It took a goal early in the third period to give them a lift and from there, the Lake Superior State Lakers managed to salvage the final game of a weekend series with the Bemidji State Beavers.
Defenceman Will Riedell got the Lakers on the board just over six minutes into the third period as the team erased a 2-0 deficit and skated to a 2-2 tie with the Beavers at taffy Abel Arena in the Michigan Sault.
Though the game goes down as a tie, the Lakers picked up the shootout win to improve their overall record to 4-1-3 (win-loss-tie).
It also marked the third time this season that the Lakers picked up a shootout win.
Miroslav Mucha got the Lakers the win in the shootout, beating senior goaltender Zach Driscoll 5-hole in the seventh round of the shootout.
Lakers goaltender Mareks Mitens stopped Bemidji’s Ethan Somoza to seal the shootout win.
Riedell’s goal came at 6:02 of the final period when he beat Driscoll with a shot from the left faceoff circle high short side to cut Bemidji’s lead to 2-1.
Junior forward Ashton Calder then tied the game for the Lakers with 1:37 to go in regulation time.
The third year forward was in traffic in the slot and deflected a point shot by Jacob Nordqvist past Driscoll to even things up.
Senior forward Brendan Harris opened the scoring for Bemidji State, beating Mitens for his third goal of the weekend just under nine minutes into the contest.
Nick Cardelli, who set up Harris for the opening goal, made it 2-0 for the Beavers when he beat Mitens high glove on a breakaway at 11:59 of the second period.
The third period had a lot of positives for the Lakers.
“That was our best period of the weekend for sure,” Lakers coach Damon Whitten said in a post-game interview on the team radio broadcast on YesFM. “You have to find ways to keep energy on the bench and that second (Bemidji) goal was deflating for sure.”
“When we scored that (first) goal, that’s when we really got some life and it got us going again,” Whitten also said.
Mitens made 29 saves for the Lakers and stopped all seven shooters he faced in the shootout.
Driscoll made 28 saves for Bemidji State and stopped six of seven Lakers shooters in the shootout.
The Lakers return to action with a pair of games on the road against Northern Michigan. The weekend set begins on Jan. 8.