolves playing spoiler by earning a 5-3 win, the Lakers are not yet eliminated from the postseason picture.  Their fate will come down to what they can do in their game against the Bulldogs tonight.

Playoff scenarios entering final series against Bulldogs

The final two games of the regular season are here and the Lakers are still in a fight for the playoffs.

Coming out of this past weekend, the standings in the 6 thru 9 slots in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) are as follows:

6 (tie) Alabama Huntsville and Alaska – 30 points
8 – Ferris State – 28 points
9 – Lake Superior State – 27 points

Last weekend, the Lakers and Chargers had byes, while Ferris State was swept by Minnesota State and Alaska claimed one point against Bemidji State.  In other words, the Lakers’ bye could hardly have gone better.

While it is entirely possible that Lake Superior could propel itself as high as 6th place after this weekend, the chance that their season ends down at Ewigleben Ice Arena is still in play.

The fact that LSSU and Ferris State play each other is huge.  A sweep by either team will ensure the winner qualifies while the loser stays home.  

Below is an analysis of what will become of Lake Superior given the seven possible point outcomes of this weekend:

0, 1 or 2 points – Lake State finishes with either 27, 28 or 29 points and fails to qualify for the postseason.  Since their opponent is the team directly ahead of them in the standings, failing to take at least half of the points guarantees they will place behind the Bulldogs and not overtake either UAH or UAF.

4, 5, or 6 points – Lake State finishes with either 31, 32 or 33 points, eliminating Ferris State from playoff contention.  4 points on the weekend ensures that the Bulldogs cannot earn more than 30, edging the Lakers past FSU.  Where exactly the Lakers sit in the standings after this is dependent on what happens with UAH and Alaska.  The Chargers host Bowling Green (who will finish either 2nd or 3rd) while the Nanooks play Alaska Anchorage (who will miss the WCHA postseason for the the fourth straight year).

3 points – Earning exactly three points is a dangerous situation.  This will give the Lakers 30 points, while Ferris State will have 31.  Whether the Lakers make the playoffs or not will depend on the results of the previously mentioned games.  Should a three-way tie exist, the WCHA tiebreakers will come into effect.

  • Tiebreaker A – This tiebreaker is only used if all teams have played 4 games against each other.  This is not the case, as LSSU, UAH and UAF all have played each other twice.
  • Tiebreaker B – This one says the teams are seeded in order of the highest number of conference wins.  Currently, UAH and UAF have 9 wins, while LSSU has 8.  In order for a tie to happen at all, UAH & UAF must lose both of their games.  If LSSU earns 3 points from a win, then there is a tie at this tiebreaker.  Should the Lakers get 2 points from a shootout win and 1 from a shootout loss, the Lakers would be eliminated.
  • Tiebreaker C – This tiebreaker seeds teams in order of fewest league losses.  If UAF and UAH both get swept, they would both have 17 losses.  Given that the only way for this tiebreaker to matter is for the Lakers to have a series split, the Lakers would have 16 losses, putting them ahead of both teams.

For those unfamiliar with the WCHA’s tiebreakers, which go all the way to G (a coin toss), they may be found here:  http://www.wcha.com/men/standings.php

 

Series Preview: Lake Superior State @ Ferris State

Ferris State: 2016: 13-19-5 2017: 12-21-1

Lake Superior State: 2016: 11-18-7 2017: 10-20-4

 

“It’s the Final Countdown!” – Europe

 

This is it, boys and girls. We’re in the final week of the 2017-2018 WCHA regular season, and it all comes down to this. While there are other games to watch, these two teams control their own playoff destinies.

The Bulldogs had a rough weekend, facing off against #5 Minnesota State in Mankato, dropping both games – Friday 7-1, then Saturday 4-2.

This year’s Ferris State team has three 20+ point scorers in Corey Mackin (8-14-22), Mitch Maloney (13-8-21) and Ryker Kilins (8-13-21), with Kilins being the lone defenseman of the group. In net, the two goaltenders, Darren Smith (junior) and Justin Kapelmaster (sophomore) have split time in the next 20 games to 17 and they have similar stats to each other, so once again we have a team with competent goaltenders.

