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Lakers continue road stretch with WCHA series at Ferris State

Photo courtesy: Helena Wollan
Photo courtesy: Helena Wollan
Lake Superior State at Ferris State
 Date  Nov. 18-19, 2016 (Friday/Saturday)
 Time  7:07 p.m. ET, Friday & Saturday
 Location  Ewigleben Ice Arena | Big Rapids, Mich.


 Windows | TuneIn
 Live Stats  College Hockey Stats
 Game Notes
 Lake Superior State | Ferris State
 Twitter  @HockeyLSSU
 LSSU Record  6-4-0, 4-4-0 WCHA
 FSU Record  3-9-1, 2-5-1 WCHA

Coming Up This Weekend

Lake Superior State heads to Michigan's lower half this weekend to face in-state rivals Ferris State in a two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series, Nov. 18-19.

The Lakers (6-4-0, 4-4-0 WCHA) fell victim to a sweep at the hands of Michigan Tech on the road last weekend and look to rebound by salvaging important conference points this weekend against the Bulldogs, who enter the matchup 3-3-1 in their last seven games after opening the season 0-6-0. Road victories against FSU won't come easy for the Lakers, having lost five-of-six games played at Ewigleben Ice Arena since both teams joined the WCHA in 2013-14. All-time, the Lakers hold a slight 31-28-6 edge in games against the Bulldogs in Big Rapids.

FSU enters the matchup fresh off a home-and-home split with Michigan State, where both teams earned victories on the road. The Bulldogs also split their previous two series at Bowling Green (Nov. 4-5) and at Minnesota State (Oct. 28-29).

The Series vs. Ferris State

Overall: LSSU leads 68-53-14... In Big Rapids: LSSU leads: 31-28-6

Last meeting: Feb. 4-5, 2016, FSU won 3-1, LSSU won 3-2

Streak: LSSU 1-0-0        Last 10: FSU leads 8-2-0

The Lakers and Bulldogs joined WCHA together in the 2013-14 season, continuing the rivalry which dates back to 1977. The teams first met as conference opponents under the Central Collegiate Hockey Association banner in December of 1978 and have continued the rivalry into the new landscape of college hockey. Since joining the WCHA, the Bulldogs own an 8-2-0 record over the Lakers in 10 meetings.

The teams played to a pair of splits last season, with the Bulldogs winning the series openers and the Lakers rebounding with wins and earning the splits in each of the series finales. Goaltender Gordon Defiel played in all four games against the Bulldogs, making 150 saves on 158 shots faced in the season series (.949 save percentage) and averaged only 2.00 goals against.

The victory in Sault Ste. Marie for the Lakers last season snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Bulldogs. With the 3-2 victory last March, the Lakers beat the Bulldogs in Big Rapids for the first time since Halloween of 2008.

Scouting the Bulldogs

The Bulldogs entered the season with high expectations following a surprising run to win the WCHA Tournament last season, receiving the league's only bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs earned another surprising 5-4 victory over No. 2 St. Cloud State in the field of 16 before falling to Denver, 6-3, in the quarterfinals.

Under the direction of head coach Bob Daniels, now in his 25th season on the Bulldogs bench, FSU is off to a 3-9-1 record this season, but has looked better of late, winning three of their last five games.

The Bulldogs are led by freshman Craig Pefley with 12 points (2g, 10a) in 13 games, followed by a surging Gerald Mayhew with 10 points (7g, 3a) in nine games. Mayhew, a senior forward from Wyandotte, Mich., has logged a goal in each of the Bulldogs' last three games and has five goals and two assists in his last six games since returning from a four-game absence due to injury. Reigning WCHA Rookie of the Year Corey Mackin is third in Bulldog scoring with three goals and five assists through 12 games of his sophomore campaign.

Despite his standing as one of the league's top goaltenders as a freshman a season ago, sophomore Darren Smith has gotten off to a slow start this season, going winless in his 10 starts (0-9-1). Smith has posted an .881 save percentage and 3.67 goals-against average.

Freshman netminder Justin Kapelmaster has been sharp between the pipes in limited action, winning each of his three starts and posting 24:51 minutes of scoreless relief in his only other appearance this season. Kapelmaster is boasting a 1.47 goals-against average and holds a .948 save percentage.

Last Week Against the Huskies (Friday: 6-1, L | Saturday: 4-2, L)

Following a nation's best 5-0-0 start, Lake Superior State enters the week having lost four of their last five games, leaving a 6-4-0 record and 4-4-0 mark in conference play.

The Lakers fell victims of a sweep at the hands of Upper Peninsula rivals Michigan Tech last weekend in Houghton. The Huskies rolled to a 6-1 victory on Friday night before completing the sweep with a 4-2 win on Saturday.

Despite the loss on Saturday, Defiel rebounded well from a tough loss on Friday. Defiel made 43 saves in Saturday's loss, including 19 in the third period alone.

For the first time this season, no Laker player registered more than a single point during the weekend series with just three players registering goals and four others factoring in on the assists. In fact, there have only been two other games this season where the Lakers didn't have a player register multiple points in a game.

