Lake Superior State has earned UP college hockey bragging rights for the time being, after decisively sweeping away the Northern Michigan Wildcats this weekend. The power play was central to the Lakers' 4-1 win on Friday and their 2-0 shutout on Saturday--five of the team's six goals were scored with the extra man.
Domenic Monardo wasted no time in Friday's game; he capitalized on the Lakers' first power play at 3:04 of the first. Rick Schofield and Zac Trotman assisted. Mike Maltese tied up the game for Northern in the last minute of the period with some help from Tyler Gron and Nicholas Kosinski.
Penalties weakened Northern in the last two periods, as eight different 'Cats were sent to the box (and two were slapped with game misconducts). Schofield put the Lakers up by a goal in the second, and Chad Nehring and Will Acton each scored in the final period. Trotman added two more assists, and Matt Cowie had three assists.
Laker goalie Kevin Kapalka had 18 saves for the win; Northern netminder Reid Ellingson had 28 saves in the loss.
On Saturday, Northern gave Lake State a run for their money in the first: they outshot the Lakers 12-8 and killed off both their penalties. But the Lakers responded by scoring their only even-strength goal of the series: Trotman (for his fourth point of the weekend) set up Acton at 6:11 of the first.
Schofield made it 2-0 on a power-play goal early in the second. Kapalka and the Laker defense then proceeded to shut down the 'Cats for the rest of the game.
In an uncharacteristic performance, the 'Cats outshot the Lakers 31-26, but could not light the lamp.
Kapalka earned first-star status for his shutout, while Ellingson finished with 24 saves for the 'Cats.
Next weekend, the 'Cats (11-15-4, 9-11-2-0 CCHA) will look to put the brakes on this winless streak--their longest of the season--in East Lansing. The Lakers (9-12-7, 7-9-6-4 CCHA) will try to ride the momentum of their first road sweep of the season when they return to the Soo to face Alaska.