SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — The Lake Superior State Lakers bounced back from a subpar performance on Friday night to pick up a non-conference win over the Bemidji State Beavers on Saturday night.
The Lakers picked up a 2-1 victory over the Beavers just 24 hours after BSU took an overtime decision over the Lakers in the first game of the series.
“We competed a lot harder tonight,” said LSSU coach Jim Roque. “Obviously, the big difference is we weren’t down 2-0 after one period after playing great. We played a good first period tonight and didn’t give up two goals. If we didn’t give up two goals in the first period last night, we probably win that game, too.”
The Lakers got off to a great start in the win as Boston Bruins prospect Zach Trotman got the Lakers on the board at 2:03 of the first period when his shot from the right point found its way through a crowd in front of Beavers goaltender Andrew Walsh.
The Lakers outshot the Beavers, 18-1, in the opening frame, a period that saw the Beavers attempt just four shots in the direction of Lakers goaltender Kevin Murdock, who was making his first start as a Laker. he previously played for Minnesota State during the 2009-10 season.
“It was a really tough period where [Lake Superior State] just took it to us,” said Bemidji State coach Tom Serratore. “We just couldn’t get going. We started off the same way we did last night. We got better in the third period but [the Lakers] deserved the win.”
Shea Walters pulled the Beavers back on even terms in the second period when he converted a feed back-door from Anaheim Ducks prospect Radoslav Illo at 14:22.
The Lakers pulled ahead for good at 3:18 of the third period when Kyle Pobur scored a highlight-reel goal. Pobur picked up the puck in the neutral zone, crossed into the Beavers’ zone and after cutting through the slot, beat Walsh with a wrist shot high glove-side up under the crossbar to make the game 2-1.
Murdock stopped 20 shots for his first victory for the Lakers.
“I’m really happy for Kevin,” said Roque. “The guys played really well around him. He made a big save in the second period when we were shorthanded. He did a really good job and it was nice to see.”
Walsh stopped 27 shots for the Beavers in the loss.
Both coaches cited the non-conference game as an opportunity to get their so-called third goaltenders some action and both gained the confidence of their coaches and teammates.
“It was a great opportunity to get Kevin in there against a pretty good team,” said Roque. “We need that. You never know what’s going to happen [during the season].”
“Walsh played good,” Serratore said. “He’s a really good goaltender and he’s gaining some valuable experience right now.”
“We’re trying to keep our losing streaks to one,” said Roque. “That’s been a goal. We lost a tough one last night and we had to bounce back and make sure we got back in the win column.”
With the win, the Lakers improve their overall record to 8-2-0, while the Beavers drop to 4-6-0.
The Lakers travel to Ferris State next weekend, while the Beavers host Nebraska-Omaha.