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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lakers battle Griffins, illness in Buffalo

By Michael David/LSSU Beat Writer

A depleated Lake Superior State Laker squad competed in non-conference action over the weekend, taking on the gritty Canisius Griffins of Atlantic Hockey in Buffalo, N.Y.

The Lakers and Griffins skated to a 2-2 tie on a rare early afternoon game on Saturday, and LSSU was able to grind out a 4-2 victory in the Sunday matinee.

On Saturday, Canisius would take an early 1-0 lead in the first, but the Lakers countered with a goal by senior defenseman Kyle Haines. The power-play goal was assisted by forwards Colin Campbell and Nick McParland.

The Griffins would score the only goal of the second period, to take a 2-1 lead into the final stanza. The Lakers would take avantage of another Canisius penalty, though, to even the score. The Lakers' second power-play goal of the game came off the stick of Dan Radke, in his first game back from hip surgery. Assists went to Dominic Monardo and freshman defender Kevin Czuczman.

The Lakers were 2-for-4 on the power play, but couldn't find the game winner with the man advantage in OT. LSSU held Canisius 0-for-3 with the extra man. Sophomore netminder Kevin Kapalka made 33 saves, and Lake State outshot their opponent, 38-35.

The flu bug would brutalize the Laker line-up even further on Sunday, with LSSU only skating with nine forwards, and even leaving assistant coach Tim Christian back in the hotel.

The Lakers would jump out to an early first period lead, though, with junior defenseman Zach Trotman netting a power-play goal, with assists going to freshman forward Chris Ciotti and McParland. LSSU would go up 2-0, when freshman forward Stephen Perfetto scored his first collegiate goal, and the Lakers first short-handed goal of the season. The only assist went to senior captain Fred Cassiani.

The Griffins would cut the Laker lead in half midway through the second period, but Dominic Mondaro would put his team back up by two, on a goal assisted by Cassiani and McParland. LSSU went up 4-1 in the third, when junior forward Ben Power notched his first goal of the season, with assists going to sophomore defenseman Andrew Perrault and forward Brian Cooper. The Griffins would score a power-play goal of their own to cut the lead to 4-2, but were unable to solve Kapalka the rest of the way. Kapalka made 31 saves to earn the victory for the Lakers.

LSSU (9-3-2, 5-2-1-1 CCHA) needs to get healthy fast, as they're back in league action next weekend taking on the #2 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Taffy Abel Arena.

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