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Lakers travel to Miami to play in new $34 million facility

Steven Oleksy

Feb. 6, 2007

SAULT STE. MARIE - The Lake Superior State hockey team travels to Miami this weekend to start a stretch of four games against two of the top four teams in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings.

The Lakers (15-12-3 overall, 9-10-3 CCHA), who are seventh in the CCHA standings, will make their first appearance in Oxford, Ohio's brand new $34 million Steve Cady Arena at the Goggin Ice Center. They will be playing their final league cluster series against the third-place RedHawks (18-10-4 overall, 13-7-4 CCHA). Friday's game begins at 7:35 p.m., and Saturday's game starts at 7:05 p.m.

LSSU and Miami split a Nov. 10-11 series in the Sault with the Lakers winning the opener, 2-1, and the RedHawks taking the second game, 4-2. LSSU played an even series with Miami despite going 0-for-9 on the power play for the weekend. Miami was a combined 1-for-6 with the man-advantage and out-shot the Lakers in both games - 26-22 on Friday and 36-21 on Saturday.

Senior forward Trent Campbell contributed 1-1--2, and junior defenseman Derek A. Smith totaled 0-2--2 to lead LSSU against the RedHawks in November.

Heading into this weekend's series, sophomore forwards Troy Schwab (4-18--22) and Josh Sim (13-8--21) lead the Lakers in scoring, followed by Campbell (9-11--20) and Smith (6-14--20).

The Lakers are coming off a split with Northern Michigan, during which they captured the Father Cappo Cup for the first time since the 1999-00 season. LSSU senior goaltender Jeff Jakaitis stopped 42-of-44 shots on goal last weekend and improved his nation-leading save percentage to .941. NMU beat him during a 5-on-3 power play to win 1-0 Friday and scored on a delayed penalty during Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Lakers. Jakaitis is ranked fifth nationally in save percentage at 1.99.

Miami played two overtime games at Alaska last weekend, losing 2-1 on Friday and tying 3-3 on Saturday. The RedHawks are 0-2-2 over their last four games and 1-3-3 during their last seven. Their longest winless streak last season was two games.

Junior forward Nathan Davis (16-26--42) is ranked fourth in the CCHA in scoring and leads Miami, while junior forward Ryan Jones (19-15--34) is the RedHawks' top goal scorer. Sophomore goaltender Jeff Zatkoff is third in the CCHA in goals-against at 2.20 and save percentage at .920. He is ranked behind Notre Dame's David Brown and Jakaitis in both categories.

LSSU follows this weekend's road series with the "Home-and-Joe" series against second-place Michigan on Feb. 16 and 18. The Wolverines, who swept Western Michigan last weekend, travel to Bowling Green this Friday and play Michigan State at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday. LSSU will be having a "White Out" when the Lakers play host to U-M at 7:35 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16. The event will be sponsored by the LSSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

The Lakers head into this weekend trailing fifth-place Nebraska-Omaha by two points and sixth-place Ohio State by one point.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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