DETROIT — Lake Superior State and Wayne State came into tonights game with just a single win between them. Maybe not the makings for an instant classic, but the Lakers came away with a 3-2 win over the still-winless Warriors.
The game was played in front of a decent, pro-Lake Superior State crowd of 380 at the now-heated Michigan State Fairgrounds Coliseum. Both teams’ goalies were riding hot streaks through two periods until the Lakers’ Pat Inglis took charge in the third period.
“Pat’s been struggling lately and he’s one of the guys we’re leaning on to get going,” LSSU head coach Jim Roque said. “He made some big saves in the third period (including one of his head) and really showed the intensity we need out of him.”
“I was seeing the puck really well tonight,” noted Inglis, who made 20 saves to jump the Lakers’ record to 2-4-1. “Their big guy, (Mike) Forgie, they put him in front of the net, but I was able to use my size to see over top of him and make some aggressive saves. This week in practice, I stayed out longer and tried to work hard and get some good habits that work in practice that can hopefully work in games.”
The game was 1-1 after two periods when Lakers’ captain Troy Schwab scored on a two-on-one break to put the Lakers ahead at 4:32 of the third period.
Schwab elected to take the shot from the right wing side and his snap shot hit WSU goalie Brett Bothwell in the blocker, but the puck crawled up his arm and dropped inches over the line.
“That’s the turning point right there,” Roque noted. “It was good to get a break and good to get the lead. We haven’t been getting any breaks, but haven’t been doing anything to get those breaks. Tonight, we just found a way to win.”
Steven Kaunisto started the scoring just 2:06 into the game on a four-on-three man-advantage. His shot from the point found its way through traffic and trickled past Bothwell.
At 12:28, junior Bryan Olds scored his first career goal. Olds stole the puck in his own end and went nearly the length of the ice untouched before putting a shot off the far post and in.
The second period was scoreless before Schwab and Nathan Perkovich scored third-period tallies.
Perkovich’s was a bang-bang play in front as Rick Schofield shoveled Perkovich the puck and he beat Bothwell along the ice stick side.
Tylor Michel added a goal with 10 seconds left with Bothwell on the bench, but it was a smidge too late.
Bothwell finished with 17 saves for Wayne State, now 0-6-1.
“We’re fighting the puck and squeezing our sticks too hard,” Wayne State coach Bill Wilkinson said. “We played two periods and were right there. We’ve had our scoring opportunities, but we’re just snake bitten. It’s definitely not for lack of effort.”
Both coaches said they would start different goalies in tomorrow night’s rematch (Brian Mahoney-Wilson for LSSU and Kyle Funkenhauser for the Warriors).
Roque expects another tough game from WSU.
“I expect both teams to come out and battle, just like you saw here tonight,” said Roque. “Bill’s done a good job with that team and I know it’s hard to motivate that team, but he’s done a good job.”
“Any time you play a team outside your conference, those are all big games,” added Wilkinson. “You want to get that recognition for not only your team, but for your league. I think it’s bigger for us playing them than it is for them to come here and play lowly Wayne State. We want to go out and prove ourselves.”