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Lakers hit the road again for series at Alaska Fairbanks

Bo Cheesman

Jan. 25, 2005

SAULT STE. MARIE - For the second straight week, the Lake Superior State hockey team is taking on an opponent with which it is tied in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings.

The Lakers (7-13-4 overall, 6-7-3 CCHA) play Alaska Fairbanks (8-11-1 overall, 7-10-1 CCHA) at 11:05 p.m. EST on Friday and Saturday at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. Both games will be broadcast live on Rock 101 FM and simulcast on

LSSU and UAF are currently tied for seventh place in the CCHA standings with 15 points each. Last week, Michigan State broke a sixth-place tie with the Lakers by picking up an 8-0 win on Friday and a 2-2 tie on Saturday. The Lakers, however, still have games in hand on every team in the league except Bowling Green State and Western Michigan.

LSSU coach Frank Anzalone described last Friday's debacle as a situation in which everything went right for MSU and nothing went right for his squad. The Lakers had a stellar performance on Saturday considering they had been outscored 13-0 in their previous two games. They came back from one-goal deficits twice, despite giving MSU seven power plays to their three.

"Two years ago, we lost there 7-0 and then lost 3-2," he said. "This year, they should have lost in overtime. (Dominic) Vicari made some good saves at the end, and we had to kill a penalty in overtime."

Anzalone would rather not call Saturday's effort a great comeback. He'd like to think the Lakers played up to their potential in that contest. Now he wants to see that kind of an effort on a more-consistent basis.

LSSU, which has not been swept by any opponent this season, will have to equal that effort to take any points at UAF. The Nanooks, who swept Ferris State in two one-goal games last weekend, are 5-2-1 at home. The Lakers are 2-8-1 on the road.

LSSU and UAF split a series in Sault Ste. Marie on Nov. 12-13. Sophomore Jeff Rainville had two goals and an assist to lead the Lakers to a 6-2 win in the first game. The Nanooks came back to win the second game, 2-0. UAF held a 68-62 edge in shots for that series. Two years ago when the Lakers played in Fairbanks, LSSU goaltender Matt Violin totaled a school record 60 saves in the Friday game and a school record 88 saves for the series.

LSSU will leave Sault Ste. Marie after today's practice and head to the Detroit area. They will practice Wednesday at the Ice Cube in Ann Arbor, home of the U.S. National Team Development Program, then depart on a 3 p.m. flight from Detroit's Metro Airport. The team will stop in Minneapolis and Seattle before arriving in Fairbanks at 5 a.m. EST on Thursday.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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