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Lakers wrap-up November at Michigan

Photo Courtesy Kati Doty
Photo Courtesy Kati Doty
Lake Superior State at Michigan
 Date  Nov. 25-26, 2016 (Friday/Saturday)
 Time  7:30 p.m. ET, Friday & Saturday
 Location  Yost Ice Arena | Ann Arbor, Mich.
 TV  Comcast 900


 Windows | TuneIn
 Live Stats  College Hockey Stats
 Game Notes
 Lake Superior State | Ferris State
 Twitter  @HockeyLSSU
 LSSU Record  6-6-0, 4-6-0 WCHA
 UM Record

 5-4-1, 0-0-0 B1G

Coming Up This Weekend

Lake Superior State heads to Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor this weekend to face in-state and former Central Collegiate Hockey Association rivals Michigan in a two-game nonconference series, Nov. 25-26.

The Lakers (6-6-0, 4-6-0 WCHA) fell victim to a sweep at the hands of Ferris State on the road last weekend and look to get on the right track after losing five straight to open November. The tough stretch of three-straight road series on the month concludes this weekend, and the Lakers enter the matchup 1-5-0 in November, after starting the season with a 5-1-0 mark in October.

The series with the No. 16-ranked Wolverines (5-4-1) marks the second and final contests with Big Ten opponents on the Lakers' schedule in 2016-17. LSSU previously swept Michigan State at home on Oct. 14-15, during Great Lake State Weekend.

The Series vs. Michigan

Overall: UM leads 62-46-7... In Ann Arbor: UM leads: 29-18-4

Last meeting: Jan. 18-19, 2013, UM won 6-4, LSSU won 3-2

Streak: LSSU 1-0-0        Last 10: UM leads 8-1-1

The first matchup between LSSU and the Wolverines dates back to 1973, a game played at the Flint Holiday Classic, in which Michigan won 6-3. The teams met four seasons later in 1977 for the Great Lakes Invitational in Detroit and again the Wolverines topped the Lakers, this time 4-3 in overtime.

In 1981-82 the Wolverines joined the CCHA after being members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. That November the Lakers earned their first victory over Michigan in a split at home in Sault Ste. Marie.

The height of the rivalry between the teams was magnified during the Lakers' extraordinary run in the early 90's. From 1991-96 the Lakers and Wolverines met in the CCHA Finals each year, with the Lakers claiming four CCHA Tournament Championships (1991-93 and '95) and the Wolverines' winning twice ('94 and '96) over the Lakers. After falling to the Wolverines in the 1994 CCHA Finals, the Lakers avenged the defeat with a victory in the NCAA Regionals, en route to winning the program's third National Championship in six seasons.

LSSU last faced the Wolverines at home in the 202-13 season, the final year of the CCHA. The Wolverines entered the matchup 14-0-1 in their previous 15 contests with the Lakers. After Michigan claimed their 15th victory in 16 tries in the series opener, the Lakers responded with a 3-2 victory in the series finale.

Scouting the Wolverines

A pair of freshmen forwards lead Michigan in scoring with Will Lockwood totaling six goals and four assists for 10 points in 10 games, followed by Jake Slacker with 4-5--9. Lockwood's six goals is a team-high for a squad that is averaging 2.80 goals per game.

Michigan opponents are averaging just 2.20 goals per game, thanks in large part to a three-headed attack in net between freshmen Jack LaFontaine and Hayden Lavigne, and senior Zach Nagelvoort. Lavigne leads the Michigan goaltending trio with a 3-1-0 record, .956 save percentage and a 1.50 goal-against average. All three of Lavigne's wins have come by way of shutout.

Last Week Against the Bulldogs (Friday: 3-0, L | Saturday: 7-5, L)

Lake Superior State dropped their fifth straight game and earned its sixth loss in eight games after being swept on the road last weekend at Ferris State. LSSU has now fallen victims of a sweep for the second straight weekend and head into the weekend series with Michigan at 6-6-0 overall and 4-6-0 in WCHA play.

The Lakers were stymied, 3-0, by freshman goaltender Jason Kapelmaster on Friday evening. Kapelmaster stood tall for the Bulldogs, saving all 40 shots he faced in earning his first career shutout.

The Lakers were able to crack the code on Kapelmaster with five goals on Saturday but the team's defensive miscues allowed FSU to notch seven goals and earn the sweep.

