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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

LSSU set to take on Ohio State

The Lake Superior State University (15-14-7 last season) hockey team will travel to Columbus, Ohio to take on the slumping Ohio State Buckeyes Hockey team at the Value City Arena this weekend.

Lake Superior is coming off an exhibition loss this past weekend to Lakehead University. Ohio State topped Guelph over the weekend 5 to 1 in exhibition play.

Ohio State, picked to finish sixth in the CCHA preseason media poll and fourth in the CCHA preseason coaches polls, are looking to comeback from last season in which they finished 10th in the CCHA (15-19-5). The buckeyes have been averaging 2.50 goals per game this season while giving up 3.00 goals per game. The Buckeyes open the 2006-07 season with eight of their first 10 games in Columbus. Last season, the squad played six of its first seven games on the road, going 2-4-1 in the stretch. All-time, the Buckeyes are 84-42-14 (.650) in Value City Arena.

Last season Ohio State's had the CCHA’s worst power play with a .104 Power Play Percentage, while their penalty kill was ranked 5th in the CCHA with a .842 penalty kill percentage. Ohio State surrendered 4 short handed goals on the season, while tallying 7 themselves.

Last Season the Lakers were eighth in the CCHA in penalty killing with a giving up 33 goals in 36 games with a kill rating of .822, the Lakers scored 8 short handed goals last season. LSSU’s power play was ranked 6th in the CCHA with a .173 power play percentage.

LSSU leads the all-time series against Ohio State, 65-49-9, including being 26-26-5 in Columbus. The Lakers have struggled mightily as of late against the Buckeyes, going 2-16-2, in a streak going back to 1998, including being shutout by OSU in both games (0-3, 0-4) in Columbus last season. Previous to this losing steak the Lakers had gone on a 5 year streak where they went 19-0-3 against the Buckeyes. This season the Buckeyes are in the same CCHA cluster as the Lakers, (as well as Northern Michigan, and Miami) Ohio State will visit the Sault on January 26th and 27th..

LSSU goaltender Jeff Jakaitis was voted to the preseason all CCHA second team after going 14-14-7 last season with a .920 SV% and 2.22 GAA. LSSU returns Trent Campbell who had 14 goals and 26 points last season, and Troy Schwab who had 16 assists and 24 points. LSSU will rely heavily on their freshman class this season with Nathan Perkovich, Matt Martello, and Michael George expected to lead the way

Last season Ohio State was led offensively by Junior Tom Fritsche who had 11 goals and 30 points, after finishing the 2004-05 season with 34 assists and 45 points, unfortunately for OSU Fritsche is out indefinately with severe ulcerative colitis, an intestinal illness. . After struggling in goal last season Ohio State brought in what is arguably the best freshman goaltending tandem in the nation. Joseph Palmer from the U.S. National Team Development Program and Nick Filion of Cornwall Colts, CJHL Rookie of the Year in 2006. Palmer is projected to be the OSU number one goalie who has garnered 23 games of college experience, including 20 against D-I competition, from his two seasons with the U.S. NTDP, including posting a win over LSSU last season when LSSU fell to Team USA 4-3 in the Sault.

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