Weekend Preview: Northern Michigan University & Check.Slash.Survive

So, as you all know this would normally be the spot where we preview the upcoming series and make a few (sometimes funny) jokes. But the fact of the matter is that, even if we don’t get a single point over the next two weeks, we are in the playoffs. Anchorage needs to sweep the next two weeks in regulation to tie us in points, but we would hold the tiebreaker I believe. But they are facing Bemidji this weekend, and Alaska next weekend.

So…

There is the Cappo cup, but it’s just for this weekend series, and I’m not sure if there are any special rules due to that. And the Lakers will, of course, do their best to earn points as we could leapfrog Bowling Green (five points behind) and possibly catch Michigan Tech (assuming they get swept both weekends), but it’s looking like it’s going to be another trip to Mankato, or possibly Bemidji.

But almost more importantly, this Saturday is both Senior night and Check.Slash.Survive, which used to be called Pink in the Rink. A few years back it was rebranded so as not to focus just on breast cancer, which is generally represented by the pink ribbon.

This year’s C.S.S is focusing on Lung, Prostate and Colon cancers. The Check.Slash.Survive organization will be selling shirts, hoodies and other sort of apparel and swag, and a jersey auction will be done during the game Saturday night. The funds raised will go towards various local charities and organizations.

Six seniors will also be honored during pre-game Saturday. Brayden Gelsinger, Ian Johnston, Bryan Basilico, Max Humitz, Colin Saccoman and Brendan McKay will all be honored. Sadly, this will also mean for the first time since the 2012-2013 season, next year will be the first year without a McKay brother. The end of an era for sure.

So come on out, 7pm puck drop both nights. Saturday pre-game will be the senior night festivities. Otherwise, 99.5 YESFm locally or on Tunein will have the call, or Flohockey.tv will have the broadcast.

Riedell, Calder earn weekly league accolades

Will Riedell and Ashton Calder (not pictured) were both named WCHA Players of the Week at their respective positions (LHB File Photo)

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) announced today the recipients of its Player of the Week awards for the past weekend.  Lake Superior State, on the strength of its weekend split with Michigan Tech, captured two of the four awards, with one player earning his first ever.

Will Riedell and Ashton Calder, who each had four points in Houghton, were named Defenceman of the Week and Forward of the Week, respectively.

Riedell, a blue liner from Greensboro, North Carolina, racked up three assists in the Lakers’ 7-3 win over Michigan Tech on Friday night.  He assisted on two goals by Calder (the first being a shorthanded goal, the second being the game winner), plus one that belonged to team captain Max Humitz.  Saturday night saw him pick up another assist, again helping Calder find the back of the net.  With the weekend totals, the junior has equaled his point total of 11 from last season — his best mark in a Laker uniform so far.

In claiming the award, Riedell beat out Tim Theocharidis of Bowling Green and Edwin Hookenson of Minnesota State.

Earning his second weekly award of the season, and the fourth of his career, Calder had three goals and an assist.  His first tally proved to be the last seen by Matt Jurusik that evening, as the netminder was swapped for Blake Pietella after allowing the shorthanded goal.  The sophomore from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, connected in the second period against Pietella, and earned his third goal of the weekend on Saturday, beating Robbie Beydoun, thus scoring three goals against three different goaltenders.  In addition, Calder helped set up Pete Veillette’s game tying goal late in regulation during the Saturday overtime loss.

Calder beat out Max Newton of Alaska, Connor Ford of Bowling Green, Jared Spooner of the Mavericks and Brian Halonen of Michigan Tech.

The other two awards were claimed by Minnesota State goaltender Dryden McKay (Goaltender of the Week) and Alaska defenceman Markuss Komuls (Rookie of the Week). No other Lakers were nominated.

 

Lakers spoil Winter Carnival for host Huskies, earn series split

Lake Superior State collected its first Friday road win of the season with a solid effort in a 7-3 over Michigan Tech, before falling in overtime to the Huskies 4-3 for a series split.

