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Lakers to play first road series at WMU



Troy Schwab

Nov. 1, 2005

SAULT STE. MARIE - The Lake Superior State hockey team played a single road game at Northern Michigan last weekend, but has its first true road test of the season when it travels to Western Michigan for a Central Collegiate Hockey Association series in the unfriendly confines of Lawson Arena.

The Lakers (1-2-3 overall, 0-2-2 CCHA) play at 7:35 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at Western Michigan (2-2-0 overall, 2-0-0 CCHA). Both games will be broadcast live on Rock 101.3 FM and simulcast on www.lssulakers.com.

LSSU is still looking for its first conference win after suffering 3-1 and 2-1 losses during last weekend's home-and-home series against Northern Michigan. Saturday's game in Sault Ste. Marie was played in front of 2,898 fans - the Lakers' largest home crowd since Feb. 23, 2002, when they played host to Notre Dame and drew 3,125 fans.

The Lakers, who have played seven of their first eight games at home, are traveling to Kalamazoo for the second straight year. Last season, they split with the Broncos, winning 3-2 on Feb. 25 and losing 3-2 in overtime on Feb. 26 in Kalamazoo. Senior defenseman Ren Fauci had a goal and two assists to lead LSSU in that series. Junior goaltender Jeff Jakaitis totaled 45 saves in the Saturday game.

This year, WMU is one of the Lakers' cluster opponents and will make a trip to Sault Ste. Marie Jan. 6-7. CCHA cluster opponents play each other four times during a season.

LSSU needs to end its power-play scoring drought, which has last three games. The Lakers were 0-for-16 on the power play against 13th-ranked NMU and were a combined 0-for-24 in their last three games.

Western Michigan is coming off a surprising 5-1 and 5-4 home sweep against No. 4 Ohio State. The Broncos went into their CCHA-opening series with an 0-2 record that included a 5-2 loss to Robert Morris and a 3-2 loss to Niagara. But they are 18-9-3 against top-15 teams over the past six seasons in Kalamazoo.

Western Michigan's special teams were extremely successful against the Buckeyes. The Broncos went from last in the CCHA in penalty killing to eighth by negating all 18 short-handed situations. Their power play went 7-for-17 (.412) while stretching their streak of power-play goals to nine games.



Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
 
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