The Lake Superior State Lakers hosted the Notre Dame Fighting Irish over the weekend, who were ranked No. 2 nationally as of press time. The series also marked the return of head coach Jeff Jackson, who lead LSSU to NCAA national championships in 1992 and '94.
Friday night, the highly skilled Fighting Irish skated past the 13th-ranked Lakers, 4-1. Notre Dame jumped out to an early 1-0 lead at the 3:16 mark of the first period. Lake State would answer back only 20 seconds later on a goal by Nick McParland. Assists on the Lakers' lone goal went to sophomore forward Colin Campbell and senior defenseman Kyle Haines.
The game-winner for the Irish came on the power play in the second period, and they would add another goal in the second, and one in the third for insurance.
In net, sophomore Kevin Kapalka made 26 saves on 30 shots for LSSU. The Lakers were 0-for-1 on the power-play, while Notre Dame was 1-for-3.
The luck of the Irish ran out on Saturday night, however, as the Lakers snapped Notre Dame's 11-game unbeaten streak with a 5-2 victory.
The Lakers took advantage of an early power play with sophomore forward Kyle Jean finding the back of the net just 1:37 into the contest. Assists went to juniors Domenic Monardo and Zach Trotman.
After Notre Dame tied the score in the first, the Lakers re-took the lead when Monardo lit the lamp on a goal assisted by freshman forward Stephen Perfetto and sophomore forward Dan Radke. Radke has two points in two games so far this season, after missing games due to injury and illness.
The Lakers would add to their lead with another power-play goal early in the second period. This one came off the stick of sophomore forward Kellan Lain with assists going to senior captain Fred Cassiani and McParland. The Irish would cut the Laker lead to one with a power-play goal of their own, but the Lakers regained the two-goal lead when Trotman's blast from the point found the back of the net.
LSSU would wrap up the game's scoring in the third, when Jean scored his second of the game when he tipped in a shot from Haines to make the score 5-2. Campbell would earn the other assist on Jean's second goal.
Kapalka was solid in goal again, making 27 saves for the win. The Lakers were 3-for-4 with the extra man, while keeping the Irish 1-for-5.
Notre Dame still sits in first place in the CCHA standings, while the victory jumps LSSU (10-4-2, 6-3-1-1 CCHA) into third place with 20 points. Lake State travels to Columbus next weekend to face the second-place Ohio State Buckeyes, who are three points ahead of the Lakers and ranked ninth nationally.