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Lakers play Ferris State in CCHA First-Round Playoffs

Freshman Jon Booras and junior Kyle Anderson

March 12, 2003

SAULT STE. MARIE - The Lake Superior State hockey team saved its best for last in 2001-02, and will try to do the same during the first round of the 2002-03 Central Collegiate Hockey Association Playoffs.

Last season, the Lakers defeated Michigan 4-1 in Game 1 of their CCHA first-round series and became the first 12th seed in league playoff history to beat a No. 1 seed. Michigan bounced back with two 4-1 victories.

LSSU (6-26-4 overall, 3-24-1 CCHA) is in exactly the same position this year, but will be headed to Ferris State (27-8-1 overall, 22-5-1 CCHA), which claimed its first regular-season league title by setting a school record for single-season wins. The Lakers and Bulldogs play at 7:35 p.m. Friday and 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Ewigleben Ice Arena. Sunday's if-necessary game is at 7:05 p.m.

All three games will be aired live on WSUE 101.3-FM and simulcast on Tickets are $14 per game and available by calling the Ferris State ticket office, 231-591-2888.

Ferris State is enjoying a nine-game winning streak, which equals its longest tear since 1990. Lake Superior State halted that streak with a 6-4 win in the Sault.

This time the Lakers will be playing at Ferris State and trying to improve upon their 7-1 and 5-1 home losses on Feb. 7-8 against the Bulldogs. LSSU played well at times in the Saturday game, which included freshman Jon Booras' impressive goal that tied it 1-1 in the first period and an LSSU 31-25 shot advantage. Overall, however, the Lakers had trouble with FSU's speed and experience.

The Bulldogs' top three scorers, Chris Kunitz (28-37-65), Jeff Legue (21-27-48) and Derek Nesbitt (15-27-42), rank first, third and sixth, respectively, in overall CCHA scoring. Sophomore Mike Brown also ranks first in the league among goaltenders with a 2.25 goals-against average and .954 save percentage.

FSU has two potential weaknesses. The Bulldogs' power play is ranked eighth in the league in CCHA play and fifth in overall games. Ferris State is also the most-penalized team in the league, averaging 19.5 penalty minutes per game against CCHA teams.

LSSU swayed from a wave of steady improvement when it lost 8-1 at Miami last Friday, but played much better in Saturday's 3-0 loss. The Lakers are one of the most disciplined teams in the league, but compiled 22 penalties for 60 minutes at Oxford. It was the most the Lakers have been penalized since they totaled 22 penalties for 68 minutes at home against Nebraska-Omaha on Dec. 6-7.

The Lakers will head into the CCHA Playoffs with 11 freshmen in the lineup, while Ferris State regularly dresses three or four freshmen. Senior Jeremy Bachusz (8-10-18) leads LSSU in scoring, followed by sophomore Bo Cheesman (5-7-12), junior Chris Peterson (5-7-12) and Booras (7-5-12).

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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