MARQUETTE, Mich. — Thursday nights game between the Lake Superior Lakers and the Northern Michigan Wildcats was a huge bonus for the Lakers, who won the game 3-2 after coming back two goals from behind.
The first period Saturday resembled Thursdays game. No one scored. The only thing worth noting is the fact that there were seven penalties and Northerns Billy Smith and Mark Olver set up the perfect play that resulted in a resonating post.
The Lakers graced the scoreboard at 7:10 of the second with a goal from defensemen Simon Gysbers. The passes, from Rick Schofield and Zac MacVoy, found Gysbers on a rebound. He then shot it directly over Wildcat goalie Brian Stewart who lay facedown on the ice.
My line just gets a lot of chances, Schofield, who had three points in the series, said. Its not individual, thats for sure. Just trying to capitalize our lines on our forechecking and playing with MacVoy and Eves, you get a lot more chances then you would with anyone else so Im just trying to capitalize on that.
At 9:38 the Lakers added to their tally with a shot from captain Troy Schwab. He took the passes from Will Aton and Nathan Perkovich and off a rebound, sifted the puck through the traffic in front of the net to send it sailing past Stewarts right skate.
Stewart had nothing to do with either of their goals, Wildcat coach Walt Kyle said. Our guys made the mistakes and left him there all alone. Stewart was outstanding.
It was a tough game, Erik Gustafsson, who had two points for the Wildcats, said. We played hard and its hard to get some good offense going. We tried to gain the lines and get the pucks deep. The first two periods were rough but we pulled it together in the third
The third period took off for the Wildcats. .At 15:33 the Cats made their scoreboard debut when Erik Gustafsson passed the puck to Andrew Sarauer from behind the net. Sarauer passed to puck to Matt Siddall who put in behind Laker goalie Pat Inglis in one swift motion.
Sarauer just made a phenomenal play in front of the net, Siddall said. Its one of those plays where I didnt do anything and was just in the right place at the right time. Good things happened. He was positioned great and Gustafsson made a great move from the blue line and I put the puck towards the net.
Though the Cats were outshooting the Lakers 21-19, the Lakers were still ahead by a goal and the Wildcats wanted to end their regular season with a home win.
Wildcat co-captain Smith scored his third goal of the year at 7:52 with a pass from Gustafsson who was directly in front of Inglis. Gustafsson spun around, fed the puck to Smith who was just right of the crease and put the puck behind Inglis with ease.
If Gustafsson doesnt make the All-Freshman team I dont know whos going to be on it. Hes had a great year, Kyle said. Smiths had two big goals in the last couple of games here. The guys a warrior and he plays big in big times.
With a tie game, the teams headed into overtime. The Lakers had two shots on goal during the five minutes, but the plays were all obstructed before the puck reached the net resulting in a 2-2 tie.
They were up 2-0 but it was a very even game, Kyle said. We hit the post with Olver. We hit the post with Phil Fox. They made a great glove save on Siddall and made a great save in front of Billy Smith. I thought it was a really good game.
Our guys were just resilient and they just kept coming and kept playing hard. I really liked how we played in the third. We really needed that. We just drifted through these two games and tonight we came from behind and played the way we needed to.
This series was good. We played well, Laker coach Jim Roque said. Youve got to play well. Im disappointed we gave up the two goal lead because its tough to get one at Northern. We had some really great chances and tried to go for the win. Our guys wanted to pull the goalie in overtime and go for it. Thats good. That means they believe in themselves.
They played hard, Schofield said. I dont think we gave it our best effort. Well just live and learn here and take it into the playoffs.