Month: November 2019

Series Preview: Michigan Tech Huskies at Lake Superior State

Michigan Tech: 3-6-0

Lake Superior State: 4-8-0

Slow Start for the Huskies

The almighty Michigan Tech Huskies, who have been near the top of the standings year in and out are off to a bit of a slow start this season. After sweeping OOC opponents Robert Morris at RMU, the dogs have only won one game in the last 7 games, and that was against the then #17 Bowling Green. All the losses have been within 3 points (most of them 1 or 2).

Led behind the bench by former Laker Joe Shawhan, who is in his third season, and are captained by Raymond Brice, with Alex Smith and Seamus Donohue serving as alternates. Interesting enough, Brice has played in only 5 games for the Huskies, with 0 goals and 0 assists, but with 1 penalty.

In terms of scoring, the boys in Blue and Yellow are led by sophomore forward Alex Broetzman, who leads the team with 7 points. Following behind him is Parker Saretsky, a freshman who has 6 points, then Colin Swoyer, a sophomore defenseman with 5 points, all of them assists.

There seems to be a bit of a battle in net, with Tech playing three different ones. Senior Mat Jurusik leads with 5 games played, a 2-3-0 record, with a GAA of 2.04 and a .926 Save%. Robbie Beydoun, a junior, has appeared in 4 games, a 1-2-0 record, a 2.16 GAA and a .915 Save%. Finally, Freshman Blake Pietila has shown up in 2 games, a 0-1-0 record, GAA of 1.54 and a Save% of .923.

Choppy Seas Hinder Lakers

Some of us were wondering if maybe last years success was a fluke. Coming out of the gate a sweeping Merrimack, then playing two very close games to losses against the then #2 Denver Pioneers helped quite that crowd down a bit, since while we started the year 2-2-0, those two Denver losses were closer than the score appears to be. However, four straight losses against B1G teams brought morale down. Even the sweep of Ferris State has been hindered by the slaughtering the Lakers took against Bemidji State last weekend, being outscored 12-2.

The blue line has proved to be a bit porous, and the goaltending has been very hot and cold. Combine all this with bad turnovers and you have yourself a bad time.  Maybe it’s time to see what freshman goaltender Seth Eisele has to offer in net.

The Humitz Road-To-100-Points total is currently sitting at 87 total career points.

Puck drops at 7:00pm both Friday and Saturday nights. Listen to the game locally by tuning your dial to 99.5, or listen through TuneIn or other streaming methods. If you want to watch, but are away from town, FloHockey has all in-conference WCHA games for a nominal fee.

Beavers pound Lakers on road

Alex Ambrosio (seen here against Denver) had one of the two Laker goals in Bemidji this weekend, as Lake Superior fell by scores of 7-1 and 5-1 (Mike Barrett/LHB)

A rough weekend in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) play has Lake Superior State searching for their first road win of the 2019-20 season.

Quite a departure from their road mark of last season.

On the road to Bemidji State, the Beavers took no prisoners Friday night with a 7-1 drubbing of the Lakers.  The following night saw much of the same, albeit with a more forgiving 5-1 final score.

Max Humitz’ 6th goal of the season, which came midway thru the 3rd period on Friday, kept Zach Driscoll from shutting the Lakers out completely.  Alex Ambrosio had Lake Superior’s lone tally on Saturday, his 2nd of the year.

Mareks Mitens started Friday night, but was chased after two periods and five goals.  Roman Bengert allowed two in relief during the final period.  Lake Superior was outshot 41-27 in a game that only had two penalties all night — one to Bemidji State’s Tyler Kirkup and one to Lake Superior’s Alec Semandel.

Saturday night saw Bengert getting the start from head coach Damon Whitten.  A 3 goal 2nd period for the Beavers led to, in an odd reversal of fortune from the previous night, Bengert being pulled for Mitens.  Shots were 26-19 in favour of Bemidji State at the end of the night.

One statistical category that the Lakers had going for them was faceoffs.  Lake Superior was 35-32 in the circle on Friday, and went 39-22 on Saturday.

This coming weekend will see the Lakers hosting Michigan Tech.  Game time on Friday and Saturday is at 7 p.m. EST.

Three Lakers garner Player of the Week accolades

Louis Boudon challenges Ferris State goaltender Carter McPhail on a breakaway chance on Saturday night. Boudon was one of three Lakers this week to earn WCHA Player of the Week honours.

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) today announced its selections for the weekly Player of the Week honors.  Three Laker players were recognized by the league for their contributions on the ice during this past weekend against Ferris State.

Earning Forward of the Week was sophomore Ashton Calder.  Calder, a native of Sault Ste. Marie, had 2 goals and 3 assists on the weekend.  Both goals came in the third period on Friday night, with one on the power play.  Saturday saw 2 of his 3 assists for the weekend, with both coming on the power play.  The sophomore beat out a host of other players around the league, with Alaska Anchorage freshman Nick Wicks coming the closest to Calder point-wise, with 4 assists.  For Calder, this was the third time he had been named a player of the week.

