SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – No. 20 Lake Superior State hockey continues Western Collegiate Hockey Association play with a two-game road series against Ferris State this weekend at Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Michigan.
Puck drop between Lake Superior State (16-8-2, 11-7-2-0 WCHA) and Ferris State (7-18-1, 4-13-1-0 WCHA) is slated for 7:07 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.
The radio broadcast will be on 99.5 Yes FM and the series will be streamed on FloHockey.TV.
Last Time on the Ice
Lake Superior State split a two-game WCHA series against Bemidji State last weekend at Taffy Abel Arena. The Lakers won 5-2 on Friday, before falling to the Beavers 5-3 on Saturday.
Madigan/Pingatore Insurance Athlete of the Week
Junior center Brendan McKay (3-7--10) earned Madigan/Pingatore Insurance Athlete of the Week honors after leading Lake Superior State with three points in the series with Bemidji State. McKay tallied one goal and tied for the team lead with two assists on the weekend. In Friday's 5-2 win, McKay tallied a shorthanded goal, one assist, two points and a +2 rating. On Saturday, he recorded an assist on the Lakers' third goal of the game. McKay won 17 faceoffs, and tallied five shots on goal and two blocked shots in the series. He tied for third in the WCHA in points and second in assists on the week.
Lake Superior State enters the weekend in fifth place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings with 35 points. The Lakers are one point ahead of Bemidji State, which is in sixth place with 34 points, and one point behind Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech, which are tied for third with 36 points each. Bowling Green is second with 40 points and Minnesota State is first with 48 points.
Lake Superior State is ranked No. 20 in the most recent edition of the USCHO.com Men's Top 20 Poll. Lake Superior State has been ranked in the top 20 in each of the last four USCHO Men's Top 20 Polls. Minnesota State (No. 6) and Bowling Green (No. 13) are the other WCHA teams ranked in the USCHO Poll.
Keeping up with the Hobey Baker Award Nominees
Cuglietta tallied two assists in the Lakers' 5-2 win over Bemidji State on Friday at Taffy Abel Arena. The WCHA leader in goals scored (17), Cuglietta's 26 points are the fifth most in the WCHA this season.
With an assist against Bemidji State on Saturday night, Nellis recorded his 13th assist and 24th point of the season.
Fan voting for the 2019 Hobey Baker Award is ongoing. Fans are allowed to cast a vote for one player each day by going to https://www.hobeybaker.com/vote.
In the Plus
Sixteen Lakers have a +1 or better plus-minus rating this season. Senior center Diego Cuglietta (17-9--26) and junior defenseman Collin Saccoman (8-9--17) are tied for the team lead at +14. Senior forward Gage Torrel (4-14--18) and freshman defenseman Jacob Nordqvist (3-12--15) are tied for third at +12.
Sophomore defenseman Lukas Kaelble (1-17--18) leads the Lakers in assists and is in a three-way tie for the most assists by a WCHA blueliner.
Junior forward Max Humitz (11-12--23) scored two goals, including the game-winning goal, in Lake Superior State's 5-2 win over Bemidji State on Friday night. Humitz is tied with senior winger Anthony Nellis (11-13--24) for the second-most goals scored by a Laker this season, while ranking third in points.
Eighteen different Lakers have scored a goal this season, including 14 who have scored multiple goals. Senior center Diego Cuglietta (17-9--26) leads the WCHA and is second in the nation in goals scored. Cuglietta is followed in goals scored by senior winger Anthony Nellis (11-13--24) and junior forward Max Humitz (11-12--23). Junior defenseman Collin Saccoman (8-9--17) – the leading goal scorer among WCHA defensemen – is fourth on the team in goals scored.
Lake Superior State leads the nation in both road wins (10) and road winning percentage (.833). Including their 2-0 record at the Great Lakes Invitational, the Lakers are 12-2-0 when playing away from Taffy Abel Arena.
Facing the Bulldogs
The Lakers are facing the Bulldogs for the first time in 2018-19. Last season, Lake Superior State went 1-3-0 against Ferris State, including an 0-2-0 record in Big Rapids, Michigan.
Ferris State (7-18-1, 4-13-1-0 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) enters the weekend having split a two-game WCHA series at No. 13 Bowling Green.
Freshman defenseman Cooper Zech (6-17--23) leads the Bulldogs in assists and points, while junior defenseman Nate Kallen (5-16--21) is second on the team in points and senior forward Corey Mackin (7-10--17) is the team leader in goals scored.
In goal, freshman Roni Salmenkangas (6-12-1) has an .878 save percentage and a 2.69 goals against average. Junior Justin Kapelmaster (1-6-0) has a .923 save percentage and 2.94 goals against average.
The Lakers are back at Taffy Abel Arena on Feb. 15-16 when they will be facing WCHA foe Michigan Tech. The 11th annual Check.Slash.Survive game will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16 when the Lakers face off against the Huskies at 7 p.m. Check.Slash.Survive, the revamped "Pink in the Rink" fundraiser, focuses on raising funds for local organizations that help battle all types of cancer. For this year's Check.Slash.Survive game, the Check.Slash.Survive committee voted to place an emphasis on drawing awareness to childhood cancer.
Tickets may be purchased at the Norris Center Ticket Office or online. For additional ticket information, call (906) 635-2602.
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