By Michael David/LSSU Beat Writer
The Lake Superior State Lakers opened the new year facing the Western Ontario Mustangs in an exhibition, with dozens of rabid Lakers fans showing their support at Taffey Abel Arena. An uneventfull first period ended in a stale-mate, with neither team able to get a puck past the opposing net-minder.
LSSU came out strong in the second, however, and scored at the 1:46 mark when Kellan Lain (pictured) pounded a rebound into the Mustangs' net. Freshman forward Chris Ciotti and defenseman Kyle Haines earned the assists. The Lakers continued to carry the play throughout the period, and extended their lead to 2-0 when junior forward Ben Power scored a goal at 7:11 assisted by senior Kyle Pobur and freshman forward Andrew Dommett.
In the third period, Lake State had many opportunities to blow the game wide open, but missed some empty nets, and were unable to convert on some odd-man rushes. The royal blue and gold finally added to their lead, when senior captain Fred Cassiani tickled the twine at the 9:45, with assists going to Power and junior defenseman Zach Trotman.
Western Ontario finally got on the board, when the converted on a break-away to cut the lead to 3-1. Things really got interesting, though, when the Lakers took a late penalty. The Mustangs made it a one-goal game, when they pulled their goalie to give them six skaters to the Lakers four at 18:01. Lake State was able to hold off UWO for the final two minutes to secure the 3-2 win.
Sophomore Kevin Kapalka made 24 saves between the pipes for LSSU. Western Ontario, ranked 3rd nationally in the Canadian collegiate poll, was 1-3 on the power play, while Lake State was 0-3.
The Lakers return to CCHA action this Friday, visiting the University of Michigan Wolverines in a game that will be televised on Fox Sports Detroit-Plus.