Laker Log

  • Sophomore Mitch Hults continues to lead the Lakers and the WCHA in scoring with 14 points on the season. Hults added an assist in Saturday's loss and continues to lead the league in points per game (1.40), assists per game (1.00) and is tied for the league-lead in total assists (10).
  • Following Hults in scoring is sophomore defenseman Owen Headrick with 11 points (2-9--11) to tie for fourth overall among WCHA scorers and to lead the league's defensemen. Headrick is followed by forwards, sophomore Gage Torrel (6-4--10), J.T. Henke (4-6--10) and freshman Brayden Gelsinger (4-6--10), each with 10 points to tie for fourth overall in the league.
  • Torrel and sophomore forward Diego Cuglietta, who each tallied a goal last weekend, now ranked tied for second in total goals among WCHA players.
  • Torrel and Cuglietta also lead the league in goals per game (.60) among eligible players who have played at least 10 games. Ferris State's Gerald Mayhew leads the league with seven goals in nine games (.78 gpg).
  • Junior defensive partners assistant captain Aidan Wright and Kyle Chatham continue to be a formidable force for the opposition with Wright currently leading the WCHA with a +8 rating and Chatham tied with teammate Collin Saccoman and two others for second with a +7 rating. Cuglietta is tied for sixth with a +6 rating.
  • The Lakers offense took a hit last weekend, totaling just three goals and now averages 3.90 goals per game this season, tenth nationally. Defensively, the Lakers are now allowing 2.80 goals against per game, tied for 23rd nationally.
  • LSSU ranks 11th nationally in goal margin with a +1.10 goal margin per game.
  • The sophomore class, one of the top point-producing classes in the nation as freshmen last season, is leading all sophomore classes in combined goals (22), assists (33) and points (55), and third  nationally in combined points by a single class. Only Boston College and Minnesota Duluth's senior classes have scored more total points (56).
  • The freshman class for LSSU has also performed well beyond their years through to start their college hockey careers, ranking third in the WCHA and combining for the ninth-most points by a freshman class in the nation.
  • Special teams have taken a hit during the past two weekends for the Lakers, while going 1-3-0 in their last two series. The power play has hit just once in its last 22 attempts, since Friday's win over Minnesota State (11/4).
  • The penalty kill has also given up four goals on 18 tries (77.8 percent).
  • On the season the Lakers power play now sits at 15.2 percent, while the penalty kill is down to 84.5 percent.

Looking Ahead (at Michigan, Nov. 25-26)

The Lakers wrap up the month of November at Yost Ice Arena, facing former Central Collegiate Hockey Association rivals Michigan for a two-game nonconference set. The Wolverines are currently ranked 16th in the poll with a 5-4-1 record to start the season.

Both games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and limited tickets are still available by contacting the U of M ticket office directly at 734-647-3835 or by ordering online at

LSSU Alumni Association Gatherings (Big Rapids and Ann Arbor)

On Saturday, join LSSU alumni and hockey fans at Buffalo Wild Wings in Big Rapids. The LSSU Alumni Association will be sponsoring a pre-game social for Laker fans from 5:00 to 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, November 19. Laker alumni, students, parents, fans and friends are all invited to Buffalo Wild Wings before the game for appetizers and terrific LSSU door prizes. The social will be $5 per person at the door, FREE for premium (dues-paying) members of the LSSU Alumni Association and children under 12 - a fine opportunity to hang out with fellow Laker fans and get fired up for the game.

Tickets for LSSU at Ferris State are available online or by phone through StarTickets or call 800-585-3737. Ask to be seated with fellow Laker fans in section A. To RSVP for the pre-game social, contact to

Tickets are limited, but may still be available for the Lakers' Thanksgiving weekend matchup at Yost Ice Arena, where they will face former CCHA rivals Michigan. Contact the U of M ticket office directly at 734-647-3835 or order online at

Laker fans with or without tickets, are again welcome to join Laker alumni and fans at the Blue Leprechaun at 1220 W. University on Saturday evening, November 26, starting at 5:30pm. The Alumni Association will sponsor a pre-game social for Laker fans from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., featuring appetizers and terrific LSSU door prizes. The social will be $5 per person at the door, or free for premium (dues-paying) members of the LSSU Alumni Association and children under 12 years old.

Laker Hockey Show

Every week Bill Crawford along with head coach Damon Whitten, the assistant coaches and players take a look at the Laker Hockey program.  The Laker Hockey Show provides a review of past games, a look ahead to future action and more information, as well as insight on the team and players.

The show is live from the Antlers restaurant on East Portage Ave. every Tuesday night starting at 6 p.m. and can be heard on WKNW ESPN Radio 1400 or you can catch up on any shows you have missed through podcasts that will be made available on

Laker Hockey Talk

Laker Hockey Talk, also on ESPN 1400, returns this year on Thursday mornings at 8:30 a.m. Bill Crawford and Damon Whitten preview the upcoming weekend's match up. Podcasts for the Laker Hockey Talk show will also be available at

Soo Blue Liners

The Soo Blue Liners commenced operations as a support group in 1982-83 with a membership of 75 people. The organization was developed for the specific purpose of supporting Laker hockey.

Soo Blue Liners memberships are: $5 college students, $15 single members, $25 couples, $30 families. Membership applications are available at the Norris Center Ticket Office or by calling 906-635-0568.

Laker Club

The LSSU Laker Club is the principle fundraising initiative for athletics at Lake Superior State University. With the help of a strong and active membership, the club will work to increase fan support at all LSSU athletic events. Membership also supports athletes in the classroom through Laker Club funded scholarships. LSSU athletes are high achievers inside and outside of the classroom.