I, for one, believe this Bulldog team is better than what they’ve been this year, so the Laker cannot sleep on this team.

“Do-do-do do dooooo” – also Europe

If you would have told us, or any other Laker fan at the end of December through January that the Lakers would be fighting for a playoff spot, we would have laughed at you, after going through a large losing streak that involved a few shutouts and poor overall play. The last two weeks they have been in action (before the bye last week), has put their fate in their hands.

As stated in Mike’s article from last weekend, the bottom four teams are only separated by three points, with both UAH and Alaska being tied at 30 points, Ferris at 28, and the Lakers out of the picture at 27. Alaska plays in-state rivals Anchorage who has already been elimated from the playoffs, while Huntsville faces off against Bowling Green.

So, what does this mean? It means that even if the Lakers split the weekend in Big Rapids, there is a chance they make the playoffs. Getting at least 4 points on the weekend is what we really have to hope for, as that will put us past either Alaska or Huntsville, assuming one gets swept. A sweep on the weekend would guarantee at least the final playoff spot, with a potential to get a better matchup.

It’s possible that the Lakers will know their playoff fates at the end of the game Saturday, but it could come down to the Alaska series, which you can almost guarantee they will be listening to on the 5+ hour drive back to the Soo.

The Lakers have been scoring by committee these last few weeks, but of course are still led by senior J.T Henke, who has 27 points on the season, followed by Max Humitz (13-9-22) and Diego Cuglietta (7-15-22). Despite the lack of point production, coming onto the team late in the season, Alexandro Ambrosio, Yuki Miura and Steven Ruggiero have seemed to give this team more depth, speed and hope.

Statistically speaking, Nick Kossoff is still the clear-cut better goalie on this Laker team, but again over the last couple of weekends, former NAHL standout goalie Mareks Mitens has started to close that gap and assuming both goalies stay with the team come the offseason, I fully expect to see either a true goalie tandem, or a really fun fight for that starter slot.

Despite all of this, nothing is guaranteed this weekend. The Lakers have only won a single game cleanly at Ewigleben Arena since the 2009 season and recording a shootout win during this time frame too. But if there a time to rewrite that narrative, it’s this weekend.

As usual, YESFm will have the game locally at 99.5 or online at www.yesfm.net, or through the TuneIn app on your smartphone. WCHA.tv will have a live video feed of the game if you want to watch first hand.

Scoreboard watching on a bye week

Conventional wisdom says a team cannot lose on its bye week.  Conversely, it cannot win either.

Those adages are not neccesarily true.

Lake Superior State enters their final bye week of the season scoreboard watching, as the outcomes of a number of games can make Lakers’ playoff hopes much more dire before the puck drops the following weekend against Ferris State.

The bottom of the WCHA standings is the typical logjam it has been for the past few seasons.  Alabama-Huntsville sits in 6th place with 30 points.  Alaska has 29 points in 7th place, Ferris State is in 8th with 28 points and the Lakers sit in 9th with 27.  In short, 6th and 9th are separated by just three points – or one league win.

The Bulldogs and Nanooks play Minnesota State and Bemidji State respectively this weekend; the Chargers, like the Lakers, are idle.

The following is a small breakdown of each team ahead of Lake Superior State that the Lakers can potentially pass, qualifying for the postseason in the process:

Alabama Huntsville – 30 points, 6th place

Remaining schedule – Home vs Bowling Green

The Chargers are 2-4-0 in their current homestand, being outscored by their opponents 21-16.  They were swept last weekend by the Mavericks, but took the fifth-ranked team to overtime on Friday night before falling 6-1 the next night.  

UAH and Bowling Green met back in December, with the Falcons taking 4 of 6 points in Ohio.  

Alaska – 29 points, 7th place

Remaining schedule – Away vs Bemidji State, Home vs Alaska-Anchorage

The Nanooks have been inconsistent for much of the season.  Their 5-0 win over then No. 7 Minnesota State was followed by three straight losses.  Alaska then followed a home sweep of Ferris State up with a trip to Marquette, where the 20th ranked Wildcats broke out their own brooms.

Alaska and Bemidji State split earlier in the year, with the Nanooks winning in overtime on Friday before falling 3-2 to the host Beavers the next night.  

