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Lakers to play final regular-season road series at WMU

Bo Cheesman

Feb. 22, 2005

SAULT STE. MARIE - The Lake Superior State hockey team hopes to rebound from last weekend's frustrating finish at home against Nebraska-Omaha with a strong showing during its final regular-season road series at Western Michigan.

The Lakers (8-17-7 overall, 7-11-6 Central Collegiate Hockey Association) still have an outside shot at earning home ice for the first round of the CCHA Playoffs, but are in a must-win situation heading into games scheduled for Friday and Saturday at 7:35 p.m. at Lawson Arena.

"I thought we had a good chance at winning 10 conference games," said LSSU coach Frank Anzalone, whose team only had one point to show for out-playing UNO in four out of six periods last weekend. "Am I happy with the weekend? No. Am I disappointed that we didn't get home ice? Yes. But we have to keep moving forward and keep trying to get better, and I think we're doing that."

The Lakers, who are ninth in the CCHA standings with 20 points, can gain ground on sixth-place Miami, which is idle this weekend. They also have games in hand on seventh-place Alaska Fairbanks. They trail the RedHawks by five points and the Nanooks by three. Eighth-place Michigan State is one point ahead of LSSU going into a home-and-home series with Bowling Green.

For the series, LSSU was sound at both ends of the ice and out-scored the Mavericks 4-3 in the first two periods. But UNO dominated third-period play, 5-0, and left the Sault with a 5-2 victory and 3-3 come-from behind tie. Saturday's draw was LSSU's seventh of the season and tied a single-game school record for games ending in ties. The Lakers have played in a CCHA-leading 11 overtime games this season, including eight in their last 14 outings.

On the positive side, versatile junior Alex Dunn scored a goal in each game against the Mavs and has a three-game scoring streak heading into the WMU series. Junior forward BJ Pelkey (1-1--2), senior forward Bo Cheesman (0-2--2) and senior defenseman Ryan Reid (0-2--2) also had multiple-point weekends.

Western Michigan (11-17-2 overall, 6-16-2 CCHA) is returning home after suffering three straight road losses, including 4-1 and 5-2 losses at Bowling Green last weekend. The Broncos are 11th in the CCHA standings and out of the home-ice race. They have played 11 of their last 15 games on the road and have dropped from third to eighth in league scoring in five weeks. During their last nine games, they have been outscored by an average of 4.2 to 1.7 goals per game.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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