SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - No. 13 Lake Superior State University dominated play early and clung to a one-goal lead late to salvage a 2-1 victory over the Bemidji State University men's ice hockey team and a nonconference series split at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Sainte Marie, Mich. Saturday.
For the second straight night, the Beavers were sluggish out of the gates, but tonight, Lake Superior State took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission to prove it.
Just 1:13 into the game, Jake Areshenko (Jr., D, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia) was whistled for hooking, setting the Lakers up on their first power-play opportunity of the evening. Zach Trotman would convert on the man advantage opportunity 50 seconds later (2:03).
In addition to the 1-0 lead, LSSU took an 18-1 edge in shots into the locker room after 20 minutes of play.
Clutching a one-goal lead, the Lakers again went on the power-play 4:13 into the second period, but this time the short-handed situation served as a wake up call for the Beavers. BSU got a solid short-handed scoring opportunity during the LSSU power-play chance and would go on to get 11 shots off during the course of the next eight minutes capped by a goal.
BSU's only tally of the game came off the stick of Shea Walters (Sr., F, Hibbing, Minn.) at the 14:22 mark of the second period to knot the score at 1-1. Radoslav Illo (So., F, Bystrica, Slovakia) got the scoring play started with a staunch forecheck to punch the puck to Brance Orban ((Jr., F, Lethbridge, Alberta) on the wing, who found Walters on the doorstep.
The goal was Walters' fifth of the season marking a new single-season high for the senior.
The Beavers controlled play for a large portion of the third period, out shooting the Lakers 13-6, but it was LSSU that would score the only goal of theperiod to secure the win.
Kyle Pobur corralled a loose puck off a BSU turnover and skated virtually end-to-end to score the game-winning goal at the 3:18 mark of the period.
With just under six minutes to play, the Beavers looked to have the score evened at 2-2, but a review of the goal showed a BSU player was in the crease and the goal was waved off.
BSU would make one more push to extend the game to overtime pulling its goaltender with 90 seconds to play. The Beavers attempted five shots and applied sustained pressure with the extra attacker, but were unable to come up with a goal to show for it.
Out shot 29-21 in the game, including a 23-8 differential after 40 minutes, Bemidji State's Andrew Walsh (Fr., G, Dawson Creek, British Columbia) turned away 27 shots but was tagged with the loss after allowing both Lakers' goals. His record moves to 2-2-0 on the season.
In his first collegiate start, LSSU goaltender Kevin Murdock made 20 saves to pick up his first victory in a Laker uniform.
The BSU power-play unit was held scoreless for the third straight game going 0-for-2 on the man advantage.
Netting the first goal of the game, LSSU was 1-for-4 on the man advantage.
Bemidji State falls to 4-6-0 overall and returns to Bemidji, Minn. and Sanford Center Nov. 11-12 to host University of Nebraska-Omaha for a Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) match up. The series will get underway at 7:37 p.m. Friday with the opening faceoff for the series finale set for 7:07 p.m. Saturday.