Sunday, November 7, 2010

Laker's Hockey Splits Weekend WIth Northern

LSSU's Domenic Monardo pushes the puck towards the net around NMU's Kory Kaunisto Saturday.

Line up all of the penalty sections of Lake Superior State University Laker (LSSU) ice hockey box scores from any given season and it is obvious which weekends the Northern Michigan University Wildcats (NMU) were in town. This weekends Upper Peninsula match-up was no different and certainly not a disappointment to fans that filled Sault Ste. Marie’s Taffy Abel Arena to watch as the CCHA opponents split the two game set.

Despite providing the Lakers with a 5 to 1 power play advantage and being out shot 43 to 29 the Wildcats managed to win the series opening game. “We’re taking penalties. we’ve been very bad at that all year” said NMU head coach Walt Kyle of the power play advantage his team gave the Lakers this weekend. He was pleased with the Wildcats penalty killing efforts though, “I thought we took a step for sure, we’re growing, we’re getting better and that’s all we can do right now.”

NMU's Tyler Gron

Wildcat junior Andrew Cherniwchan started the game one scoring beating Lakers goalie Brian Mahoney-Wilson just past the four minute mark of the first period with NMU individual points leader junior Tyler Gron picking up the Wildcats second goal eight minutes later. NMU reminder Reid Ellingson made 42 saves on the night giving up just one score to LSSU’s Domenic Monardo who took advantage of one of the Lakers four second period power play opportunities to score the Lakers only goal of the night while NMU‘s Jarrod Brown picked up their third score in the games final period with Greger Hanson tacking on a last minute empty netter to round out the night and give the Wildcats the 4 to 1 victory.

“I don’t know if our guys just thought it was going to be easy, I don’t know what they were thinking.” LSSU head coach Jim Roque said of Friday nights game. “Obviously I didn’t do a good enough job to convince them that Northern was going to show up last night (Friday) to play.”

Both coaches opted to start freshman goaltenders for Saturday nights game and LSSU’s Kevin Kapalka (2-1-1) won the penalty filled battle of the first year goalies as the Lakers came back from the Friday night loss to defeat the visiting Wildcats 3 to 1.

LSSU's Kevin Kapalka

Coming off an outstanding weekend against Ohio State NMU net minder Jared Coreau fended off 16 power play shots and 14 even strength shots giving up three scores while Kapalka stopped 21 shots forking over only one power play goal to the Wildcats Justin Florek.

LSSU's Kyle Jean

With all of the nights scoring coming in the second period LSSU freshman Kyle Jean picked up his first goal as a Laker scoring shorthanded at the 5:26 mark followed up by LSSU team captain Rick Schofield’s fourth goal of the year. Schofield’s goal started a two minute flurry that included the NMU goal by Florek and the games final score by LSSU’s Domenic Monardo, his fifth of the season.

LSSU's Zach Trotman (center) goes up over NMU's Erik
Higby to knock the puck away from the front of Laker
goaltender Kevin Kapalka (left)
 “We played good defensively tonight.” said LSSU head coach Jim Roque. “We were focused, we were intense and last night we weren’t.” “Kevin played good in net, I thought we did a good job around him, it was good, it was a real good split.”

After giving senior Brain Mahoney-Wilson the Friday night starts in goal and the Saturday night starts to freshman Kevin Kapalka over the last four weeks coach Roque is ready for a change next weekend. “Is he (Kapalka) going to play next Friday, yeah.” “He’s earned that right, he deserves an opportunity.” said Roque. “Right now I gotta play the guys that give me the best chance to win so I have to give him that chance to come back next Friday to see if he can handle it.”

Both teams will have home ice advantage next weekend against CCHA opponents as the Lakers (3-5-2) face Ferris State and the Wildcats (3-5-1) take on Bowling Green.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lakers Sweep Colgate for First Two Wins

Photos and Story - K. Johnston/Eagle FI

Colgates Francois Brisebois (front) and
LSSU's Dan Barczuk (back) chase down
 a loose puck at center ice Saturday. 

With their season off to a less than stellar beginning the Lake Superior State Lakers ice hockey team needed a confidence boost and they got it this weekend by sweeping the visiting Colgate Raiders. The Lakers took game one of the two game set narrowly defeating the Raiders 2-1 Friday then followed up Saturday with a nail biting, down to the wire 5-4 win.

Coming into the weekend the 0-4-1 Lakers (0-2-0 CCHA) were struggling to put together productive lines. “ I like our team a lot, I think its going to be really good but we just can seem to get the right guys with the right guys yet.” said Lakers head coach Jim Roque in Saturday’s post game interviews. “We just can’t seem to get the right mix.”

On Friday senior Laker goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson turned away 31 shots giving up just one goal to Colgate’s Brian Day during the first period of the game while LSSU sophomore Domenic Monardo picked up his third goal of the season on a first period power play with junior Dan Barczuk tacking on the game winner just over two minutes into the second period.

