SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — After a sweep of Michigan State on home ice last weekend, Lake Superior State will now be looking for a split when they take to the ice Saturday night against Bowling Green.
The Lakers dropped a 1-0 decision to the Falcons at Taffy Abel Arena on Friday night, putting an end to a four-game winning streak to start the season that included two non-conference wins over Alabama-Huntsville and last weekend’s sweep of MSU.
“The better team won tonight,” said LSSU coach Jim Roque. “Bowling Green worked really hard and they competed. I didn’t convince our guys how hard (Bowling Green) works. I watched it on video how hard they were competing. Their goaltender (Andrew Hammond) was good. I don’t think we matched them in work ethic. They outworked us.”
“Our effort was really good tonight,” said Bowling Green coach Chris Bergeron. “For the most part, we executed the game plan the way we wanted to. We competed hard because we knew Lake Superior would and we took advantage of one play. There were a couple of plays we had in the third period that (Lakers goaltender Kevin) Kapalka made some big saves on. Overall, tonight was a good step in the right direction.”
Adam Berkle scored the lone goal of the game on a power play in the second period that saw the freshman forward convert a feed from Camden Wojtala at 12:11.
BHammond wasn’t extremely busy, making 19 saves in the shutout.
“Andrew’s a really good goaltender,” said Bergeron. “He’s really come into his own. He’s a junior now and it’s his job and everybody knows that. He’s taken the approach of a very mature, older guy. It’s still a work in progress and he knows that, but you saw tonight that he’s got some talent and he’s a guy that can be a real good player for us.”
For the Lakers, Kapalka stopped 28 shots in the loss.
“Kevin’s played OK, he’s playing solid,” said Roque. “He made some big saves today when we had some breakdowns and he gave us a chance to win. That’s exactly what you want your goalie to do and he’s done that since day one. We’ve got to play a lot harder than that (in front of him).”
Roque was also disappointed in the shot totals from his club in the loss.
“When you’re only getting 19 shots at home, and we only had 44 attempts at the net, that’s not enough,” said Roque. “You have to do a lot more. I don’t know if we just think we’re better than we are, but we’re going to have to work really hard Saturday night.”
“I know Lake Superior will come out hard tomorrow,” Bergeron said. “The challenge on Saturday is more mental than physical. Lake Superior is going to come hard and they’re going to try to take it to us and make up for Friday night. We’re going to have to decompress from tonight’s game and put today behind us and focus on tomorrow. That’s where we want to be as a program, to focus on that day and be great on that day.”
With the loss, the Lakers fall to 2-1-1 in conference action, while their overall record sits at 4-1-0. With the win, Bowling Green enters Saturday’s game with a 1-0-0 conference record and an overall record of 4-0-1.