Michigan Tech (16-14-3, 11-11-2 WCHA) lost its second straight Winter Carnival series, having fallen to Minnesota State last season. The Lakers prevailed in the two game, total goals series 10-7, capturing the MacInnes Trophy.

Friday: Lakers 7, Huskies 3

On Friday night, Lake Superior (9-20-3, 7-12-3-3 WCHA) bounced back from a 1-0 deficit on an Alec Broetzman tally in the first period by scoring three goals, from Brendan McKay, Ashton Calder and Max Humitz, 6:36 apart from each other, giving the Lakers a 3-1 lead entering the second period.

The Huskies got the first goal of the second and third periods as well, but Damon Whitten’s bunch doubled the Michigan Tech response both periods, as Colin Swoyer’s goal was answered by Calder and Miroslav Mucha, while Logan Pietella’s thrd period mark garnered responses by Chase Gamelin and Arvid Henrikson.  Gamelin, McKay and Henrikson each had their first goal of the season.

Mareks Mitens was busy all night, as the Huskies racked up 42 shots on net, with the Hobey Baker nominee stopping 39.  Matt Jurusik took the loss for Michigan Tech by allowing 2 goals on 9 shots, before being relieved by Blake Pietella, who was scorched for 5 tallies on 21 shots.

With the Friday night win, the Lakers won their first game in Houghton since the 2013-14 season.  The Lakers defeated the Huskies 5-3 on November 15th, and had gone 0-8-1 at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena since that time.

Saturday: Huskies 4, Lakers 3 (OT)

Saturday night had a much different feel to it.  The Lakers, despite leading the shot count the entire way, never led at any point in the game.  Despite this, Lake Superior never let the Huskies pull away, as the hosts never had more than a one goal lead.

After less than stellar performances from his goaltenders the previous night, Huskies head coach Joe Shawhan went with Robbie Beydoun in net, while Mitens returned for Lake Superior.

Brian Halonen opened the scoring for Michigan Tech just 45 seconds into the game.  The Lakers responded early in the second period, when Calder potted his third goal of the weekend.

The Huskies got another goal from Halonen later in the period, but the game was tied back up a mere 15 seconds later by McKay, who picked up his second goal of the series.  Likewise, Broetzman scored his second on the weekend 1:09 later, giving Michigan Tech a 3-2 lead after two periods.

Going for broke, Lake Superior yanked Mitens for an extra skater.  With the clock winding down, Pete Veillette connected or his 9th goal of the season, sending the game to overtime in the process.

Looking for a series sweep, the Lakers’ hopes were dashed when Alex Smith found the back of the net with only 30 seconds remaining in overtime, giving the Huskies a 4-3 win.

In net, Mitens made 22 saves on 26 shots, while Beydoun stopped 39 of 42 faced.

Leading the Lakers on the weekend were Calder (3-1—4, +2) and defenceman Will Reidell (0-4—4, +2).  Despite this, it was Michigan Tech’s Halonen (2-2—4, E) who was named the Winter Carnival MVP.

Series Preview: Lake Superior State University at Michigan Tech – Winter Carnival Edition

Lake State: 8-19-3

Michigan Tech: 15-13-3

Huskies Get Bit

I wouldn’t want to be the Lakers this weekend as they travel over to Houghton to face the Michigan Tech Huskies. The Huskies are sure to be wound up this weekend, not only because of it being the 98th Winter Carnival, but also because they were trounced by the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers last Saturday night, splitting the weekend.

Tech is led in scoring by a trio of sophomores: Alec Broetzman (12-7–19), Trenton Bliss (9-10—19) and Eric Gotz (4-13—17). Brian Halonen (10-6—16) is also worth mentioning, being second in overall goals for the team.

Senior Matt Jurusik leads the trio of goalies,  having played in 27 of their 31 games. He has a 2.04GAA and a .921 Save %. Junior Robbie Beydoun and Blake Pietila have also played a handful of games, with Beydoun having the better record & stats compared to the freshman goalie.

Tech looks to be set up to be a pretty consistent team over the next few years, with a large stable of freshmen and sophomores, with their sophomores leading in scoring.

