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Lakers hope to end CCHA road winless streak



Freshman goaltender Jeff Jakaitis

Nov. 3, 2003

SAULT STE. MARIE - As the Lake Superior State hockey team sets out to improve upon last year's 0-13-1 Central Collegiate Hockey Association road record this season, the Lakers will play in two of the nation's biggest college hockey facilities.

This weekend, they play in the 14,700-seat Qwest Arena, the new home of the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks, in a CCHA series on Friday and Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Both games air live on WSUE 101.3 FM and will be simulcast on www.lssulakers.com.

The Qwest Center Omaha is part of a $291 million downtown riverfront project. The Arena, which will also play host to concerts, Creighton University basketball and arena football, is the third-largest college hockey facility in NCAA Division I. UNO played its first game in Qwest Arena on Oct. 5.

In mid January, LSSU will also play in college hockey's largest venue, the $105 million, 17,500-seat Value City Arena - home of the Ohio State Buckeyes.

LSSU (2-2-2) not only looks to avenge last year's 4-1 and 3-0 home losses to UNO, but hopes to win a CCHA road game for the first time since taking one of three games at Michigan during the first round of the 2002 CCHA Playoffs. The Lakers have not won a CCHA regular-season road game since Dec. 9, 2000. Overall, they are 1-5-0 at Nebraska-Omaha.

The Lakers already took a step toward improving last year's overall road record of 0-17-2 by posting a win and a tie at Canisius. They are 0-2 in CCHA play after losing two home games to Miami on Oct. 24-25, but bounced back last weekend with a come-from-behind 2-2 tie and a 4-2 home victory against St. Lawrence.

The Mavericks (0-5-1 overall, 0-3-1 CCHA) are coming off last weekend's 4-2 and 2-0 losses at Notre Dame. Penalty killing is one of the Mavs' few bright spots right now, as they have allowed only one power-play goal in four CCHA games.

UNO's top scorers are freshman forward Scott Parse (3-2-5) and senior forward Andrew Wong (1-4-5). Senior goaltender Brian Haaland (0-2-1) has a 3.13 goals-against average and .888 save percentage, while freshman Chris Holt (0-3-0) has a 4.87 gaa and .867 save percentage.

While the Mavericks' underclassmen outnumber the upperclassmen 19-9, LSSU's underclassmen hold a 21-8 numerical advantage. The Lakers are currently led in scoring by freshman forward Dominic Osman (4-1-5), who had two goals and an assist in Saturday's victory over St. Lawrence, and sophomore forward Nathan Ward (2-2-4), who contributed one assist for the weekend.

LSSU junior goaltender Matt Violin (1-2-2), who was the goalie of record in last Friday's game, has a 2.32 gaa and .902 save percentage. Freshman Jeff Jakaitis (1-0-0) made his first collegiate start on Saturday and totaled 41 saves.



Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
 
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