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Jakaitis is named RBC/CCHA Player of the Month

Jeff Jakaitis

Jan. 3, 2007

FARMINGTON HILLS - Lake Superior State senior goaltender Jeff Jakaitis was named RBC/Central Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Month for December, the CCHA announced Wednesday.

"His numbers are phenomenal," LSSU coach Jim Roque said. "To have a .953 save percentage by Christmas...It's one thing to do that over a couple weeks' time or a month. But he did it for half a season."

Jakaitis is currently ranked second nationally in save percentage (.953) and third in goals against (1.63), and he leads the CCHA in both categories. He was recognized for his play last month, during which he allowed only six goals in five games. He was 3-1-1 with a .968 save percentage and 1.19 gaa. He also broke two school records.

"He's broken records held by goalies on really good teams - national powerhouses," Roque said. "He's a Hobey Baker candidate down the road, but what's more important is what he's continued to do - maintain a 3.7 GPA, be an assistant captain, and provide leadership when we play eight or nine freshmen a night. He's also helped another goaltender (Pat Inglis) along in the process, so when Jeff leaves we'll have a goalie next year."

Jakaitis started December by totaling 31 saves en route to a 2-0 victory over NMU and his school-record setting 10th career shutout. He helped the Lakers end a seven-game losing streak against the Wildcats, and it was his third shutout of the season. One Dec. 8, he tied his career high for single-game saves by stopping 49-of-50 shots in a 1-1 tie at Ferris State. The following night, he stopped 42 of 43 shots to lead the Lakers to a 4-1 win and help the Lakers snap a five-game winless streak against the Bulldogs. By stopping 91-of-93 shots for the series, he set a new school record for most saves in a series, breaking Matt Violin's mark (88) set in 2003.

On Dec. 16, Jakaitis played only 18 minutes in an exhibition game against the U.S. U-18s and stopped all six shots. He totaled 37 saves in a 2-1 victory over Providence on Dec. 29 at the Badger Showdown and led Lakers to their first-ever victory over the Friars. His final game of the month was a 3-2 loss to Clarkson in the Badger Showdown championship game. Two of the Golden Knights' three goals were scored on the power play, and Clarkson has the nation's best power-play success rate.

Jakaitis is on track to become the Lakers' all-time leader in career save percentage and has a shot at breaking the LSSU record for career goals-against average. He will be listed ahead of or among Laker greats Darrin Madeley, Bruce Hoffort and Blaine Lacher, who all won national championships.

"He's also done a lot of work for Relay for Life, and he's trying to get the guys involved with the Boys and Girls Clubs during winter break," Roque said of Jakaitis' community service endeavors. "He's even a better person than he is a goalie."

Special mention for RBC Financial Group CCHA Player of the Month went to Michigan State junior forward Bryan Lerg, Michigan junior forward Kevin Porter and Notre Dame junior forward Mark Van Guilder.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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