Lakers Lean into the Home Stretch

The last few weeks have been interesting. They ‘swept’ the Seawolves at home, winning on Friday and winning in 3×3 OT, but we all know It counts a tie, then losing in OT to the US Under-18 team. We also saw our second 100 point player in as many years and a come from behind win.

Co-captain Max Humitz leads in overall scoring & goals for the Lakers – doubling up on the second overall goal-scorer, Pierre-Luc Veillette, with 16 goals, 7 assists for 24 points. Junior center Hampus Eriksson (5-14–19) and freshman Louis Boudon (4-14—18) round out the top 3 in points.

Goaltending has been the Mareks Mitens show despite having a 2.77 GAA and a .901 save %. Unless something strange happens in the offseason that would see Mitens leave, we will have another year to find a proper replacement starting goaltender, especially seeing as Roman Bengert is also a junior. The Lakers do have former Brahma Seth Eisele who, in 33 games for the Brahmas last season, posted a 2.28 GAA and a .926 Save5 in the regular season, and a 1.73 GAA and .943 in 5 playoff games.

This weekend’s games can be heard or seen in the normal spots: At Michigan Tech, on local radio 99.5 YesFM or on Tunein. Flohockey.tv will have the video feed from Houghton. Puck drops Friday night at 7:07pm, then a quick turnaround for 5:07pm Saturday night.

Breaking Down The Elusive Century Point

Over the course of it’s program, the Lakers have had a number of prolific scorers, but until last season it had been a while since someone hit this elusive mark. Diego Cuglietta pulled it off during the 2018-2019 campaign, and now Max Humitz has hit the 100 point mark of his career. But before last season, Domenic Monardo was the last one to do so, and he graduated in 2013. Five long years we had to wait.

But now with seeing two guys reach this marker, one has to wonder when we might see another. Who is on track to score 100? I decided to take a look at the stats and try to guess who the next wave is.

First, all the stats come from CollegeHockeyInc.com, which is a fantastic resource not only for those looking to get into/play the sport, but it also has a fantastic statistics database that goes back to the 2012-13 season.

Now, the raw breakdown of our current roster:

Player #NameClassPosGPGATPGPGATPGPGATPGPGATPTotal GPTotal GoalsTotal AssistsTotal Points100~Number of Games LeftAvg Pts/Game Needed
2019-20202018-20192017-20182016-2017TOTALS AS OF 1/25/2020Pts Behind
#21Max HumitzSRF3016824361617333613102336137201385842100060
#11Brayden GelsingerSRF111123810132329810183651015114243458-4267
#23Collin SaccomanSRD1763937101525271453631417117203656-4467.3333333333333
#24Hampus ErikssonJRF30514193631114334610000099123143-57441.2954545454545
#22Lukas KaelbleJRD30281037221232616700009353540-60441.3636363636364
#16Ashton CalderSOF306101637517220000000067112738-62800.775
#26Pierre-Luc VeilletteSOF308917322680000000062101525-75800.9375
#15Jacob NordqvistSOD241673831518000000006242125-75800.9375
#3William RiedellJRD302573547113323500009881523-77441.75
#29Louis BoudonFRF29414180000000000002941418-821160.70689655172414
#18Bryan BasilicoSRF280113753830134112131068816-84614
#10Brendan McKaySRF300003631013241121200010241115-85614.166666666667
#14Yuki MiuraJRF30291123202701100006041014-86441.9545454545455
#4Tyler AndersonJRD2912329033351450000932911-89442.0227272727273
#9Alexandro AmbrosioJRF293362210114011000065448-92442.0909090909091
#7Mitchell OliverSOD2907700000000000029077-93801.1625
#17Chase GamelinJRF180003212320033000070156-94442.1363636363636
#8Dustin ManzFRF2914500000000000029145-951160.81896551724138
#20Miroslav MuchaSOF1913480000000000027134-96801.2
#13Ian JohnstonSRF80111000171121100037123-97616.166666666667
#6Alec SemandelSOD11011171120000000028123-97801.2125
Owen GuySOF7011120110000000019022-980N/A
#27Niko Esposito-SelivanovFRF1310100000000000013101-991160.85344827586207
#5Arvid Henrikson (MTL)FRD2601100000000000026011-99442.25
#1Roman BengertJRG30001000000000004000-100442.2727272727273
Robert BluegerFRF30000000000000003000-1000N/A
#30Mareks MitensJRG290001100014000000054000-100442.2727272727273

Here’s everyone’s total games played, goals, assists and total points over the last four seasons, up through 1/25/2020. Number of games left is 8 (the rest of the normal season), plus 36 games each year. Also, the table is sorted by the number of points behind 100.

