Series Preview: Ferris State at #19 Lake Superior State
Ferris State: 9-22-3
#19 Lake Superior State: 20-10-2
Ferris: What happened? Who did this to you? It was only a
few years ago that you guys were a nWCHA powerhouse that rocked our world on
the regular, and now you’re fighting for a playoff spot? On the outside looking
in, Ferris State need some miracles to happen if they want to make the playoffs.
First: They need to not lose more than 1 point on the weekend, and
Alabama-Huntsville can’t get more than one point (maybe…not sure on the
They are led in scoring by a pair of defensemen: Freshman
Cooper Zech (8-20-28) and Junior Nate Kallen (7-16-23). Rounding out the top three
is Senior forward Corey Mackin (7-15-22). Zech also leads the team in +/- with
In net, expect to see #30, Freshman Roni Salmenkangas, who
has appeared in 26 games with a 3.28 GAA and a .886 Save%. Backup goaltender is
Junior Justin Kapelmaster, with a 3.52 GAA and a .903 Save% in 12 games.
After being swept last weekend by their U.P Rivals, the Northern
Michigan University Wildcats, the Lakers look to rebound and maintain home ice
going into the playoffs. As it stands now, if LSSU can win at least one game,
and Bemidji gets only two on Friday, the Lakers will secure home ice to start
the playoffs (as long LSSU wins the tiebreaker, which I think we do). The Lakers
could get as high as second place in the WCHA, but with Bowling Green facing
off against Alabama-Huntsville, that seems unlikely.
(tl;dr: Root for Alabama, Minnesota State & Michigan
Tech..assuming we go to sweep the weekend that is)
Seeing as this is also Senior Weekend for our outgoing
seniors, it seems fitting that two of them are on top of the scoring list,
those being Diego Cuglietta (20-14-34) and Anthony Nellis(14-16-30), with Junior
Max Humitz(14-16-30) bringing up third. Diego had a bit of a slump last
weekend, not getting any points against the Wildcats, so he is still 7 points
out of being a 100 point scorer. Luckily, he’ll have at least 4 more games to get
The last few weeks have seen a goalie rotation. I would
expect to see Senior Nick Kossoff out there at least Saturday night, for Senior
Night, but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if he played the whole weekend. At
this point in the year, both Kossoff and Mitens have similar Save %, but Mitens
eeks ou ta slightly better GAA (but that is to be expected).
Rounding out our seniors this year is Steven Ruggerio, former US Gold Medalist for World Juniors, Providence Friar and current Anaheim Ducks draft pick. He has totaled 10 points thus far for the Lakers, and also leads the team in penalties, with 32 total penalties for 64 minutes.
And I can’t forget about Gage Torrel, though when the original article went up, I did. Right out of the gate anyone could see Gage was going to be something special for this team, and he was. Gage, Diego and Anthony were all on track to potentially get to that 100 point mark this season, but after being snakebitten for most of last season, Gage slowly fell out of that race, though he has posted an impressive 24 points this season.
Senior Night is always hard. Having watched most of these
guys over the last four years, it can be hard to say goodbye, especially this
year’s batch with and the talent that is leaving this team. Each and every one
deserves the applause they’ll get during the ceremonies. Most years it is
bitter sweet, however. Either because the team missed the playoffs, or because they’re
headed to Mankato where we hadn’t won at, ever.
But this year is different. This year hope is in the air. We
are looking to have home ice for the first time in years, and it feels like we can
win a round too. We have a win against every
team in the WCHA, so that locker room knows they can beat anybody. If I
dare peek ahead, playoff wins also count towards Pairwise, so there’s still an
outside shot that the Laker could make their first NCAA appearance in over 20
years even without a playoff championship, seeing as they are still #20 in the Pairwise.
But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, as we have to take each weekend
one night a time – it just feels good to be optimistic.
As always, the puck drops at 7:07pm both Friday and Saturday nights. Senior night will also be held Saturday before the game. 99.5 YesFM will carry the game locally, as will their stream on Yesfm.net, or through the TuneIn App. Flohockey.tv is your source for WCHA hockey this season, so those of you who can’t make it to the arena can watch the game live there.
Updated: Senior night celebrations are before the game Saturday night. Also included Gage Torrel as part of the senior crew since I somehow missed him last night.