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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Lakers host UMD and MTU for Superior Cup

SAULT STE. MARIE – Lake Superior State and Northern Michigan are taking their turn to host the Superior Cup. The 2008 showcase brings Minnesota-Duluth to Sault Ste. Marie for the first time, while Michigan Tech is making its first trip to the Sault since December, 1998.

The Lakers follow Friday’s season-opening game against the Bulldogs with a showdown Saturday against the Huskies. The games are part of Great Lake State Weekend festivities, and Outstanding Alumni Award winners will be introduced during second intermission Saturday. Both games will be broadcast live on Rock 101. An audio/video feed will be available for $6 on the B2 Network, which can be accessed via

The first Superior Cup was played last year in Duluth, Minn., and Houghton, Mich., and the Lakers tied UMD, 2-2, and lost to MTU, 4-3. Minnesota-Duluth leads the all-time series against LSSU, 6-3-3, but 11 of the 12 games have been played on the Bulldogs’ home ice. The only other game was during the 1993 NCAA Regional Tournament.

Michigan Tech leads the all-time series against LSSU, 30-17-3, but the teams were 6-6-0 against each other from 1981-82 through 1983-84 when they were both members of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

Northern Michigan, which plays host to MTU on Friday and UMD on Saturday, is the favored team in the second annual Superior Cup after earning a No. 4 ranking in the 2008-09 CCHA Pre-Season Coaches Poll. LSSU was picked to finish 10th. Western Collegiate Hockey Association representatives Minnesota-Duluth and Michigan Tech were ranked eighth and ninth, respectively, in their league’s pre-season poll.

LSSU returns nine of its top 10 scorers from last season, including junior forward Zac MacVoy, who led the Lakers in points with 8-9—17, and goal-scoring leader Nathan Perkovich, also a junior forward, who totaled 17-8—25. Perkovich scored a goal in both games of last year’s Superior Cup. His 17 goals last season was the most by a Laker since Terry Marchant scored 17 in 1997-98, and Perkovich has 32-15—47 through two collegiate seasons.

Senior captain Troy Schwab, who was fourth in points last season with 6-18—24, has 20-58—78 through three seasons and has a shot at becoming LSSU’s first 100-point scorer since Joe Blaznek totaled 57-54-111 from 1994-98.

The Lakers also return five experienced defensemen and goaltenders Pat Inglis and Brian Mahoney-Wilson, who split playing throughout most of last season. Inglis, a junior, was 4-10-4 in 2007-08, but had a 3-2-2 record and 2.24 goals-against average during his final seven games. Mahoney-Wilson finished 6-10-3 during his rookie campaign, including a 4-2-1 mark during his final seven starts.

Michigan Tech is coming off a 14-20-5 season, while Minnesota-Duluth finished 13-17-6. The Bulldogs return junior goaltender Alex Stalock, who had a 2.35 GAA and .914 save percentage last season and earned one WCHA Pre-Season Player of the Year vote from league coaches. UMD’s top-returning scorers are seniors MacGregor Sharp (7-10—17) and Nick Kemp (7-8—15).

MTU’s top-returning scorers are both defensemen -- senior Geoff Kindrade (5-14—19) and junior Drew Dobson (2-15—17). The Huskies graduated their top three scorers, who were all forwards.

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