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Lakers wrap up home stand against Bemidji State

Sault native Eric Hill makes his first appearance in Laker lineup

Nov. 30, 2004

SAULT STE. MARIE - Lake Superior State will be rekindling an old hockey rivalry this weekend when it plays host to Bemidji State at 7:35 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday at Taffy Abel Arena.

Friday is Edison Sault Power Night. Edison Sault and Cloverland Electric customers who participated in the special ticket discounts by turning in their electric bills to the Norris Center Ticket Office will be eligible to win special prizes during first and second intermission.

Santa Claus will be handing out candy canes during Saturday's game.

The LSSU-Bemidji State rivalry dates back to the beginning of Laker hockey. For many years, the road to the NAIA national title went through Bemidji, Minn., whose school has won 13 national titles. LSSU interrupted the Beavers' string of championships in 1972 and 1974. BSU played at the NAIA level through 1981-82, then became a powerhouse at the NCAA Division II and III levels. The Beavers became an NCAA Division I program in 1999-00.

LSSU has an all-time record of 19-15-1 against BSU. The teams last met in 2000-01, when the Lakers won 4-2 during the first round of the Mariucci Classic in Minneapolis, Minn.

Lake Superior State (4-7-1 overall, 4-5-1 Central Collegiate Hockey Association) is taking a break from league play for the first time since its season opener at Colgate. The Lakers are also wrapping up a long stretch during which seven of eight games have been played at home. They are 3-2-1 during their last six games, including a 3-1 home victory over Northern Michigan last Friday and a 3-0 loss at NMU last Saturday.

After last weekend's split, the Lakers and Wildcats are still deadlocked in the CCHA standings. They are tied for sixth place - one point behind Alaska Fairbanks and Bowling Green. All three of those opponents, however, have two games in hand on LSSU.

LSSU's focus this week will be on getting healthy - mentally and physically. The Lakers fought through the trauma of losing three defensemen for disciplinary reasons, only to be further set back by injuries suffered during the NMU series. Junior defenseman Kory Scoran and senior goaltender Matt Violin both missed Saturday's game due to injuries suffered on Friday. Junior forward Mike Adamek left Saturday's game with an injury. All are questionable this weekend.

LSSU coach Frank Anzalone filled open positions on the blue line by moving junior forwards Alex Dunn and Steve McJannet to defense. Junior Eric Hill and freshman Justin Gutwald made their first-ever appearances in the Laker lineup against NMU.

Bemidji State is 6-4-0 overall and 3-1-0 in College Hockey America. The Beavers are coming off a split with Wayne State two weeks ago.

The Beavers and LSSU have had one opponent in common. Both teams split with Ferris State this season. BSU, which is led in scoring by freshman forward Luke Erickson (4-8--12), junior defenseman John Haider (2-8--10) and sophomore forward Ryan Huddy (2-8--10), played the Bulldogs in their season opener, winning 5-2 on Friday and losing 7-2 on Saturday at home.

BSU is also scheduled to play CCHA opponent Western Michigan in 2004-05.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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