SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.- The Lake Superior State men's ice hockey team dropped its second straight game to the Michigan Tech Huskies this weekend, losing a Sunday matinee game 5-1 at Taffy Abel Arena.
The Lakers dropped to 0-2-0 overall and in Western Collegiate Hockey Association games, while the Huskies improved to 2-0. LSSU and MTU played the only conference series in the nation during the season-opening weekend.
The Lakers, under first year head coach Damon Whitten, came out for the second straight night to gain the one goal lead in the first period. Sophomore Ian Miller (1-0--1) lit the lamp for the Lakers on a power-play goal with merely five seconds left in the opening frame. The Miller tally was assisted by fellow sophomore and reigning WCHA Freshman of the Year Alex Globke (0-2--2).
Tech answered with a four-goal second period which marked the end of the night for LSSU starting goaltender Gordie Defiel. Defiel was replaced to begin the third in an opportunity for the coaching staff to see what it has in Kevin Aldridge, nephew of former Laker great Keith Aldridge.
Aldridge provided a solid 19:38 minutes in net before the Huskies capped their scoring on the night with a goal from Blake Heietala with just 22 seconds remaining in the game. Heitala also opened the scoring for the Huskies in the second period with his first goal of the season.
Miller and Globke were joined on the Lakers top line by another sophomore, Matt Johnson. Johnson added an assist during Saturday night's 5-3 loss, while also providing strong play throughout the weekend.
"Johnson did a good job all weekend," said coach Whitten of his sophomore winger. "We thought Saturday night he was one of our better forwards. (He) played hard and he played fast."
"A lot of experienced gained," Whitten said of Defiel. "For Gordie to go in there, he got thrown into there Saturday night, you know 'Welcome to College Hockey', in a league game against Michigan Tech, who is picked very high in the rankings. He did a phenomenal job."
The young Lakers now must rebound before two road trips to non-conference opponents -- at Robert Morris (Oct. 10-11) and at Notre Dame (Oct. 17-18).
Lake Superior State returns to the friendly confines of Taffy Abel Arena on October 24-25 against Northern Michigan. That WCHA tilt will be a part of Great Lake State Weekend.