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Former Laker assistant Ron Rolston's U.S. U-18 squad to play Lakers

Candian Legion Band

Dec. 12, 2006

SAULT STE. MARIE - Lake Superior State coach Jim Roque will go head-to-head against a close friend and colleague when the Lakers take on the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 squad in an exhibition game Saturday.

The Lakers and U-18s will meet at 7:05 p.m. at Taffy Abel Arena. The game will be broadcast live on WSUE 101.3 FM and simulcast on Don't forget to bring a Teddy Bear to the game. A Teddy Bear toss, similar to the traditional chuck-a-puck, will be held right after the Lakers score their first goal.

Roque and U.S. U-18 coach Ron Rolston were assistants together at Lake Superior State in 1990-91 and 1994-95, and at Clarkson from 1996-99. Rolston went on to be an assistant at Harvard and Boston College before joining the U.S. NTDP in 2004-05. Roque remained at Clarkson through 2000-01 before returning to LSSU.

Rolston coached at Lake Superior State at the same his brother, Brian (1991-93), was a standout forward for the Lakers. Brian Rolston is currently plays for the NHL's Minnesota Wild and teamed with former Lakers John Grahame and Doug Weight on the 2006 U.S. Olympic Team.

Other special guests at the game include the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 Drum & Trumpet Band and local veterans groups, who will receive free admission. The American Legion Post 3 will serve as the Color Guard. The award-winning Royal Canadian Legion Band, which originated in 1934, includes 45 members. It recently finished second in a competition to the U.S. Marine Corps Marching Band.

As part of a holiday theme, the donated Teddy Bears will go to the Chippewa County Department of Human Services Children's Services Program.

"We use the Teddy Bears when children are removed from a home and have lost their home environment, for children in foster care and to celebrate adoptions," said Karen Stabile, an agency spokeswoman who noted that there is a year-round need for the stuffed animals.

The U.S. U-18s split during a recent road trip that included a 4-0 victory over Williams College and a 7-1 loss to Vermont. This weekend's Upper Peninsula trip includes an exhibition game Friday at Northern Michigan. The U-18s are 1-1 against CCHA teams after losing 3-2 in overtime to Michigan and defeating Michigan State, 5-4.

LSSU is 3-0-1 in its last four games, including last weekend's 1-1 overtime tie and 4-1 win at Ferris State. Senior goaltender Jeff Jakaitis has broken two school records in two weeks - most career shutouts (10) on Dec. 1 and most saves in a series (91) on Dec. 9. He is currently ranked second nationally in save percentage (.956) and goals-against average (1.57). As a team, LSSU is ranked second in the CCHA and fifth nationally in goals-allowed per game at 2.06.

Junior Derek A. Smith, who had two goals and one assist last weekend, currently leads the Lakers in scoring with 5-12--17. He is ranked 10th nationally in average points per game by a defenseman.

Jakaitis and Smith both earned CCHA Player of the Week honors for their performances last week.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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