Concerning the Seawolves, Alaska has won four games against their interstate rival (although two were played as a non-conference series).  All bets are off for a rivalry series, but the Nanooks should be favoured.

Ferris State – 28 points, 8th place

Remaining schedule – Away vs Minnesota State, Home vs Lake Superior

Ferris State has been about as streaky as they come.  Following a three game win streak in the beginning of December, the Bulldogs proceeded to go 1-9 in their next 10 games.  The lone win in that stretch was a 4-0 win over Lake Superior.  While a sweep of Michigan Tech gave the Bulldogs some life, a trip to Alaska the following weekend proved fruitless, as the Nanooks had their brooms in hand.

The Bulldogs face fifth ranked Minnesota State this weekend in Mankato before hosting the Lakers to end the season.  Ferris State has not played the Mavericks yet this year, a team that has laid waste to the rest of the conference (and much of college hockey).

Lake Superior State – 27 points, 9th place

Remaining schedule – Away vs Ferris State

The Lakers will enter their final weekend on a four game winning streak.  Making a desperate Northern Michigan-esque push to make the playoffs, Lake Superior swept Bemidji State on the road before flying to Anchorage and claiming two more wins.

Lake State’s final games of the regular season will take place at Ewigleben Arena, a place that has not been friendly to the Lakers over the years.  Then again, neither Bemidji nor Anchorage have been kind to the anchor either.

While the actions of other teams will play into the Lakers’ postseason hopes, one thing is certain — the Lakers must win one of their final games to have any hope of qualifying. 

The picture will become more clear after this weekend.  It is possible Alaska and Ferris State pull off sweeps, putting them beyond the reach of the Lakers.  Likewise, it is possible they both get swept, leaving them within striking distance.  The Lakers can catch Alabama Huntsville and, depending on how things go, may be crowded around a radio on the bus back to Sault Ste. Marie, intently listening to learn of their postseason fate. 

 

Nellis named WCHA Offensive Player of the Week

Anthony Nellis (seen here against Bemidji State) received his first ever weekly WCHA award for his two game winning goals against Alaska-Anchorage (Mike Barrett/LHB)

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) announced today its weekly recipients of their Player of the Week awards.  Among the recipients was Lake Superior junior forward Anthony Nellis.

Nellis, a native of Breakyville, Quebec, was named Player of the Week by scoring both game winning goals (plus an assist) against Alaska-Anchorage on February 9-10.  The goal on Friday was an overtime winner.

A junior, Nellis won his first ever weekly league award.  In winning, he was selected over senior Jordan Heller of Bemidji State, Michigan Tech senior Joel L’Esperance, Minnesota State sophomore Marc Michaelis and junior Denver Pierce of Northern Michigan.

In addition to Nellis’ win, goaltender Mareks Mitens was nominated for WCHA Rookie of the Week for his 22 save win over the Seawolves on Saturday.  Ethan Somoza, a forward from Bemidji State, won for his two points on the weekend.

Mitens outstanding in net as Lakers win fourth straight on road, sweep UAA

Mareks Mitens (seen here from an exhibition game against the USNTDP’s Under 18 squad) prevented a furious rally by Alaska-Anchorage, enabling the Lakers to hold on for a 2-1 win and series sweep (Mike Barrett/LHB)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Anthony Nellis claimed his second consecutive game winning goal and Mareks Mitens slammed the door shut as the Lake Superior State Lakers  (10-20-4, 8-15-3 WCHA) earned their fourth straight win in a 2-1 win over Alaska-Anchorage (2-24-4, 2-19-3-3 WCHA).

Entering the final month of the season needing to essentially win out in order to qualify for the WCHA Tournament, the Lakers have risen to the task.  

Perhaps even more impressive is that they have had to do this completely on the road.

Neither team found the back of the net in the first period.  Both teams made a change in net from the previous night, as Mitens got the start in place of Nick Kossoff, while Olivier Mantha was replaced in the Alaska-Anchorage net by Brody Claeys.

The Seawolves opened the scoring when Trey deGraaf capitalized on a power play opportunity.  The third goal of the year for deGraaf resulted in the first lead of the weekend for Alaska-Anchorage.

