Cullen Maksimowski, LSSULakers.com
PITTSBURGH, Pa.— After suffering a, 5-0, shutout loss to Robert Morris in the opening round of the Three Rivers Classic on Friday, The Lake Superior State Hockey Team desperately needed a bounce back game. They received just that.
The Lakers downed non-conference Arizona State, 4-1, in the consolation game Saturday to finish in third-place for the weekend. LSSU moves to 5-13-4 overall with the win. ASU slips to 4-12-4.
"After a disappointing performance last night, I liked how we bounced back," said Lake Superior coach Damon Whitten. "I thought we played with a lot more urgency, desperation and toughness tonight.
Lake State struck first when senior forward J.T. Henke scored his seventh goal of the season on Brayden Gelsinger assist just 1:10 into the first period.
Arizona State answered back at the 3:48 mark when Tyler Busch found the back of the net on assists from Joey Raats and David Norris.
Gelsinger added a goal of his own at the 11:48 mark in the second. Ian Johnston built the lead with his second goal of the season 2:31 into the third period and Max Humitz iced the game with an empty netter with under two minutes to play.
Junior goaltender Nick Kossoff turned in a dazzling performance in between the pipes for the Lakers turning away 48-of-49 shots faced. Kossoff's 48 saves is his second highest total of the season trailing only his 68 save performance in October's 3-3 tie against No.1-ranked Denver.
"My thought going in to the game, was just to give us a chance to win and take it shot-by-shot and I thought I did that pretty well tonight," said Kossoff. "I give a lot of credit to our forwards and (Defensman), they blocked a lot of shots that I wasn't seeing so that helped out a ton. Just an overall a good team win tonight."
LSSU was able post one of their most offensively efficient games of the season finishing with just 19 shots on goal in the win. The Laker penalty kill pitched a shutout holding the Sun Devils scoreless in their six power play opportunities.
"We knew going in that they were going to shoot a lot," said senior defenseman Aidan Wright. "I thought we did a pretty good job of keeping them to the outside and obviously (Kossoff) played stellar and showed up bigtime for us."
Lake State will aim to bring some momentum home with them returning to Taffy Abel Arena for the new year as they play host to Bemdiji State (Jan.5-6) in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series. Tickets are available at the Norris Center Ticket Office or online at lssulakers.com/tickets.
The LSSU Athletics After Christmas Sale continues online (Dec.26-Jan.2) allowing fans to purchase up to four tickets for one dollar each to any one of the remaining home hockey games or basketball double-headers. For more information, visit lssulakers.com.
Lakers Bounce Back, Down Arizona State 4-1
Dec 30, 2017