BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – The No. 18 Lake Superior State hockey team earned a 4-2 win against the Ferris State Bulldogs in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) game on Friday, Feb. 26 at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. With the win, the Lakers record improves to 13-5-3 in overall play and 7-4-0 in WCHA competition.
Ferris State scored the game’s first goal at 1:59 of the first period when Luke Farthing capitalized on a Bulldogs power play. Farthing scored his first career goal as he skated in on a shot from the slot and beat Mareks Mitens for a 1-0 lead.
The Lakers tied the game at one later in the first period when freshman forward Benito Posa scored his third goal of the season. The play started in the offensive zone when Chase Gamelin and Alex Ambrosio forced a turnover while in on the forecheck. Later in the shift, Ambrosio would collect the puck behind the Bulldogs net and connect a pass to Jacob Bengtsson, who was in the center of the faceoff circle. Bengtsson would fire a sharp angle shot on goal that Posa, who was stationed right outside the crease, would tap in for a 1-1 game.
In the second period, the Lakers would score a pair of goals on Bulldogs goaltender, Roni Salmenkangas to hold a 3-1 lead after forty minutes of play.
Yuki Miura would set a new career high in single season goals with four when he scored at 15:42 of the second period to give the Lakers a 2-1 lead. Miura’s goal, which was unassisted, was scored with the two teams skating four-on-four. Salmenkangas played the puck up the ice with Miura capitalizing on the turnover. The senior forward would skate in on the Ferris State netminder and take the puck from his backhand to his forehand before sliding the puck behind Salmenkangas for the Lakers first lead of the night.
Less than a minute later, Posa would score the eventual game winning goal to give the Lakers a 3-1 lead. Mitchell Oliver would collect the puck in the defensive zone before sending a pass to Posa, who was just outside the blue line. Posa would then enter the Bulldogs zone and exchange passes with Gamelin. Posa, who was driving to the net on the rush, shot the puck over the right pad of Salmenkangas for a two goal at 16:11 of the second period. Posa would record the first two-goal game of his collegiate career as well as his first collegiate game winning goal.
The Bulldogs were able to make it a one goal game early in the third period as Dallas Tulik scored on an odd man rush to make it a 3-2 game. Tulik’s goal, which was scored at the 1:44 mark of the third period, was assisted by Antonio Venuto and Lucas Finner.
At 19:13 of the third period, the Lakers would seal the win when Pete Veillette scored his ninth goal of the season on an unassisted empty net goal. Veillette would force a turnover in the neutral zone and fired the puck into the open net for a 4-2 Laker lead. With the goal, Veillette is now tied with Ashton Calder for the team lead in goals this season (9).
Mitens finished the game with 23 saves on 25 shots to secure his ninth win of the season and the 31st of his career, which moves him into sole possession of the 10th place spot on the all-time wins list in program history.
The Lakers will have a couple days off before traveling to Bemidji, Minn. to play the Bemidji State Beavers in a pair of WCHA games at the Sanford Center. The Lakers and Beavers will open the series on Tuesday, March 2 at 7:07 p.m. and conclude on Wednesday, March 3 at 5:07 p.m. The series, which was originally scheduled to be played on Jan. 29 and 30, was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols going into effect within the Laker program.