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LSSU to celebrate Hockey Day in Michigan



Mike Adamek

Jan. 24, 2006

SAULT STE. MARIE - Ninteenth-ranked Lake Superior State will be putting its own spin on Hockey Day in Michigan as the Lakers play host to Bowling Green State in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association series this weekend at Taffy Abel Arena.

The fourth-place Lakers (12-7-5 overall, 8-7-3 CCHA) and seventh-place Falcons (12-14-1 overall, 8-11-1 CCHA) play at 7:35 p.m. on Friday and 7:05 p.m. on Saturday at Taffy Abel Arena. Saturday is officially Hockey Day in Michigan, but LSSU will have promotions going on both days.

LSSU Student Government is sponsoring a free ticket night for Laker students on Friday and hopes to break a student attendance record by packing the "Roque Quarry." Students who already have the LSSU sports pass will receive a coupon for fee food at the concession stand.

Due to increases in Laker hockey attendance, the Norris Center Ticket Office staff encourages fans who are buying tickets at the door to arrive early to avoid long lines. Beginning with this weekend's series, LSSU will also have a ticket window open specifically for general admission seating in sections "S" and "T."

To celebrate Hockey Day in Michigan, which is sponsored in part by Rock 101 FM, LSSU will hold a post-game "Skate with the Lakers." Children attending the skate will have a chance to win prizes. Youth hockey players who participated in the Cabin Fever and Kaines Rink tournaments have been given free tickets to the game.

Michigan Hockey Quick Facts
• Michigan has nearly 70,000 registered players, coaches and officials, and nearly 5,000 registered teams with USA Hockey, which is more than any state in the nation.
• Michigan has celebrated 10 Stanley Cup championships by the Detroit Red Wings, more than any city in the country. The University of Michigan has captured nine NCAA national championships, more than any school in the nation.
• Michigan is the home of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program. The Ann Arbor based program currently has 21 alumni skating in the NHL, and over 100 in college hockey.
• The Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League, with 15,000 players and 850 teams, is the largest hockey league in America.
• Michigan is also home to six other professional teams, nine Division I college teams and over 200 sanctioned boys and girls high school teams. The man universally-recognized as "Mr. Hockey," Gordie Howe, permanently resides in Hockeytown.
• Ten Michiganders are on the rosters of the U.S. men's and women's Olympic teams that will go for gold in February in Torino, Italy. Three Olympians are former LSSU players.
• The world record for attendance at a hockey game (74,544) was set in East Lansing, Mich., on Oct. 6, 2001.
• More people watch hockey television in Michigan than any other state, according to FSN Detroit.

LSSU vs. BGSU
Only six points separate second-place Northern Michigan and 10th-place Notre Dame in the CCHA standings, and LSSU and BGSU are right in the thick of the race. LSSU coach
Jim Roque is trying to get his players' minds off the standings and back on solid play, especially after picking up only one point at Ferris State last weekend.

After LSSU and Ferris State skated to their third straight tie of the year on Friday, the Bulldogs came back with a 3-1 win on Saturday. The string of ties was a first for the Lakers against one opponent in one season. However, they had previously tied Canisius three straight times over the course of two seasons - Jan. 10-11, 2003 and Oct. 17, 2003.

Bowling Green is coming off a 5-2 victory over 6th-ranked Michigan in front of its 12th-largest crowd in school history. Derek Whitmore led the Falcons with two goals and one assist, while Brett Pilkington had a career-high four assists.

BGSU is the No. 2 scoring team in the CCHA, averaging 3.70 goals per game, while LSSU has the league's second-best defense, allowing only 1.96 gpg. The Falcons are ranked third and the Lakers fourth in power play percentage. Bowling Green's weakness seems to be goaltending as the Falcons are ranked 12th in team save percentage at .877.

Bowling Green sophomores Alex Foster (8-32--40) and Jonathan Matsumoto (14-21--35) are ranked second and third in the CCHA, respectively, in scoring. Matsumoto is tied for first in power-play goals with eight.

Junior Trent Campbell (8-9--17) leads LSSU in scoring, and is followed by senior Nathan Ward (5-10--15) and freshman Troy Schwab (5-10--15). Junior Dominic Osman (7-5--12) is second in the team in goals scored. Osman and Ward each have a team-high four power-play goals.



Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
 
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