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Thursday, September 18, 2008

LSSU Hockey 2008-09 Season Preview

After a disappointing 2007-08 season in with the Lakers went 10-20-7 tying for 9th in the CCHA the Lakers look to rebound this season. The Lakers return an experienced team this season only losing three seniors from last years squad. Success this season will depend on the Lakers getting of to a good start next season as they will conclude the season with games against, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Michigan, Miami, and Northern Michigan, as well as Bowling Green and Western Michigan.

Last season a struggling LSSU team went 2-12-2 against plus-.500 teams, 1-2-1 against Northern Michigan and only went 8-5-4 against sub-.500 teams. The schedule doesn’t get easier this season with LSSU finding themselves in a cluster with Northern Michigan, defending national champion Notre Dame, and Bowling Green who eliminated LSSU

Offense. Scoring this season will be a question mark for the Lakers as it has been for the past 10 years or so. Key returnees include Nathan Perkovich, who led the Lakers with 17 goals last season, Zac MacVoy who posted 27 points with 19 assists and Troy Schwab who posted 24 points on 18 assists. The key loss on the offensive side of the ice include is Dan Eves who posted 26 points last season in his best season with the Lakers. Look for freshman Dan Barczuk and Fred Cassiani to contribute in the attacking zone. Brad Cooper, Bud Coopers grandson will also bolster the forward ranks for the Lakers becoming eligble this season after transferring from Providence College. LSSU will look to improve on the 2.46 goals per game that they averaged over 37 games last season including just 0.81 power play goals per game, scoring just 15.1% of the time with the extra man.

Defense. LSSU will start the season with only 7 defenders on their roster. The defense will be anchored this season by Steven Kaunisto, Simon Gysbers, and Steven Oleksy, with incoming players Kyle Haines and Kyle Popur expected to contribute on the blue line immediately. Last season LSSU’s defense allowed 3.38 goals per games killing only 73.5% of their shorthanded opportunities and scoring only 3 shorthanded goals all season.

Goaltending. Last season saw the Lakers opponents score almost one additional goal per game, 0.82 GPG to be exact, than the 2006-07 seasons with the loss of Jeff Jakaitis. Junior Pat Inglis and Sophomore Brian Mahoney-Wilson struggled to fill the skates of Jakaitis allowing splitting time and posting a 3.56 GAA with a .888 SV% and 3.00 GAA and a .899 SV% respectively. Neither goalie stepped up to the starting position last season, so look for both goalies to contribute again this year. LSSU reportably has Tyler Marble from Detroit Honeybaked lined up for the 2010 season, so it looks like Coach Roque has confidence in Inglis and Mahoney-Wilson to hold down Fort Brady until then.

Look for the CCHA’s annual Media and Coaches polls on the afternoon of September 30, and the annual Blue-White Game on October 4.

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