HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Minor penalties come with power plays that last exactly two minutes of game time. No more, less only if a goal is scored by the team with the power play.
Anybody who has been around the game, however, will say the power play doesn’t truly end until the penalized team regains control of the puck.
Hampus Eriksson’s game winner Saturday night is not on the books as a power play goal. But, with the goal coming just four seconds after the expiration of a penalty, the argument exists that it was a power play tally.
Lake Superior (4-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) needed a two goal third period to rally past Alabama Huntsville (0-8-0, 0-2-0 WCHA) in the second game of their weekend series, picking up a series sweep in the process.
The Chargers, who are hungry for their first win of the season, struck first early in the second period on a goal by Jack Jeffers. The freshman potted his second goal of the season on Lakers goaltender Mareks Mitens, who earned the start from head coach Damon Whitten.
With the shots close to even after two periods (18-17 in favour of the Chargers), Alabama Huntsville, in front of a home crowd of 3083, came out firing away at Mitens in the final period. The native of Ventspils, Latvia, made several big saves to keep his team in the game.
Lake Superior found the back of the net just past the 7:00 mark of the third period when Anthony Nellis connected for his third goal of the season. Assisted by Gage Torrel and Eriksson, the Breakyville, Quebec native got in all alone on Sinclair and now has five points (3-2—5) so far on the season.
Looking for the go ahead goal, the Lakers got their chance when Bailey Newton was called for interference with 9:46 to play. While the 2:00 power play itself yielded no goal, one was scored by Eriksson just after the penalty expired and before the Chargers could gain control of the puck.
Holding down the fort, Mitens and the Laker defense held back Alabama Huntsville’s furious effort to tie the game, collecting the 2-1 win in the process.
In net, Mitens had 29 saves on 30 shots. For the Chargers, Sinclair came up with 24 saves on 26 attempts.
Dating back to last season, the Lakers are 8-2-0 in their last 10 games on the road. The flipside of that, however, is that, in the last 10 home games, Lake Superior is 2-8-0. The Lakers will look to amend that this coming weekend when they play host to the University of Michigan. Friday’s game is set for a 7:37 p.m. puck drop, while the Saturday game is at 7:07 p.m.