Lakers split with Michigan TechTuesday, October 16, 2012 by: Brad Coccimiglio
Lake Superior State hockey opened the non-conference portion of their season over the weekend with a home-and-home series with state-rival Michigan Tech.
In a matchup of two schools that will be playing in the same conference next season, each picked up a victory on home ice. The Lakers won the series opener on Thursday night with a 4-2 win while Michigan Tech returned the favour with an 8-4 win on Saturday night.
On Friday night Kellan Lain and Steven Perfetto had a goal and an assist each to pace the Lakers offensively. Domenic Monardo added a pair of assists in the win while Nick McParland and Eric Drapluk also scored
“We played well in the first and third periods and I thought (Michigan Tech) had a good push in the second,” said Lakers coach Jim Roque after Thursday’s win. “We had some good chances. We could have been up 3-0. We missed a back-door play, Domenic (Monardo) hit a cross-bar and early in the second period we had a breakaway but Lain couldn’t score. Early on we could have been up; we got a really good jump.”
Dennis Rix and Blake Pietila scored for Michigan Tech in the loss. The Huskies had an opportunity to secure the momentum of the game late in the first period after killing off a major penalty to Jujhar Khaira, but couldn’t.
“We got through it but we didn’t do much in the first period (after it). We had a bad period but it’s early in the season and you never know what you’re going to get,” said Michigan Tech coach Mel Pearson. “We came into the building sort of waiting to see what was going to happen instead of trying to force the play and push the pace. It didn’t seem to translate until the second period.”
On Saturday night, Milos Gordic had two goals and an assist while Tanner Kero had a goal and two assists to lead Michigan Tech in the victory. Pietila, Rix, Alex Petan, Carl Nielsen and Daniel Sova also scored in the win.
“I thought we were ready to play tonight,” Pearson told USCHO.com. “We got off to a real good start. We talked about competing, getting a good start, unlike we did the night before.”
Monardo had a goal and two assists for the Lakers while Dan Radke, Ben Power Zach Sternberg also scored. Goaltender Kevin Kapalka struggled in the loss giving up seven goals on 29 shots through two periods before Niels-Erik Ravn entered the game and stopped 10 shots in the third period.
“I thought [Kapalka's] couple goals early were not typical of him,” Roque told USCHO.com after the loss. “You’ve got to have great goaltending on the road to win.”
The Lakers now travel to Bemidji State for a weekend set on Oct. 19 and 20 before returning home to face Michigan State the following weekend.