SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — Lake Superior State ended a four-game losing skid on Friday night with a 5-1 win over Alaska.
The Lakers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before the game was 90 seconds old thanks to goals by Kellan Lain nine seconds in and Zach Sternberg at 1:07.
Alaska cut the lead in half just under two minutes after Sternberg’s goal when Tyler Morley beat Lake State starter Kevin Murdock with a backhand deke at 3:07. The breakaway goal came with the Nanooks shorthanded.
Alaska forward Andy Taranto had an opportunity to tie the game late in the period, but was turned aside on a breakaway by Murdock after a turnover at the Alaska blue line.
“We were opportunistic,” said Lakers’ coach Jim Roque. “We scored on our chances and got a couple of gifts, too. We had some good bounces. At Bowling Green and Ohio State, we didn’t get any good bounces [during the losing streak].”
“Obviously, when you start a game and you’re down 2-0 in the first two shifts, you’re not ready to play, which is generally not the case with our team,” Alaska coach Dallas Ferguson said. “We responded with the shorthanded goal and I thought after we scored, we did a pretty good job of creating some scoring chances.”
Domenic Monardo gave the Lakers a 3-1 lead midway through the second period before the Lakers sealed the win in the final period. Buddy Robinson and Monardo scored 27 seconds apart in the third period to increase the LSSU lead to 5-1.
Robinson’s goal chased Alaska starter John Keeney from the game after stopping 22 of 26 Laker shots.
Roque spoke highly of Monardo following the win.
“That was a huge goal [Monardo] scored in the second period,” said Roque. “He’s been there for us all year.”
For Alaska, Ferguson felt the Nanooks struggled after the opening period to help themselves back into the game.
“We didn’t do enough after the first period to get ourselves into the hockey game to win it,” said Ferguson. “Give Lake Superior credit. They played a solid game. They got off to a fast start and they were able to sustain it.”
For the Lakers, the win also saw the return to action for junior forward Colin Campbell, who had missed the entire season to this point due to injury. Campbell picked up an assist in the win.