DETROIT — Diego Cuglietta’s goal 3:05 into overtime gave Lake Superior State a 4-3 victory over the Michigan State hockey team on Sunday in the semifinals of the 54th Great Lakes Invitational at Little Caesars Arena. The Spartans will now meet Michigan at 11:30 a.m. on Monday in the tournament’s third-place game.
“I thought we were okay early and we ended up going up 2-0,” head coach Danton Cole said. “I don’t think it was anything spectacular, it wasn’t lopsided like we were all over them. We got a couple goals and then I think they had the jump for a while there and just played harder and were more willing to play simple and let the game work out.”
Cesana gave MSU (6-10-1) a 1-0 lead 3:31 into the first period. He drove down the right side in the LSSU zone and let the puck go from near the goal line where it found its way into the net between goaltender Nick Kossoff’s left pad and the goal post.
The Spartans made it 2-0 just past the midway point of the opening period as Stachowiak scored the first goal of his career. Stachowiak followed a point shot by Jerad Rosburg and put the rebound home from just below the left circle.
LSSU (10-6-1) tied the game just 56 seconds later as Anthony Nellis scored on a shot from the slot at the 11:09 mark.
The Lakers made it 2-2 with a power-play goal with 4:18 to play in the period as Cuglietta got open for a brief moment in front of the net and tipped the puck past goaltender John Lethemon.
Lake Superior State took its first lead, getting the only goal of the second period at the 7:29 mark. Max Humitz brought the puck into the MSU zone and wrapped it around the net, tucking it in the right side to make it 3-2.
The Spartans used an odd-man rush to tie the game at the 7:55 mark of the third as Cesana set up Stachowiak for his second of the game. Cesana carried the puck into the zone along the right side and dished it back to Stachowiak in the slot, who let a snap shot go past Kossoff.
The Spartans outshot the Lakers 32-30 for the game, including by a 14-8 margin in the third period.
“I thought from the middle of the second through the end of the game we had a pretty good push and were playing pretty well,” Cole said.
A penalty to LSSU with 1:35 to go in the third gave MSU a power play, but the Spartans weren’t able to convert.
MSU went 0-for-3 on the man-advantage, while LSSU was 1-for-3.
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