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Lakers return to Oxford for CCHA Playoffs second round



Simon Gysbers

March 6, 2007

SAULT STE. MARIE - The Lake Superior State hockey team improved with every game of last weekend's three-game first-round series against Ferris State, and the Lakers hope the trend continues when they take on ninth-ranked Miami in the second round of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Playoffs.

The first game of the best-of-three series will start at 7:35 p.m. Friday at Steve Cady Arena, while the games slated for Saturday and Sunday will begin at 7:05 p.m. The games will be broadcast live on WSUE 101.3 FM and simulcast on www.lssulakers.com.

The Lakers (19-17-3) claimed their first CCHA Playoff series win since 1995-96 and are now vying for their first playoff trip to Joe Louis Arena since that same year. They are 1-3-0 against Miami (23-11-4) so far this season. The Lakers and RedHawks split a series in Sault Ste. Marie with LSSU winning 2-1 on Nov. 10 and Miami taking the second game, 4-2. The RedHawks swept the series in Oxford, winning 4-1 on Feb. 9 and 3-2 on Feb. 10.

LSSU scoring leaders against Miami during the regular season were junior defenseman Derek A. Smith (3-1--4), sophomore forward Troy Schwab (2-1--3) and senior forward Trent Campbell (0-3--3). Senior goaltender Jeff Jakaitis played in three of the four games against the RedHawks, averaged 34 saves per game and posted a .927 save percentage.

LSSU's top scorers during last weekend's series against Ferris State included senior forward Jeff Rainville, who was a first-period terror. He notched four of his five assists during the first period of action as LSSU outscored the Bulldogs, 6-2. Freshman defenseman Simon Gysbers notched a goal in all three games, and Smith totaled 2-1--3 for the series.

LSSU enjoyed one of its best special teams weekends of the season, going 4-for-15 on the power play and limiting Ferris State's power play to 1-for-9. The Lakers also scored a short-handed goal on Saturday.

Lake Superior State is 4-2 all-time against Miami in the CCHA Playoffs. LSSU and Miami last met in the playoffs in 2004 when the No. 2-seeded RedHawks swept the No. 11-seeded Lakers, 4-0 and 2-1. The RedHawks went on to place third in the tournament that year. The last time the Lakers beat Miami in the playoffs was in 1995 when the No. 4-seeded Lakers won 5-2 in a play-in game.

By finishing in the top four in the CCHA standings, Miami received a first-round bye last week. The RedHawks are led by junior forwards Ryan Jones (27-27--44) and Nathan Davis (20-28--48). Jones totaled seven goals and two assists in his last four regular-season games.

Miami's four-man senior class of Matt Christie, Marty Guerin, Joe Cooper and Geoff Smith is the winningest class in the RedHawk program's history with 87 victories. It has made two NCAA Tournament appearances.

Tickets for the second round of the CCHA Playoffs are on sale now through the Miami University Athletic Ticket Office. Tickets for adults are $15, while youth (3-17) tickets are $9. Children aged two-and-under are admitted free with an adult. Tickets are available by calling the ticket office at 866-MUHawks (684-2957). Additionally, tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.MURedHawks.com.



Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
 
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