The Miami Redhawks entered the weekend trailing the Lake Superior State Lakers by only one point in the CCHA standings, and they left Sault Ste. Marie in the same boat. The Lakers battled some questionable officiating from a rookie corps, in losing a tough 2-1 to the Redhawks on Friday, and holding off Miami for a hard fought 4-3 victory on Saturday.
The Lakers continued to struggle on Friday nights, falling to a record of 3-8-1 for this season. The Lakers lone goal on Friday came while on a delayed penalty, and LSSU pulled goaltender Kevin Kapalka for an extra attacker. Sophomore Kellan Lain found the back of the Miami net, with assists going to Kyle Haines and Colin Campbell. Miami would score twice in the second period to secure the lead. The Lakers would play the majority of the game without their leading goal scorer Nick McParland. McParland was assessed a game misconduct at the 10:44 mark of the first period for 'checking from behind', when the Redhawk player turned his back on him at the last second.
Lake State was 1-3 on the power-play, while they held Miami to 1-5. Kapalka made 32 saves to take the loss.
The Lakers would bounce back on Saturday, though, holding off the Redhawks for a 4-3 victory. Being down 1-0 early, McParland would tie the game for LSSU with a power-play goal in the first period. Haines and Campbell would earn another assist each on the goal. Forty seconds later, junior defenseman Zach Trotman put Lake State up 2-1 when his blast from the point found the back of the net. Freshman Stephen Perfetto and Kevin Czuczman would earn assists. Miami would tie the score just minutes later to tie the score at 2.
In the second period, Campbell would score a goal of his own to put the Lakers back on top, with assists going to Matt Bruneteau and senior captain Fred Cassiani. Cassiani would score the game-winner early in the third period, snapping a wrist shot from between the circles, with Campbell earning his second assist of the game. The Redhawks would cut the lead to one, and out-shoot Lake Superior 18-2 in the third period.
Kapalka made a season high 43 saves for the victory. LSSU was 1-4 on the power-play, and Miami was 1-3.
The Lakers (13-10-3/8-8-2-2 CCHA) travel to East Lansing next weekend to take on the Michigan State Spartans.