SAULT STE. MARIE, Ontario - The Lakers closed out their Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) with a 4-1 victory against the University of Alabama Huntsville Chargers in a historic game as the teams played in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario at the GFL Memorial Gardens on Saturday, Feb. 15. The game marked the first time that the Lakers have played an official NCAA game in Canada while additionally being the first NCAA Division I men's college hockey game played across the border since 2012.
The first period was the fourth straight scoreless period between the Lakers and the Chargers in the series. The Lakers recorded 15 shots in the period with Mark Sinclair standing strong in goal for the Chargers while Mareks Mitens stopped all four shots he faced from the Chargers.
Ashton Calder, the Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, native opened the game's scoring as he scored on a breakaway after being set up by his Canadian teammate, Brayden Gelsinger for his 10th goal of the season in the second period.
At 12:58 of the second period, defenseman Jacob Nordqvist netted the game winning goal for the Lakers as he was set up by Louis Boudon and Max Humitz to give the Lakers a two goal advantage over the Chargers. Both of Nordqvist's goals this season have been game winners.
Gelsinger notched his second point of the game, in his home country, as he capped off the Lakers second period goal scoring as he followed up on a play started by Hampus Eriksson and Will Riedell to give the Lakers a 3-0 lead at 13:28 of the second period.
Riedell closed out the scoring in the game for the Lakers at 4:11 of the third period. Yuki Miura and Miroslav Mucha tallied the assists on the goal for the Lakers.
Mitens shutout bid was snapped with 1:16 left in the game as Tanner Hickey scored for the Chargers to get on the board in the game. The Laker goalie stopped 24 shots in the game, bringing his weekend total to 51 saves as he only let in the one goal in the pair of games.
The Lakers and the Chargers were able to put on a strong showing of collegiate hockey and the WCHA in front of a new audience in a new venue as the event drew in a crowd of 3,169.
Next weekend, the Lakers will play their final regular season home series as they take on the Northern Michigan Wildcats on Friday, Feb. 21 and Saturday, Feb. 22 at the Taffy Abel Arena.