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Lakers split as WCHA season winds down

Lake Superior State will carry a 7-4-0 record into the final three games of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular season
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Facing a week with a pair of Western Collegiate Hockey Association games, the Lake Superior State Lakers picked up a split in games against Michigan Tech and Ferris State.

On Friday night, the Lakers fell behind early, but a pair of quick goals in the second period turned out to be the difference in a 4-2 win on the road at Ferris State.

Freshman defenceman Luke Farthing opened the scoring for the Bulldogs 1:59 in as he beat Lake State senior goaltender Mareks Mitens stick side from the slot on the power play.

Freshman Benito Posa tied the game for the Lakers midway through the frame when he beat junior goaltender Roni Salmenkangas in close on a rebound after a shot by freshman defenceman Jacob Bengtsson from the left circle was stopped initially.

Senior forward Yuki Miura made it 2-1 Lakers at 15:42 of the second period when he cut in from the left wing and slid the puck past Salmenkangas in tight.

Just 29 seconds later, Posa got his second of the night as he took a feed from senior Chase Gamelin and beat Salmenkangas stick side to make it 3-1.

Sophomore forward Dallas Tulik cut the Lakers lead to 3-2 when he beat Mitens 1:44 into the third period but Lakers junior forward Pete Veillette sealed the win with an empty net goal in the final minute of regulation time.

Mitens made 23 saves for the Lakers in the victory while Salmenkangas stopped 25 shots in the loss.

On Tuesday, the Lakers dropped a 4-1 decision at Michigan Tech.

Michigan Tech scored three unanswered goals in the second period en route to the win.

Junior forward Trenton Bliss got the Huskies on the board late in the opening period when he went to the net and potted a rebound after freshman defenceman Brett Thorne’s initial shot was stopped by Mitens.

The Lakers got on the board just under seven minutes into the second period when Veillette beat sophomore Huskies goaltender Blake Pietila glove side on a shot from the left faceoff circle.

Junior forward Brian Halonen put the Huskies ahead for good 27 seconds later when he potted a loose puck past Mitens in close.

Freshman forward Nick Nardella made it 3-1 Michigan Tech with just over six minutes to go in the second period when he converted a feed in close from sophomore Tristan Ashbrook.

Junior forward Alec Broetzman capped off the scoring in the game by beating Mitens stick side on a feed from Parker Saretsky on a 2-on-1 with just under four minutes to go in the second period.

Mitens finished the night with 32 saves while Pietila made 33 for Michigan Tech.

Ashbrook and sophomore defenceman Chris Lipe assisted on a pair of goals each for the Huskies.

With the split, the Lakers conference record sits at 7-4-0 (win-loss-tie) and 13-5-3 overall.

The Lakers return to action on Tuesday night on the road in the first game of a two-game set against Bemidji State. The series wraps up on Wednesday night before the Lakers return home to wrap up regular season action on Saturday afternoon against Ferris State.

Brad Coccimiglio

About the Author: Brad Coccimiglio

A graduate of Loyalist College’s Sports Journalism program, Brad Coccimiglio’s work has appeared in The Hockey News as well as online at in addition to regular freelance work with SooToday before joining the team full time.
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