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JOE LOUIS BOUND!



Jeff Rainville

March 10, 2007

OXFORD, Ohio - The Lake Superior State hockey team upset ninth-ranked Miami 2-1 for the second straight night to sweep its Central Collegiate Hockey Association Second-Round series and earn a semifinal berth in the CCHA Playoffs for the first time since 1996.

The Lakers (21-17-3) will return to Joe Louis Arena for semifinals on Friday, March 16. They have been playing regular-season games at the Joe for the past 12 years, but have not made a March playoff appearance at the Joe for over a decade.

LSSU put together two stellar defensive performances to pull off the sweep at Miami -- a team that finished 3-1-0 against the Lakers during the regular season. The Lakers also fought through illness and injury to get past the RedHawks (23-13-4). They played without sophomore forward Troy Schwab both nights, and missed freshman Simon Gysbers on Saturday. Freshman defenseman Ryan Baird played Saturday despite battling the flu.

Senior forward Jeff Rainville picked up from where he left off during last weekend's first-round series against Ferris State. After compiling five assists against the Bulldogs last week, he scored one goal Friday and two goals Saturday against the RedHawks.

Rainville gave LSSU a 1-0 lead with an even-strength unassisted goal at 11:51 of the first period. Jason Blain was not officially credited with an assist as of press time, but was a key factor in the play.

After weathering a scoreless second period, Miami's Ryan Jones tied it 1-1 at 14:45 of the third period on a power-play goal. The RedHawks pressured the Lakers throughout the final period, but LSSU capitalized on a scoring chance 1:31 later. Rainville tallied the game-winner at 16:16 on an assist from Trent Campbell.

Miami out-shot LSSU 20-11 in the third period. Laker goaltender Jeff Jakaitis totaled 44 saves, while RedHawk netminder Jeff Zatkoff finished with 24 saves.

Miami finished 1-for-4 on the power play, and Lake Superior State was 0-for-4.

Details regarding the semifinal pairings and game times will be available on Sunday. The Lakers are expected to depart for Detroit on Thursday in order to attend the CCHA Awards Banquet on March 15 at the Fox Theater.



Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
 
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