By Greg Garno, Daily Sports Writer
Published January 18, 2013
SAULT STE. MARIE — Lake Superior State skated off the ice at the end of the first period with wrinkled brows and one corner of the mouth raised to show confusion.
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The Lakers didn’t know what hit them.
The Michigan hockey team entered Friday’s CCHA matchup on a three-game losing streak after a recent sweep by Alaska, all signs pointing at a season spiraling out of control.
The Wolverines gave no indication they were struggling, though, scoring two goals on 14 shots in the first period en route to their 6-4 win over Lake Superior State. Michigan extended its winning streak over the Lakers, dating back to February 2007, to 16-straight games on Friday with the win.
From the opening puck drop, Michigan looked like a new team, firing early and often, checking harder and louder while keeping the puck out of its zone.
Junior forward Luke Moffatt kicked off the scoring at the 11:25 mark of the first period with his second goal of the season. Streaking down the right wing without a man near him, Moffatt tapped in the rebound off a hard shot from sophomore forward Andrew Sinelli.
But Michigan wasn’t done.
Just 22 seconds later, the Wolverines drove the puck down the ice again, with as much ferocity as their previous possession. Junior forward Derek DeBlois knocked the puck past Laker goaltender Kevin Kapalka after sophomore forward Travis Lynch and junior defenseman Kevin Clare took stabs at the puck.
Lake Superior State opened up the second-period scoring, though, when Andrew Perrault scored his first goal of the year after junior goaltender Adam Janecyk was screened.
Minutes later, the Paradise Valley, Ariz. native wound up in the right position again, waiting near the net after Sinelli fired a hard shot at the net.
One minute following his goal, Moffatt found himself on the giving end, floating a pass to sophomore forward Phil Di Giuseppe, who was not picked up. Di Giuseppe took the shot from the right slot that went right over the shoulder of Kapalka.
Michigan continued its dominance, demonstrating the offensive prowess that has escaped it in games past.
The Wolverines slipped up later in the second period when Janecyk let in his second goal. The Lakers' Bryce Schmidt also scored his first goal on a soft wrister from the slot that trickled between the legs of Janecyk.
But Lake Superior State struggled to fully recover after being stunned in the first.
Michigan finished the period with a 31-22 shot advantage over the Lakers, as the tandem of junior defenseman Jon Merrill and freshman defenseman Jacob Trouba held them at bay.
Janecyk was still tested in the third period, though.
With 9:03 left, sophomore Mike Chiasson was called for covering up a shot in the crease, resulting in a penalty shot. Lake Superior State’s leading goal scorer Dominic Monardo fooled Janecyk at the last possible moment, flipping the shot over the netminder’s head.
Less than a minute later, the Wolverines responded to hold their two-goal lead. Sophomore forward Zach Hyman and Trouba skated down in a two-on-one advantage until Hyman crossed the puck for Trouba to finish.
Coasting to the finish, Michigan allowed the fourth goal in the final two minutes. Eric Drapluk took the pass from the faceoff and worked the puck past Janecyk.
Michigan made sure it finished with the two-goal win, though, when sophomore forward Alex Guptill scored an empty netter.
The Wolverines outshot the lakers 46-33, firing off 12 shots more than their average of 34.5 per game.