SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – No. 18 Lake Superior State hockey continues Western Collegiate Hockey Association play with a two-game home series against Bemidji State this weekend at Taffy Abel Arena.
Lake Superior State (15-7-2, 10-6-2-0 WCHA) and Bemidji State (12-11-3, 10-7-1-0 WCHA) are slated to play at 7 p.m. EST on both Friday and Saturday. The radio broadcast will be on 99.5 Yes FM and the series will be streamed on FloHockey.TV.
The Lakers enter the weekend tied with Michigan Tech for fourth-place in the WCHA with 32 points — one point ahead of sixth-place Bemidji State (31 points) and four points behind third-place Northern Michigan (36).
On Friday, the Lakers are hosting the ninth annual 'White Out' domestic and sexual violence awareness night, in partnership with the Diane Peppler Center and the Sexual Violence Prevention Team of the Eastern Upper Peninsula. The first 1,000 fans to enter Taffy Abel Arena will receive a free shirt to wear at the game. Tickets may be purchased at the Norris Center Ticket Office or online. For additional ticket information, call (906) 635-2602.
Furloughed federal employees will be admitted free of charge to Friday night's hockey game against Bemidji State.
Each furloughed federal employee can acquire two tickets free of charge to the Lake Superior State hockey game against Bemidji State at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25 at Taffy Abel Arena. To pick up their tickets, federal employees must present their federal government identification card at the Norris Center Ticket Office. The box office opens at 6 p.m. on game day. For additional information, please call (906) 635-2601.
Starting a New Streak
The 18th-ranked Lakers had their eight-game unbeaten streak — the longest for the program since 2009-10 — ended with their 5-3 loss at No. 7 Minnesota State on Friday night at Verizon Center in Mankato, Minnesota. The Lakers bounced back for a 1-0 win over the Mavericks on Saturday. Sophomore netminder Mareks Mitens (4-4), the Madigan/Pingatore Athlete of the Week, made 29 saves for his second shutout of the season and freshman winger Pete Veillette (2-4--6) scored the game-winning goal at the 8:05 mark of the first period.
With his game-winning goal at No. 7 Minnesota State on Saturday night, freshman winger Pete Veillette's (2-4--6) two goals this season have both been game-winning goals. His first game winner came in the Lakers' 5-2 win at Alaska Anchorage on Jan. 4.
New York State of Mind
Steven Ruggiero (5-3--8), a junior defenseman from Kings Park, New York, has assisted on each of the game-winning goals in the Lakers' last three wins, including freshman winger Pete Veillette's (2-4--6) game winner at No. 7 Minnesota State on Saturday night.
Keeping up with the Hobey Baker Award Nominees
In the series with No. 7 Minnesota State, Cuglietta scored his WCHA-leading 17th goal of the season in Friday's game. Nellis recorded an assist in Friday's game against the Mavericks.
Junior forward Max Humitz (9-12--21) is third on the team in goals and points. Humitz tallied one goal and one assist for two points at No. 7 Minnesota State on Friday night. His six-game point streak ended on Saturday. He tallied six goals and seven assists for 13 points over the streak, which began at Alaska on Dec. 8.
Seventeen different Lakers have scored a goal this season, including 14 who have scored multiple goals. Senior center Diego Cuglietta (17-7--24) leads the team in goals scored, followed by senior winger Anthony Nellis (11-12--23). Junior forward Max Humitz (9-12--21) is third in goals scored and junior defenseman Collin Saccoman (7-9--16) – the leading goal scorer among WCHA defensemen – is fourth on the team.
Lake State, which leads the nation in both road wins (10) and road winning percentage (.833), looks to improve upon its 3-5-2 home record this weekend at Taffy Abel Arena.
Head Coach Damon Whitten's Preview
Facing the Beavers
The Lakers are facing the Beavers for the first time this season. Last season, Lake Superior State and Bemidji State split their four games with each team going 2-0 on the road.
Bemidji State enters the series with the Lakers having swept Michigan Tech in a two-game WCHA series last weekend. The Beavers won 4-3 in overtime on Friday and 3-0 on Saturday.
Forwards Aaron Miller (10-7--17), Charlie Combs (9-8--17) and Adam Brady (7-10--17) share the team lead for Bemidji State in points (17).
The Lakers go on the road to face WCHA foe Ferris State on Feb. 1-2 in Big Rapids, Michigan. Both games are slated for 7:07 p.m.
Lake Superior State's next home series is against Michigan Tech on Feb. 15-16. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m. at Taffy Abel Arena. Tickets may be purchased at the Norris Center Ticket Office or online. For additional ticket information, call (906) 635-2602.
Be sure to follow the Lakers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information and behind-the-scenes action.