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Sunday, February 19, 2006

LSSU Falls to Middle of the CCHA pack

Lake Superior State's hopes for a top-four finish in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association were all but dashed by Upper Peninsula rival Northern Michigan, which polished off its four-game sweep of the Lakers with a 5-1 win Saturday at the Berry Events Center.

NMU (18-4-2 overall, 12-12-2 CCHA), which also won Friday's game in Sault Ste. Marie, 4-3 in overtime, scored four unanswered goals after Laker Troy Schwab tied it 1-1 at 4:08 of the second period.

The Lakers, who went into the game in fifth place in the CCHA standings, dropped to 15-11-6 overall and 11-11-4 in the league.

Mike Santorelli gave NMU a 1-0 lead at 14:38 of the first period. After Schwab tied it with a second-period power-play goal, Wilcats Nathan Oystrick, Matt Siddall, Santorelli and Nick Sirota scored four goals in a 7:26 span.

NMU, which has a seven-game win streak against LSSU, moved into a fifth-place tie with the Lakers in the CCHA standings. Ferris State, which tied with Ohio State as of press time, had a chance to make it a three-way deadlock. The one positive note was that fourth-place Nebraska-Omaha was trailing third-place Michigan, 4-2. Michigan State won 3-1 on Saturday and improved its second-place standing by handing league leader Miami its first sweep of the season.

LSSU goaltender Jeff Jakaitis totaled 18 saves through two periods and was replaced by senior Willie Ciccone in the third period. Ciccone had one save as the Lakers shut out NMU in the third period.

NMU goaltender Bill Zaniboni stopped 23 of 24 shots on goal.

The Lakers play host to Michigan State at 7:35 p.m. on Thursday at Taffy Abel Arena, then travel to the Joe Louis Arena to face off against the Spartains on Saturday afternoon, there is currently only 2 points seperating LSSU from 10th place in the CCHA.

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