SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.- Lake Superior State men's hockey, which began its new era under head coach Damon Whitten, fell short in the season opener against Michigan Tech, losing to the Huskies by a score of 5-3.
The Lakers showed heart and grit against a much more experienced Michigan Tech squad that was predicited to finish third in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings at the end of the season.
Daniel Vernace started the scoring for the Lakers with an eve- strength goal 2:52 into the game. After the Huskies tied the game on a power play goal by Reid Sturos, LSSU's Garret Clemment added an unassisted goal that snuck between Jaimie Phillips and the right-side pipe. The game remained tied at two after the first period and through the second period.
Malcolm Gould opened the scoring for Michigan Tech in the third period at the 13:32 mark and gave the Huskies their first lead of the game. Freshman Jason Bird notched his first goal as a Laker at the 10:04 mark, merely seconds after a Laker power play had concluded.
MTU's Tanner Kero answered with the game-winner 22 seconds later, and Blake Pietila tallied an empty-netter during the game's final minute.
Gordie Defiel got the start in net for the Lakers, racking up 31 saves in his first career start as a Laker.
The Huskies were too tough however, scoring two goals including an empty netter to finish off the Lakers. The Lakers return tomorrow night against the Huskies. The puck will drop at 5:07 pm.