Lakers spoil Winter Carnival for host Huskies, earn series split

Lake Superior State collected its first Friday road win of the season with a solid effort in a 7-3 over Michigan Tech, before falling in overtime to the Huskies 4-3 for a series split.

Michigan Tech (16-14-3, 11-11-2 WCHA) lost its second straight Winter Carnival series, having fallen to Minnesota State last season. The Lakers prevailed in the two game, total goals series 10-7, capturing the MacInnes Trophy.

Friday: Lakers 7, Huskies 3

On Friday night, Lake Superior (9-20-3, 7-12-3-3 WCHA) bounced back from a 1-0 deficit on an Alec Broetzman tally in the first period by scoring three goals, from Brendan McKay, Ashton Calder and Max Humitz, 6:36 apart from each other, giving the Lakers a 3-1 lead entering the second period.

The Huskies got the first goal of the second and third periods as well, but Damon Whitten’s bunch doubled the Michigan Tech response both periods, as Colin Swoyer’s goal was answered by Calder and Miroslav Mucha, while Logan Pietella’s thrd period mark garnered responses by Chase Gamelin and Arvid Henrikson.  Gamelin, McKay and Henrikson each had their first goal of the season.

Mareks Mitens was busy all night, as the Huskies racked up 42 shots on net, with the Hobey Baker nominee stopping 39.  Matt Jurusik took the loss for Michigan Tech by allowing 2 goals on 9 shots, before being relieved by Blake Pietella, who was scorched for 5 tallies on 21 shots.

With the Friday night win, the Lakers won their first game in Houghton since the 2013-14 season.  The Lakers defeated the Huskies 5-3 on November 15th, and had gone 0-8-1 at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena since that time.

Saturday: Huskies 4, Lakers 3 (OT)

Saturday night had a much different feel to it.  The Lakers, despite leading the shot count the entire way, never led at any point in the game.  Despite this, Lake Superior never let the Huskies pull away, as the hosts never had more than a one goal lead.

After less than stellar performances from his goaltenders the previous night, Huskies head coach Joe Shawhan went with Robbie Beydoun in net, while Mitens returned for Lake Superior.

Brian Halonen opened the scoring for Michigan Tech just 45 seconds into the game.  The Lakers responded early in the second period, when Calder potted his third goal of the weekend.

The Huskies got another goal from Halonen later in the period, but the game was tied back up a mere 15 seconds later by McKay, who picked up his second goal of the series.  Likewise, Broetzman scored his second on the weekend 1:09 later, giving Michigan Tech a 3-2 lead after two periods.

Going for broke, Lake Superior yanked Mitens for an extra skater.  With the clock winding down, Pete Veillette connected or his 9th goal of the season, sending the game to overtime in the process.

Looking for a series sweep, the Lakers’ hopes were dashed when Alex Smith found the back of the net with only 30 seconds remaining in overtime, giving the Huskies a 4-3 win.

In net, Mitens made 22 saves on 26 shots, while Beydoun stopped 39 of 42 faced.

Leading the Lakers on the weekend were Calder (3-1—4, +2) and defenceman Will Reidell (0-4—4, +2).  Despite this, it was Michigan Tech’s Halonen (2-2—4, E) who was named the Winter Carnival MVP.