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Lakers play host to St. Lawrence in a non-conference series

Frank Anzalone

Oct. 27, 2003

SAULT STE. MARIE - Two veteran coaches who have great respect for each other will square off during this weekend's non-conference hockey series between Lake Superior State and St. Lawrence.

The Friday and Saturday games will begin at 7:05 p.m. at Taffy Abel Arena. Both will air live on WSUE 101.3 FM and simulcast on Children under 12 who are in costume and accompanied by a parent with a ticket will receive free admission on Friday. Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Tony Bosbous, Judge Nick Lambros and LSSU President Betty Youngblood are expected to judge the costume contest, which will be held during the first intermission. Children are invited to trick or treat in the LSSU residence halls before the game and in Taffy Abel Arena during the game.

Eleven-year LSSU coach Frank Anzalone and 18-year St. Lawrence coach Joe Marsh were young men when their teams squared off in the 1988 NCAA Championship game in Lake Placid, N.Y. At that time, they were kindred spirits - coaches from extremely small schools thrust onto college hockey's center stage.

These days Anzalone and Marsh are seasoned veterans who know that the challenge to build a national contender at a small school is even greater today than it was in the 1980s and '90s. St. Lawrence, with an enrollment of 2,200, is the smallest school on LSSU's 2003-04 schedule. Providence (3,700) and Canisius (3,440) are the only other schools on the Lakers' schedule with enrollments of less than 5,000 students.

LSSU is 1-2-1 following last weekend's 5-2 and 2-1 home losses to Miami. St. Lawrence is 1-4-2 after losing 3-2 and 7-2 to fifth-ranked Maine. The Saints are 0-4-2 since their season-opening 3-1 victory over Miami at the Lefty McFadden Tournament in Dayton, Ohio.

LSSU came out strong against Miami, scoring the first two goals on Friday. The RedHawks, however, rebounded with five unanswered goals including four on the power play. Despite scoring a short-handed goal, LSSU was no match for the nation's sixth-ranked power play unit, which was 5-for-8 for the weekend.

The Lakers fell behind 2-0 on Saturday and fought hard to come back. They cut the deficit to 2-1 in the second period and out-shot Miami 10-5 in the third, but came up short. LSSU was disciplined in Game 2 and out-played the RedHawks in the second and third periods.

Discipline will be a factor against St. Lawrence, which averages 9.6 penalties a game to LSSU's 3.8. The Saints' top scorers are also among their most-penalized players.

St. Lawrence is led in scoring by senior forward Rich Peverly (3-4-7) and sophomore forward John Zeiler (2-5-7). Peverly had an assist in both games of last year's series against the Lakers, who lost 6-1 on Friday, Dec. 13, and tied 4-4 on Saturday, Dec. 14, in Canton, N.Y. Laker junior goaltender Matt Violin totaled what was then a career-high 50 saves in the Saturday game. He later surpassed that milestone with a school-record 60 saves against Alaska Fairbanks.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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