SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — Thanks to two solid efforts, the Lake Superior State Lakers proved they can skate with the best in the country.
The Lakers skated to a 4-4 tie on Saturday night with Ohio State, picking up a shootout win in the process, just 24 hours after skating to a 1-0 win on Friday night over the Buckeyes.
The Lakers overcame some adversity on Saturday night, specifically in overtime when they were forced to kill off a five-on-three for nearly two full minutes.
Kellan Lain took a minor for hitting from behind just 26 seconds into the extra frame and then Zach Trotman proceeded to take an elbowing minor 10 seconds later. The Lakers killed off the penalties and proceeded to win the shootout thanks to Dan Radke converting his chance as the Lakers’ final shooter
LSSU coach Jim Roque spoke following the win of how the Lakers overcame the adversity throughout the night.
“Dan Radke got robbed in the second period [and] that could have made it 4-2,” said Roque. “The next thing you know, we’re down 4-3. We just battled hard. That was a huge kill in overtime on the five-on-three. We were competing hard.”
Domenic Monardo scored a goal and set up two others on Saturday night, while Kevin Czuczman added three assists. Monardo also scored in the shootout for the Lakers. Kyle Jean added a pair of helpers for the Lakers, who also received goals from Trotman and Nick McParland. Trotman’s goal tied the game midway through the third period.
Buckeyes coach Mark Osiecki was succinct in his assessment of his club in the weekend set.
“We played well both nights,” said Osiecki, who did not elaborate much further than that.
Max McCormick scored three goals on Saturday night and Tanner Fritz set up three for OSU. Al McLean also scored for the Buckeyes.
Goaltender Cal Heeter stopped 33 shots in the game, while Lakers goaltender Kevin Kapelka stopped 41 shots.
On Friday night, Kyle Haines had the lone goal in the Lakers win, while Kapelka made 34 saves for the shutout. Heeter made 23 saves in a losing cause for the Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes’ conference record falls to 10-7-5-1 (14-8-5 overall) after the weekend set with Lake State. The weekend setbacks also see Ohio State fall into a three-way tie for second in the CCHA with Miami and Western Michigan. The three schools all sit a single point behind league-leading Ferris State after its weekend sweep of Michigan State. The Lakers sit two points behind Ferris State in the standings after improving their conference record to 9-9-4-4 (14-11-5 overall).
The loss ends a dreadful month of January for the Buckeyes. Ohio State lost four games in the month and also lost four shootouts in the first month of 2012. Prior to the calendar change, the Buckeyes had 15 wins, which included a weekend sweep of Lake State in early December on home ice. The last win enjoyed by the Buckeyes was when they defeated Robert Morris in non-conference action on Dec. 30 and the last conference win by Ohio State was Dec. 10 in overtime against Miami.
Following Saturday, the Lakers have not lost a game in which they have scored three goals. Lake State now has 11 wins and a tie in games in which they have scored three or more goals.
Next up for the Lakers is an exhibition game against the U.S. National Development Program’s Under-18 team next Friday night at Taffy Abel Arena.
Ohio State returns home to host Michigan State next weekend.