SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — The Lake Superior State Lakers improved their winning streak to three straight on Saturday night.
The Lakers defeated the Ferris State Bulldogs 4-0, sweeping the weekend set at the Taffy Abel Arena. The Lakers exploded for four second period goals in the victory, which improved their conference record to 3-4-1.
“I thought we had a lot of good bounces tonight,” said Lakers coach Jim Roque. “We got a lot of good bounces around our net. We blocked a lot of shots and (Ferris State) had a lot of misfortune around the net.”
Lakers goaltender Kevin Kapalka was solid in his second start of the weekend. Just 24 hours after stopping 30 shots in Friday night’s shutout, Kapalka stopped 33 more on Saturday in being named the game’s first star.
“Kevin made some big saves,” Roque said of the freshman goaltender. “He made a big stop in the second before we got a few goals.”
Domenic Monardo also had a big game. The sophomore forward scored a pair of goals, including a highlight-reel goal that saw him deke Michael Trebish in the right faceoff circle before beating Bulldogs netminder Pat Nagle.
Although the Bulldogs managed nine shots on their four power plays, coach Bob Daniels said the power play was something he plans to work on, among other things.
“Our issue more than anything was the lapse in the second period, and it was a short one,” said Daniels. “Give the Lakers credit because they made us pay for it.”
On the other hand, Roque was justifiably pleased with his penalty kill, specifically the kill of a major penalty for checking from behind given to big forward Kyle Jean early in the second period.
“Even on the fire-minute major, we had just the one big save Kevin had to make, but your goalie’s got to be your best penalty killer and make some saves,” said Roque. “We were just hoping to not give them that many (scoring chances) and hope the goalie can make a couple saves. That was huge because we had a 3-0 lead at the time.”
Daniels credited the Lakers for their play in the win.
“Give the Lakers credit, they were very responsible in their own end and from that standpoint give them full marks,” said Daniels. “Kapalka was solid. He gobbled up a lot of loose pucks. He didn’t leave a lot of pucks laying around. I don’t think we played as poorly as a 4-0 game would indicate. It wasn’t that lopsided of a game. It was that lopsided in a short amount of time in the second period.”
Fred Cassiani and Kellan Lain also scored for the Lakers in the win while Dan Radke set up a pair of goals.
For Ferris State, Nagle got the start and stopped 12 of 16 shots in two periods of action before he was pulled in favor of Taylor Nelson for the third period. Nelson stopped all five shots he faced in the frame.
“The goaltending was very good for both teams,” said Daniels. “Even though we only gave up 21 shots, the four goals came on just 16 shots. If you look at that point and see us pulling Nagle and say it must have been the goaltending, it wasn’t. The chances the Lakers earned were good chances. The goaltending change was nothing more than Nagle having played a lot of minutes and give him a breather and give Nelson a chance to play.”
Next weekend, both teams are in action with the Lakers traveling to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan while Ferris State hosts Western Michigan.