SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - Michigan Tech held a 2-1 third period lead before Lake Superior State scored three unanswered goals to earn a 4-2 victory in both teams' season openers tonight at Taffy Abel Arena. The hosts scored a power play goal and two even strength tallies in the final 14 minutes to get the win.
"You're not going to win a lot of hockey games if you play like we did defensively," said head coach Mel Pearson. "You make it really tough on yourself if you give up four goals on the road."
The Huskies gave up a goal 41 seconds into the contest as Kellan Lain collected a rebound in the right circle and fired a shot past rookie netminder Pheonix Copley. Later in the first period, freshman Jujhar Khaira was called for checking from behind and given a game misconduct. The Lakers carried play with an 11-4 advantage in shots in the period, but the score remained 1-0 at the intermission.
Tech responded in the second period with a 16-5 advantage in shots. One of those was a goal off the stick of Blake Pietila. Milos Gordic skated into the zone and threw the puck on net. It trickled to the back door where Pietila pounded it home.
The Huskies skated hard to start the third period and earned a hooking call on the Lakers. Dennis Rix made the power play pay as he corralled a long rebound in the right circle and put a shot past Laker goalie Kevin Kapalka. Tech led 2-1 with 17 minutes to play.
LSSU then scored three in a row. Stephen Perfetto went over Copley's shoulder at the 6:37 mark of the third. Nick McParland scored the game winner on a nice passing play on the man advantage at the 12:21 mark. Eric Drapluck finished scoring with a one-timer on a rush at 15:31.
Tech held a 33-22 advantage in shots on net with a 29-11 margin following the first intermission. The Huskies were whistled for seven penalties for 25 minutes. LSSU was called for five penalties.
The teams will play again on Saturday (Oct. 13), with that matchup set for 7:07 at Tech's John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
Notes: Phoenix Copley got his first official collegiate start in net ... Rix's power-play goal was the first of his career ... Attendance: 1,796.