Collin Saccoman, named Defenceman of the Week, was one of eight players nominated throughout the WCHA.  The Laker co-captain had 3 goals on the weekend, with both Saturday tallies on the power play.  Adding an assist on Friday night brought his weekend point total to 4.  Saccoman, a senior who hails from Stillwater, Minnesota, earned three Defenceman of the Week awards last season, along with two Defenceman of the Month accolades.

Freshman forward Louis Boudon became the first Laker this season to be named Rookie of the Week.  A forward from Grenoble, France, Boudon had an assist on Friday before piecing together a 3 point game Saturday night.  Four other freshmen were nominated for Rookie of the Week, including an opponent from the weekend in defenceman Jake Willets, who had 3 assists for Ferris State.

The only award the Lakers did not claim this week was Goaltender of the Week, which was won by Alaska’s Anton Martinsson.

Saccoman’s two goals propel Lakers to sweep of Ferris State

Collin Saccoman celebrates his second goal of the night, as the Lakers sweep their opening league series against Ferris State with a 4-3 Saturday night win (Mike Barrett/LHB)

Collin Saccoman had two goals and the Lake Superior State Lakers held off another late Ferris State rally as the Lakers swept the weekend series with the Bulldogs in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) play with a 4-3 Saturday night win at the Taffy Abel Arena.

For the Lakers (4-6-0, 2-0-0 WCHA), it was their first sweep of Ferris State (2-5-0, 0-4-0 WCHA) on home ice since November 12-13, 2010.  The Lakers swept the Bulldogs with 1-0 and 4-0 scores.  Last season, Lake Superior managed its first road sweep of the Bulldogs since 1993.

Like the Friday night matchup, the first period saw no scoring.  Shots were much more even than they were on the previous night, with the Bulldogs holding a slim 13-12 margin after one period.  Laker goaltender Mareks Mitens and Ferris State netminder Carter McPhail (a former Soo Eagle) matched zeroes for over a period.

Lake Superior opened the scoring when Ferris State’s Dominic Lutz was given a 5 minute major and game misconduct for kneeing Jacob Nordqvist.  Nordqvist did not return to the game, but Saccoman earned a goal on the ensuing power play.

Ferris State struck back a mere 15 seconds later when Dallas Tulik, serving the Lutz penalty, exited the box and got in alone on Mareks Mitens.  Lake Superior reclaimed the lead late in the period, when freshman Louis Boudon notched his second goal of the season.

The third period began with another Ferris State player getting the gate, as Coale Norris was called for checking from behind, taking Saccoman down in the process.  As they did earlier, the Lakers made the Bulldogs pay, as Saccoman returned and put Lake Superior up 3-1.

The Lakers got another goal, this time from Pete Veillette, extending the lead to three goals.  Veillette’s first of the season came with under 11:00 to play.

Just as they did on Friday, however, the Bulldogs put together a rally that made things interesting.  Tulik scored his second of the night with 4:12 remaining.  Then, with McPhail pulled and Max Humitz in the box, Ferris State climbed within one goal.

Desperately pushing for overtime, the visitors threw everything they could at Mitens, but the native of Ventspils, Latvia, held strong, ensuring a 4-3 final score.

Mitens made 20 saves on 23 shots, while McPhail stopped 33 of 37 he faced.

Prior to the game, the Lakers honoured Sault Ste. Marie mayor Tony Bosbous on the ice.  Bosbous has served as mayor since 2001 and elected not to seek reelection.  His term will end on Election Day.

Ferris State will host the Lakers down at Ewigleben Ice Arena at the end of the regular season.  With the setup of the WCHA schedule, the Lakers and Bulldogs always play four games a season, including a series to conclude the year.

Lake Superior is home in two weeks time, welcoming the Michigan Tech Huskies to town.  Both Friday and Saturday games will comme-nce at 7 p.m. EST.

Lakers snap skid with wild win over Ferris State

The Lakers celebrate the overtime winner by Max Humitz (right). Lake Superior won 5-4, snapping a six game losing streak (Mike Barrett/LHB)

Coming off of a four game road trip that saw them come up fruitless, Lake Superior State needed a bounce back win to snap a six game losing streak as they entered Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) play.

The Ferris State Bulldogs did not allow the drought to end quietly.

The Lakers (3-6-0, 1-0-0 WCHA) held a 2 goal lead late in the 3rd period, but two quick goals by the Bulldogs (2-4-0, 0-3-0 WCHA) forced overtime, where Max Humitz found the back of the net to claim a 5-4 victory at the Taffy Abel Arena.

