SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — Just 24 hours after an effort that he wasn’t pleased with, Lake Superior State Lakers coach Jim Roque was much more pleased on Saturday night.
The Lakers rebounded from a Friday night loss to pick up a 3-2 win over the Michigan Wolverines.
“I told the guys (after the game) that I was really happy with the effort,” said Roque. “We had a tough weekend. We just weren’t in sync, but we found a way to battle and compete and got three valuable points.”
Michigan coach Red Berenson said they expected the Lakers to come out better than Friday night.
“We knew (Lake State) would push back,” said Berenson. “If you’re the home team and you get beat the first night, you’re going to push back. You have to be a good team to come in and sweep. We thought we could do it, but came up short.”
Senior forward Domenic Monardo scored a pair of goals for the Lakers and assisted on the Lakers other goal, scored by Kellan Lain.
“Most good leaders are the guys that go out and get it done,” said Roque. “Dom got it done tonight. He had a couple of goals and made the play on the other goal. Talk is talk, but sometimes you have to walk it too and he did a great job tonight. He played his heart out.”
Said Berenson, “You didn’t know if this was going to be a 1-0 game or (higher scoring), but you knew it was going to be a closer game. Their goaltender (Kevin Murdock) played well, and their best players were their best players.”
Lakers goaltender Kevin Murdock stopped 35 shots in the win.
“He made a great save on one of the power plays on a short-handed chance, and he has to do that type of thing, but we did a better job around him than we did for (Kevin) Kapalka (Friday) night,” said Roque. “We were much tougher and we battled harder in front of the net. We protected the net a lot better for him.”
Wolverines goaltender Adam Janecyk also stopped 35 shots, and Cristoval Nieves and A.J. Treais scored in the loss.
“I give our team credit,” said Berenson. “They had probably their best weekend of the year in terms of their work ethic and their commitment to playing the way they need to play. We had a good result (Friday) and a not-so-good result (Saturday). It’s too bad that everything is based on results. Our team laid it on the line, but it wasn’t good enough tonight.”
The Lakers (8-9-1-1 CCHA, 13-12-1 overall) are on the road next week with a series at Ohio State beginning on Friday night. Michigan (5-11-2-2 CCHA, 8-14-2 overall) is also on the road in a weekend series on Friday night at Western Michigan.