Saturday, October 31, 2009

Michigan Tops LSSU for First Conference Win

Michigan's Matt Rust (left) wins the opening faceoff from LSSU's Fred Cassiani(right) at the start of the Wolverines Friday night game against the Lakers at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

The #4 ranked Michigan Wolverine ice hockey team lived up to the reputation of their team namesake in their first CCHA conference game against the Lake Superior State Lakers. Using team speed and a tenacious offensive strategy the Wolverines upset the home team Lakers 5 to 1 Friday night in Sault Ste. Marie.

Michigan's Carl Hagelin and Louie Caporusso chase the puck into the offensive zone during the Wolverines Friday night game against the LSSU Lakers at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

The maize and blue applied almost constant pressure on the Lakers defense throughout the first period of play that resulted in three scores. Junior forwards Scooter Vaughan, Carl Hagelin and Louie Caporusso all managed to beat LSSU goalkeeper Brian Mahoney-Wilson during the first twenty minutes of play leaving the junior net minder visibly frustrated.

Michigan junior Matt Rust added another U of M goal in the second period and senior Luke Glendening capped off the Wolverines scoring with his first goal of the year late in the third.

LSSU goalie Brian Mahoney-Wilson looks up at the overhead scoreboard after giving up a fifth goal to the visiting Michigan Wolverines Friday at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

The Wolverine attack put the Lakers back on their heels and other than a couple of short bursts in the third period they never seemed to get back on an even footing. Even with six power play opportunities several passing errors and some moments of confusion in the defensive end stifled the Lakers offense and did little help the their efforts to keep the Wolverines offense out of the net.

Michigan goaltender Bryan Hogan sweeps aside a shot during the Wolverines Friday win over the LSSU Lakers at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

The only LSSU goal came less than three minutes into the third period when Lakers sophomore Brian Cooper scored during a 5 on 3 advantage. The goal was the only of the 25 shots faced by Michigan goalie Bryan Hogan to find the back of the net.

The Lakers and Wolverines will face off again tonight at Taffy Abel Arena at 7:05 p.m.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

LSSU Gets National Poll Vote as They Prepare for U of M

LSSU goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson concentrates on a rolling puck during the third period of the Lakers win over the OSU Buckeyes. (Eagle FI - FILE PHOTO)

Six games into their season and preparing to face the Michigan Wolverines this weekend the Lakers, at 4-2-0 overall, find themselves atop the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) standings and maybe starting to get a little bit of national notice. LSSU received one vote in the latest College Sports Division I Men's Poll which now ranks four CCHA teams in the top 20 in the nation including the visiting Wolverines at #5.

Lining up the Lakers and Wolverines on paper it’s hard to give either team a clear edge. Based on poll rankings Michigan has had the tougher of the two schedules but LSSU holds a small edge in points scored per game and an advantage in power play conversions. The conversion advantage could become a factor since the Wolverines have been averaging over seventeen minutes in penalties per game compared to the Lakers nine.

The Wolverines, in what will be their first conference game, will roll into Taffy Abel Arena Friday coming off a tough loss to #4 ranked Boston University. This could make the job of proving preseason forecasters wrong about the Lakers potential that much harder. A LSSU win this weekend might make it difficult for poll voters not to include the Lakers in the national top twenty conversations.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Buckeyes Top Lakers and Split Weekend Series

After dropping their Friday game against Lake Superior State in the Lakers Taffy Abel Arena the Ohio State Buckeyes came back Saturday to claim a 4 – 3 win and split the weekend series at one game apiece.

The Lakers picked up power play goals from junior Chad Nehring and senior Steven Kaunisto along with an even strength score from junior forward Will Acton. Senior Simon Gysbers picked up two assists on the night.

Even though the Lakers gave the Buckeyes several power play opportunities LSSU starting goalie Pat Inglis allowed only one shorthanded goal which was to OSU sophomore Matt Bartkowski during a 5 on 3. The Buckeyes picked up even strength goals from juniors Sergio Somma and Peter Boyd as well as the eventual game winner from junior Patrick Schafer.

The win is the Buckeyes second of the season with their only other victory coming against highly ranked Denver. The loss brings LSSU's record to 4-2-0 overall and 1-1-0 in the conference.

