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Lakers look for another jump start during OSU rematch



Derek R. Smith

Jan. 23, 2007

SAULT STE. MARIE - A season-opening split at Ohio State catapulted the Lake Superior State hockey team into the first half of the 2006-07 season, and the Lakers hope another strong showing against the Buckeyes will give them a boost as they head into February.

When Lake Superior State and Ohio State met Oct. 13-14 in Columbus, Ohio, the Lakers rebounded from a 1-0 Friday loss with a 7-6 overtime victory Saturday, snapping a 14-game winless streak against the Buckeyes. The win proved two things to the young Lakers - they could beat a Central Collegiate Hockey Association perennial contender, and they are capable of offensive explosiveness.

After that win, LSSU went on to win six of its next nine games. The Lakers later enjoyed a five-game unbeaten streak in December.

Now the Lakers (13-10-3 overall, 7-8-3 CCHA) are looking for another jump start after losing four straight for the first time since they ended the 2005-06 season with a seven-game winless streak. In back-to-back series, including one at home against Notre Dame and one on the road at Michigan State, they had a hard time bouncing back on Saturday after losing hard-fought, one-goal decisions in overtime on Friday.

After last weekend's 3-2 OT and 4-0 losses at 11th-ranked MSU, the Lakers dropped to 2-8-1 against top-20 teams. Michigan State became the second team to shut out LSSU this season. The first was Ohio State.

The Buckeyes' early-season loss to LSSU was the start of a four-game OSU losing streak. They struggled through the first half of the season, but ended December on a winning note.

Ohio State is 4-1-2 in its last seven games. Miami just snapped the Buckeyes' four-game winning streak by taking three of four points last weekend, including a 2-1 victory on Sunday.

The one point the Buckeyes took from Miami currently places them one spot ahead of LSSU in the CCHA standings. OSU (9-10-5 overall, 7-7-4 CCHA) and Nebraska-Omaha are tied for fifth place with 18 points each, while LSSU is in a three-way tie for seventh place with Western Michigan and Northern Michigan.

While the middle of the CCHA pack dukes it out this weekend (NMU also plays UNO), first place will be on the line when Miami travels to Notre Dame. The Irish are currently one point ahead of the RedHawks with two games in hand.

Sophomore forward Josh Sim scored both Laker goals during last Friday's 3-2 loss to MSU and took over LSSU's points lead with 11-8--19. Senior forward Trent Campbell (7-11--18), junior defenseman Derek A. Smith (5-13--18) and sophomore forward Troy Schwab (3-15--18) are tied for second.

Ohio State junior forward Tommy Goebel is bringing a six-game point scoring streak into this weekend's series. He has two goals and six assists during that span. At eight goals, Goebel is tied for the team lead in goals with senior forward Mathieu Beaudoin, who had a short-handed goal last Friday.



Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
 
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