Laker Log

  • Despite being saddled with a pair of losses last weekend, junior goaltender Gordon Defiel produced a respectable weekend with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.
  • Junior forward J.T. Henke and freshmen Max Humitz and Kris Bindulis each put up two-point games on Saturday night. Humitz scored a goal and added an assist, while Henke and Bindulis each added a pair of assists.
  • Sophomore forwards Diego Cuglietta and Mitch Hults each scored special teams goals on Saturday. Cuglietta's goal came on the power play, his first with the extra attacker this season, and Hults' goal was his first shorthanded tally of the season as well.
  • Continuing the trends of firsts, freshman forward Luke Morgan and freshman defenseman Collin Saccoman each scored their first collegiate goal in Saturday's game. Morgan opened the scoring for the Lakers, tying Saturday's contest at 1-1, and Saccoman put the Lakers ahead 3-2 with a power play goal late in the first period.
  • Hults continues to lead the Lakers and is tied with FSU freshman Craig Pefley for the league lead in scoring with 15 points on the season. The Stoughton, Wis., native leads the league in points per game (1.25), and is tied with sophomore defenseman Owen Headrick for the WCHA lead in assists per game (.83).
  • Following Hults in leading the LSSU scoring is junior forward J.T. Henke (4-8--12) and sophomore defenseman Owen Headrick (2-10--12) each to tie for seventh overall among WCHA scorers.
  • Headrick leads WCHA defensemen in scoring, assists (10) and points per game (1.00). Nationally, Headrick is tied for seventh in points by a defenseman.
  • Rounding out the Laker' top scorers Gage Torrel (6-5--11) and freshman Brayden Gelsinger (4-6--10) have both reached double digit point totals.
  • Cuglietta is still tied for second in total goals among WCHA players, while Torrel is now tied for fifth. Hults and Humitz are both tied for 10th in the league for total goals
  • Cuglietta also leads the league in goals per game (.58) among eligible. Ferris State's Gerald Mayhew leads the league with nine goals in 11 games (.78 gpg).
  • Junior defensive partners assistant captain Aidan Wright and Kyle Chatham have been a solid pairing this season with Wright tied for fourth among league players with a +7 rating and Chatham tied with Saccoman and seven others for 10th with a +6 rating.
  • The Lakers offense took another hit last weekend in Big Rapids, but was salvaged with the five-goal output on Saturday. LSSU now averages 3.67 goals per game this season, which still leads the WCHA and ranks ninth nationally.
  • Defensively, the Lakers are allowing 3.17 goals against per game, tied for 37th  nationally.
  • The sophomore class, one of the top point-producing classes in the nation as freshmen last season, is tied with North Dakota's sophomores to lead the national class in combined points (59), and tied for third nationally in combined points by a single class. Only Minnesota Duluth's senior class (66) and Penn State's freshmen (63) have scored more total points.
  • LSSU freshmen rank eighth among the nation's freshman classed in points with a combined 37 points.

Looking Ahead (vs. Bowling Green State, Dec. 2-3)

The Lakers return home from the grueling three-week November road stretch to face WCHA preseason favorites Bowling Green State next Friday and Saturday. The Falcons (6-7-1, 5-3-0 WCHA) started the season 0-6-1 but have since earned sweeps over Northern Michigan and Alabama-Huntsville and splits with Miami to win six of their last seven games.

The Falcons host 10th place Alaska Anchorage this weekend with a chance to extend their three-point lead over the Lakers in the WCHA standings.

Teddy Bear Toss

LSSU will host its annual teddy bear toss on Saturday, Dec. 3. Following the Lakers' first goal against BGSU, fans are encouraged to toss their new or gently used stuffed animals on the ice to help support various local charities this holiday season.

LSSU Alumni Association Gatherings (Ann Arbor)

Laker fans with or without tickets, are welcome to join Laker alumni and fans at the Blue Leprechaun at 1220 W. University on Saturday evening, November 26, starting at 5:30pm. The Alumni Association will sponsor a pre-game social for Laker fans from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., featuring appetizers and terrific LSSU door prizes. The social will be $5 per person at the door, or free for premium (dues-paying) members of the LSSU Alumni Association and children under 12 years old.

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

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.