I’ve gone ahead and made some assumptions: Max will be the only senior to get 100 points. The rest of the class is too far behind. The next closest is Brayden Gelsinger who is still 42 points behind. He would have to average 5.25 points a game for the rest of the season to make it, and with Saccoman either out for the season or just the majority of it, he will end 44 points back.

Next I’ve also assumed that none of the Juniors will get there either. Hampus Eriksson is the top Junior, but only has 43 career points, 57 behind with Lukas Kaelble 60 behind. These guys should be able to get some impressive numbers, but assuming 44 games left in each junior’s career (8 games left this season, plus assuming 36 next year), Eriksson would have to score ~1.3 points/game over that time, with Kaelble needing ~1.36 pts/game. Deep playoff runs would certainly make things a bit interesting, however. That number just gets larger with the rest of the junior class.

However, looking at the sophomore class, things get kind of interesting. Sault native Ashton Calder leads his class with 38 total points in 67 games. With that, he’s 62 points behind, and assuming 80 games left in his collegiate career, he needs .775 pts/game. Considering he’s already at 1.32 pts/game so far, so long as he stays through his senior year, and continue the way he has, he should reach 100 points.

As for the rest of the sophomores, Pierre-Luc Veillette & Jacob Nordqvist are both tied on total points & games left. Each need 75 points to make up the difference, which is .94 pts/game Both of these guys have great hands & should come close, but unless the team really wakes up down the stretch & into next season, I think they may just miss it. The rest of their class is simply too far behind. Mitchell Oliver, for example, would be next up, but he has 7 points total, and would need 1.16 pts/game (though, to be fair, he is a sophomore on the roster, but this is his first year with the team).

Finally we have the freshmen. While you have fantastic team players like Dustin Manz, Arvid Henrikson who have played most of the games this season, they haven’t scored much, and the same goes for Niko Esposito-Selivanov, however he’s only appeared in 13 contests thus far. No, as far as point scorers go we have Louis Boudon, who in 29 games has amassed 18 total points, putting him 82 points back. Again, assuming 116 games remaining, he needs to average .7 pts/game.

TL;DR: The next 100-point scorer should be Ashton Calder followed by Louis Boudon the next season. Sophomores Veillette & Nordqvist should get an impressive number of points, but fall short, failing a deep playoff run.

Series Preview: Alaska Anchorage at Lake Superior State

Alaska Anchourage: 4-14-4

LSSU: 7-19-2

Something Seems Familiar…

Oh, that’s right, these two teams played just a few short weeks ago up at Anchorage, where the teams split the weekend, after the Seawolves shut the Lakers out (which was incredible. I mean, even UAH, the worst team in the rankings put 2 on NoDak, then #1).   But that’s all in the past, right?

After that split, however, the Seawolves were swept by Northern Michigan, then last week swept Alabama-Huntsville (winning Saturday night in 3×3 overtime, so technically a tie).

 The Seawolves are led in scoring by freshman forward Nick Wicks, with 6 goals, 8 assists for 13 points. Following him Is senior defensemen Tmi Hakkavirta, who has 1 goal and 12 assists.

Goaltending looks to have been mostly junior Kris Carlson, who has played in 14 games, with a 2-8-2 record, good for 776 minutes, a 2.55 GAA and a .922 save %. Junior Kristian Stead has appeared in 9 games, and Brandon Perrone has appeared in just one game.

Oh Captain my Captain!

