|Date|| Feb. 24-25, 2017 (Taffy Abel Arena)
|Time|| Friday- 7:37 p.m. | Saturday- 7:07 p.m.
|Tickets|| LSSU Online Tickets | (906) 635-2602
|Windows | TuneIn Radio | WCHA.tv|
|Live Stats|| College Hockey Stats
|LSSU Record||11-15-6, 8-12-6 WCHA|
12-17-4, 11-12-3 WCHA
Coming Up This Weekend
Lake Superiors State returns home for the final time in the 2016-17 Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular season this weekend to host in-state rivals Ferris State. Entering the weekend, the teams are separated by five points in the WCHA standings with the Bulldogs (12-17-4, 11-12-3 WCHA) currently tied with Bowling Green in fourth place and the Lakers (11-15-6, 8-12-6 WCHA) holding sole possession of seventh place.
The puck drops on the two-game series Friday evening at 7:37 p.m. ET inside Taffy Abel Arena. Saturday, following a special pregame Senior Night ceremony, the Lakers and Bulldogs renew the rivalry series at 7:07 p.m. Broadcasts of both games will be available live on 99.5 YES FM. A live video stream of the games is also available via http://WCHA.tv.
Youth Hockey Jersey Night (Friday, Feb. 24)
Friday evening, Laker Hockey hosts the annual Youth Hockey Jersey Night with special discounted prices for area youth donning their team's hockey jersey. Children's tickets for kids 14-and-under wearing a jersey can be purchased for a rate of just $4.
Senior Night Ceremony (Saturday, Feb. 25)
Prior to Saturday evening's 7:07 p.m. contest, LSSU Athletics invites fans to arrive at the arena early and join the team as they honor captain Gus Correale, junior goaltender Gordon Defiel playing in his final season of eligibility, and senior student equipment manager Wes DeJong with a special tribute prior to the game. Each will take their "final lap" around the Taffy Abel Arena ice with a chance to salute family, friends, and fans as the Lakers honor their efforts and dedication to the program. The ceremony will occur at approximately 6:45 p.m., following the pregame warmups.
The Series vs. Ferris State
Overall: LSSU leads, 34-21-6... In the Soo: LSSU leads, 36-24-7… In Big Rapids: LSSU leads, 31-30-6... Neutral: Tied, 1-1-1
Last meeting: Nov. 18-19, 2016, FSU swept with 3-0 win Friday and 7-5 win Saturday
Streak: FSU leads, 3-0-0 Last 5: FSU leads, 3-2-0 Last 10: FSU leads, 8-2-0
One of the longest-running rivalries for the Lakers is renewed this weekend for the 138th and 139th meetings with the Bulldogs. The series against FSU dates back to Dec. 15-16, 1977 in Big Rapids. The Lakers swept the first series with wins of 8-2 and 8-3. The teams played for 35 years as conference opponents in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association before each moved to the WCHA in 2013-14.
This weekend marks the second series of the season between the teams after the Lakers traveled to Big Rapids in November and suffered a pair of losses in a road sweep. Through 14 meetings as members of the WCHA, the Bulldogs hold a 12-2-0 advantage in the series.
All-time, the Lakers hold a 68-55-14 record over the Bulldogs. When played in Sault Ste. Marie, the Lakers lead the series 36-24-7.
Scouting the Bulldogs
The Bulldogs, coached by Bob Daniels in his 25th season at the helm, enter the weekend tied for fourth place in the WCHA with aspirations of hosting a first-round playoff series. Both the Bulldogs and Lakers could finish anywhere from fourth place to eighth place in the standings, however, LSSU could finish out of a playoff picture if they fall victim to another sweep and Alabama-Huntsville swept Bowling Green on the road this week.
Last weekend, the Bulldogs earned a home sweep over Alaska Anchorage with wins of 2-1 on Friday and 3-0 on Saturday. It marked the first sweep for FSU since accomplishing the feat against the Lakers on Nov. 18-19.
FSU is now 4-1-0 in their previous five games and has outscored opponents 15-8 in that stretch. A slow start to the season's second half saw the Bulldogs open with a loss and a tie (shootout win) at UAA to open January and have since gone 5-5-2 over six series in 2017.
Senior forward Gerald Mayhew leads the way for FSU with 15 goals and 15 assists in 29 games played this season. Second on the team in goals with 13 and points with 26, reigning WCHA Rookie of the Year Corey Mackin has also turned in a strong season. Rounding out the Bulldogs to reach 20 points this season, Traverse City native, senior Jared Van Wormer has eight goals and ranks third on the team with 22 points in 31 games.
