BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win. With Ferris State going into the final period trailing 1-0, it took two goals and then a frenzied final minute of the game to seal the victory for the Bulldogs, 2-1. The game winner came from Simon Mangos at 12:10 of the third period while on the power play. Goaltender Jeff Jakaitis stopped two shots and then a rebound chance by Mangos. The fourth shot was the one that found the back of the net as Mangos flipped the puck over the sprawling netminder. That halted the Bulldogs’ skid of 0-25 on the power play and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.
“Whatever team draws Lake Superior State in the playoffs is going to have a rough time on their hands,” Bulldog head coach Bob Daniels said. Those words have probably been spoken by every coach in the CCHA who has played Lake Superior State. The Lakers have been tagged as the hardest working team in the CCHA and have been true to that tag since they have gotten it.
The first period seemed like both teams were feeling each other out for what was to come. There were not a lot of odd-man chances or opportunities as the respective defenses kept the shots to the outside for the most part.
The scoring chances in the second period were dominated by the Lakers. Ferris State was reeling in its own zone for a great portion of the period due to penalty trouble or just being out hustled by a hungry Lake State squad. That pressure finally paid off at 5:49 for Lake State. Mike Adamek found himself alone in the slot and took a pass from Matt Restoule. Adamek picked his corner and fired the puck off of the glove hand of goaltender Mike Brown and into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
“I thought we were very fortunate to get out of that period only down 1-0,” Daniels said. “We really did a good job in the first period. That second period was all Lake Superior State, and we really came back strong in the third period.”
Tim Vokey got the third period started off strong with his first goal of the season at 3:01. Mangos wristed the puck just wide of the net, but Vokey was there to put it upstairs over Jakaitis to tie the game at 1-1. That set up the game winner by Mangos later in the third period. The Lakers came out the strongest in the final couple minutes of the game, but just couldn’t get a good chance on Brown.
“I thought we played a pretty good game overall,” Daniels said. “We had good movement with the puck and our transition game was much better. It was also good to have defenseman Mike York back after missing 10 games. Overall, I really can’t complain.”
Bob Daniels commented about the Bulldogs’ final home game on Saturday night against Lake Superior State.
“It will be sentimental night that is for sure,” Daniels said. “You really don’t realize how fast time goes until after you look back on things. You remember how they were when they first walked into your office. It can be both good and bad, because your mind is on the fact that the seniors are leaving, but you have a hockey game to play.”