Just moments after Jake Hand was denied by Claeys on a great 5 on 3 chance, Max Humitz tied the game with just 1.7 seconds remaining in the period.  A lengthy review of a potential offsides call did not overturn the goal, resulting in a 1-1 tie after 40 minutes.

Shortly before the midway point of the third period, Anthony Nellis cashed in for his second goal of the weekend.  A turnover led to an odd man rush, which Nellis capitalized on, earning his 12th goal of the year and his third in four games.

With just over five minutes left in regulation, Bryan Basilico appeared to put Lake Superior up 3-1.  What would have been his second goal of the season, however, was waived off after a review due to goaltender interference.

Down late, the Seawolves cranked up the pressure on Mitens, peppering the Latvian netminder with everything they could.  The freshman remained steady in net, despite point blank shots and odd deflections, as the Lakers held on for a 2-1 win.

Both teams had 23 shots on net.  In picking up his third win of the season, Mitens stopped 22 of 23 (including 10 in the third period), while Claeys made 21 saves.  

In addition to being equal on the shot counter, both teams were also equal on the power play, as the Seawolves and the Lakers each went 1 for 4 with the odd man.

The Lakers are idle next weekend and will be keeping a close eye on Ferris State.  The Bulldogs have a one point lead on Lake Superior and will play Minnesota State this weekend.  The two teams will face each other in the following week in Big Rapids before the start of the WCHA Tournament.

Nellis hits OT winner, Lakers win third straight

Anthony Nellis (seen here against Bemidji State) potted the overtime winner for the Lakers, sending them to their third straight win (Mike Barrett/LHB)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Anthony Nellis’ eleventh goal of the season propelled Lake Superior State to a 3-2 overtime win over the last place Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves in late night hockey action at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.

The win was the third straight for the Lakers (9-20-4, 7-15-3 WCHA), who swept Bemidji State last weekend.

Will Riedell got the scoring started when he rifled a shot from the top of the circle past Seawolves goaltender Olivier Mantha.  For Riedell, it was his second goal of the season, and his first since November 3rd.  Coincidentally, that goal also came against Alaska-Anchorage.

Lake Superior made it 2-0 later in the period on a power play.  With Tad Kozun off for tripping, Hampus Erikkson collected a pass from Gage Torrel right in front of Mantha.  The native of Forsbacka, Sweden, knocked the puck in the net off of the crossbar.

The Seawolves (2-23-4, 2-18-3-3 WCHA) struck back before the period ended, as Jeremiah Luedtke deflected shot from the blue line by Kozun behind Lakers goaltender Nick Kossoff, closing the gap to one goal.  With 1:09 left on the clock, the Lakers went into the dressing room after one period holding a 2-1 lead.

Nether team found the back of the net in the second period.  The Seawolves, who outshot Lake Superior 12-8 in the opening session, continued their barrage on Kossoff, as they held a 24-14 advantage after 40 minutes.

Alaska-Anchorage tied the game exactly midway thru the third period, when Nicolas Erb-Ekholm fed a pass to Alec Butcher, who beat Kossoff on the short side.

With neither goaltender surrendering a goal thru the remainder of regulation, the teams went to overtime for the second time this season.  Just like last time, the Lakers were victorious, as J.T. Henke dug a puck out of the corner and slid it through two Seawolf defenders to a streaking Nellis, who buried the puck for a 3-2 win.

In goal, Kossoff picked up his seventh win of the year by making 31 saves on 33 shots.  Across the ice, Mantha had 22 saves on 25 opportunities.

The win helped move Lake Superior to 24 points in league play, four behind Ferris State, who currently holds the final playoff spot.  The Bulldogs are idle this week and play Minnesota State next weekend before the final games of the regular season against the Lakers.

By taking the loss, the Seawolves were mathematically eliminated from the WCHA playoff race.  Alaska-Anchorage currently has 12 points on the season, and cannot pass Ferris State’s 28 points with their remaining schedule.

The two squads will conclude their series tonight.  Faceoff is set for 11:07 p.m. Eastern.

 

Series Preview: Lake Superior State @ Alaska Anchorage

 

Alaska Anchorage 2016: 7-21-6 2017: 2-22-4
Lake Superior State 2016: 11-18-7 2017: 8-20-4

Pairwise #57 meets #60
To say it’s been a disappointing season for these two clubs would be an understatement, and neither had much to build off of from the end of last season.