The Lakers will continue their home stand next week against the Michigan Wolverines who are 2-2-0 while the Buckeyes will travel to Notre Dame.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lakers Claim First Conference Win

OSU's Peter Boyd brings the puck up ice ahead of LSSU's Domenic Monardo Friday night at Taffy Abel Arena.

With only one win so far this season the fast and physical Ohio State Buckeyes went in to Taffy Abel Arena Friday night and tried unsuccessfully to end the Lake Superior State Lakers winning streak at three. The 3 to 2 victory moves LSSU’s record to 4-1-0 overall and gave the Lakers their fist conference win of the season.

OSU's Sergio Somma (44) and linemate Corey Toy (4) head toward the team bench after scoring the first goal in the Buckeyes Friday night game against the LSSU Lakers at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

The Buckeyes drew first blood when just 37 seconds into the second period Sergio Somma scored his first goal of the season with assists from Zac Dalpe and Corey Toy. Matt Bartkowski scored unassisted in the final ten second of the same period to close out OSU’s offensive efforts.

OSU goaltender Dustin Carlson (right) prepares to handle an incoming shot while LSSU's Chad Nehring (left) tries to get into position at the top of the crease second period of the Buckeyes 3 -2 loss to the LSSU Lakers at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

After failing to capitalize on a 1:44 five on three chance in the second period when first OSU’s Peter Boyd then Shane Sims went to the box for separate hooking calls LSSU’s Simon Gysbers beat OSU goalie Dustin Carlson just after Boyd had returned to the ice. Gysbers goal, assisted by goalie Brian Mahoney-Wilson, evened the score at one a piece.

LSSU goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson stretches to make one of his 32 saves during the Lakers win over the OSU Buckeyes Friday night at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

After falling behind 2-1 at the close of the second Laker Steven Kaunisto scored his first of the season to again even the score only twenty seconds into the third. LSSU pressed hard in the offensive end for most of the third and Lakers starting goalie Brian Mahoney-Wilson stopped 14 shots on goal during the period to hold the OSU scoring total at two. With just over twenty seconds left in the game LSSU’s Rick Schofield went stick side on Dustin Carlson for the game winner bringing LSSU fans in attendance to their feet.

LSSU's Rick Schofield (right) celebrates with linemates, including Zac MacVoy (27) after scoring the game winning goal Friday night at Taffy Abel Arena.

Laker Zac MacVoy picked up his fourth and fifth assists of the year getting credit on both the Kaunisto and Schofield goals.

OSU's Cory Schneider (center) takes a hard hit from LSSU's Will Acton (right) that pushes him into the back of teamate Brandon Martell (5) during the first period of the Buckeyes Friday night game against the LSSU Lakers at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

The hard fought Firday night match is sure to boost the Lakers confidence and strengthen the Buckeyes resolve headed into tonight’s contest.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

LSSU Takes Two From Canisius

Lake Superiior State University goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson watches a rebounding blocked shot go airborne during the third period of the Lakers Saturday night game against the Canisius Griffins.

If score early and better defense where the two things coach Jim Roque told his team prior to the start of Saturday’s game against Buffalo New York’s Canisius University they were listening. Less than five and a half minutes after the opening face-off the Lakers found themselves up by two over the visiting Griffins and junior goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson was on his way to recording his first shut out of the year.

Lake Superiior State University's Tyson Hobbins (center) celebrates with line mates Fred Cassiani (13) and Kyle Pobur (6) after scoring in the first period of the Lakers Saturday night game against the Canisius Griffins.

Just four minutes and twenty seconds into the game the Lakers were able to capitalize on an early power play opportunity when junior year forward Will Acton caught Canisius goal tender Dan Morrison out of position for the Lakers first score. Less than a minute later junior Tyson Hobbins found the net during a fight for the puck in the crease putting the Lakers ahead by two.

Starting the second period with one player already in the penalty box the Lakers defense was forced to step to the plate on the power play kill when just thirty five seconds into the period senior Simon Gysbers also went to the box on a boarding call. For seventeen seconds the Griffins had 5 on 3 but could not score either then or on the balance of the Gysbers penalty.

Lake Superiior State University's Zac MacVoy (27) winds up for a shot on Canisius Griffins goaltender (out of frame left) Dan Morrison as teammate Fred Cassiani (13) looks on during the second period of the Lakers Saturday night game against the Griffins.

LSSU got their own chance to take advantage of a 5 on 3 when Canisius senior Peter MacDougall was joined in the penalty box by senior Carl Hudson. Hudson picked up his second major penalty and second game misconduct of the season giving the Lakers almost six minutes of power play opportunity but they were unable to capitalize.

