ROCHESTER, NY — The long trip from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was worth the journey for Lake Superior State on Friday night as the Lakers handed the Clarkson University Hockey team a 5-1 loss before 2,322 fans at Cheel Arena.
Lake Superior relied upon strong specialty teams play and some solid goaltending from senior Jeff Jakaitis to hand the 14th-ranked Golden Knights their first loss of the season and first setback in Potsdam since November 26, snapping a 10-game unbeaten streak (9-0-1) at home. The Lakers scored all five of their goals on the power play (5-8) and Jakaitis made 33 saves as LSSU improved to its record to 2-1. Clarkson and Lake Superior will close out their weekend series with a 7:00 p.m. game on Saturday.
Sophomore Josh Sim led the Lakers’ offense with two goals, while junior Derek A. Smith set up three scores.
Clarkson came out flying to start the non-league contest, throwing several quality shots on the Lakers? goal, but it was the visitors who struck first with a pair of power-play goals to take the first period lead. Sim connected on Lake Superior’s second shot on goal when he tipped in a shot from the point by Smith at 8:33. The Lakers made it 2-0 with another man-advantage marker when senior Jeff Rainville converted assists from Smith and senior Barnabas Birkeland at 16:55.
Junior Steve Zalewski pulled the Knights to within one with a power-play goal at 7:06 of the second stanza. Zalewski tallied his fourth goal of the season, one-timing a pass from sophomore Shea Guthrie after the right wing made a strong rush with the puck into the Lake Superior zone.
The Lakers sealed the win with three more power-play tallies in the final frame. Senior Trent Campell gave Lake Superior an insurance goal at 6:34, followed by Sim’s second goal of the game at 11:25. Freshman Nathan Perkovich closed out the scoring at 15:06.
The Lakers out shot Clarkson 41-34 and held the Knights to one power-play goal on seven chances. Junior David Leggio finished with a season-high 36 saves for Clarkson.