SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — On the strength of Laker captain Chris McNamara’s two first-period goals, Lake Superior State beat the visiting Western Michigan Broncos, 4-1, Friday night in Sault Ste. Marie.
McNamara got the offense rolling when he tipped in a power-play goal at the 9:08 mark of the first period.
Western Michigan tied the game at 1-1 when Paul Davies netted a pass from Shaun Rose at 16:24. The power-play goal was Davies’ fifth of the season.
LSSU regained its one-goal lead when McNamara tipped in a pass from defenseman Chad Dahlen with less than three minutes remaining in the period. Sophomore Chris Peterson added the second assist on McNamara’s seventh goal of the season, also a power-play goal. Dahlen and Peterson also combined for assists McNamara’s first goal of the evening.
“Dahlen made a couple of good plays to make some things happen for us tonight,” said Lake Superior State coach Frank Anzalone.
Barry Pochmara scored the third goal of the evening on the power play for the Lakers at 5:59 of the second period. LSSU has struggled offensively all season long, especially on the power play.
“Our guys worked hard all night to maintain possession of the puck,” said Anzalone. “They did the best they could to make things happen for us.”
Heading into the weekend, Lake Superior State’s power play was ranked 12th in the league, with a percentage of .053.
Aaron Davis brought the final score to 4-1 when he scored an unassisted, shorthanded goal at 8:33 in the third period.
Freshman goaltender Terry Denike recorded his second win of the season as he stopped 13 Western Michigan shots.
Denike made his first appearance in goal for the Lakers since Nov. 10 when he was relieved after two periods against Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich. In that game, he faced 26 shots and allowed six goals.
Mike Mantua stopped 15 Laker shots, but recorded the loss as the Broncos fell to 9-5-3 overall and 4-5-2 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
LSSU improved to 4-11-0 overall and 3-10-0 in the CCHA.
The Lakers had last weekend off to prepare for the Broncos, who beat LSSU twice last season in Kalamazoo. Western Michigan defeated the Lakers 5-2 and 10-3 Oct. 27-28, 2000.
The opening faceoff for the rematch is set for 7:05 p.m. Saturday as the Lakers and Broncos wrap up their regular season series tomorrow night at the Taffy Abel Arena.