By Michael David/LSSU Beat Writer
The Lake Superior State Lakers played host to the USA U-18's in exhibition play Friday night. The talented youngsters gave LSSU fits all night, with their speed and precision passing, but the Lakers were able to grind out the 4-3 victory.
Lake State jumped onto the board to take the 1-0 lead at the 12:02 mark of the first period, when junior forward Nick McParland found the back of the net on the power-play. Senior captain Fred Cassiani and junior defenseman Zach Sternberg earned the assists. The USA squad would add a power-play goal of their own, to tie the game at one with just under two minutes remaining in the first period.
Cassiani would put Lake State up 2-1 at the 7:49 mark of the second, on a nice goal assisted by sophomore forwards Dan Radke and Colin Campbell. Approximately half way through the second period, Lake Superior would switch net minders. Sophomore Kevin Kapalka would leave the game making 18 saves, and giving up just the one goal. Sophomore Kevin Murdock entered the game, and was treated rudely by the U-18's, as they scored two quick goals on him in a 42 second span, to take a 3-2 lead in the second.
The Lakers re-grouped for the third period, though, and tied the game at the 6:39 with a power-play goal by Campbell. Cassiani and Sternberg would again team up for the helpers. At the 10:54 mark, the Lakers would take the lead when sophomore forward Kellan Lain pounded the puck between the pipes on a goals assisted by freshman defenseman T.J. Wees and freshman forward Buddy Robinson. Lake Superior was able to hold of the USA squad for the 4-3 victory.
Murdock settled in nicely, and made 15 saves in his half of the game, and some key ones in the third period. LSSU was 2-4 with the man advantage, and the U-18's were 1-4.
Taking a week off from CCHA action, the Lakers will try to re-gain some ground when they travel way up to Fairbanks, Ak., to take on the Nanooks.