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Lakers head to Huntsville for WCHA opener

Photo courtesy Kati Doty
Photo courtesy Kati Doty
Lake Superior State at Alabama-Huntsville
 Date  Oct. 21-22, 2016 (Friday/Saturday)
 Time  8:07 p.m. ET Friday/ 8:07 p.m. ET Saturday
 Location  Von Braun Center (6,602) | Huntsville, Ala.


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 Live Stats  College Hockey Stats
 Game Notes
 Lake Superior State | Alabama-Huntsville
 Twitter  @HockeyLSSU
 LSSU Record  2-0-0, 0-0-0 WCHA
 UAH Record  2-3-1, 2-1-1 WCHA

Coming Up This Weekend

Lake Superior State hockey embarks on their first road trip this weekend, opening Western Collegiate Hockey Association play against Alabama-Huntsville.

LSSU is looking for their first WCHA standings points of the season this weekend. Since joining the WCHA in 2013-14, the Lakers have not registered a win or tie against in conference games during the month of October. LSSU has four conference games in October this season, with Alaska scheduled to play in Sault Ste. Marie on Oct. 28-29.

The Series vs. Alabama-Huntsville

Overall: Tied: 6-6-2... In Huntsville: LSSU leads: 5-1-0

Last meeting: Oct. 30-31, 2015, UAH won 5-4 (OT) / UAH won 5-0

Streak: UAH  4-0-1

The Lakers are winless (0-4-1) in their last five games against the Chagers and have not beaten UAH since Nov. 14, 2014, when they won 1-0 in Huntsville.

Overall, the series is tied 6-6-2 with both teams having more success against each other when on the road. The Lakers are 5-1-0 in games played in Huntsville, while the Chargers are 5-1-2 in the Soo.

Last season, in the only meeting between the teams, Huntsville swept the Lakers with wins of 5-4 (OT) and 5-0 at Taffy Abel Arena. Since both teams joined the WCHA in 2013-14, the Chargers lead the series 4-3-1.

Last Week Against the Spartans (Friday: 6-1, W, Saturday: 7-3, W)

Lake Superior State defended home ice last weekend with a sweep over Big Ten opponent Michigan State. The Lakers claimed a 6-1 victory in Friday night's series opener and earned the 7-3 victory Saturday evening in the series finale.

Sophomore defenseman Owen Headrick turned in an NCAA-leading six-point weekend, scoring a goal and two assists on Friday and dishing out three assists on Saturday. Four Lakers: J.T. Henke, Gage Torrel, Gus Correale and freshman Max Humitz each scored two goals on the weekend. Henke (2-2--4), Torrel (2-2--4), Mitch Hults (1-3--4) and Brayden Gelsinger (1-3--4) all turned in four-point weekends against the Spartans to tie for second on the team behind Headrick.

In the series opener against Michigan State, the Lakers jumped out to an early lead with a goal by Torrel, just 2:43 into the contest. Moments later MSU tied the game at 1-1, but Henke's goal late in the first period would be all the Lakers would need to beat the Spartans. Still, the Lakers poured in a power-play goal in the second period and three more power-play goals in the third to light up junior goaltender Ed Minney for six goals on 34 shots.

Game 1 was marred with penalties, and a total of 31 penalties for 73 penalty minutes were served. The Spartans went on 1-for-11 on the power play, while the Lakers connected on four of their 12 opportunities.

In the second game, the Lakers built a 4-0 lead through the first period with a power-play goal, two even strength goals and a shorthanded marker by captain Gus Correale (2-0--2).

The Spartans pushed back in the second period, scoring three goals, but the Lakers added two more goals in the second period and added one in the final 20 minutes for the 7-3 final.

Defiel was strong throughout, despite the second period barrage and closed off the sweep with 30 saves  on Saturday. 

Scouting the Chargers

UAH opened the season with an impressive sweep on the road at Ferris State during the season's opening weekend. Since then, the Chargers have gone 0-3-1 and were swept at UConn two weeks ago. 

Last weekend at Michigan Tech, their third road trip to start the season, the Chargers opened with a 7-3 loss against the Huskies before skating to a 1-1 regulation tie on Saturday. The Huskies added the extra league point with an unofficial goal by Reid Sturos in three-on-three overtime.

