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Broncos win Game 1 of Lakers' final regular-season series

Ryan Baird

Feb. 23, 2007

SAULT STE. MARIE - Western Michigan extended its hockey win streak to five games by defeating Lake Superior State 3-1 on Friday at Taffy Able Arena.

By winning Game 1 of the two teams' final regular-season series, the Broncos (17-15-1 overall, 14-12-1 Central Collegiate Hockey Association) kept Lake Superior State from securing home ice for the first round of the CCHA Playoffs.

Ferris State defeated first-place Notre Dame 5-2 to move within one point of LSSU (16-16-3 overall, 10-14-3 CCHA) in the league standings. LSSU is trying to hold onto the eighth-place spot, and the top eight teams host a best-of-three playoff series March 2-4.

WMU scored three unanswered goals after giving up a goal at 1:42 of the first period. The Broncos also held the Laker power play to 0-for-10 for the game.

Josh Sim scored Lake Superior State's only goal early in the first period on assists from Ryan Baird and Simon Gysbers.

WMU's Paul Szczechura tied it 1-1 at 13:03 of the second period, and Mark Letestu tallied the game-winner during a Bronco power play at 18:19.

Letestu also scored a short-handed empty-net goal at 19:07 of the third period.

Western Michigan finished 1-for-5 with the man advantage.

Bronco freshman Riley Gill, who has earned back-to-back CCHA Rookie of the Week honors, totaled 29 saves and improved to 12-6-1. LSSU senior netminder Jeff Jakaitis (11-13-3) totaled 20 saves.

LSSU out-shot the Broncos, 30-23.

Lake Superior State will play its final regular-season home game at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. The Lakers will pay tribute to seniors Trent Campbell, Barnabas Birkeland, Jakaitis, Dominic Osman, Jeff Rainville and Derek R. Smith following the game.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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