SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — For one team, it was a game of positives and for the other, it was one of few.
Michigan picked up a 6-4 win over Lake Superior State on Friday night with the win giving the Wolverines their first road win of the season. In turn, the win also improves the Wolverines record to 5-10-2-2 in conference play (8-13-2 overall).
“We just played one of our better games,” said Michigan coach Red Berenson. “We’ve had bits and pieces of good games. We haven’t had a good first period lately and that was our best first period in probably a month [tonight]. We played pretty good after that. We held the storm in the second period. We got the goals that we needed. We have to be better defensively and we can’t give up (33) shots, but we got through it.”
The Lakers now drop to 7-9-1-1 in CCHA play (12-12-1 overall) with the loss, which was a tough one for Lakers’ coach Jim Roque.
“We got outworked right from the drop of the puck,” said Roque. “We lost a lot of faceoffs and got outshot. [Michigan] played way more desperate than we did. We played behind the eight-ball. If we hadn’t got a couple of gifts from their goalie [Adam Janecyk], we could easily have gotten beat 6-1 here tonight.”
The Wolverines opened up a 2-0 lead in the opening period when Luke Moffatt and Derek DeBlois scored goals 19 seconds apart to open up the lead.
Moffatt opened the scoring when he redirected a feed from Andrew Sinelli while driving the net at 8:38.
DeBlois scored moments later to increase the lead. LSSU goaltender Kevin Kapalka made the initial stop on Travis Lynch, only to have DeBlois score on the rebound.
The two schools provided a plethora of offense in the middle frame as both teams put a pair of goals on the board in the period.
Lake State got on the board just 1:42 into the second period when Andrew Perrault’s point shot beat Janecyk high to cut the lead to 2-1. Moffatt scored his second goal of the night at 3:10 to restore the two-goal lead for Michigan.
Phil DiGiuseppe scored at 6:07 to give Michigan a 4-1 lead before Bryce Schmitt scored his first collegiate goal at 7:38 to send the game into the third period with Michigan leading 4-2.
Domenic Monardo pulled the Lakers back to within one midway through the third period when he converted on a penalty shot, cutting the Wolverines lead to 4-3. Just 23 seconds later, Jacob Trouba took some of the wind out of the Lakers’ sails.
The Lakers showed some signs of life late in the third when Eric Drapluk converted a chance with Kapalka on the bench for the extra attacker and just 1:26 remaining. That would be as close as the Lakers would get though as Alex Guptill scored into an empty net in the final minute to seal the win.