For Saturdays game two match-up Laker head coach Jim Roque switched to freshman net minder Kevin Kapalka, “I thought Brian (Mahoney-Wilson) played well last night and I wrestled with it all day” said Roque. “ I gotta play Kevin, I gotta give him some time to see if he can help us out through the season here and give Brian a break. ” Kapalka, now 1-1-0 as a Lakers goaltender, faced 30 Colgate shots on the way to his first win at Taffy Abel Arena.

LSSU goaltender Kevin Kalpalka makes a third period save Saturday night.

The Lakers game two offense included even strength goals by seniors Chad Nehring and Matt Cowie, junior Fred Cassiani and freshman Colin Campbell. Freshman Dan Radke came out of the offensive corner and through traffic with less than 15 seconds left in regulation play to bury the game winner giving the Lakers the 5-4 win and the sweep. Campbell and Radke’s goals are the first of the year for both and the first goals by any of the squads freshman so far this year.

LSSU freshman Dan Radke (14) shoots what would be the game winning shot
between the legs of Colgate defender Wade Poplawski (6) 
 “My freshmen have been very good right from day one.” Roque said when asked about his confidence in his freshman picks. “The problem with our team right now is our middle guys (sophomores and juniors) and they know it.” “That middle groups got to get going here. I just have to find places for them in some lines where they can get more touches of the puck, more opportunities to score but they gotta elevate their game too.”

LSSU individual points leader senior Rick Schofield picked up one assist each night and beat out Colgate’s Brian Day for the most face-off wins controlling the puck 41 times over the two games.

Colgate goaltender Alex Evin reaches to block a
shot during the third period Saturday night.
Colgate’s offense for the weekend included three goals by Day, with Saturday goals by sophomore Thomas Larkin and a power play score by sophomore Robbie Bourdon. The Raiders junior net minder Alex Evin fended off 26 of the 28 shots he faced on Friday and 35 of 40 he faced on Saturday.

While the Raider head back New York for a single game non league match up against Sacred Heart next weekend the Lakers will head to Miami of Ohio for their second CCHA series of the year. Headed into this week of the schedule the Miami Red Hawks were ranked in the top 5 in the nation.

Monday, July 5, 2010

2010 Rex Marquardt Memorial Softball Tournament

Lightning batter Trevor Kelly connects with a pitch during the
Championship game of the Rex Marquardt Memorial Tournament.

Six mens fast-pitch softball teams rolled into Petoskey's Ed White Feild over the holiday weekend to participate in the 40th annual Rex Marquardt Memorial Tournament and when the dust had settled on Sunday afternoon it was the Midland/Frankenmuth area Lightning taking home this years championship trophy.

Sundays championship game wound up being a rematch of the previous evenings game between the Lightning and the Marshall areas Tiffany's.  Undefeated through the weekend the Staurday matchup was the only game in the tournament where an opponent managed to keep the Lightning from winning by virtue of a mercy rule as the Tiffany's pitching and defense held the 2009 Class 'A' National Champion Lightning to just three runs.

Tiffany's first baseman Brett Szagesh looks to the umpire for a call
 after scooping a throw from the dirt during the Championship game
 of the Rex Marquardt Memorial Tournament.

The Tiffany's team was unable to contain the Lighning in Sunday's championship contest though as the reigning national champs managed to close out the game in five innings with a 7-0 shutout, mercy rule win.  Lightning pitchers Sean and Tyler Kelly struck put 5 while giving up only one hit to the Tiffany's offense while Lightning batters Adam Saylor and Tyler Kelly led the offense with one home runs each.

Lightning pitcher Sean Kelly pitches during a Saturday
night game at the Rex Marquardt Memorial Tournament.

The Lightning's Sean Kelly also captured the tournaments top pitcher kudo's with 3 wins getting credit for 14 shutout innings giving up only three hits and registering 26 strikeouts.  Bill Kunkel, also of the Lightning came away with the tournaments top batting honors hitting .444 for the weekend.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lakers Offense Frozen Out In Alaska

After being swept by the University of Alaska in Fairbanks last weekend the Lake Superior State Lakers ice hockey team falls to 9th in the CCHA standings and have probably lost any shot at home ice during the opening round of the upcoming conference playoffs.

The Lakers offense went flat last weekend scoring only one goal in the two game series. Alaska scored four unanswered goals against junior LSSU goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson on Friday then four more against senior net minder Pat Inglis on Satuday tacking on an empty net score to make that final 5 – 1.

Senior Will Acton tallied the Lakers lone goal just past the halfway point of the second period Saturday. Lake Superior’s power play went 0 for 8 in the series managing only twelve shots on goal while they had the advantage.

The Lakers head west again next weekend to close out the regular season against U.P. rival Northern Michigan. While the Lakers have been dropping down the standings Northern has been making a charge up the list. With only one loss in their last eight games the Wildcats are on a roll headed into season finale series and the playoffs.