The Seawolves of Alaska Anchorage ended last season with 7 wins on the season, but have only won two contests this season – one coming from Lake Superior State and the other from Alabama-Huntsville, though to their credit they’ve also won three games in the shootout and somehow managed to tie North Dakota, then ranked #7 at the Ralph.

It’s not hard to see why when looking at the stat sheet. They’re led in scoring by senior forward Austin Azurdia, who has 11-5-16 in 23 games this season. Following him you have (A)Tad Kozun, another senior forward with 5-8-13 in 27 games.

In net you have the outstanding Olivier Mantha, now a senior he has played in all but 151 minutes, but has a 3.58 GAA and a .900 Save %. I say outstanding since, despite the team he has in front of him, he has played fairly well, peaking at a .913 Save % and a 2.82 GAA last season. He’s been the backbone of these Seawolves, having played in 118 games and totaling 6730:51 minutes in his career going into the final weeks of the season. He is currently #3 in the number of shots he has faced this season with 920 and has had to face 3671 shots so far in his career – it’s not wonder some of the scores get run up with nobody playing defense in front of him.

While technically not out of the playoffs, as they could potentially catch up to Ferris State (they are 16 points behind), they’d have to essentially sweep the next three weekends & get a lot of help along the way.

Late Season Lakers Surge Forward

Everybody listening to the Bemidji State homers on the radio last weekend, or anyone following our coverage here at LakerHockeyBlog probably had the same sort of reaction to last weekend’s 4-goal shutout sweep of the Beavers: Excitement with a touch of anger or annoyance.

The Bemidji State Beavers are a good team: they now have a 14-10-6 record, with one of the top goaltenders in the country backing them up, yet this Lake State team, led by forwards J.T Henke (9-16-25), Max Humitz (12-9-21) and Diego Cuglietta (7-14-21), and being backstopped by Nick Kossoff Friday night and Mareks Mitens Saturday night managed to pull off two 2-0 shutout wins, marking both the first sweep of the season, the first conference shutout of the year (they did shut out the USNTDP 6-0 in exhibition play), and also marked the freshman goalie Miten’s first collegiate shutout, facing and turning away 36 shots.

Last weekend should power the Lakers into their final two series of the year: this week against UAA before going on a bye week, then traveling to Big Rapids to potentially fight for the final playoff spot. But what needs to happen to get there?

The first step is that Lake State needs to sweep Alaska Anchorage this weekend in regulation, giving us six points totaling 27 on the season – one behind the Bulldogs. Ferris is off this week, but will face #5 Minnesota State-Mankato next weekend. We have to hope that Mankato does their job and sweep Ferris, leading up to a very interesting Friday night matchup on February 23rd, and potentially a nailbiter on the 24th.

But even if the Lakers miss playoffs this year, having a late season surge in spite of one of their own getting into trouble around town should be a motivating factor going into next season, barring any early departures.

Puck drops in Alaska at 11:07 ET and can be heard locally on 99.5 YesFM or on the web at yesfm.net. As always, you can view the games live on WCHA.tv.

Mitens earns 1st shutout, Lakers earn 1st sweep of season

Mareks Mitens earned the first shutout of his Laker career in a 2-0 win over Bemidji State. Coupled with a shutout the previous night, it was the first time since 2010 that the Lakers blanked an opponent twice in one weekend (Mike Barrett/LHB).

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Looking for their first sweep of the season, the Lake Superior State Lakers made a rather unconventional move in net.

A night after Nick Kossoff picked up the first shutout for the Lakers in nearly two seasons, Freshman Mareks Mitens got the nod from head coach Damon Whitten.

The native of Ventspils, Latvia, showed he was equal to the task, stopping all 36 shots, as the Lakers (8-20-4, 6-15-3 WCHA) posted back to back 2-0 shutouts of Bemidji State in a series sweep.

With the win, the Lakers are hoping to propel themselves back into playoff positioning.  Coming into the game, they trailed the Alaska Nanooks by 8 points, as the Nanooks, like the Lakers, won the night before.

