Lakers drop two to Bemidji State (Photos)

SAULT STE MARIE, MI — The Lake Superior State University Lakers hockey team lost both games this past weekend to Bemidji State by scores of 5-4 and 4-2.

The Lakers’ comeback late in the third period fell just short as the Lakers dropped a 5-4 decision to the Bemidji State Beavers on Friday, Nov. 12 at the Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. in the first game of a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) weekend series.  With the loss, the Lakers fall to 7-5-1 this season and 3-1-0 in CCHA competition.

Sophomore forward Benito Posa scored his first career hat trick for the Lakers while Louis Boudon scored the fourth goal of the game. Laker goaltender Seth Eisele stopped 24 saves in the game for the Lakers. 

After the first twenty minutes of play, the Beavers held a 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of power play goals. Senior forward Alex Ierullo scored the game’s first goal at 6:18 of the first period and Owen Sillinger doubled Bemidji’s lead at 12:04 of the period. 

The Lakers came back in the second period to tie the game at two as sophomore forward Benito Posa scored both goals. At 4:42 of the second period, Posa tallied his first goal of the season as he was set up on the play by freshman forward Cole Craft and senior defenseman Jacob Nordqvist

Later in the second period, Posa notched his second goal of the game as the sophomore forward recorded his first career multi-goal game. With the Lakers in the offensive zone on the power play, Boudon circled around the back of the net with the puck before connecting a pass to sophomore defenseman Jacob Bengtsson at the blue line. Bengtsson fired a shot on goal and Posa capitalized on the rebound to tie the game at two. 

Before the second period came to a close, Bemidji State would regain the game’s two-goal lead. Lukas Sillinger scored at 13:17 of the period to give the Beavers a 3-2 lead and Tyler Kirkup followed with a goal at 18:07 to give his team a 4-2 lead at the close of 40 minutes. 

Owen Sillinger scored his second goal of the game at 17:51 of the third period, which would hold up as the game winning goal against the Lakers. 

Despite the three goal deficit, the Lakers showed no quit in the final minutes of the game as the team scored a pair of goals in the last 1:33 in regulation. At 18:27 of the third period, Louis Boudon would score his seventh goal of the season to pull within two goals of the Beavers (5-3). Boudon’s goal was assisted by Bengtsson and Miroslav Mucha

With just over 30 seconds left to play, Posa completed his first collegiate hat trick with his third goal of the night. Posa’s goal was assisted by Craft and Boudon. 

The Lakers spent the final thirty seconds pushing to score the game tying goal, coming down to the final faceoff of the night with less than three seconds on the clock but ran out of time. 

Eisele finished the game with 24 saves on 29 shots from the Beavers while Bemidji State’s goaltender Gavin Enright stopped 20 shots by the Lakers in the win. 

On Saturday, the Lakers fell to the Bemidji State Beavers by a final score of 4-2 on Saturday, Nov. 13 at the Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. in the second game of a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) weekend series. With the loss, the Lakers drop to 7-6-1 overall and 3-3-0 in CCHA competition. 

Cole Craft scored his first collegiate goal and Miroslav Mucha recorded the other Laker goal. Laker goaltender Ethan Langenegger finished the game with 24 saves. 

The Lakers took a 1-0 lead at 3:37 of the first period when Cole Craft scored his first collegiate goal on Bemidji State’s goaltender Gavin Enright. After sophomore defenseman Jacob Bengtsson connected a pass to junior forward Dustin Manz, Manz gained the offensive zone. Manz sent a wrist shot on goal from just inside the blue line. Craft drove to the net and was able to follow up on the rebound. The freshman forward’s quick shot floated into the top corner of the Beavers net to give the Lakers the early advantage on the scoreboard. 

Bemidji State jumped to a 2-1 lead later in the first period with a pair of goals less than three minutes apart. Jere Vaisanen tied the game at one at 9:44 of the first period as he redirected a shot by Aaron Myers past Langenegger. At 12:28 of the first period, Jakub Lewandowski gave the Beavers the lead when he rang a shot off the inside of the post that crossed the goal line. Tyler Kirkup recorded the lone assist on the goal as he forced a turnover in the Laker end to set up Lewandowski for the go-ahead goal. 

After a scoreless second period, the Beavers extended their lead to two goals at the 3:29 of the third period. Vaisanen scored his second goal of the game with an unassisted goal after a Laker turnover in the defensive zone. 

The Lakers pulled within a goal at 13:16 of the third period when Miroslav Mucha scored his third goal of the season to make it a 3-2 game. With the Lakers putting pressure on the Beavers in the offensive zone, Manz collected the puck along the half boards and sent a pass to Nixon behind the goal. Nixon skated around the net and sent a perfect pass to Mucha who was waiting at the top of the crease. Mucha tipped the puck past Enright with just under seven minutes left in the game. 

In the closing minutes of regulation, the Beavers would seal the win with an empty net goal from Owen Sillinger. Sillinger’s goal was assisted by Alex Ierullo and Brad Johnson at 18:48 of the third period. 

The Lakers finished the game with 27 shots on goal while the Beavers totaled 28 shots. Langenegger made 24 saves in the game for Lake Superior State while Enright stopped 25 shots in the win. 

The Lakers will take on the Bowling Green Falcons on the road next weekend in a CCHA series at the Slater Family Ice Arena in Bowling Green, Ohio. The first game is set for a 7:37 p.m. puck drop on Friday, Nov. 12 and the series will wrap up on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 7:07 p.m. 

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