Lakers Split With #14 Ferris State

LSSU's Rick Schofield (23) and Ferris State's Matt Case (16) chase a loose puck around
 the Ferris net during Saturday nights game at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

While the weekend didn’t end as perfectly as the Lake Superior State ice hockey team seniors probably wished it had they certainly can’t hang their heads too much about their split with the nationally ranked Ferris State Bulldogs. This weekend was the Lakers final regular season home stand and the seniors got a special thank you from fans at a senior day ceremony following Saturday’s game.

Headed into the third period of Friday nights match up leading the Lakers by two the Bulldogs were in the drivers seat and looking at a win. Lake Superior individual points leader Rick Schofield wasn’t having any of it though scoring the first Lakers goal just 44 seconds into the period. Freshman Domenic Monardo added the Lakers second and tied the score at 2 apiece at the 14:40 mark.

Ferris State’s Casey Haines put the Bulldogs back into the lead beating Lakers goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson with just 58 ticks left on the clock. Schofield answered by scoring on the Bulldog netminder Taylor Nelson ten second later to tie the score again.

With just over a half a minute left in the game the Lakers Will Acton found the back of the net with what would be the game winner for Lake Superior. “It was the most devastating loss I’ve been involved with in college hockey.” Ferris head coach Bob Daniels said of the Friday 4-3 loss.

Ferris State goaltender Pat Nagle deflects away a shot during Saturday nights
 game against Lake Superior State at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

Badly in need of a win going into Saturday night the Bulldogs started their goaltending ace Pat Nagle to see if he could shut down the Lakers. Nagle made 24 saves, including a big one that would have tied the game with less than two minutes left on the scoreboard. The junior goalie gave up just one power play goal as Ferris State battled to a 2-1 win over the home team Lakers.

LSSU's Will Acton fires a shot at the Ferris State net during Saturday
 nights game at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

The Bulldogs Mike Embach and Casey Haines accounted for the two Ferris goals while LSSU’s Will Acton picked up his second point of the weekend with the Lakers lone goal.

Noting the Bulldogs recent winless stretch coach Daniels summed up Saturday’s win as “just one we really needed”.

“I liked our effort tonight better than last night actually.” said Lakers coach Jim Roque after Saturday’s loss. “Obviously the outcome was better last night.” “Just couldn’t find a way to get another goal.”

With two weeks left in the regular CCHA season, and everyone starting to talk playoff’s, Ferris State heads to MSU next weekend while the Lakers will make the trip west to face Alaska before returning to Michigan to end their year against Northern Michigan in Marquette.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Laker Fans Honor Hockey Seniors

Even though there are still two weekends of the regular season and the CCHA playoffs yet to be contested this past weekends ice hockey series against Ferris State was the final regular season home stand for the Lakers.  At the conclusion of Saturday's game this years seniors were honored with in a Senior Night ceremony.

Below is a short slideshow of images of this years seniors from our 2009/10 coverage (photo of Mitch Edmondson courtesy of LSSU Athletic Department).

This years group of departing senior classman includes defenseman Steven Kaunisto (#5), forward Brad Cooper (#11), defenseman Simon Gysbers (#12), forward John Scrymgeour (#19), forward Pat Aubry (#20), forward Zac MacVoy (#27) and goaltenders Pat Inglis (#30) and Mitch Edmondson (#31).

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lake Superior State Hockey Swept by Miami of Ohio

For the second time in their last four games the Lakers suffered a near complete defensive breakdown Saturday to lose the final game of their weekend series against Miami of Ohio. After falling 2 – 0 Friday night Lake Superior State utilized all three of their goaltenders in their 10 – 4 Saturday night loss to the Red Hawk’s.

The Lakers offense was unable to find a way to score on the nations number one defense Friday night but their efforts held the Red Hawks to just one goal until the last second of the game when Miami’s Andy Miele scored an empty netter upping the score to 2 – 0.

After giving up goals to Miami’s Miele and Tommy Wingels in the first 8:17 of Saturday nights game Lakers starting goalie Brian Mahoney-Wilson, who had been bothered by a hip injury earlier in the year, was replaced by senior Pat Inglis. Inglis gave up five goals to the Red Hawks before the games halfway point prompting Lakers head coach Jim Roque to call on his last net minder, senior Mitch Edmondson, who played the games final 32:53 and allowed the Red Hawks last three goals of the night. The appearance was Traverse City West graduate Edmondson’s first of the year.

Even though LSSU out shot the Red Hawks 75 – 64 in the series the Lakers were unable to score their first goal of the weekend until well into the second period Saturday. Domenic Monardo tallied a shorthanded goal, his first of two scores on the night, at 10:46 of the middle period to finally put the Lakers on the board. Nick McParland and Chad Nehring added even strength goals to the Lakers offensive efforts.

Entering the weekend tied with Notre Dame for fourth in the CCHA standings the pair of losses plummets LSSU to eighth. Swept by Western Michigan, Notre Dame remains tied with the Lakers in the conference standings.

Lake Superior State returns to Sault Ste. Marie next weekend to face Ferris State in their last regular season home stand of the season. The Lakers and Bulldogs will face off at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday night at Taffy Abel Arena.