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Six-Goal First Period Propels Laker Hockey to 7-2 Victory Over Alabama Huntsville

Karlsson goal

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – A six-goal first period led No. 18 Lake Superior State hockey to a 7-2 win over the University of Alabama in Huntsville in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association matchup on Friday night, claiming its seventh-straight victory.

Lake Superior State (14-6-1, 9-5-1-0 WCHA) scored just 26 seconds into the game off the stick of Diego Cuglietta to take a quick 1-0 lead, extending his point streak to seven games (9-3—12). Max Humitz and Collin Saccoman assisted on the tally. Alabama Huntsville (4-19-0, 4-11-0-0 WCHA) scored shortly after at the 2:16 mark to tie it up at one apiece.

Humitz helped the Lakers regain the lead just two minutes later, 4:15 into the game, with assists coming from Ashton Calder and Will Riedell. Gage Torrel scored the Lakers' third goal of the game 9:22 into the first frame from Melvin Karlsson, who notched his first collegiate point, and Steven Ruggiero. The Chargers pulled goaltender Jake Theut (2-7-0) after that third goal allowed and replaced him with Mark Sinclair.

Karlsson then followed it up with his first collegiate goal, assisted by Brayden Gelsinger, extending the LSSU lead to 4-1 at the 12:03 mark of the first period. Jacob Nordqvist notched one shortly after, at the 14:32 mark,  to bring the score to 5-1 and Reidell picked up his second assist of the night. The Lakers tacked on one more goal at the end of the first period with six seconds remaining, this time scored by Steven Ruggiero for a 6-1 lead. Anthony Nellis and Pete Veillette assisted on the tally. The Lakers outshot the Chargers 14-4 in the first period.

The second period was scoreless on both sides, with Lake State adding on 13 shots compared to Alabama Huntsville's eight in the frame.

The Chargers tallied their second goal of the game at the 8:06 mark of the third period to bring the score to 6-2. Humitz scored his second of the night with assists from Diego Cuglietta and Lukas Kaelble, capping off the night with a 7-2 final. Final shots on goal ended 37-20 in favor of LSSU.

Nick Kossoff (11-2-1) recorded the win in net for the Lakers, picking up 16 saves on 18 shots faced. Sophomore Roman Bengert saw his first non-exhibition action replacing Kossoff for the final 5:54 of the game, saving 2-of-2. Theut recorded the loss for Alabama Huntsville after playing 9:22 and allowing three goals on six shot attempts. Sinclair saved 27-of-31 entering in relief.

The Lakers were 0-for-6 on the man advantage and the Chargers were 1-for-5.

The Lakers and Chargers square off again on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Taffy Abel Arena. Tickets may be purchased at the Norris Center Ticket Office or online. For additional ticket information, call (906) 635-2602.

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Listen to head coach Damon Whitten's postgame interview below.