Willets’ Hat Trick Propels the Lakers to a 4-0 Victory over Ferris State

SAULT STE. MARIE, MICH. – The Lake Superior State hockey team swept the Ferris State Bulldogs in a weekend Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series at the Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. by a final score of 4-0 on Saturday, Feb. 12. With the win, the Lakers improve to a 14-15-1 overall record this season and 10-12-0 in conference play. 

Junior defenseman Jake Willets led the team with three goals in the victory as he became the first defenseman in Laker program history to score a hat trick. Junior forward Louis Boudon scored the other goal for the Lakers. Sophomore goaltender Ethan Langenegger stopped all 20 shots he faced in the game as he earned his third shutout of the season.

After Bulldogs forward Kaleb Ergang was assessed a major penalty at 2:20 of the first period, the Lakers capitalized on the five minute power play with a pair of goals to take an early 2-0 lead. Boudon opened the scoring at 4:36 of the first period with his 13th goal of the season off a perfect passing play on the man advantage. Willets, playing against his former team, slid a cross ice pass from the point to senior forward Miroslav Mucha, who was at the faceoff dot to the left of Ferris State goaltender Noah Giesbrecht. Mucha connected a pass to Boudon, who was all alone on the doorstep. Boudon redirected the puck over the leg of Giesbrecht to give his team a 1-0 lead. 

Exactly a minute later, the Lakers doubled their lead as Willets scored his first goal of the game with the Lakers still on the power play from the Ferris State major. Boudon carried the puck into the offensive zone and with one Ferris defender back on the play, slid the puck across the ice. Mucha got a piece of the puck as it made its way across the zone, and Willets dropped down to a knee to get off a shot that beat Giesbrecht for a 2-0 lead at 5:36 of the period. 

Before the close of the first period, the Lakers extended their lead to 3-0 at the 13:39 mark as Willets scored his second goal of the game. With the Lakers holding the puck in the offensive zone, Nixon connected a pass to junior defenseman Arvid Henrikson, who was down towards the goal line. Henrikson skated in towards Giesbrecht and sent a sharp angle shot on goal. With the puck still loose in the crease, Willets knocked the puck over the goal line to record his first career multi-goal game. 

Willets completed his first career hat trick at 8:43 of the second period when he capitalized on a great pass from sophomore forward Harrison Roy. Willets fired off a wrist shot from the circle to beat Giesbrecht to give the Lakers a 4-0 lead. Mucha recorded his third helper of the night as he tallied the secondary assist on the play. 

After a scoreless third period, the Lakers would clinch the conference win by a final score of 4-0. Langenegger finished the game with 20 saves on all 20 shots he faced in the contest as he earned his third shutout of the season and his seventh win of the year. Giesbrecht stopped 26 of the 30 shots he faced from the Lakers.

The Lakers will travel to Mendota Heights, Minn. next weekend to take on the St. Thomas Tommies in the team’s final regular season road series. The pair of games against the Tommies will begin on Friday, Feb. 18 at 8:07 p.m. EST and wrap up on Saturday, Feb. 19 at 8:07 p.m. EST. Both games will be played at the St. Thomas Ice Arena. 

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