HOUGHTON, Mich. — Looking to carry some of the momentum built by beating arch-rival Northern Michigan Friday, the Michigan Tech Huskies struggled to find the same success in a rare Sunday tilt at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena, falling to the Lake Superior State Lakers, 3-1.
“I was happy for our kids,” said Lakers’ coach Jim Roque. “It’s always good to get a win early in the year. Hopefully this will give us some confidence.”
The Huskies appeared to have a jump in their step early, as senior winger Drew Dobson and junior center Bennett Royer both had point blank shots at Lakers’ netminder Brian Mahoney-Wilson.
Junior Tyson Hobbins had the first good chance for the Lakers off a feed from freshman Ben Power, but Huskies’ goalie Kevin Genoe made the stop, one of 10 in the period.
“I know (Kevin) was nervous,” said Huskies’ coach Jamie Russell. “I thought he played well.”
Shortly after their first power play of the game, the Lakers beat Genoe with a second rebound during a goalmouth scramble at 6:21. Senior Zac MacVoy was the last Lakers’ player to touch the puck on the way in.
Freshman Nick McParland nearly made it 2-0 for the Lakers later in the period after taking a pass from junior Dillon Stonehouse, but he hit the post behind Genoe.
On their second power play of the night, the Huskies had a golden opportunity when Royer took a pass cross-ice from freshman winger Aaron Pietila, but fanned on the shot.
“We didn’t put as much pressure on (Mahoney-Wilson) as we needed to,” said Russell. “I thought we were undisciplined tonight.”
On their first full power play of the second period, the Huskies had three or four great chances to beat Mahoney-Wilson, but assistant captain Brett Olson, captain Malcolm Gwilliam, and assistant captain Jordan Baker all missed chances with the Lakers’ goalie sprawled out.
Freshman defenseman Steven Seigo set up Olson for another great chance at the end of the power play as he stepped around a Lakers’ defender, but Olson’s shot was blocked before it could get to the net.
The Lakers extended the lead to two on the man advantage when Nehring tipped a shot from junior Rick Schofield past Genoe at 12:06 of the second.
The Huskies played much stronger in the third period, but still had trouble finding the back of the net. Junior defenseman Deron Cousens and junior winger Jordan Baker both had great chances in close to Mahoney-Wilson, but neither could quite pull the trigger. Baker beat the Lakers’ netminder with a great deke, but lost control of the puck.
Freshman forward Milos Gordic finally got the Huskies on the board late in the game with a shot that found its way into the back of the net at 18:42. With Olson off for boarding and Genoe pulled, Gordic found a seam for his first collegiate goal.
However, Lakers’ senior Pat Aubry picked up the insurance goal less than 30 seconds later.
Mahoney-Wilson finished the game with 28 stops, while Genoe made 29 saves in his debut for the Huskies.