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Lakers resume CCHA action with a series at BGSU



Derek A. Smith

Nov. 1, 2006

SAULT STE. MARIE - Lake Superior State hits the road for the third time in four weeks to play a Central Collegiate Hockey Association series at Bowling Green State on Friday and Saturday.

The Lakers (4-2-0 overall, 1-1-0 CCHA) and Falcons (2-3-1 overall, 0-2-0 CCHA) will play at 7:05 p.m. on both nights at the BGSU Ice Arena. The games will be broadcast live on WSOO 1230-AM and simulcast on www.lssulakers.com.

LSSU's road record is 2-2 after splitting October series at Ohio State and Clarkson. Last season, the Lakers played seven of their first eight games at home (including two exhibition games) and went into November with a 0-1 road record. In 2006-07, they were on the road throughout most of October, but will be at home two out of four weekends in November.

The BGSU series follows last weekend's non-conference 5-0 and 4-1 home victories over American International and precedes back-to-back home series against Miami and Wayne State.

LSSU coach Jim Roque recently said that the Lakers learned how to sweep teams at home last year and are playing better on the road than they have in past years. He added that a road sweep would be a major step for the program.

"Hopefully the weekend will give us the confidence to go to Bowling Green and have some success on the road again," said Roque following last weekend's victories over AIC. "It was a series that we were supposed to win, and we got the job done. We didn't allow them a chance to upset us. We respected them and played well."

LSSU is 5-3-2 in its last 10 games against BGSU, including last year's 6-1 and 4-2 victories on Jan. 27-28 in Sault Ste. Marie. During the 2005-06 series against the Falcons, senior forward Dominic Osman led the Lakers with a goal and three assists, and sophomore forward Troy Schwab scored twice in Game 1. Both teams tallied a short-handed marker in Game 2.

Freshman Nathan Perkovich leads the Lakers in scoring at 5-1--6 and has scored a goal in five straight games. Junior Derek A. Smith, at 0-7--7, is currently tied for second in the CCHA and ninth in the nation in points by a defenseman.

Senior goaltender Jeff Jakaitis, who recorded his eighth career shutout last Friday, is ranked third in the CCHA and third nationally in save percentage at .947, and is 15th nationally in goals-against at 2.01. He is one shutout away from tying Blaine Lacher's career shutout record of nine, which was set from 1991-94. Two of Jakaitis's shutouts were 0-0 ties against Bowling Green during the 2003-04 season.

BGSU lost 4-3 and 3-0 at Miami last weekend. The Falcons' penalty-killing rate dropped from .913 to .828 after the RedHawks finished 3-for-6 on the power play, and they gave up 45 shots in the one-goal Friday loss.

"I think it was one of our best games we have played in three years here," Bowling Green coach Scott Paluch said after the 3-0 Saturday loss in Oxford, Ohio. "We corrected a lot of things from last night. They scored on their power play, and they won the hockey game. We finished 60 percent more checks than we did last night. We got to a lot of loose pucks. Unfortunately, we just could not score tonight."

BGSU is led in scoring by junior forwards Jonathan Matsumoto (3-5--8) and Derek Whitmore (6-1--7). Freshman Eddie Neville and sophomore Jimmy Spratt have split time in goal. Neville is 1-1-1 with a .915 save percentage and 2.66 goals-against average, while Spratt is 1-2-0 with a .862 save percentage and 3.91 gaa.



Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
 
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