BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – The Lake Superior State hockey team capped off the regular season with a 4-2 win over the Ferris State Bulldogs in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) game on Saturday, Feb. 29 in Big Rapids, Mich.
Lake State finishes the regular season with an overall record of 13-21-4 and a conference record of 11-13-4, which clinches a seventh place spot in the WCHA postseason. The Lakers have posted a record of 6-2-2 in their last 10 games and head into playoffs as winners of four of the last five games.
The Lakers were able to capitalize on a power play in the opening period of action as freshman Dustin Manz notched his second goal of the season to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. With good puck possession in the time prior to the goal, the Lakers were able to cycle the puck in the offensive zone to create the goal. Will Riedell connected a pass to Brayden Gelsinger who circled with the puck before sliding a pass to Manz. The rookie forward fired a quick shot on goal that beat the Bulldogs goalie, Austin Shaw, for the lead at 11:36 of the period.
Just under a minute later, the Bulldogs would even the score at one as Cade Kowalski beat Laker goaltender Roman Bengert for a 1-1 game at 12:14 of the first period.
Before the first period would expire, the Lakers would regain the lead when Riedell continued his strong offensive play as of late as he tallied his fifth goal of the season. Riedell’s second goal in as many games would build upon his new season high total as his blast from the blue line could not be stopped by Ferris’ goalie Austin Shaw. Max Humitz and Louis Boudon would record the helpers on the play.
At 11:49 of the second period, the Lakers would go ahead by a pair of goals for the first time in the game as Boudon scored his sixth goal of the season for a 3-1 lead. Boudon’s power play goal would stand as the eventual game winner, the first of his collegiate career. Boudon skated through the slot with the puck and sent a slapshot that beat Shaw on his glove side. The goal was set up by defenseman Jacob Nordqvist, who kept the puck in the offensive zone to prevent an offside on the play, and Ashton Calder.
Similar to the Bulldogs first goal, the home team would add a goal just over a minute after Boudon’s goal to keep the Lakers lead at one. Jake Transit would tally an unassisted goal for the Bulldogs at 12:55 of the second period to keep the game within reach for Ferris.
Pete Veillette, continuing his impressive sophomore season for the Lakers, would net his 12th goal of the year at 1:38 of the third period to regain the Lakers two goal advantage. A rush up the ice by the line of Veillette, Boudon and Humitz would end with Veillette taking the shot that rang off the post and into the net for the 4-2 Laker lead. Humitz would record his second assist of the game while Boudon would register his 20th assist of the season to cap off his three point effort in the game.
Bengert would record his first career win in the game, stopping 34 shots from the Bulldogs in the final regular season game of the season. Shaw made 20 saves for Ferris State as the Lakers finished the night with 24 shots on goal.
The Lakers special teams had a solid night as the power play was running at a 50.0% success rate with a pair of power play goals and the team’s penalty kill went a perfect four-for-four.
Next weekend, the Lakers will compete in the WCHA Playoffs for the second consecutive season. Locked into the seventh spot, the Lakers will be the lower seed in the series but their opponent has yet to be determined as LSSU can face either the Minnesota State Mavericks or the Bemidji State Beavers.
For more information on playoffs, visit lssulakers.com during the week.
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