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Lakers hope to end winless skid against Buckeyes

Junior forward Derek R. Smith

Nov. 15, 2005

SAULT STE. MARIE - The Lake Superior State hockey team hopes to end an 11-game winless streak against Ohio State when it travels to Columbus, Ohio, for a Central Collegiate Hockey Association series on Friday and Saturday.

The Lakers (4-3-3 overall, 3-3-2 CCHA) play the Buckeyes (2-5-1 overall, 1-4-1 CCHA) at 7:05 p.m. both nights at the 17,500-seat Value City Arena.

Ohio State's recent fate has been the surprise of the CCHA. The Buckeyes, who started out the season ranked No. 4 nationally, were swept in back-to-back series against Western Michigan and Miami. They took last weekend off and have a chance to rebound with a single game at home tonight against Michigan State before they play the Lakers.

The Buckeyes' power play unit is also struggling through a 0-for-32 stretch after scoring five power-play goals in its first four games combined. In addition, OSU has allowed three shorthanded goals this season after giving up just one in 42 games last year. Miami scored two shorthanded goals against Ohio State.

LSSU handed 11th-ranked Miami its first CCHA loss of the season last weekend and improved to 2-3-1 against nationally-ranked opponents. The Lakers beat the RedHawks 3-2 on Nov. 12 in what turned out to be one of only seven of 71 games involving CCHA teams this season in which neither team scored a power-play goal.

LSSU is 0-9-2 in its last 11 games against Ohio State, including 3-1 and 3-2 overtime losses last season in Sault Ste. Marie. The Lakers' last win in Columbus, Ohio, was 1-0 in overtime on Feb. 11, 2000.

LSSU is currently ranked second in the CCHA behind Miami and tied for fifth nationally in goals-allowed at 2.00. Junior goaltender Jeff Jakaitis is ranked third in the CCHA and eighth nationally in goals-against at 1.96.

Comparing special teams, LSSU's power play is ranked ninth in the CCHA, while Ohio State is 12th. The Lakers' are ranked fifth in penalty killing, while OSU is 11th. The Buckeyes are also the league's most-penalized team, averaging 41.17 minutes in penalties per game. Their average includes 101 minutes amassed in a 4-1 loss to Miami on Nov. 4.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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