Lake Superior State hockey defeated Michigan Tech 6-3 in the Great Lakes Invitational Championship Game on New Year’s Eve at Little Caesars Arena. It was LSSU’s first tournament championship, as well as the first time two Upper Peninsula teams made simultaneous appearances at the tourney, which has been going on since 1964.
Senior center Diego Cuglietta was named Tournament MVP as the Lakers won the GLI for the first time in program history. The Lakers are now 4-4 all time at the GLI in four appearances (1977, 1996, 1999, 2018).
Lake Superior State (11-6-1) took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. Cuglietta got the scoring started for the Lakers with his first goal of the game at 10:34 of the first period with junior winger Max Humitz assisting on the play. Just over a minute later, sophomore forward Hampus Eriksson scored his second goal of the season at the 11:36 mark to make the score 2-0. Freshman forward Pete Veillette assisted on the play. Michigan Tech responded at 16:51 of the first period when Jake Lucchini scored an unassisted goal to make the score 2-1.
Alex Smith scored the first goal of the second period on the power play for the Huskies to tie the game at 2-2 at the 3:29 mark, before Lake Superior State responded with the next two goals to make the score 4-2 at the second intermission. Humitz scored at 9:23 and junior winger Bryan Basilico added a power-play goal at 16:12. Senior winger Anthony Nellis assisted on Humitz’s goal, while junior winger Brayden Gelsinger and sophomore defenseman Lukas Kaelble assisted on Basilico’s goal.
In the third period, Michigan Tech drew within one goal with the score 4-3 when Trenton Bliss scored on the power play three minutes into the third period. Neither team scored again until the Lakers scored two empty-net goals in the final 1:10 of the game. Cuglietta scored the first empty-net goal, assisted by Humitz, at 18:50 of the period and junior defenseman Steven Ruggiero scored at the 19:08 mark to make the final score 6-3.
Senior netminder Nick Kossoff (9-2-1) made 18 saves for the Lakers, while Robbie Beydoun (3-2-1) stopped 34 shots for the Huskies.
The Lakers went 1-of-4 on the power play, while the Huskies were 2-of-5.
The Lakers held a 40-21 edge in shots on goal in the game.
Joining Cuglietta on the GLI All-Tournament Team were Kossoff and junior defenseman Collin Saccoman.
Lake Superior State returns to action in a two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series at Alaska Anchorage on Friday and Saturday in Anchorage, Alaska.
The next Laker home series is against Alabama Huntsville on Jan. 11-12. Tickets may be purchased at the Norris Center Ticket Office or online. For additional ticket information, call (906) 635-2602.
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From LSSU Sports Information