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Hockey season officially opens

Oct. 8, 2002

SAULT STE. MARIE - Sixth-ranked Maine, led by seniors Martin Kariya and Robert Liscak, are favored to win this weekend's Black Bear Classic, which also includes Lake Superior State, Quinnipiac and New Brunswick.

Lake Superior State and Quinnipiac open the tournament at 4 p.m. Friday, while the Maine-New Brunswick exhibition game follows at 7 p.m. Bill Crawford will broadcast the game live from Orono, Maine, beginning at 3:35 p.m. on 101-FM. The consolation game is at 4 p.m. Saturday, followed by the championship game at 7 p.m.

The tournament will be the season opener for Maine and the official season opener for LSSU. The Lakers defeated Western Ontario 4-1 in an exhibition game on October 4, but the win does not count in any official standings.

Quinnipiac opened its season Tuesday at Holy Cross. The Bobcats are the defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Tournament Champions, finished 20-13-5 last season and participated in the NCAA tournament. They are rated second in the MAAC Pre-season Coaches Poll.

New Brunswick tied the American Hockey League's St. John's Flames 2-2 in an exhibition game and defeated the UQTR Patriots 5-2 last week. The Varsity Reds are led by goaltender Gene Chiarello (3.25 goals-against in 2001-02), who the most valuable player on last year's team.

Kariya (16-28-44) and Liscak (17-20-37) were the fourth and fifth-leading scorers on Maine's high-powered offense in 2001-02. Junior Colin Shields (29-17-46) was third in scoring and led the Black Bears in goals. Maine boasts a veteran offense, but has three untested goaltenders - sophomore Frank Doyle (Cambridge Winter Hawks/OHL), sophomore Kirk Levesque (Haut-Madawaska) and freshman Jimmy Howard (U.S. National Developmental Program).

The young Lakers got the first glimpse of what their freshmen can do and liked what they saw in the victory over Western Ontario. All four goals were scored by freshmen, including Colin Nicholson, Jon Booras, Alex Dunn and David Kellington.

According to LSSU coach Frank Anzalone, that is to be expected when three out of four lines are dominated by freshmen. The only line with two upperclassmen was that with senior Jeremy Bachusz, senior Aaron Davis and freshman Mike Adamek.

"The freshmen have competed with each other," Anzalone said. "Some are in better shape than others. But the upperclassmen have noticed that we have some good freshmen, and they're working hard."

Anzalone added that the Lakers' freshman class is the best Lake Superior State has had in approximately six years, but it is not the best rookie class in the country.

"They are all capable of playing," he said. "It bodes well for our future...We see good things every day. We're just better than we were last year."

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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