When a team isn’t doing well, it’s easy to focus on the negatives, and in this column I’ve certainly done my fair share of that. However, this week is a little different. This weekend the Laker family welcomes back one of our own & a former Captain: Matt Bruneteau. In the 2012-2013 campaign he started as an assistant captain before being named the Captain in 2013-14.  He finished the 2013-14 year trying out in the ECHL, but wound up playing for Strasbourg in the French league for two seasons. He retired from playing and started as an assistant coach with Stevenson University one year after they started their NCAA D3 mens program. This is the second year with the Seawolves, but the first time returning to Taffy Abel Arena.

So let’s give him a warm welcome home.

After being held to a single goal in their last game, Max Humitz is still sitting at 97 career points. This should be a good team to tally the final three to get to the century mark & looking forward to pass that going into the final month of the regular season, but we will have to see about that.

Puck drops at 7:00pm both Friday and Saturday at Abel Arena. Listen to the game locally by tuning your dial to 99.5, or listen through TuneIn or other streaming methods. If you want to view the game, FloHockey is where you need to go if you cannot make it to the arena.

Series Preview: Lake Superior State at Alaska

Alaska: 10-12-0

LSSU: 7-18-1

Bearing Down on the Standings

It’s been no secret over the last few seasons that the Fairbanks based Alaska Nanooks have had some consistency issues over the last few seasons, usually dwelling in the middle to low-mid of the standings, but still usually making playoffs. This year, however, they are proving themselves this year, sweeping or splitting with some tough opponents: Starting out conference play by sweeping Michigan Tech in Houghton, shutting out then #9 Penn State in Happy Valley, taking another win from Tech in Alaska.

The Nanooks are currently sitting in the #4 spot in the WCHA, which is also the last home playoff spot.

They are led in scoring by a trio of junior forwards, Max Newton (6-8-14), Justin Young (7-6-13) and Steven Jandric (5-8-13). In net they are leaning heavily on Anton Martinsson, the senior out of Klippan, Sweden. They have played sophomore Gustavs Grigals, out of Latvia, having played in 9 games with the same tally of wins.

Bailing Water

The Lakers are sitting just 3 points ahead of Ferris who currently own the final playoff spot, and just 4 points ahead of Alaska Anchorage, who they will face again in two weeks at Abel Arena. This is a far cry from the success the team had last season, but certainly seems closer to what we as Laker fans have come to expect in recent years.

The one bright spot on the team has been Max Humitz, who is currently sitting at 97 career points. Humitz is leading the team in both overall points and goals by quite a bit, with 21 points and 14 goals. Junior center Hampus Eriksson is second in scoring with 16 points. Pierre-Luc Veilette is second in goals with 6.

Goaltending has been pretty much Mareks Mitens exclusively, playing in 25 games, with a 7-16-1 record. Roman Bengert has appeared in 3 games, going 0-2-0. Freshman Seth Eisele has yet to appear in a game.

In other news, it appears some players have left the team at some point. Forwards Owen Guy and Roberts Bluegers, defensemen Bennet Vida have all been removed from LSSU’s roster on their website. It appears Vida is now with Trinity Western University of the BCIHL, playing in 2 games so far with 1 assist. Neither Guy nor Bluegers have updated profiles on Elite Prospects. One would have to guess the reason they left was lack of playing time. We here at LakerHockeyBlog would like to wish them the best with their future endeavors, and also thank them for their time as Lakers.

The Lakers play in Fairbanks Friday and Saturday, puck drops at 7:07 AT, which should be -4 hours from Eastern time, so the game would start at 11:07pm eastern. As always, the game will be on Flohockey.tv for a fee, or you can listen in on 99.5 YesFM locally or on TuneIn.

Holiday Tournament Preview: Catamount Cup

The field for the 2019 Catamount Cup.

For the third year in a row, and fifth time in head coach Damon Whitten’s tenure, Lake Superior State will partake in a holiday tournament, returning to Burlington, Vermont for the Catamount Cup.

The event is usually referred to as a tournament, but all of the matchups are preset.  Host Vermont always plays the late games, likely so their fans may watch them at their regular starting time.  Disadvantages of this setup include the possibility of two teams going 2-0, no true championship game and the possibility that the tourney champs will not be honoured on the ice, as is custom.

