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Lakers, Falcons expect tight series



Mark Adamek

Feb. 26, 2003

SAULT STE. MARIE - Eleventh-place Bowling Green and 12th-place Lake Superior State are two young hockey teams trying desperately to claw their way out of the bottom of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings, so both teams will be feeling a sense of urgency during this weekend's series.

"These games are as important to us as (league leader) Ferris State's games are to them down the stretch," LSSU coach Frank Anzalone said.

The Lakers and Falcons square off Friday and Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Taffy Abel Arena. Both games will be aired live on WSUE 101.3-FM and simulcast on lssulakers.com. During both games, any youth hockey player will be admitted for free if he or she is wearing a game jersey and is accompanied by an adult with a ticket.

LSSU (5-23-4 overall, 2-21-1 Central Collegiate Hockey Association) competed well in each of its last five games, but has only a 4-2 victory over Northern Michigan to show for its effort. The Lakers came up a bit short in last weekend's 3-2 and 6-3 losses at Notre Dame.

"I didn't get that total feel yet - I wanted us to be a grizzly, awful presence at Notre Dame," said Anzalone, who was pleased with the Lakers' play at times.

He is looking for two things from his team during its final home series of 2002-03. He wants the Lakers to get under the Falcons' skin from start to finish, and he wants to see LSSU give up fewer shots. Giving up 106 shots on goal at Notre Dame last weekend did not sit well with the defensive-minded coach.

"My concern is the three or four shots in a row that we get on ourselves in practice and some teams are getting on us in games," said Anzalone, who knows that eventually a team is going to score when it is constantly threatening. "I am embarrassed by our shots on goal (on the defensive side)."

Two freshmen defensemen, Alex Dunn and Steve McJannet, have been playing forward to add depth and a more physical presence to the offense. Anzalone praised both players, but plans to move McJannet back to defense because "he'll hit people."

Junior forward Kyle Anderson continues to get the job done with his physical style. He scored his sixth goal since Christmas on Friday. Freshman forward Jon Booras (7-5-12) has become a consistent scoring threat, and senior Jeremy Bachusz (8-10-18) has four points in his last three games.

Bowling Green (7-20-3 overall, 4-17-3 CCHA) tied 3-3 and lost 4-2 during a home-and-home series with Western Michigan last weekend. Wins have not come easily for the Falcons either, but they have had more offensive success. Junior forwards Mark Wires (11-13-24) and D'Arcy McConvery (5-19-24) lead BGSU in scoring, followed by junior defenseman Kevin Bieksa (7-15-22), sophomore forward Steve Brudzewski (12-9-21) and senior forward Tyler Knight (10-10-20).

Last season, LSSU and Bowling Green split two 3-2 decisions in Sault Ste. Marie. At Bowling Green, the Lakers lost, 2-0, and tied, 4-4. Laker junior Chris Peterson tallied two goals and an assist, and Bachusz had a goal and two assists against BGSU last year.

Freshmen goalies played a major role in two of the four games in 2001-02. LSSU's Matt Violin totaled 49 saves in the Lakers' 3-2 home win on Nov. 24. BGSU goalie Jordan Sigalet compiled 43 saves in the 4-4 tie on Feb. 16.



Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
 
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