MANKATO, Minn. - The Lake Superior State hockey team was defeated by the No. 1 team in the country, the Minnesota State Mavericks, in a 2-0 loss at the Mankato Civic Center in Mankato, Minn. on Saturday, Dec. 7. With the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) loss, the Lakers record falls to 5-14-1 overall and 3-8-1 in conference games this season.
The first period closely resembled the opening twenty minutes of play from the first game of the series as neither team was able to break the scoreless tie. The Lakers kept up with the nation's team as Mavericks goaltender Dryden McKay stopped all seven shots he faced. Mareks Mitens, the Lakers junior netminder, kept the Mavericks offense off the scoresheet as he 12 shots in the period, which included a highlight-reel glove save with 11 seconds left in the period to rob Mavericks forward Charlie Gerard.
In the second period, the Mavericks would score a shorthanded goal to break the game's scoreless tie. Following a two-on-two rush up the ice, Minnesota State's Jared Spooner would set up Marc Michaelis with a drop pass in the Lakers defensive zone. Michaelis' wrist shot would find its way past Mitens, beating the Laker goalie low to give Minnesota State a 1-0 at 7:47 of the second period.
Through the remainder of the second period, the Lakers would hang with the Mavericks as the LSSU penalty killers would successfully kill off a Mavericks power play to keep the game within reach. At 18:16 of the second period, Mavericks defenseman Edwin Hookenson was called for checking from behind on Laker forward Alex Ambrosio. The Lakers would receive a five-minute power play as a result of the play, which would carry over into the third period. Depsite the prolonged extra skater advantage, the Lakers were unable to generate any solid chances or beat McKay.
The Lakers held their own against the top team in their conference and the nation as they kept the game within a goal until Jake Jaremko put the game out of reach when he scored to give the Mavericks a 2-0 lead with 2:35 left in the game.
Mitens had a strong effort in the net for the Lakers as he made 32 saves for the Lakers to post a .941 save percentage in the game. McKay stopped all 21 shots by the Lakers to record the win and the shutout for Minnesota State.
The Lakers will close out the first half of the season next weekend when the team hosts Bowling Green at home for a weekend series on Friday, Dec. 13 and Saturday, Dec. 14. Both games are set for a 7:00 p.m. start at Taffy Abel Arena.
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