SAULT STE. MARIE, MICH. — Freshman Barry Pochmara’s first collegiate goal was scored only 47 seconds into overtime Saturday night to help the Lakers break a three-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over visiting St. Lawrence University.
“He just blew by the defender,” said Laker coach Frank Anzalone. “He made a great shot.”
The Lakers were down 1-0 in the first period after Russ Bartlett netted a power-play goal at 7:46 for the Saints. Bartlett’s goal bounced off a Lake State defender and in past netminder Scott Murray.
Lake State tied it up with an even-strength goal from senior Chris McNamara early in the second. The Lakers then took their first lead in the series when Jason Nightingale scored less than four minutes later to put them up 2-1. Younger brother Adam Nightingale assisted on Jason Nightingale’s first goal of the season.
The Saints evened the game at two goals apiece when Robin Carruthers scored a shorthanded goal off a pass from Bartlett with just over seven minutes remaining in the second.
Pochmara’s early overtime goal gave the Lakers their first victory against Division I opponents this season. Lake State beat Lakehead University 5-2 in an exhibition contest Oct. 5.
“Tonight, our players made a statement,” said Anzalone. “It is only a baby step, and it does
not mean next Friday is going to be great, but it is a step in the right direction. The players who dressed for the game deserve all the credit in the world.”
The Lakers won despite a shortened lineup. Following last night’s loss to the Saints, Anzalone decided to dress only 19 players and move defenseman Tyson Turgeon to wing. Juniors Aaron Davis and Chris Peterson were among the scratches.
“This was a great win for those players in the locker room. We made a decision tonight to play with only 19 guys, we made a decision to sit people out, and we made a decision that, if you are not going to work hard and show some class toward the jersey, then you are not going to play,” said Anzalone.
Laker goaltender Scott Murray recorded his first win of the season. He made 30 saves, 21 of which came in the second period.
“Murray played solid in the first and third period,” Anzalone said. “You have got to give the guy credit. He sat and watched for two years. I made a decision today to find out if he was on adrenaline last night or not.
“If he was lucky, it is the best two lucky games I have ever seen. He played very solid and very sound.”
With the win, the Lakers improve to 1-3-0 overall, while the Saints falll to 1-2-0.
Lake State will be looking for its first league win when hosting CCHA rival Alaska Fairbanks Oct. 26-27.
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