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Lakers begin CCHA play at home against Ferris State



Will Ciccone

Oct. 18, 2005

SAULT STE. MARIE - After an impressive tune-up against 16th-ranked Colgate, the Lake Superior State hockey team is eager to begin Central Collegiate Hockey Association play.

The Lakers (1-0-1 overall) play host to Ferris State (1-1-0 overall) in their league opening-series on Friday at 7:35 p.m. and Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Taffy Abel Arena. The games will highlight Great Lake State Weekend festivities.

LSSU is coming off a three-point weekend against the Raiders that showed several positives - four players with multi-point games, a comeback from an early one-goal deficit on Saturday and solid special teams play throughout the weekend.

The Lakers, who have not swept an opponent since October of 2002, enjoyed two three-point weekends in 2004-05 and a combined seven during the past two seasons. Their 2-2 tie and 5-4 victory over the Bulldogs on Nov. 19-20, 2004, was the highlight of their home schedule last season.

LSSU wasn't content with one good home weekend last year and is confident that its showing against Colgate is a sign of good things to come in 2005-06. The Lakers, who started out 0-4 last season, hope that last weekend's performance is only the beginning.

Junior forwards Dominic Osman and Derek R. Smith both contributed a goal and an assist, while freshmen Marty Gurnoe and Troy Schwab picked up two assists each to lead the Lakers to a 2-2 tie and 3-2 victory against Colgate. LSSU scored four power-play goals in the series and killed off eight of 10 penalties, including back-to-back penalties to protect a 3-1 lead late in the third period Saturday.

Last season, a Ferris State team that was more successful on the road than at home gave up three goals to the LSSU line of Jon Booras, Matt Restoule and Dan Eves. Ferris State went on to finish 13-22-4 overall and 7-17-4 for a 10th-place tie in the CCHA. LSSU ended up with a 8-14-6 overall record and 9-22-7 mark for ninth place in the league. The Lakers and Bulldogs both hope for dramatic improvements to those records, top-six finishes and home-ice berths in the CCHA Playoffs.

The Bulldogs are coming off a 4-2 loss to New Hampshire and a 5-2 victory over Army during last weekend's Maverick Stampede in Omaha, Neb. Junior forward Matt Verdone recorded his first career hat trick with a four-goal performance in the third-place game against Army. It was the first four-goal outing for a Bulldog since Feb. 19, 1994, when Doug Smith turned the trick (plus one) against Ohio State.

Note: Ferris State's roster includes sophomore defenseman Jim Jorgensen, who is a Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., native and a former member of the Soo Indians Junior A hockey team. Jorgensen was coached in juniors by Joe Shawhan, who is an assistant coach at LSSU this season. His teammates included Lakers Marty Gurnoe and Justin Gutwald, and FSU sophomore goaltender Derek MacIntyre...The first NHL shootout involving two former CCHA goalies going head-to-head took place on Oct. 13 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla. Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller (Michigan State) stopped Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards of the Lightning, while John Grahame (LSSU), between the pipes for the defending Stanley Cup champs, was beaten by Daniel Briere and Thomas Vanek...LSSU is 2-0-1 against Ferris State since ending a seven-game losing streak against the Bulldogs...Ferris State is one of the Lakers' cluster opponents this season along with Northern Michigan and Western Michigan...CCHA teams are currently 14-7-2 against non-conference opponents...Comcast has added LSSU's Dec. 17 game at Notre Dame to it's broadcast schedule. The Lakers' game at Michigan on Feb. 11 will televised on FSN-Detroit.



Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
 
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