DULUTH, Minn. — Minnesota Duluth and Lake Superior State hadn’t met in men’s hockey in more than 14 years, as the rivalry was renewed Friday night in the inaugural Superior Showcase at the DECC.
They last played in the NCAA Division I West Regional in 1993 when scoring was a bit more plentiful.
Goals are much tougher to find now. UMD (13-21-4) and Lake Superior State (21-19-3) averaged 2.5 of them last season.
They battled to a 2-2 overtime tie before a crowd of 4,014 to open 2007-08. The Bulldogs outshot the Lakers of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association 39-25, yet had to rally on a Jordan Fulton goal in the second period.
“With that many shots, we should’ve had more than two goals,” said Fulton, a sophomore center. “To be successful, you need every line to chip in and score. We looked decent, we really came on well in the third period and overtime, but we can look a lot better.” Northern Michigan beat Michigan Tech 3-2 in the other Superior Showcase game Friday, in Houghton, Mich., and Northern Michigan travels to face UMD at 7:07 p.m. today at the DECC. Lake Superior State has an off-day before playing at Michigan Tech on Sunday afternoon on ESPNU.
The Bulldogs couldn’t solve Lake Superior State sophomore goalie Pat Inglis of Calgary, Alberta, when they had numerous scoring chances in the game’s final stages. It was the first start of a new goalie era at the school following the graduation of Jeff Jakaitis of Rochester, Minn., who was team MVP for four straight years, won 40 games and left as senior valedictorian.
“I looked at last year as a learning experience, but I also thought I earned my position this season,” said Inglis, who was 5-3 last season. “Coach [Jim Roque] was good enough to put me in some key games last year to get me ready.
“At the end tonight, UMD was trying to storm the net. Both teams had their chances.”
UMD sophomore defenseman Trent Palm recorded the season’s first goal following a faceoff in the offensive zone with 72 seconds left in the first period. He took the draw from center MacGregor Sharp and equaled his goal total of last season.
The Lakers, picked to finish seventh in the 12-team CCHA, rallied with goals from wingers Nathan Perkovich and Dan Eves to go up 2-1.
Palm assisted on the tying goal at 6:33 of the third period, as Fulton had an open-net rebound of a Nick Kemp power-play shot. But that was it for the scoring.
“My job is to be a solid defenseman and if I can help out offensively, it’s a bonus,” said Palm, who had just one point in 32 games last season.
UMD was ranked eighth among 10 teams in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association preseason coaches poll. Lake Superior State, a school of 3,100 in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is about 415 miles from Duluth . The Lakers drove 7 hours here Thursday and were on the road right after the game.
“Both teams competed and played hard, and both teams are looking for goal scorers. And we’re still looking,” said Lake Superior coach Jim Roque.
One thing UMD carried over from the end of last season was decent special teams play. The Bulldogs scored on a power play and killed all five opposing power plays (and now have a streak of 37 successful kills.) Sophomore goalie Alex Stalock was also solid with 23 saves.
“We needed a starting point and this wasn’t bad,” said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. “We didn’t have a very good second period, when we had a few average shifts in a row, but at the end we did everything but score.”
The schools hadn’t met since March 27, 1993, in an NCAA Division I West Regional game at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena. Defending champion Lake Superior State won 4-3 to advance to the Frozen Four and eventually lost to Maine in the title game. The Lakers were in the midst of playing in the NCAA final three straight years, winning championships in 1992 and 1994.