Calder’s Hat Trick Propels No. 20 Lakers to a 5-2 Win over No. 17 Bemidji State

BEMIDJI, Minn. – The No. 20 Lake Superior State hockey team earned a 5-2 win against the No. 17 Bemidji State Beavers in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) game on Wednesday, March 3 at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn. With the win, the Lakers record stands at 14-6-3 in overall play and 8-5-0 in WCHA competition. Lake Superior State was led by senior forward Ashton Calder, who recorded his first career hat trick, and freshman defenseman Jacob Bengtsson, who scored his first career goal in the game. 

In the first period, the Lakers opened the game’s scoring with a power play goal from Louis Boudon. Boudon’s seventh goal of the season sets a new career high for the sophomore forward. After the Lakers controlled the puck following a battle along the boards, Lukas Kaelble sent a pass from the point to Pete Veillette, who was at the top of the circle. Veillette sent the puck towards the net, setting up Boudon for a redirect to beat Beavers goaltender Zach Driscoll for a 1-0 lead at 5:00 of the first period. 

When scoring the game’s first goal this season, the Lakers record stands at 8-0-1.

Less than two minutes later, the Beavers would tie the game at one when Aaron Miller scored the second power play goal of the game. 

At 8:12 of the second period, Calder scored his first goal of the game to put the Lakers ahead 2-1. Calder would win an offensive zone face-off and Bengtsson would gain possession of the puck off the draw. Bengtsson sent a quick pass to Mitchell Oliver at the blue line and Oliver took a wrist shot that made its way on goal. Driscoll made the initial save but Calder scooped up the rebound and capitalized for his 10th goal of the season.

In a game that was dominated by special teams play, the Beavers would tie the game with their second power play goal of the game. Eric Martin scored at 17:19 of the second period to make it a 2-2 game. 

Bengtsson would snap the 2-2 tie at 10:57 of the third period as the rookie defenseman would notch his first career goal. The goal, which would stand as the game winner, started with a defensive play by Oliver in the Lakers zone. Oliver would then find Benito Posa open in the neutral zone and connected a pass. Posa would enter the offensive zone and skated into the slot before pulling up to set up Bengtsson, who was trailing the play. Bengtsson got off a quick shot from the slot to give the Lakers the go-ahead goal. 

Calder’s second goal of the game came following a neutral zone face-off taken by Boudon. The centerman and his winger, Veillette, would work together to free up the puck following the draw. Boudon tapped the puck to Calder, who banked a pass off the boards to spring himself on a break in on Driscoll. Calder snapped off a shot that rang in off the far side cross bar and into the back of the net at 11:14 of the third period. 

With 2:30 left on the clock, the Lakers sealed the win when Calder scored his third goal of the game with the Beavers net empty in favor of the extra attacker. Boudon made a defensive play to chip the puck out of the defensive zone and fed Calder a pass to get the empty netter. With the hat trick, Calder becomes the first Laker to score a hat trick in a game since Brayden Gelsinger scored three goals in the Lakers 5-2 win at Alaska on Dec. 8, 2018. 

Five Lakers finished the contest with at least two points, led by Boudon (1G, 2A) and Calder (3G). 

Mitens stopped 36 shots in the game to record his 10th win of the season for the Lakers. The senior goalie has now allowed two or fewer goals in 17 of his 20 appearances in goal. Driscoll finished the game stopping 25 of the 29 Laker shots on goal. 

Lake Superior’s success on the road continues as the team has now totaled a 9-2-0 record when playing in away games this season. 

The Lakers will close out the regular season with a single home game against the Ferris State Bulldogs in a game on Saturday, March 6 at 3:07 p.m. at the Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Following the game, the Lakers will hold a ceremony honoring the team’s seven graduating seniors. 

Even though spectators cannot currently attend Laker games, there are still a number of ways that fans will be able to follow the game action. All Laker home games, and away games against WCHA opponents during the 2020-21 season will be available to watch live on FloHockey, the WCHA’s streaming partner. For more information or to sign up for a subscription, visit https:/www.flohockey.tv. Fans can also tune in to the radio broadcast on 99.5 Yes FM, the official radio station of Laker hockey.

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This story was prepared by the staff at EUP News or contributed from an outside source.

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