Heading to the bench early in overtime Friday night against Union, Lake Superior center Stephen Perfetto suddenly changed his mind.
That proved to be fortuitous for the Lakers, and unfortunate for the 16th-ranked Dutchmen.
Perfetto fired a shot from the right point past goalie Alex Sakellaropoulos 1:16 into sudden-death overtime, giving the Lakers a wild 6-5 non-conference men’s college hockey victory over the Dutchmen at Messa Rink.
“It was just one of those nights,” Lakers coach Jim Roque said. “I didn’t think the goalies played bad, either. I thought there were bad mistakes by both teams, and the teams cashed in.”
The last time Union allowed six goals in a game was Oct. 24, 2009, against Sacred Heart at Messa. Ironically, the final score of that game was the same as Friday, and it was also in overtime.
Perfetto was nearly to the blue line when he turned around and saw the puck come his way.
“I was about to change, and the puck happened to jump out at me,” sad Perfetto, who also had three assists. “I saw the whole right side of the net, and I put it on net and it found the back of the net.”
The goal was a fitting end to a game in which neither team’s defense played well.
“I wouldn’t say it was our best performance,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “It is a team game. I thought our forwards need to do a better job of coming back and helping out our goaltender, plus our ‘D.’”
Union (1-1-1) had leads of 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3, but never had a two-goal lead. The Dutchmen almost had a 2-0 lead 1:37 into the game. After Daniel Ciampini scored one minute into the game, Sam Coatta appeared to score a goal. But a video review reversed it, showing that Coatta kicked the puck into the net.
The Lakers (3-0) tied it up each time. It was their power play that would not only tie it, 4-4, but give them a 5-4 lead early in the third period. Zach Sternberg scored on a two-man advantage 29 seconds into the third, and Andrew Dommett gave the Lakers their first lead of the night 1:41 later on a five-on-four.
“It’s a lack of discipline on our part,” Dutchmen defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said. “The D-corps wasn’t really there. It’s definitely our fault. It’s a two-game series, so we’ll get back at it again [tonight].”
Asked what the Dutchmen need to do to tighten things for the 7 p.m. rematch, Gostisbehere said, “We definitely have to work on our one-on-ones. They were definitely smoking us the whole game. They were burning us like crazy. We need to box out their bigger [players]. We need to pick up sticks.
“We need to wake up here.”
Gostisbehere tied it at 5-5 at 6:55 during a four-on-four situation. He came down from the left point, took a cross-ice pass from Mike Vecchione and roofed it over goalie Kevin Murdock.
Gostisbehere almost won it with just under 10 seconds left in regulation. It was a similar play to the one on which he scored his goal. This time, Kevin Sullivan, who had three assists in the game, sent the pass.
Only this time, Murdock stopped the shot.
“It was a great look by Kevin,” Gostisbehere said. “He was making plays all night. I saw there was six seconds left, so I took a chance and just went down. He just threw it there. It was all Kevin. The goalie made a tremendous save, too.”
Matt Hatch, Vecchione and Michael Pontarelli had the other Union goals. . . .
Bryce Schmitt, Kevin Czuczman and Andrew Perrault also scored for Lake Superior State.
Lake Superior State 2 1 2 1 — 6
Union 3 1 1 0 — 5
First Period — 1, Union, Ciampini 2 (Carr, Pontarelli), 1:00. 2, Lake Superior State, Schmitt 1 (Sternberg, Perfetto), 10:42. 3, Union, Hatch 2 (Sullivan), 12:43. 4, Lake Superior State, Czuczman 2 (Globke, Perfetto), 14:53. 5, Union, Vecchione 1 (Sullivan, Bodie), 16:16. Penalties — McKay, LSS (high-sticking), 2:41; Ciampini, Uni (interference), 6:58; Ciotti, LSS (holding stick), 13:49; Carr, Uni (hooking), 14:07; Bodie, Uni (holding), 16:33.
Second Period — 6, Lake Superior State, Perrault 1 (Globke), :22. 7, Union, Pontarelli 3 (Sullivan, Carr), 9:23 (pp).. Penalties — Bodie, Uni (interference), :40; Ciotti, LSS (hooking), 8:50; Perrault, LSS (interference), 16:46; Ikkala, Uni (elbowing), 19:26.
Third Period — 8, Lake Superior State, Sternberg 1 (Perfetto, Radke), :29 (pp). 9, Lake Superior State, Dommett 2 (Czuczman), 2:10 (pp). 10, Union, Gostisbehere 1 (Vecchione, Ciampini), 6:55. Penalties — Vasaturo, Uni (interference), :18; Sullivan, Uni (charging), 5:26; Campbell, LSS (holding stick), 5:30; DiPauli, Uni (tripping), 11:12.
Overtime — 11, Lake Superior State, Perfetto 1 (Sternberg, Globke), 1:16. Penalties — None.
Shots on Goal — Lake Superior State 6-8-8-1 — 23. Union 10-14-10-0 — 34.
Power-play opportunities — Lake Superior State 2 of 8; Union 1 of 5.
Goalies — Lake Superior State, Murdock 3-0-0 (34 shots-29 saves). Union, Sakellaropoulos 1-1-1 (23-17).
A — 1,542. T — 2:15.
Referees — Peter Feola, Cameron Lynch. Linesmen — Stephen Drain, Andy Petrus.