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Lakers return home to take on Bowling Green State

Brian Mahoney-Wilson

Jan. 8, 2008

SAULT STE. MARIE - The Lake Superior State hockey team has picked up points in three of its last four games, but is still seeking its first Central Collegiate Hockey Association win of the season as it heads into this weekend's home series against Bowling Green State.

The Lakers (2-12-4 overall, 0-9-3 CCHA) play host to the Falcons (9-9-0 overall, 6-6-0 CCHA) at 7:05 p.m. Friday and 5:05 p.m. Saturday at Taffy Abel Arena. Fans are encouraged to bring their skates Saturday and participate in a free "Skate with the Lakers" following the matinee game. Saturday is also "Youth Hockey Night," and all area youth hockey players will receive free admission to the game if they are wearing their game jersey and are accompanied by an adult who purchases a ticket.

Both games will be broadcast live on Rock 101 FM and simulcast on A pay-per-view video webcast of the games are available on the B2 Network.

LSSU, playing at home for the first time since early December, has recorded ties in three of its last four games to garner much-needed points in the CCHA standings. The Lakers lost 8-2 and tied 3-3 during last weekend's series at No. 9/10 Michigan State and now have a 1-9-2 record against teams receiving votes in the national polls. BGSU, which is coming off a split with CCHA co-leader Miami, received honorable mention in both polls this week.

LSSU took several positives from last weekend's series as sophomore Zac MacVoy scored the Lakers' first short-handed goal of the season, sophomore Nathan Perkovich scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season, and freshman goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson was impressive during the four periods in which he played.

The Lakers drew praise from MSU standout goalie Jeff Lerg following Saturday's 3-3 overtime tie. LSSU dominated the second and third periods after being outshot 22-10 in the first.

"Give them credit," Lerg said. "They're a good team. They could've folded after the first period. They came out, took it to us and got back on the board. They got a little fluky bounce and ran with it. But they played hard, and they played well. They're going to beat some teams in the second half. They're getting some confidence here and becoming the team that they want to be."

LSSU coach Jim Roque was pleased with his team's comeback from Friday's 8-2 loss, which was the Lakers' first game since Dec. 8.

"Obviously it was a lot better," Roque said. "Brian played outstanding in net. You've got to give Michigan State some credit for (Friday) night. I thought they were real good. I knew our guys would bounce back (Saturday). It was just a great effort all around. I'm really happy with how we came back."

While the Falcons will keep their eye on Perkovich, LSSU will have to contend with BGSU senior Derek Whitmore (13-5--18), who is tied for fourth in the CCHA in goals scored and is third in power-play goals with eight. The Lakers will also have to stop freshmen Jacob Cepis (9-8--17) and Dan Sexton (5-3--8), who has two short-handed goals this season. BGSU's goaltenders, junior Jimmy Spratt (Calgary) and freshman Nick Eno (Buffalo), are both NHL draft picks with 2.92 and 2.64 goals-against averages, respectively.

Bowling Green State is coming off a 4-2 win and 5-2 loss at home against No. 2/3-ranked Miami, which was the nation's top-ranked team prior to the series. BGSU was the first team to score four goals against the RedHawks this season. It was the Falcons' first victory over a No. 1 team since they beat No. 1 LSSU on Nov. 6, 1993.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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