This weekend the Chargers open play in the "Hockey Capital of the South" and will likely turn to top scorers like junior forward Max McHugh (3-1--4), sophomore defenseman Kurt Gosselin (1-2--3), and freshman forward Jordan Larson (1-2--3).

Goaltending has left head coach Mike Corbett (four seasons, 19-85-12) looking for consistency this season. Senior Matt Larose, expected to form a fearsome combo with Carmine Guerriero when he returns from sitting out early this season, has not gotten off to the start expected. Larose has allowed 4.38 goals against and is only saving .878 percent of shots he's faced in five games. 

Junior Jordan Uhelski has been seeing his first collegiate action this season as a backup to Larose and has posted respectable numbers, including earning the 1-1 tie at MTU last Saturday in his first career start. Uhelski is only allowing 2.03 goals against per game and has a .929 save percentage.

Special Teams Firing on All Cylinders

Special teams propelled the Lakers last weekend, hitting on 6-of-16 power-play opportunities (.375). The penalty kill was also especially effective against the Spartans, limiting MSU to just one power-play goal in 18 attempts (.056).

Last season the Lakers' power play hit for 13.7 percent and the penalty killers were successful 84.2 percent of the time.

Youth Movement

Three of the six LSSU freshmen that played last weekend tallied their first collegiate goals. Max Humitz led the group with a goal in both games, followed by Gelsinger's goal and three assists, and defenseman Kris Bindulis scored his first goal and had an assist on Friday night and added another assist on Saturday.

Luke Morgan (0-2--2) and Collin Saccoman (0-1--1) each registered their first college points with assists last weekend.

LSSU freshmen and sophomores, that comprising the majority of the Lakers' lineup last weekend, combined for 31 of the possible 39 points on the weekend's 13 goals.

Poll Position

Following the sweep of the Spartans last weekend, the Lakers received six votes in the Division I Men's Poll and received one vote in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine College Hockey Poll.

The Lakers were last ranked in the national top-20 poll on Jan. 6, 2014, coming in at No. 19. The following poll on January 13, 2014, is the last time the Lakers received votes in the national polls.

A Look Ahead (Pink In The Rink Weekend)

The Lakers return home next weekend (Oct. 28-29) to face Alaska in a two-game WCHA series as part of the annual Pink in the Rink weekend. Alaska finished eighth in the WCHA last season by sweeping rival Alaska Anchorage on the regular season's final weekend to leapfrog the Seawolves and face Michigan Tech in the league quarterfinals.

Pink in the Rink is an annual fundraiser hosted by Laker Athletics and the hockey program that provides the opportunity to educate the community on women's health issues, with a general focus on breast cancer. Since the Pink in the Rink event began at LSSU eight years ago, it has raised more than $145,000 for local charities and women's organizations.

Single Game Tickets

Single game tickets to all of the Lakers home games cost $12 for adults and $6 for children (17-under) unless a special promotion is running. Tickets for all LSSU Athletics events can be purchased online at or by calling the Norris Center ticket office at (906) 635-2602.

Fans planning to attend this weekend's series are encouraged to pick up their tickets at the Norris Center Information and Guest Services Desk or online throughout the week to avoid long lines prior to the games.

Season Tickets

Adult season packages are $199 and include 17 home games plus three Western Collegiate Hockey Association first-round playoff games. Child season tickets are $95 and also include three playoff games. The Snowbird package includes the Lakers' first nine home games for $90. Single-game tickets will again be $12 for adults and $6 for children 17 and under. LSSU is introducing a new senior citizen single-game ticket rate of $10 for seniors 60 and over.

Starting this season, WCHA Playoff second-round series will be played at campus sites, but second-round tickets will be sold separately from the season package. If the Lakers don't host a first-round playoff series, the deadline for playoff ticket refunds is May 15, 2017. Refund requests are processed after playoff tickets are returned to the Norris Center at the conclusion of the season.

The LSSU Department of Athletics will feature fun promotions throughout the season. Look for details on and in weekly media releases. The LSSU student cheering section has moved from Sections S & T to Sections A, B, C & D. Sections S&T will be general admission in 2016-17.

Season tickets can be purchased online through or at the Norris Center Guest Services Desk during summer hours. LSSU faculty/staff and retirees must pick up tickets at the Norris Center. Returning season ticket holders have until Sept. 9 to reclaim their seats.

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. n The show is live from the Antlers restaraunt 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.