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LSSU-Clarkson series begins string of games against national powers

Pat Inglis

Oct. 23, 2007

SAULT STE. MARIE - Lake Superior State will play its first hockey home series of the season when it takes on eighth-ranked Clarkson at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Taffy Abel Arena.

The Lakers (0-1-1) are playing eight of their next 12 games against nationally-ranked teams. The Golden Knights (3-1-0) dropped a spot in the rankings despite avenging an Oct. 7 loss at 15th-ranked St. Lawrence with a 5-4 overtime home victory last Saturday.

Both non-conference games will be broadcast live on Rock 101 FM and simulcast on A video feed is available on the B2 Network. Friday is Thunderstick Night, and the first 2,000 fans who come through the door will receive free thundersticks. "Believe in Blue" wristbands will be given away on Saturday.

Clarkson is visiting Sault Ste. Marie for the first time since the 1991 NCAA Regional, but the Golden Knights and Lakers met three times last season. During an early-season series played in Potsdam, N.Y., LSSU won the first game, 5-1, and Clarkson turned the tables with a 7-1 victory in Game 2. Clarkson also claimed a 3-2 victory over the Lakers at the Badger Showdown in Madison, Wis., on Dec. 30, 2006.

The Lakers' split at Clarkson was the most lop-sided of their nine series splits during the 2006-07 season. Despite the roller-coaster outcomes, several Laker players had good performances against the Golden Knights. Junior forward Josh Sim was the standout among returning players with four goals, while sophomore Nathan Perkovich had two goals and an assist. Juniors Troy Schwab and Marty Gurnoe contributed two assists each.

Clarkson returns seven of their top eight scorers (including four NHL Draft picks) from last year's 25-9-5 team that won the ECAC Tournament title and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA East Regional. The Golden Knights have turned their program around after finishing 13-23-3 in 2004-05.

The Lakers return three of their top eight scorers from last year's squad that finished 21-19-3 for their most-successful season since 1995-96. LSSU and Clarkson both lost their top scorers from last season (Derek A. Smith of LSSU and Shawn Weller of CU) to the Ottawa Senators' organization. Smith and Weller are currently Binghamton Senators teammates.

LSSU is coming off a 3-3 overtime tie last Saturday in an exhibition game against Western Ontario. The Lakers rallied back from a 3-1 deficit, getting goals from Nathan Perkovich and Chad Nehring, and more than 35 shutout minutes from goaltender Pat Inglis. Perkovich has scored a goal in all three LSSU games in 2007-08.

Lake Superior State fans who were around during the era when the Lakers had the nation's most-successful hockey program will remember the 1991 NCAA Regional series in Sault Ste. Marie that Clarkson won, two games to one. LSSU won a school-record 36 games that season, including the league playoffs, but their season ended with a hard-fought 4-3 loss to the Golden Knights. LSSU leads the all-time series against CU, 5-4-0.

Notes: LSSU is celebrating Parents Weekend during the Clarkson series...Through Nov. 17, the Laker Hockey Preview Show airs daily at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Charter on Demand, Mainstreet Channel 6 in Sault Ste. Marie or Mainstreet Channel 11 in Gaylord/Petoskey. To view the 30-minute show on Charter on Demand, which includes an interview with LSSU coach Jim Roque, player introductions and 2006-07 highlights, go to Channel 999>I Want More>Local>Sports.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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