Lakers salvage split with Bowling Green, end five game skid
After a rough Friday night that saw Lake Superior State outshot 32-18 by No. 17 Bowling Green State in a 5-0 loss, the Lakers rebounded with a strong physical effort for a 3-1 win at the Slater Family Ice Arena.
This series saw a bit of everything: tons of special teams play, a shutout, a penalty shot and a broken pane of glass to boot.
It also saw Lake Superior earn its first road win of the season, snapping a five game skid in the process.
Friday saw Bowling Green (8-5-0, 5-3-0 WCHA) open up a 2-0 lead with tallies from Max Johnson and Sam Craggs, despite the Lakers (5-11-0, 3-5-0 WCHA) holding a slim 10-9 advantage in shots. A barrage of shots by the Falcons resulted in another goal in the second period, this time from Cameron Wright.
Despite killing a major penalty taken by Alex Ambrosio, Lake Superior could not contain the Falcons, as a hooking penalty by Max Humitz led to a penalty shot for Bowling Green, in which Connor Ford scored on Lakers goaltender Mareks Mitens, making the score 4-0. A final tally, this time on the power play from Evan Dougherty, gave the host Falcons a 5-0 lead. Coupled with Bowling Green netminder Eric Dop stopping all 18 shots he faced, the score held up as the final.
Saturday night saw Lake Superior come out playing hard and heavy, frustrating the Bowling Green team at every turn. An oddity occurred with 51 seconds remaining in the period when a Falcon player inadvertently shattered a pane of glass. With the incident occurring so late in the period, the teams were sent to the locker room for the first intermission early. The final seconds of the first period were played after the intermission, after which the two teams switched ends to play the second period.
The grit demonstrated by the Lakers led to them scoring the first goal of the game, as Pete Veillette capitalized on a power play opportunity, while the Falcon’s Tyler Schneider was off for slashing. Connor Ford earned his second goal of the weekend 1:16 later, sending the teams to the locker rooms tied after 40 minutes of play.
At 4:17 of the final period, Ambrosio potted his third goal of the season, putting the Lakers ahead 2-1. A tense period followed, as Bowling Green had a golden opportunity to tie the game when Laker captain Collin Saccoman was ejected and charged with a 5 minute major for contact to the head. The physical play of Lake Superior continued to punish the Falcons, and an empty netter from Humitz sealed the 3-1 win for the visitors and a series split.
For Humitz, it was his 50th career collegiate goal.
Both teams had their share of special teams play, as the Lakers went 0 for 8 on Friday and 1 for 5 on Saturday, while Bowling Green was 2 for 7 on Friday and 1 for 6 on Saturday. Lake Superior racked up 62 penalty minutes, while the Falcons had 44 of their own.
Despite being outshot on the weekend, Lake Superior won the battle in the faceoff circle, going 38-32 on Friday and 39-37 the following night.
Lake Superior returns home this weekend to face Bemidji State. The teams met earlier this month, with the Beavers sweeping the Lakers by scores of 7-1 and 5-1.