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Lakers play host to Irish in regular-season finale



Tim Krueckl

March 2, 2004

SAULT STE. MARIE - Lake Superior State is 2-1-2 in its last five games and wants to continue building momentum going into the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Playoffs.

The Lakers (8-17-7 overall, 6-15-5 CCHA) close out the regular season by playing host to Notre Dame (17-11-4 overall, 13-10-3 CCHA) at 7:35 p.m. Friday and 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Taffy Abel Arena. Friday's game is being pushed back a half hour to accommodate the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Tournament, which will be held in Sault Ste. Marie as long as the LSSU women win their quarterfinal game on Tuesday.

Saturday is Senior Night, and seniors Kyle Anderson, Ryan Branham, Tim Krueckl and Chris Peterson will be honored with the traditional spotlight ceremony after the game.

The Lakers have secured at least an 11th-place finish in the league standings and have moved out of last place for the first time since the 1999-00 season. They have a shot at catching 10th-place Ferris State, which plays at Northern Michigan this weekend.

The Lakers will be keeping an eye on the CCHA's top four teams as they expect to play at Miami or Michigan State during the first round of the playoffs. First-place Michigan travels to third-place Michigan State on Friday and plays the Spartans at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday. Second-place Miami has a home-and-home series with Ohio State.

Michigan State trails Miami by two points and Michigan by four points. Obviously, the Lakers would rather travel to East Lansing than Oxford, Ohio, for the playoffs.

Notre Dame, which swept Michigan 4-1 and 5-2 last weekend at the Joyce Center, has won four straight home games coming into this series. The Irish are hot, but may have to win one more game to secure home ice for the first round of the playoffs. Seventh-place Western Michigan can catch UND with a victory over Bowling Green on Thursday, creating a three-way tie for fifth place. The Broncos are idle on Friday and Saturday.

Notre Dame came from behind to beat the Lakers 5-3 on Friday, Nov. 21. Ryan Reid and Derek Smith scored 31 seconds apart in the second period to tie the game 3-3, but T.J. Jindra and Rob Globke scored in the third period to win the game for UND. On Saturday, Nov. 22, LSSU's Bo Cheesman scored the game-tying goal with 2:45 remaining in the third period.

Lake Superior State's leaders in the series were Cheesman with two goals, Dominic Osman with a goal and an assist, and Trent Campbell with two assists.

Notre Dame boasts the CCHA's lowest goals-against average of 2.31 and leads the league in penalty killing at .890. Globke (17-15-32) and Aaron Gill (12-18-30) lead the Irish in scoring. They are tied for fourth in CCHA scoring in conference games only.

UND goaltender David Brown is the league's No. 1 goaltender with a 2.03 goals-against average in overall games played. Michigan State's Dominic Vicari is second at 2.12, followed by Lake Superior State's Jeff Jakaitis at 2.15.



Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
 
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