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Lakers look for home-ice success against Mavs

Kory Scoran

Feb. 16, 2005

SAULT STE. MARIE - During the past two seasons, the Lake Superior State hockey team has held its own against Nebraska-Omaha when playing on the road. This weekend, the Lakers are looking for their first home victory over the Mavericks since November, 2000.

LSSU (8-16-6 overall, 7-10-5 Central Collegiate Hockey Association) and UNO (15-12-3 overall, 11-10-3 CCHA) play at 7:35 p.m. Friday and 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Taffy Abel Arena. Both games will be broadcast live on Rock 101 FM and simulcast on www.

The Lakers have split their last two series against the Mavericks, both of which were played in Omaha. They beat their cluster rival 5-2 on Thursday, Dec. 9, and lost 5-1 on Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Qwest Center. In the winning effort, junior forward Jon Booras led LSSU with two goals, while junior forward Alex Dunn had a goal and two assists. LSSU held UNO to 1-for-10 on the power play in that contest. The Lakers' only goal in the losing cause was a short-handed marker by Dunn.

LSSU is 5-6-3 on home ice this season, while UNO is 4-8-2 on the road. The Mavs, who are coming off two home losses to CCHA leader Michigan last weekend, are the turn-around team of 2004-05. They are currently fourth in the league standings with 25 points - six points ahead of the Lakers - after finishing dead last in 2003-04 with 14 points.

Lake Superior State is not out of the running for a top-six finish and home-ice berth for the first round of the CCHA Playoffs, but has some work to do in order to catch Alaska Fairbanks, Bowling Green or Miami. UAF and BGSU are tied for fifth place with 23 points, while Miami is seventh with 21, and LSSU and Michigan State are tied for eighth with 19. The Lakers have games in hand on Miami and UAF.

The RedHawks and Nanooks are playing each other in Fairbanks, while the Spartans play host to second-place Ohio State this weekend.

LSSU split last weekend's series at Miami, winning 3-2 on Friday and losing an 8-3 on Saturday. The games at Oxford, Ohio, snapped a five-week stretch of series that included at least one overtime game. It was the Lakers' first series without an overtime game during the second half of the season. Junior forward Nathan Ward led the Lakers with two goals and an assist on Friday and contributed an assist on Saturday. Sophomore Derek R. Smith added three points, while sophomore Trent Campbell and junior Kory Scoran had two each for the weekend.

LSSU gave up a season-high six power-play goals, including five in the first period on Saturday. Miami was 6-for-7 on the power play for the night after going 0-for-4 on Friday. LSSU was 3-for-9 with the man-advantage for the series. The Lakers have a power-play conversion rate of .126 for the season, but have had a much-improved percentage of .316 (6-for-19) during the past two weeks.

Note: LSSU will pay tribute to former Laker forward Tim Breslin with a moment of silence during Friday's game. Breslin, 37, died on Wednesday, Feb. 9, after a short battle with cancer. He played at LSSU from 1987-91 and was a member of the Lakers' 1988 national championship team. He was an assistant captain in 1990-91. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the PrivateBank & Trust Co., Attn: The Breslin Children's Fund, 24 S. Second St., St. Charles, IL, 60174. He was survived by a wife, Jami, and three young children.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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