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Monday, January 07, 2013

Lakers sweep 13th ranked Dutchmen

By Michael David/LSSU Beat Writer

It's your classic case of the irritable force vs the immovable object. The Union Dutchmen skated into Sault Ste. Marie with Division I hockey's best power-play percentage at 26.8. The Lake Superior State Lakers were on a run of 24 straight penalties killed. Either way, something was gonna give in this series...

Friday night the Lakers jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the first. Forward Dan Radke received a pass into the Union zone from captain Dominic Monardo. Radke dumped off to defensman Zach Sternberg, who shot a laser into the Dutchman net Han Solo would be proud of. Union would score a goal of it's own, however, just 79 seconds later to tie the score at 1. The game-winner would come at the 12:08 mark of the first. Center Kellan Lain won the face in the Dutchmen zone, that Monardo shot through traffic and found the back of the net.

About half-way through the second period, the Lakers would extent their lead to 3-1, on a fantastic individual effort by Buddy Robinson, who used his size and skill to go to the net for the score. Assists went to senior Nick McParland and defenseman Andrew Perrault.

The Dutchmen pulled their goalie late in the third, but McParland snagged the puck and put the game away with the empty-net goal to make the final score 4-1. Robinson earned the only assist.

The Lakers killed off all five power-plays, to extend their streak to 29. LSSU was 0-2 with the man advantage themselves. Junior Kevin Kapalka made 22 saves on the night to earn the win.

Saturday night, it was Union who drew first blood, and stopped the Lakers penalty-killing streak. The Dutchmen made it 1-0 at 8:10 of the second period to end the streak at an impressive 31 kills. The Lakers didn't hang their heads, however. They tied the game at one just minutes later when Andrew Dommett scored his first collegiate goal. Defenseman Kevin Czuczman drew the only assist.

Lake State wasted little time in the third period, either, as Monardo would score the his second game winner in as many nights to put his team up 2-1 just 42 second in. McParland and Radke earned the assists on the play. Buddy Robinson would also score his second goal of the weekend, this time it was the Lakers first short-handed goal of the season. Perrault intercepted a Dutchmen pass, and set up Robinson for the break-away.

LSSU still held Union 1-6 on the power-play, while they went 1-4. Junior Kevin Murdock made 28 saves in the Laker net, to earn the 3-1 victory.

The Lakers (12-10-0, 7-7-0 CCHA) are back in CCHA action next weekend in Kalamazoo, when they face another ranked team in the tough Western Michigan Broncos.

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