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Tuesday January 26, 2021
LSSU Hockey Rallies To Beat Bemidji In Shootout

This story was written by LSSU Athletics. (LSSU Photo)

SUNDAY GAME RECAP

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - 
The No. 19 Lake Superior State Lakers recorded a 2-2 tie against the Bemidji State Beavers on Sunday, Jan. 3 in the closing game of a non-conference series at the Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

LSSU won the shootout, but the game officially ends in a tie.

The Lakers won the shootout in the seventh round on a goal from Miroslav Mucha. The Lakers came back from a two-goal deficit in the third period thanks to goals by Will Riedell and Ashton Calder recorded the two goals for LSSU while Mareks Mitens stopped 28 shots in the game.


For the second straight game, the Beavers scored the game's first goal as Brendan Harris scored his third goal of the series to give Bemidji State a 1-0 lead at 8:48 of the first period.

The goal, which was scored while the two teams were playing at four-on-four, was a result of the Beavers forcing a turnover in the offensive zone. Nick Cardelli connected a pass to Harris, who was open in the slot. Harris skated in on Laker goaltender Mareks Mitens and tucked the puck behind Mitens to take the game's first lead. 
 

At the 12:41 mark of the first period, Lakers sophomore defenseman Arvid Henrikson was assessed a five minute major penalty and a game misconduct for checking from behind to give the Beavers a five minute power play. The Lakers penalty killers, led by Mitens, had a strong game especially during the major penalty as the team was down two skaters for a portion of the five minutes.
 

Bemidji took a 2-0 lead at 11:59 of the second period on a goal scored by Cardelli. The Beavers cleared the puck out from their own zone with Tyler Kirkup and Lukas Sillinger each getting a piece of the puck before connecting with Cardelli. Cardelli gained the offensive zone all alone and skated in on Mitens with a shot that beat the LSSU netminder high on his glove side to extend the Beavers lead. 
 

The Lakers would begin their comeback at 6:02 of the third period when Will Riedell got the Lakers on the board with his second goal of the season.

The goal, which was scored one second after a Bemidji penalty expired, was a direct result of Laker possession while on the power play. Riedell held the puck inside the faceoff circle before sending a pass to senior forward Hampus Eriksson who was stationed behind the net. Eriksson connected a pass to Brandon Puricelli, and Puricelli would skate back around the net to set up Riedell for the wrist shot. Riedell's shot rang off the net's inner pipe but after a quick review by the officials the goal stood. 
 

In the closing minutes of the third period, the Lakers offense was pressuring the Bemidji defense and had a number of quality chances in the second half of the period. With under two minutes remaining in regulation time, the Lakers pulled Mitens in favor of an extra skater. The Lakers would even the game at two at 18:23 of the period when Ashton Calder scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season. 
 

With Riedell and Nordqvist manning the blue line, the two defenders exchanged a pair of passes to each other before Nordqvist sent a low shot towards Bemidji State goalie Zach Driscoll. As the shot made its way through traffic, Calder, who was providing a screen on the play, got a piece of the puck to send the redirection past Driscoll. 
 

The Lakers and the Beavers would require an extra five minute overtime session to determine a winner but neither team was able to score in the period. The game officially ended as a 2-2 tie.
 

The two teams would take part in a best-of-three round shootout but the evenly matched game would require seven rounds before Mucha netted a goal to give the Lakers the shootout victory. 
 

Mitens finished with 29 shots while Driscoll stopped 28 shots in the game. 
 

The Lakers will return to the ice next weekend in the team's final non-conference series of the season as they take on Northern Michigan in a pair of road games. The first game is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 8 at 7:07 p.m. at the Berry Events Center while the series closer is set for a 6:07 p.m. puck drop on Saturday, Jan. 9. 

SATURDAY GAME RECAP
 

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - The No. 19 Lake Superior State Lakers opened 2021 with a 4-1 loss to the Bemidji State Beavers in the first game of a non-conference home series on Saturday, Jan. 2 at the Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Junior forward Miroslav Mucha scored the lone goal for the Lakers while Mareks Mitens stopped 29 shots in his first loss of the season. 
 

For the first time this season, the Lakers allowed the game's first goal as Bemidji State took a 1-0 lead at 18:12 of the first period. The goal was scored by Kyle Looft who took a shot as he skated into the offensive zone. Looft's shot beat LSSU goaltender Mareks Mitens but didn't yet cross the goal line until after a scramble in the crease. The puck would deflect in off of the Lakers who were defending on the play. Looft's first career goal was assisted by Nick Cardelli and Tyler Kirkup. 


The Lakers tied the game at one at 5:26 of the second period when Miroslav Mucha extended his goal streak to a career best three games with his third goal of the season. With the goal, Mucha ties his previous season high in goals with three. The play started with junior defenseman Jacob Nordqvist dumping in the puck from the neutral zone.

The Lakers forward line of Mucha, Yuki Miura and Hampus Eriksson worked along the end boards to gain possession of the puck. Miura would take the puck around the back of the net and connect a pass to Mucha who was open on the doorstep. Mucha, who was all alone in front of Beavers goalie Zach Driscoll, sent off a quick shot that made its way past Driscoll to even the score at 1-1. 


In the final period of play, the Lakers and Beavers continued to play a tight game until Bemidji State took the lead at 10:29 of the third period. Brendan Harris scored the eventual game winning goal from the top of the faceoff circle as he fired a high shot that rang in off the crossbar and into the top corner of the net to beat Mitens. 


The Lakers stayed within a goal of the Beavers until the final minute of play when Aaron Miller and Harris each scored empty net goals to seal their team's 4-1 victory over the Lakers.


Bemidji would finish the game outshooting the Lakers by a margin of 33-31. Mittens finished the game with 29 saves on 31 shots while Driscoll stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced from the Lakers.


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