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Lakers travel to Omaha as they return to CCHA action



Alex Dunn

Dec. 7, 2004

SAULT STE. MARIE - The Lake Superior State hockey team will resume its quest for a top-six finish in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings when it travels to Nebraska-Omaha for a Thursday-Saturday series.

Both games will begin at 8:05 EST and be broadcast live on Rock 101 FM. The contests will be simulcast on www.lssulakers.com.

LSSU (5-8-1 overall, 4-5-1 CCHA) is coming off a non-conference home split with Bemidji State, while UNO (7-6-1 overall, 5-6-1 CCHA) was swept last weekend at Northern Michigan.

Both teams, however, have made remarkable gains since last season, putting added weight on the series for the first-time cluster opponents. In 2003-04, the Mavericks won only five CCHA games all season and finished 12th in the league with 14 points. The Lakers moved out of the cellar for the first time in three years, but finished only one spot higher.

As of this week, UNO and LSSU are fifth and seventh, respectively, in the standings.

Lake Superior State coach Frank Anzalone, whose team is 0-1 in Thursday games, 4-1-1 in Friday games and 1-6-0 in Saturday games, hopes to "steal one on the road" in order to stay in the hunt for a top-six CCHA finish.

The Mavericks, who are 6-1-1 at home, picked up three key points with a win and a tie at home against Ohio State on Nov. 19-20 and two more by splitting with Michigan State in East Lansing in October. Their improvement can be attributed primarily to two players, freshman forward Bill Thomas (8-14--22) and sophomore forward Scott Parse (8-13--21), who are ranked second and third in the league in scoring, respectively.

UNO is ranked third in the CCHA in average goals per game (3.57), but ninth in goals-against (3.14) and 11th in save percentage (.894).

The Lakers are ranked first in save percentage (.923) and average penalty minutes per game (13.14), and fifth in goals allowed (2.71), but 11th in scoring at 2.57 goals per game.

LSSU will still be without injured senior goaltender Matt Violin (2-1-1), while injured forward Mike Adamek is questionable for this weekend's series. Junior defenseman Kory Scoran returned to the lineup last weekend after missing one game with a knee injury.

Sophomore forward Matt Restoule (4-5--9) and junior forward Jon Booras (4-5--9) are currently leading the Lakers in scoring. Freshman forward Dan Eves (3-5--8), who had two goals and one assist in last Friday's 5-4 overtime victory over Bemidji State, has the team's best plus-minus rating of +6.

Sophomore goaltender Jeff Jakaitis (3-7-0) is currently 10th in the league in goals-against average at 2.83 and has a save percentage of .914.



Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
 
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