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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

LSSU travel to Bemidji to renew ICHA rivalry

The Lake Superior State University (8-5-3, 5-5-2 CCHA) hockey team will take the 15 hour plus bus ride to Bemidji, Minnesota to take on the 17th-ranked Bemidji State Beavers Hockey team (9-3-0) in non-conference action. This is the first appearance for the Lakers in Bemidji since 1974.

LSSU have a tremendous history with Bemidji. Bemidji State was the first American school that then LSSC played in 1966 after the founding of the team. The teams consistently played one another in the NAIA Tournament, cementing their ICHA rivalry, including the Lakers toping Bemidji 4-3 in 1974 to win their second NAIA national title. Bemidji went on to become an NAIA and NCAA III powerhouse until its hockey program turned Division I in 1999.

Lake Superior is looking to extend their current win streak to 6 coming off home sweep over University Alaska Fairbanks this past weekend, extending their longest win streak since the 1997-98 season. Bemidji split their home series last weekend against Niagara, losing 3-4 on Friday and winning 8-1 on Saturday. Ferris and Niagara are the only teams over .500 on the Bemidji schedule todate, they have split these two series.

The Beavers has the third highest offensive output in the NCAA this season averaging 3.92 goals per game while giving up 2.50 goals per game. Bemidji's power play is ranked 2nd in the College Hockey America with a .190 Power Play Percentage, while their penalty kill is tops in the CHA with a .872 penalty kill percentage. Bemidji is averaging 22.2 penalty minutes per game.

LSSU’s power play is ranked third in the CCHA averaging 1.31 PPG a game and a .182 power play percentage. The Lakers are currently seventh in the CCHA in penalty killing giving up 15 goals in 16 games with a kill rating of .828.

LSSU leads the all-time series against Bemidji with an overall record of 20-16-1. Last season the Lakers beat the Beavers 5-4 in overtime before falling the next night 3-1.

LSSU goaltender Jeff Jakaitis is currently ranked ninth in the nation with a 2.09 GAA, and eighth in the CCHA with a .908 SV%. The Lakers are ranked second in the CCHA with a goals against average of 2.12. LSSU is offensively lead by Dominic Osman who has 6 goals in 14 games, and Trent Campbell who has 5 goals and 10 points on the season.

Bemidji is led offensively by junior Luke Erickson who has 9 goals and 17 points in 12 games this year, after finishing last year 11-27-38, and defenseman Andrew Martens who has 3 goals and 13 points.

Bemidji has used two goaltenders this season with junior Laune Sedevie recording 6 wins in 6 appearances posting a 1.67 GAA, and .943 SV%, sophomore Matt Climie has three wins in 6 appreances posting a 3.35 GGA and .892 SV%.

A traveling trophy, the Peters/Mason Cup, has been established and will be awarded to the team that wins the Saturday night game of the series. The traveling trophy has been named after former coaches R.H. “Bob” Peters of BSU and Ron Mason of LSSU, the two winningest hockey coaches in NCAA history.

Plans are for the two teams to schedule each other for the forseeable future. In the short term, Serratore said, LSSU will return to BSU next season with the Beavers scheduled to head back to LSSU in 2007-08.

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