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Lakers open Superior Showcase Friday at Minnesota-Duluth



Josh Sim

Oct. 9, 2007

SAULT STE. MARIE - The Lake Superior State hockey team resumes old rivalries when it opens the 2007-08 season with non-conference games at Minnesota-Duluth on Friday and Michigan Tech on Sunday.

The games are part of the inaugural Superior Showcase, which also includes Upper Peninsula rival Northern Michigan. LSSU and UMD face off at 8:07 EST Friday at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. LSSU and MTU play at 5:37 p.m. Sunday at the MacInnis Student Ice Arena, and the game will be televised live on ESPNU.

Both Laker contests will be broadcast live on Rock 101 and simulcast on www.lssulakers.com. A video web feed of Friday's game at UMD will be available on the B2 Network. To access the B2 Network, visit the LSSU hockey page on www.lssulakers.com or go to www.umdbulldogs.com.

The other half of the Superior Showcase bracket includes NMU at MTU on Friday, and NMU at UMD on Saturday.

LSSU and Minnesota-Duluth are meeting for the first time since March 27, 1993. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series, 6-3-2, but have had the luxury of playing 10 of 11 games against the Lakers at the DECC. The Lakers won the only game played on neutral ice - a 4-3 victory during the 1993 NCAA West Regional held at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena. That win vaulted the Lakers into the Frozen Four in Milwaukee.

The last game between LSSU and MTU also took place at Joe Louis Arena during the 1999 Great Lakes Invitational. The Huskies won, 5-4, to take a 29-17-4 lead in the all-time series. The teams met three times that season, but have not played each other since.

Michigan Tech was a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association from 1981-82 through 1983-84, and the Lakers and Huskies were 6-6-0 against each other during that span. MTU went on to join the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and have been underdogs to national powers North Dakota and Wisconsin. The Huskies, like the Lakers, have a proud tradition and have enjoyed resurgence. Last season, they were 18-17-5 overall and finished sixth in the WCHA. It was their best record since they were 18-18-6 in 1995-96.

LSSU has been on a similar upward path, finishing 21-19-3 last season for the program's best record since 1996-97 and advancing to the CCHA semifinals at Joe Louis Arena for the first time since 1995-96. The Lakers' 2006-07 season ended with a 7-6 overtime loss to Michigan State, a team on the selection committee's bubble that went on to win the 2007 NCAA title.

Top returnees for LSSU third-year coach Jim Roque's squad include senior forward Dan Eves (6-8--14), junior forwards Troy Schwab (6-24--30) and Josh Sim (15-11--26), and sophomore forward Nathan Perkovich (15-7--22). Schwab was among LSSU's co-leaders in points, while Sim and Perkovich were co-leaders in goals scored.

Minnesota-Duluth returns 18 letter winners, including six defensemen, from last year's team, which finished 13-21-5 overall and ninth in the WCHA. The Bulldogs enjoyed a successful stretch during the new millennium, posting records of 22-15-5 in 2002-03, 28-13-4 in 2003-04 and 15-17-6 in 2004-05. They participated in the 2004 NCAA Frozen Four.



Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
 
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