In net, Justin Kapelmaster notched his first career shutout on Nov. 18 in a 3-0 win over LSSU. That was also his third win of the season and has since gone on to post a 9-3-3 mark this season with a league-leading .937 save percentage and a 2.05 goals-against average to rank third among WCHA goaltenders. Kapelmaster ranks second nationally in save percentage behind former FSU goaltender and current Canisius graduate-transfer Charles Williams.
Last Time Out Against the Nanooks (Fri.: 4-2, L | Sat.: 3-3, TOT )
After a series opening loss to Alaska last weekend, the Lakers rallied from a two-goal deficit on Saturday to tie the series finale with 3:19 remaining in regulation. Sophomore Anthony Nellis scored his ninth goal of the season for the game-tying goal off of a faceoff draw won by J.T. Henke.
With a goal and two assists on Saturday, Henke became the first LSSU player since Alex Globke in 2013-14 to record 30 points in a single season and now leads the Lakers with 10-20--30 in 32 games played. Nellis now ranks third on the team in scoring with 9-13--22.
- Sophomore Mitch Hults was left off the scoresheet last weekend failing to register a point in just the third series for the Lakers all season. Hults ranks second on the team with 9-20--29.
- The native of Stoughton, Wis., is now tied with Minnesota State's C.J. Franklin for fourth among WCHA players in scoring.
- Henke is tied with Mayhew at 30 points for second among WCHA scorers.
- Henke is the schools' active points leader with 52 points in 69 games played and. His 20 career goals and 32 assists lead all active Lakers in both categories.
- Freshman Max Humitz became the latest LSSU player to reach the 20-point plateau on the season and the second freshman to accomplish the feat for the Lakers this season after recording a goal on Saturday.
- Saturday's goal was the 13th of the season for Humitz, who leads LSSU in goals this season and ranks tied for fifth overall among WCHA players.
- Humitz is also tied with Minnesota State's Marc Michaelis for the WCHA lead in goals among rookies.
- Humitz has registered at least one point in all-but-four weekend series this season.
- Luke Morgan, the other freshman to reach 20 points this season, saw a six-game point scoring streak come to an end on Friday but picked up where he left off with an assist on Saturday and scored the unofficial three-on-three overtime goal to lift the Lakers to an extra point over the Nanooks.
- In the last eight games for the Lakers, Morgan has two goals and seven assists for nine points.
- Morgan is tied for sixth among WCHA freshmen with six goals this season and ranks fourth with 21 points.
- Morgan's +9 rating this season is second only to Minnesota State's Ian Scheid (+17) among WCHA freshmen.
- Also a 20-point performer this season, Diego Cuglietta is tied with Gage Torrel (11-7--18) for 12th in total goals among WCHA players.
- The LSSU freshman class ranks second among WCHA teams, behind Minnesota State's rookie group.
- As a class, the Lakers' freshmen have combined for 30 goal and 84 total points through 32 games, tying Providence for seventh nationally.
- The sophomore group is second nationally in combined scoring for a sophomore class behind North Dakota's second-year players.
- The LSSU sophomores have combined for 46 goals and 122 points, trailing only Harvard's senior class, Notre Dame's junior class and North Dakota's sophomore group for third in total points by a class.
- Just counting forwards, the LSSU frontline leads the WCHA and ranks 18th nationally in combined points by a forward group.
- Combined, LSSU skaters have produced 466 blocked shots this season, third in the WCHA behind Ferris State and Northern Michigan and 11th nationally.
- Freshman defenseman Collin Saccoman ranks second nationally with 80 blocked shots this season.
- With 13 points (3g-10a) on the season, Saccoman ranks sixth among WCHA freshmen defensemen in points and tied for 15th nationally, while also leading all active LSSU defensemen in scoring.
- Fellow freshman blueliner, Kris Bindulis ranks eighth in WCHA rookie defensemen scoring with 1-9--10.
Soo Blue Liners Pregame Potluck (Saturday, Feb. 25)
The annual Senior Night potluck, sponsored by the Soo Blue Liners, will be held prior to Saturday's game from 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Members of the booster club are invited bring a dish to pass and to visit with fellow members and family members of the team in the newly renovated Blue Liners room inside of Taffy Abel Arena.
Please check the Soo Blue Liners Facebook page for additional details. With the Senior Night Potluck scheduled for Saturday; the weekly coaches' video chat with the Blue Liners will be moved to Friday night at 7 p.m.
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 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 http://lakers.sovcomm.net/.
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 http://lakers.sovcomm.net/.
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.