Lake Superior joins Union and Providence in Burlington, all of whom will look to dethrone the host Catamounts, who won the cup last season.  The Lakers play the Friars in the early game at 4:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, and face Vermont at 7:05 p.m. EST on Sunday.

About the Lakers

It was a rough first half for Damon Whitten’s crew, as the Lakers (6-15-1, 4-9-1 WCHA) have been unable to meet the lofty expectations that came about from last seasons’ success.  After an opening weekend sweep of Merrimack and playing Denver close, Lake Superior has picked up a home sweep of Ferris State (the first since joining the WCHA) and two non-consecutive wins against Bowling Green, but have struggled mightily, especially on the road.

Making his mark on the score sheet is senior Max Humitz (11-6–17), who currently sits at 93 points in his collegiate career, followed by Hampus Eriksson (4-11–15) and Pete Veillette (5-7–12).  Junior Mareks Mitens has seen the lion’s share of starts, and has a 3.16 goals against average and  .894 save percentage.

About the Friars

The Lakers will have their work cut out for them if they are looking to win another holiday tourney, following last season’s win in the Great Lakes Invitational.  Providence enters the tourney ranked #13 in the USCHO poll, #15 in the USA Today poll and currently sits atop the Hockey East standings.  The Friars (9-5-3, 6-4-2 Hockey East) look to be the favourites in this event.  Sophomores Jack Dugan (6-27–33) and Thopmson (13-14–27) sit 1-2 in scoring nationally, and junior Greg Printz (11-9–20) has also put up a hat full of points.  In net, senior Michael Lackey has a  2.45 GAA and a .915 SV%.

Providence and the Lakers have a couple of connections: assistant coach Ron Rolston was a member of Jeff Jackson’s staff during the championship era, while Lake State’s current Sports Info Director, Kelsey Smith, is an alumni of Providence College.

Both teams played in the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh during the 2017-18 season, but did not wind up facing each other.  The Friars downed Arizona State and host Robert Morris to claim the title, while Lake Superior fell to Robert Morris, but defeated the Sun Devils for a 3rd place finish.

About the Catamounts

…And now for something completely different.  The Catamounts enter their tournament with one of the worst records in the nation at 1-11-2 overall and 0-8-1 in league play.  Kevin Sneddon’s bunch has not won since October 19th, when they defeated St. Lawrence in their 2nd game of the year.  They are winless in their last 12 games, although ties against Boston University and Arizona State are interspersed.

In scoring, defenceman Andrew Lucas leads the ‘Cats with a paltry 7 points, followed by forwards Ace Collins (3-3–6) and Jacques Bouquot (1-5–6).  Between the pipes, Stefanos Lekkas has played each game, posting a 2.86 GAA and a .908 SV%.

During the 2015-16 season, Lake Superior and Vermont played on the first day of the tourney.  The Catamounts won 1-0 en route to securing the tourney crown against Colgate the following night.  Lake Superior appeared to tie the game in the final minute of regulation but it was judged that goaltender Patrick Munson had been interfered with.

About the Dutchmen

Union, under bench boss Rick Bennett, can have a bearing on where the Lakers finish in this tournament due to ties being decided by total goals scored.  The Dutchmen (5-12-0, 3-5-0 ECAC) come into the tournament having won 3 of their last 4, after an abysmal start to the year which saw them go 1-7 in October.  Leading the team in scoring is senior Anthony Rinaldi (4-7–11), while goaltender Darion Hanson has put up a 2.79 GAA and .907 SV%.

Mitens named WCHA Goaltender of the Week

Mareks Mitens earned his second career WCHA weekly honour with his performance against tenth-ranked Bowling Green this past weekend (LHB File Photo)

In what are likely the final weekly awards to be presented in the 2019 calendar year by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), Lake Superior State goaltender Mareks Mitens was named Goaltender of the Week for his performance against 10th ranked Bowling Green State this past weekend.

