BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Despite managing just 17 shots on goal and not converting on nine power-play opportunities, the Lake Superior State University Lakers escaped Big Rapids with a shootout victory to close their series with Ferris State University.
“We realize that we didn’t play a bad game,” said Ferris State University forward Kyle Bonis. “That’s a good hockey team.”
The first period featured the only scoring of regulation, despite both teams getting chances down the stretch.
Ferris State scored first when Kyle Bonis won a tough battle behind the net and then stuffed a wraparound shot past Lakers goalie Kevin Kapalka to put the Bulldogs ahead, 1-0.
“We do a lot of battle drills in practice,” said Bonis. “We realize that’s an important part of our game, and it’s something we take pride in.”
However, the Bulldogs lead was short-lived, just 18 seconds, to be exact. Lake Superior State won the ensuing faceoff and pushed quickly up the ice. Domenic Monardo slipped a wrist shot past C.J. Motte after a breakdown by the Ferris State defense left him alone in the slot.
Early in the second period, Ferris State had one of their best chances to retake the lead when a shot found its way past Kapalka, who lost track of the puck as the Bulldogs crashed the net, but T.J. Wees cleared the puck off the goal line.
Lake Superior State had chances in the second period as well, with three power-play attempts, including a five-on-three opportunity. The Bulldogs rose to the occasion, and kept the Lakers off the board in the frame. During the five-on-three, the Lakers got set up in the Ferris State zone, but the Ferris State penalty kill prevented them from getting any shots on goal.
Ferris State had a five-on-three of its own late in the third period that they couldn’t convert on. The Bulldogs peppered Kapalka with shots from all angles, as the Lakers’ goalie had trouble corralling rebounds during the power play attempt.
“Kapalka was outstanding tonight, especially on the five-on-three,” said Lake Superior State coach Jim Roque. “We have to have great goaltending to have success.”
Lake Superior State drew two penalties in the waning minutes of the game, but the Lakers failed to convert on both power-play attempts.
In overtime, the Bulldogs were rewarded with a power play of their own, but failed to convert. Garrett Thompson had a chance on the power play, but couldn’t force the puck past Kapalka from the top of the crease.
Lake Superior State scored the only goal of the shootout with their first attempt when Ben Power made a deke from his backhand to his forehand and lifted a shot over the sprawling Motte.
Next week, Ferris State continues CCHA play with the long road trip to Alaska for a two-game series, while Lake Superior State will make a nonconference road trip for two contests with Canisius.