SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — The Lake Superior State hockey team continues its 2018-19 season this weekend, hosting the University of Alaska Fairbanks at the Taffy Abel Arena. The Lakers and Nanooks will play their two game Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) series on Friday, November 9th and Saturday, November 10th. Puck drop for both games is at 7:07 p.m. EST.
Lake Superior (5-1-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) hosted the University of Michigan last weekend for Great Lake State Weekend. Buoyed by a four point night by senior forward Anthony Nellis, the Lakers defeated the then-12th ranked Wolverines in the first game of the series 5-2 before falling 5-3 the following night before a capacity crowd at Abel Arena. For his efforts on the weekend (including a goal and two assists), freshman defenseman Jacob Nordqvist was named Rookie of the Week by the WCHA.
Alaska (0-7-1, 0-2-0 WCHA) was idle last weekend. Prior to that, the Nanooks suffered a road sweep against Minnesota State, losing 4-0 and 3-1 in Mankato.
About the Lakers
Lake Superior extended its winning streak to five games with a 5-2 win over then 12th-ranked Michigan on Friday night. The Wolverines responded the next night by handing the Lakers their first loss of the season, as Michigan prevailed 5-3 on Saturday.
The Lakers seen five of its top six scorers return from last season's 10-22-4 campaign. Of those five, all of them have at least 3 points on the season, with Nellis leading the way with 5 goals and 5 assists. Also making their mark on the score sheet are juniors Max Humitz and Brayden Gelsinger (3-2—5 each), senior Gage Torrel (0-7—7) and senior Diego Cuglietta (3-0—3).
On defense, Collin Saccoman (2-1—3) and Steven Ruggiero (1-0—1) headline a defensive corps that has three players with points so far, including Nordqvist (1-5—6) and sophomore Lukas Kälble (0-4—4). Between the pipes, Nick Kossoff and Mareks Mitens have split the starts in net so far. Thru six games, Kossoff has a 3.00 goals against average (GAA) and a .900 save percentage (SV%), while Mitens is sporting a 2.00 GAA and a .933 SV%.
Special teams have played their part so far this season. Lake Superior has gone 5 for 25 (20%) on the power play and has allowed 4 goals on 32 penalty kills (87.5%).
Lake Superior has played 4 of the 6 non-conference games on its schedule, going 3-1 in those contests. The final two are scheduled for December 30th and 31st, when the Lakers will participate in the Great Lakes Invitational (GLI). Having not played in the GLI since 1999, the Lakers will face Michigan State in the first game and the winner or Michigan and Michigan Tech in their second game.
About the Nanooks
Alaska has played nothing but stiff competition thus far this season. The Nanooks suffered a sweep at Arizona State in which they were shut out all weekend. Returning home for a series against then-5th ranked St. Cloud State did the Nanooks no favors, nor did the trip to then-9th ranked Denver the following week. Alaska nearly pulled off an upset of the Pioneers, but a late rally sent the game to overtime, where it ended in a tie.
The Nanooks are without their two high scoring defensemen from 2017-18, as Zach Frye (11-23—34 last season) and Justin Woods (9-11—20 last season) both graduated. Steve Jandric, Colton Leiter and Kylar Hope all had at least 19 points last season, but have failed to pick up more than two points apiece so far. Freshman defenseman Chris Jandric (0-5—5) and senior forward Ryker Leer (2-1—3) are leading the offense for first year head coach Erik Largen thus far.
In goal, coach Largen has four netminder to choose from. So far, junior Anton Martinsson has seen the lion's share of playing time, putting up a 0-6-1 record, with a 3.31 GAA and a .897 SV%.
On special teams, Alaska has left their fans much to be desired, as the power play is converting at just 7.5 percent (3 for 40), while the penalty kill has yielded 9 goals so far (38 for 47, 80.9%).
Following this weekend, Lake Superior will hit the road to Bowling Green, Ohio, for a two game set against the Falcons. Bowling Green (6-2-1, 1-1-0 WCHA) has had a number of statement wins on the season thus far, including an 8-2 drubbing of Ohio State and a series sweep of Western Michigan. The 10th-ranked Falcons are playing Alaska Anchorage this weekend in Anchorage.
Lake Superior is home for the remainder of November, with series against Northern Michigan and Minnesota State to close out the month.
Tickets for all remaining home games are $14 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7 for children (17 and under). LSSU students receive free admission and must possess a valid student ID. For tickets, call or visit the Norris Center Ticket Office at (906) 635- 2602. Fans can also now order their tickets online at lssulakerstickets.universitytickets.com and pick them up at will call before a game or during regular business hours.
Every home game and all road games against conference opponents will be available via live stream hosted by Flo Sports on WCHA.tv.
Season tickets for the 2018-19 Laker Hockey season, which includes an action-packed fall and winter, are available online or at Norris Center Guest Services.
This year's season-ticket packages are $207 for adults and $104 for children 17-and-under. Season tickets can be purchased or renewed at the Student Activity Center Help Desk during the Norris Center's normal operational hours, or by calling (906) 635-2601. Visit lssulakerstickets.universitytickets.com to order online.
The season ticket package includes three playoff games.
Season tickets can be purchased online through lssulakerstickets.universitytickets.com or at the Norris Center Guest Services Desk. LSSU faculty/staff and retirees must pick up tickets at the Norris Center.
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. A review of past games, a look ahead to future action and more information and insight on the team and players can be heard on each broadcast. The show is live from The Antlers Restaurant on East Portage Avenue every Tuesday night starting at 6 p.m. and can be heard on WKNW ESPN Radio 1400.
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) 248-5732.
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.