Lake Superior State pulled away in the second period to defeat UAH 6-1 on Friday night in Game 1 of the WCHA quarterfinals series in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
UAH (3-17-1) faces elimination heading into Saturday’s Game 2, which starts at 4:07 p.m. Central Time.
The Lakers (16-6-3) struck first at the 3:14 on a goal by Pete Veillette, who is too dangerous to be left alone. Veillette was unmarked as he took a pass from behind the net in front and quickly beat David Fessenden for his 12th goal of the season.
Lake Superior took a 2-0 lead eight minutes later on a power-play goal. Fessenden never saw the puck as it slipped between him and the post after flying through a screen off the stick of Brandon Puricelli in the right circle.
After a penalties on the Lakers at the end of the first period and 24 seconds into the second, UAH had a prime opportunity to come back. But despite having over a minute and a half of two-man advantage and scoring a goal, the Chargers found themselves no closer.
Lucas Bahn, dragging the puck to make a Laker defenseman commit, snapped the puck past Mitens for his second goal of the season to cut LSSU’s lead to 2-1.
The Lakers regained their two-goal lead with a short-handed goal just six seconds later. Veillette stole the puck in the UAH zone and quickly scored his second goal of the game.
LSSU then scored three goals in a span of 4:50 to pull away, starting with a Lukas Kaelble’s blast from the blue line to make it 4-1.
Fessenden’s night of tough breaks ended with 3:40 left in the second, when Alexandro Ambrosio’s shot, deflected by Jacob Nordqvist, hit his pad, went up in the air, and somehow fell in the net for a 5-1 Laker lead.
Derek Krall came in, and soon allowed a Miroslav Mucha goal that made it 6-1 at the second intermission. There was no scoring in the third period.
The Lakers outshot the Chargers 27-14.