After having two weekend series postponed in late January, the Lake Superior State Lakers hockey team returned to action and have been on quite a roll since.
Thanks to a pair of Western Collegiate Hockey Association conference wins over the Alabama Huntsville Chargers over the weekend, the Lakers have won five consecutive games and six of their last seven.
The streak improves Lake State’s conference record to 6-3-0 (win-loss-tie) and 12-4-3 overall.
On Saturday night, the Lakers scored four unanswered goals en route to a 4-1 win over the Chargers.
Alabama Huntsville opened the scoring as junior defenceman Dayne Finneson beat freshman Lakers goaltender Ethan Langenegger 5:33 into the opening period as he deflected a shot by freshman Quinn Green in close.
Lake State got on the board just over five minutes later as junior defenceman Mitchell Oliver’s shot from the right point found its way through traffic and past Alabama Huntsville sophomore goaltender David Fessenden stick side.
The Lakers took the lead 4:16 into the second period when senior forward Hampus Eriksson beat Fessenden high short side from the left faceoff circle.
Just 2:59 later, Lakers sophomore forward Louis Boudon scored his sixth goal of the season at he redirected a feed from Eriksson in close to make it 3-1 Lakers.
Sophomore forward Brandon Puricelli sealed the win for the Lakers, beating Fessenden 2:40 into the third period to make it 4-1.
Puricelli cut to the net from the right wing and slid a backhand past the Chargers goaltender to cap off the scoring.
Eriksson and Boudon had a goal and an assist each for Lake State while junior forward Pete Veillette assisted on a pair of goals in the win.
Langenegger made 19 saves for the Lakers while Fessenden made 17 saves for the Chargers.
In Friday’s contest, it took a goal with 9.2 seconds to go in regulation time by senior defenceman Will Riedell to give the Lakers a 2-1 win over the Chargers.
With the Lakers on the power play, Puricelli had the puck in traffic in the corner to the left of the Alabama-Huntsville goal and found Riedell alone in the high slot.
Riedell proceeded to beat Fessenden high glove to cap off the comeback for Lake State.
With the Lakers trailing 1-0, junior defenceman Jacob Nordqvist got Lake State on the board just over 11 minutes into the third when he jumped on a loose puck in close after a shot by Eriksson from the top of the right faceoff circle didn’t initially get through traffic in close.
Freshman forward Bennett Stockdale had the lone goal for Alabama Huntsville, beating senior goaltender Mareks Mitens 12:29 into the second period.
Mitens finished the night with nine saves for the Lakers.
Fessenden made 26 saves for the Chargers.
The weekend series capped off a busy week for the Lakers, who also picked up a win on Tuesday afternoon on the road at Michigan Tech.
A goal by junior forward Ashton Calder 33 seconds into the second period proved to be the difference as the Lakers beat the Huskies 3-1.
The goal came as Calder drove the net on a 2-on-1 and redirected a pass from junior winger Pete Veillette past Huskies sophomore goaltender Blake Pietila glove side to give Lake State the lead for good.
Freshman Benito Posa, on a shot from the right circle stick side late in the opening period, and senior Yuki Miura into an empty net with 87 seconds to go in regulation time capped off the scoring for Lake State.
Junior forward Trenton Bliss had the lone goal for Michigan Tech, beating Mitens after jumping on a loose pick just over seven minutes into the second period.
Mitens made 35 saves for the Lakers while Pietila made 17 for Michigan Tech.
The game was one of two being made up between the two schools after a series at Michigan Tech originally scheduled to begin on Jan. 22 was postponed due to COVID-19 testing results within the Lakers program at the time.
The second game of that series will be made up on Tuesday afternoon at Michigan Tech.
Following Tuesday’s game, the Lakers are scheduled to go on the road to face Ferris State on Feb. 26.