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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lakers home against Miami this Weekend

Two of Lake Superior State’s last three regular-season series are at home, and all will be tough tests as the Lakers continue their quest for a top-eight spot in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings.

After this weekend’s series against Miami (16-8-4 overall, 14-5-3-1 CCHA), which is ranked in the top 10 in both national polls, the Lakers (9-13-8 overall, 6-10-6-1 CCHA) play host to Western Michigan and travel to Northern Michigan to close out the regular season.

Ferris State and NMU are tied for seventh place with 23 points each, while LSSU is ninth with 19 points and leads 10th-place WMU by a mere point. Miami, which is second in the league standings with 32 points and trails first-place Notre Dame by four, is hoping to close the gap on the Fighting Irish during the final stretch of the regular season.

Fourth-ranked Michigan snapped LSSU’s three-game win streak with a 6-2 victory last Friday at Yost Arena, and the Wolverines won 2-1 Saturday to sweep the series. Only Michigan and Nebraska-Omaha have swept the Lakers in 2008-09. LSSU fell to 1-9 in games decided by one goal.

LSSU was 1-for-10 on the power play at Michigan, which leads the CCHA in penalty killing when playing league opponents. Miami is ranked second in the league in both power play and penalty killing, so the Lakers hope to play as much five-on-five hockey as possible. Against all opponents, Miami leads the CCHA in combined special teams, while LSSU is ranked eighth.

Miami, which was idle last weekend, is 4-0-1 in its last five games, including 6-1 and 3-2 victories over Bowling Green State on Jan. 30-31. Miami sophomore forward Carter Camper leads the CCHA in points with 17-18—35, while teammate Pat Cannone, also a sophomore, is tied for sixth with 11-18—29. Camper and Cannone are ranked first and second in the CCHA in power-play points with a combined total 14-23—37.

Miami’s top scorers may be underclassmen, but the team’s senior class is the winningest in school history with 99 victories. The RedHawks have two freshman goaltenders – Connor Knapp (1.90, .913) and Cody Reichard (2.31, .908).

LSSU sophomore Rick Schofield continues to have the scoring touch for LSSU. He scored a goal against U-M last Friday to improve his point totals to 9-11—20 overall and 8-7—15 during the Lakers’ last 14 games. Junior forward Zac MacVoy, who leads the Lakers in scoring during the first half of the season, scored LSSU’s lone goal Saturday at U-M to snap a seven-game scoring drought. Junior goaltender Pat Inglis is 2-2 with a 2.51 goals-against average and .923 save percentage while filling in for injured netminder Brian Mahoney-Wilson. Overall, Inglis is 3-5-2 with a 2.64 gaa and .917 save percentage.

Valentine’s Day Special: LSSU Concessions is offering a meal deal for couples attending Saturday’s hockey game. Anyone who purchases two tickets to the game will receive a coupon good for two hot subs, two sodas and two bags of chips for $12 – a $4 savings.

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