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Lakers play host to MSU in Home and Joe series

Derek Smith

Feb. 3, 2004

SAULT STE. MARIE - It's the series Laker hockey fans look forward to most - LSSU v. Michigan State. This year's matchup will be part of the annual "Home and Joe" series.

The Lakers (6-13-5 overall, 4-13-3 Central Collegiate Hockey Association) hope to snap a six-game losing streak when they play host to the Spartans (16-13-1 overall, 11-8-1 CCHA) at 7:05 p.m. Thursday at Taffy Abel Arena and at 7:35 p.m. Saturday at Joe Louis Arena.

Saturday's game will mark the first time this season that a Laker game will be televised on Fox Sports Detroit. It will also be broadcast on Leafs TV and WSUE 101.3 FM.

For the second time this season, LSSU students with a valid identification card will be admitted free to Thursday's game. Earlier this season, a school record 708 students attended a home game against Northern Michigan. The LSSU Athletic Department wanted to show its gratitude by offering the ticket special once again.

During Thursday's game, spectators are also encouraged to visit the special display booth set up by the CCHA, which is helping to promote "The Road to the Joe." The league's official mascot, Joe College, will also be on hand.

On the ice, Lake Superior State's focus continues to be eliminating the brief lapses during which opponents are scoring goals in bunches. In three of the Lakers' last four games, teams have scored two or more goals in spurts of six minutes or less. Last Saturday, Michigan dominated the Lakers from start to finish, amassing a season-high 49 shots on goal. LSSU has allowed an average of 29.5 shots on goal per game in 2003-04.

The Lakers are also in the midst of their worst scoring drought of the season. They have scored only four goals in their last six games.

Michigan State is also hungry for a win after losing two home games to league leader Miami last weekend. The Spartans were 5-5 during the month of January, while the Lakers were 1-6-1, excluding an exhibition tie with the U.S. Under-18 squad.

The CCHA's second-leading scorer, junior forward Jim Slater, leads MSU in points with 13 goals and 18 assists and boasts an impressive plus-minus rating of plus-19. Junior forward Mike Lalonde (14-12-26) is second on the team in scoring, followed by freshman forward Tommy Goebel (9-10-19).

MSU freshman Dominic Vicari (6-7-0) and junior Matt Migliaccio (6-4-1) have been splitting time in goal. Vicari has a 2.23 goals-against average and .919 save percentage, while Migliaccio has a 3.04 gaa and .905 save percentage.

Junior forward Bo Cheesman continues to lead LSSU scorers with nine goals and six assists, while freshman forward Dominic Osman has eight goals and six assists. Freshman forward Trent Campbell leads in assists with 10 and has three goals.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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