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LSSU will play Colgate in its first non-conference series

Steve McJannet

Oct. 11, 2005

SAULT STE. MARIE - Lake Superior State extends a special invitation to active and retired military from the Eastern Upper Peninsula during Patriots' Night on Saturday, Oct. 15, when the Lakers play Game 2 of their series with Colgate.

"Laker athletics is proud to recognize all of our U.S. military, active and retired, who serve the nation and the area so proudly," said Bill Crawford, LSSU Director of Athletics.

All active or retired military personnel can obtain a free ticket to Saturday's game by contacting their commander or local veterans' post. Contact LSSU ticket manager Bonnie Kaunisto, 632-2602, for more information.

LSSU and Colgate (1-0) will play at 7:35 p.m. on Friday and 7:05 p.m. on Saturday at Taffy Abel Arena. The Lakers will also be celebrating Parents Weekend during the series.

Lake Superior State is still working into game prior to its series against Colgate, a team vying for its third straight 20-win season. The Lakers had only five practices heading into last weekend's exhibition games against York and the U.S. Under-18 team, while their opponents had played a combined 10 games. Their late-game fatigue showed as they held a combined 53-29 shots-on-goal advantage during the first two periods of play, but shots were even, 24-24, in third-period action.

LSSU opened the 2004-05 regular season with back-to-back one-goal losses to the Raiders. That series was definitely a sign of things to come, as the Lakers wound up 5-10 in games decided by one goal. Colgate went on to finish 25-11-3 and advance to the NCAA Tournament, where it lost in the first round to Colorado College.

Colgate coach Don Vaughn has lost nine players who played key roles in the Raiders' success the past two years. They return senior forward Jon Smyth, who was named to the Inside College Hockey Preseason "Dream Team."

"They are a good, tight, hard-working team that plays a lot of low-scoring games," said LSSU coach Jim Roque, who respects veteran coach Vaughn, who is in his 13th season. "Last week we had a chance to see if we could keep up with speed (against the U.S. Under-18 team). Against Colgate we will see how hard we can work because they are a team that works hard and really battles."

With only four seniors on its roster, Colgate is a much younger team compared to last year. LSSU - with its 12-member senior class - is dominated by veteran players who have stuck it out through a long rebuilding process. The Lakers hope to turn many of last year's one-goal losses and school-record-tying seven ties into wins in 2005-06.

LSSU leaders include captain Steve McJannet, and assistant captains Jon Booras, Ren Fauci and Nathan Ward. Younger players who are already showing promise include sophomore defenseman Derek A. Smith, who had two goals and two assists in last Friday's 5-1 victory over York and picked up two more assists against the U.S. National Team Development Program's Under-18 squad. Freshman forward Troy Schwab, who led the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in scoring last season, scored a goal in his first outing as a Laker.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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