The opening period had the Beavers (14-10-6, 11-7-4-2 WCHA) swarming, outshooting the Lakers 13-3.  Mitens was sharp throughout, as the game remained scoreless after 20 minutes.

Max Humitz got Lake Superior on the board with a goal on a delayed penalty to BSU’s Adam Brody.  Humitz redirected a puck past Beavers goaltender Michael Bitzer for a 1-0 lead.

Picking up assists on Humitz’s goal were Collin Saccoman and Yuki Miura.  For Miura, it was his first point as a Laker.

Down a goal going into the final stanza, Bemidji State continued peppering Mitens with shots.  The freshman continued turning away shot after shot.

The Beavers appeared to tie the game when Aaron Miller drilled a puck past Mitens.  Upon further review, however, it was ruled that Mitens had been interfered with on the play, thus negating the goal.

Like last night, Bemidji State took an untimely penalty late, as Myles Fitzgerald was called for tripping with just 2:15 to play.  Rolling the dice, coach Tom Serratore pulled Bitzer, evening up the skaters.

After a couple of long shots missed the net and iced the puck, Diego Cuglietta iced the game away with an empty netter at the 19:38 mark, sealing the Lakers’ fate.

The last time Lake Superior had back to back shutouts was in the 2012-13 season.  Kevin Murdock shut out Northern Michigan in the final game of the regular, followed by Kevin Kapalka shutting out Bowling Green in the first game of the CCHA Conference Tournament.

To find the last time the Lakers were not scored upon in a series, one must go back to November of 2010.  Kevin Kapalka had back to back blanking of Ferris State on 12th and 13th of that month.

Kossoff, defense, stymies Bemidji State on road

Nick Kossoff (pictured here against Ferris State) earned the fourth shutout of his Laker career in a 2-0 win over Bemidji State (Mike Barrett/LHB).

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Playing their final six games of the season on the road, the Lake Superior State Lakers would need to find a way to win on the road in order to have any shot at a WCHA playoff berth.

Following last week’s games against Bowling Green, Lakers head coach Damon Whitten said “we’re going to get in the playoffs, and to do it, we need to become road warriors.”

Whitten’s club took a step in the right direction, as the Lakers (7-20-4, 5-15-3 WCHA) blanked Bemidji State (14-9-6, 11-6-4 WCHA) 2-0 on Friday night.

Lake Superior came out strong in the first period, holding a 12-7 edge in shots on net.  J.T. Henke opened the scoring when he notched his 9th goal of the season.  Assisted by Bryan Basilico and Kyle Chatham, the Trenton, Michigan native put the puck behind Beavers goaltender Michael Bitzer for a 1-0 lead.

In the second period, Bemidji State began clamping down on the Laker offense, limiting them to just four shots.  The Beavers, while getting eight shots of their own, were still being stymied by the Lake State blueliners.

An odd man rush helped Anthony Nellis widen the Lakers lead to 2-0 with his 10th of the season.

The final period saw the Beavers begin to successfully generate more shots on net than before.  Despite seeing more rubber, Lakers netminder Nick Kossoff could not be beat.

Pulling Bitzer for an extra skater, Bemidji looked to get back in the game with under three minutes to play.  Lake State’s Gage Torrel, who assisted on the Nellis goal, got the puck and attempted to ice the game away; Dillon Eichstadt took him down from behind.

While Eichstadt’s actions likely saved a goal, it essentially negated the action of pulling Bitzer.  Forced to kill a minor penalty late in the game, the Beavers could not get any good chances on Kossoff, as the Lakers prevailed on the road by a 2-0 final score.

By stopping all 28 shots, Kossoff picked up his first shutout of the season, and the fourth of his career.  His last shutout came on December 30, 2015 againt Brown in the Catamount Cup. 

In addition, it was the first shutout for a Laker goaltender since Gordie Defiel shutout Minnesota State in Game 2 of the 2016 WCHA Quarterfinals.

Across the ice, Bitzer came up with 18 saves on 20 shots.

Neither team took advantage of their power play opportunites, as the Lakers were 0 for 4, while Bemidji was 0 for 1.  A slashing penalty to Jake Hand was the only power play the Beavers were afforded.