SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.- Lake Superior State fell to rival Northern Michigan by a score of 4-2 in the first game of the weekend Western Collegiate Hockey Association series. The Lakers took the game into the third period tied 2-2 before an early goal turned out to be insurmountable for the Lakers to overcome in the final frame.
The Lakers (0-7-0, 0-3-0 WCHA) were led offensively by junior Austin McKay (1-0-1), who put the Lakers up 1-0 early in the game, a lead that held through the first period. Nathan Harris (0-1-1), appearing in his first game for the Lakers, got the assist along with Gus Correale (0-1-1).
The Wildcats (3-0-0, 1-0-0 WCHA) got on the board early with a goal by Darren Nowick 5:24 into the second period. Less than a minute later, Dominik Shine converted a power-play-goal to give Northern Michigan a 2-1 lead.
With under 10 minutes left in the second frame, Scott Patterson (1-0-1) picked up his first point as a Laker with a beautiful wrist shot to tie the game at two goals a piece. Matt Johnson (0-2-2) and Bryce Schmitt (1-2-3), who celebrated his birthday this evening, added the assists.
Just 13 seconds into the final period, the Wildcats picked up the eventual game winner as Nowick notched his fourth goal of the season and gave his team the 3-2 lead. That lead stood through a full-on attack by the Lakers for the rest of the period until John Seimer tallied his second point of the night with an empty-net goal.
Starting in net for the Lakers was Gordon Defiel (0-6-0) going against Mathias Dahlstrom (3-0-0). Defiel made 29 saves in the effort and Dahlstrom made 27.
The Lakers and the Wildcats will battle again Saturday night at 7:07 p.m. as part of Great Lake State Weekend. The 1994 NCAA National Championship hockey team will be inducted into the LSSU Athletics Hall of Fame tomorrow and will be honored along with two other inductees, basketball players Alice Duesing-Nightingale and Chris Buell during the first intermission.
Final NMU 4 - LSSU 2