On Friday night, Mitens stopped 34 of 35 shots faced against the Falcons, taking the tough-luck 2-0 loss against netminder Eric Dop.  Saturday saw him allow two goals by the visitors, but picked up the win thanks to a Hampus Eriksson tally in overtime, which enabled the Lakers (6-15-1, 4-9-1 WCHA) to earn a 3-2 win and series split.

All told, Mitens made 64 of 67 possible saves (for a .955 save percentage) against a team ranked 13th in the nation in total offence.

In collecting his second ever WCHA weekly honour, Mitens beat out Austin Shaw of Ferris State, Nolan Kent of Northern Michigan and his opponent this weekend in Dop.

In addition to Mitens’ win, fellow Lakers Max Humitz and Louis Boudon were nominated for Forward of the Week and Rookie of the Week, respectively.

This was the first weekly award won by a Laker since early November, when Collin Saccoman, Boudon and Ashton Calder each won an award.

Series Preview: #10 Bowling Green at Lake Superior State

#10 Bowling Green: 11-5-1

Lake Superior State: 1-14-1

Bowling Green Recuse Win Against Chargers

The WCHA is having a great year in the national standings, with Minnesota State having been in the #1 spot for the last month or so, Bowling Green has also been up and down the rankings most of the season & the league currently has MTU and NMU receiving the most votes of teams not ranked.

The Falcons of Bowling Green are coming off an interesting weekend. After what looks to have been meltdown of epic proportions from Alabama-Huntsville Chargers on Friday night, allowing 9 unanswered goals after going up 3-0, and two players taking 10 minute misconducts within 2 minutes of each other in the second, the Chargers forced a close game Saturday night. The two battled to a 2-2 tie, with Bowling Green taking the extra conference point in 3×3 overtime.

Senior Defenseman Alec Rauhauser leads the team in points, totaling 17, followed b a pair a junior forwards, Connor Ford with 17, and Cameron Wright with 16 – 11 of those being goals, which leads the team. Junior Eric Dop continues to be their workhorse goalie with a 2.06 GAA and a .914 Save %.

Lakers Gored by Minnesota State

This season has been a rough one for our Lakers, to say the least. They took a drumming last week against the Minnesota State Mavericks, being outscored 7-1, with Saturday night being a shutout. Mareks Mitens also sits on top for Division 1 goalies for goals against, with a whopping 60, 7 more than UConn’s Thomas Vomacka, a Nashivlledraft pick, and 10 more than Wisconson’s Daniel Lebedeff. He sits 64rd out of 71 ranked goalies in Save Percentage (.886) and 64th in Goals Against Average (3.34).

Now, don’t get this wrong – I am not suggesting that this is Marek’s fault alone. In fact, it’s the opposite.  We sit tied in 8th place overall for most penalties, with 97 on the year (Alaska leads the group by a mile, with 128 penalties), resulting in 238 penalty minutes, which is good enough for 14th place. Again I say that the coaching staff either needs to come up with different combinations, or try out some kids who don’t normally play. At this point, why not see what Vida can do, for instance? Or the players need to come together and figure out who they work well with in practice and suggest using said line.

There are some bright spots, While we are tied with Maine on faceoffs lost, we are second in faceoffs won, also behind Maine. The Lakers have 620 FW with Maine taking 637. At this point last year, the Lakers were ranked 44th in shots blocked, with 168. This year, we are sitting in 27th with 193.

But this is the last weekend of play for the half, not counting the Catamount Cup just after Christmas. The Lakers are sitting alone in 7th place, just ahead of Ferris State and Alaska Anchorage by a single point, and trailing Northern Michigan by 7. Depending on how well the Lakers, Bulldogs and Chargers play this weekend (UAH is in last with 5 points, but play Ferris this weekend. UAA are off), we could, possibly, be even more on the bubble of missing playoffs. I believe we currently have the tiebreaker on Ferris, but I am not sure about UAA.

Puck drops at 7:00pm both Friday and Saturday nights here in Sault Sainte Marie. Listen to the game locally by tuning your dial to 99.5, or listen through TuneIn or other streaming methods. If you want to view the game, FloHockey is where you need to go if you cannot make it to the arena.