Lake Superior came out hungry in the opening period, peppering Bulldogs netminder Roni Salmenkangas with many quality shots, including a crossbar.  The native of Tampere, Finland, held off the Lakers’ onslaught.  His goaltending counterpart across the ice, Mareks Mitens, stopped all 6 shots he saw in the opening period, sending the teams back to the dressing room tied 0-0 after one period.

After holding their respective opponents scoreless, it was Salmenkangas who blinked first.  Laker defenceman Mitch Oliver drilled a shot on net that Salmenkanags initially stopped, but gave up a big rebound that found the stick of sophomore forward Pete Veillette, who hit the wide open net, breaking the scoreless deadlock.

Ferris State did not wait long to respond, as Jake Transit scored his 2nd goal of the season, getting the Bulldogs on the board.  A mere 2:02 later, Jason Tackett capitalized on a power play, allowing Ferris State to take their first lead of the night.

Late in the second period, the Lakers found themselves with a two man advantage, as Marshall Moise was off for cross checking, while the Bulldogs were serving a bench minor for too many men on the ice.  Two posts spared Ferris State from suffering any damage on the attempt, however, as the visitors held a slim 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Lake Superior amped up the pressure on Salmenkangas and the Bulldog D corps as the 3rd period wore on, with Ashton Calder breaking thru for the Lakers, tying the score at 2 goals apiece with 13:36 remaining.

The Lakers had a golden opportunity to retake the lead midway thru the 3rd period when Ferris State’s Oskar Andren closed his hand around the puck while standing in the crease and made a hand pass, which led to a Laker penalty shot.  Max Humitz took the shot, but was stopped by Salmenkangas.

Although they failed to convert on the penalty shot, Lake Superior kept pressing, and a shot by Collin Saccoman from the right circle was tipped by Will Reidell, putting the Lakers ahead 3-2.

A throwing the stick penalty was assessed to Ferris State’s Connor Fedorek, which enabled Lake Superior to go up by two goals, as Calder potted his second of the night with 5:01 left to play.

Down but not out, the Bulldogs responded over a minute later when Brendan MacLaren cut the Ferris State deficit to one goal.  Showing a never-say-die attitude, the team from Big Rapids found the tying goal thanks to Tackett cashing in again, which sent the contest to overtime, deadlocked at 4.

Overtime saw Lake Superior dominate, outshooting the Bulldogs 6-1.  With under 30 seconds to play, Humitz found the back of the net, sending the crowd into a frenzy.

Though he was not tested as often as Salmenkangas, Mitens made a number of big saves himself, including a huge one with under 3:00 to play to preserve the then-lead, tallying up 24 by the end of the game.  Salmenkangas made 35 saves on 40 shots in defeat.

The series will conclude on Saturday night with a 7 p.m. faceoff.

Series Preview: Ferris State at Lake Superior State

Ferris: 2-3-0 Overall

Lake Superior State: 2-6-0 Overall

First, I would like to apologize for the lack of previews over the last couple of weeks. For the Michigan series, I was still getting over the sickness I got while on vacation. Then last week a stick of RAM decided to die in my PC, which made pretty much anything that I opened became corrupted, and that didn’t get fixed until late Friday. So, let’s get back on track:

Bulldogs In the Doghouse

The start of the Bulldog’s season has been an interesting one. Since starting NCAA play, they’ve beat Colgate in a best-of-one, and split with Miami in Miami before getting swept by conference rivals Northern Michigan on their own ice.

They are led by senior defenseman Nate Kallen with senior forward Dominic Lutz being named as an alternative captain. Bob Daniels also returns for his 28th season as bench boss. Roni Salmenkangas, the Finnish sophomore goalie looks to be their workhorse, playing in 4 games, with Carter McPhail, a Michigan native having played in two games looking like the backup in the early part of the season, although other than the two wins that Salmenkangas has posted, their stat lines look very similar.

Lake State Heading Toward Dry Dock

While there may  have been a number of fans who though the Lakers were going to come out swinging, starting off where they left off last year, I was not really one of them. Excited to see what would happen? Sure. But losing the likes of Nellis and Cuglietta scoring was going to depend greatly on who could step – would it be sophomore Mucha? One of the Freshman? So far Humitz and Erikson lead the pack with 8 total points, followed closely by Ashton Calder and Collin Saccoman, each of whom have 6 total points.

Looking at the start of this season, it has not been easy on the Lakers. After sweeping Merrimack to start the season, they’ve dropped six straight, all against non-conference opponents and two ranked teams. In those six games, they’ve been outscored 26-13. With this week starting conference play, the rest of the team has to step up and contribute more.

Both games this weekend drop the puck at 7:00pm EST. Bill Crawford will have the call on 99.5 YesFM, both locally and streaming online. WCHA Partner FloHockey will have the livestream from the Taffy Abel Arena if you want to watch the game but can’t make it to the arena.