The Lakers finished off their scoring on a Simon Gysbers goal with just over two minutes left in the second period upping the score to what would be the final, 3 – 0.

Canisius Griffins Vince Scarsella (left) fires a shot at Lake Superiior State University goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson during third period action of the Lakers/Griffins Saturday night game at Taffy Abel Arena.
Even with the only power play opportunity in the third period Canisius was unable to beat LSSU netkeeper junior Brian Mahoney-Wilson. Mahoney-Wilson fended off nine Griffin shots on goal in the third and racked up first shutout of the season bringing his and the teams record for the year to 3-1-0.

The Lakers now have six days to prepare for their first conference opponent, the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Buckeyes and Lakers will face off for two games next weekend at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

LSSU Takes Home Opener Over Canisius

LSSU Lakers Ben Power (#22) and Canisius Griffins Chris Barrea (rear) chase a loose puck into the corner during the third period of the Griffins 5-4 loss to Lakers Friday night in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

With the score even at four goals a side in the third period it looked like there was a chance that the fifth meeting of the Lake Superior State Lakers and the Canisius Griffins could have ended regulation play the same as the previous four, tied. That was until almost eight minutes into the period when the Lakers Brad Cooper put in the winning goal giving LSSU a 5-4 home opener win over their non-conference foes Friday night in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Canisius Griffin goalkeeper Dan Morrison (#30) prepares for a shot from a charging LSSU Lakers Will Acton (#21) during the second period of the Griffins 5-4 loss to Lakers Friday night in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

The Lakers came out charging hard in the first period at times looking like they were on a continuous power play keeping the Griffins on their heels and outshooting them 14 to 5. LSSU went into the locker room at the first intermission up by two with goals from Tyson Hobbins and John Scymgeour.

Canisius Griffins Cory Conacher (19) gets congratulated by the Griffins bench after scoring his third goal of the second period against the LSSU Lakers Friday night in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

The Lakers drew first blood less than two minutes into the second when Brad Cooper scored the first of his two goals for the night but the Griffins Cory Conacher and Vince Scarsella took over the scoring from there. Conacher managed to get by Lakers netkeeper Brian Mahoney-Wilson three times in the period with assists from Scarsella on each giving him a hat trick and evening the score at three with just under four minutes left in the period.

LSSU’s Domenic Monardo beat Canisius goal tender Dan Morrison less than a minute into the third and put the Lakers up 4-3. Just over six minutes later the Griffins Ryan Klusendorf scored from between the face off circles to tie the score for the second time of the night. Less than forty five seconds later Brad Cooper scored his second, and the game winner, from just outside the goal crease.

LSSU Lakers goalkeeper Brian Mahoney-Wilson during third period action of the Lakers 5-4 win over the Canisius Griffins Friday night in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

Canisius averaged over nine penalties per game in their first two outings of the year but with only three penalties handed out to Canisius and two to LSSU during the course of the game power plays were not a big factor for either team. Canisius goaltender Dan Morrison faced a total of 38 shots while the Lakers Brian Mahoney-Wilson was challenged only 17 times.

Canisius Griffin Carl Hudson (#2) gets his feet taken out from under him by a sliding LSSU Lakers Zac MacVoy (right) during the closing minutes of the Griffins 5-4 loss to Lakers Friday night in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

The Lakers and Griffins will face off again tonight, Saturday, to complete their two game series at 7:05 p.m. at LSSU’s Taffy Abel Arena.

Friday, October 16, 2009

LSSU Hockey Home Opener

The Lake Superior State University Lakers will host Buffalo, New York’s Canisius tonight at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie. One of the highlights of LSSU’s Great Lakes State Weekend the game will be the Laker's 2009/10 season home opener.

The Canisius Griffins have matched up against the Lakers, 1-1 so far this season, just four times in the past and all four meetings have resulted in ties at the end of regulation play. The Griffins, also 1-1, should provide the Lakers with a good challenge and confidence building opportunity. With most of its 08/09 squad returning to the ice this year Canisius has showed enough promise to garner at least one vote in the College Sports Division I Men's Poll.

After losing three of his four top scorers from last year this weekends non-conference games might be a great chance for Lakers coach Jim Roque to fine tune his offense before facing conference foes Ohio State next weekend.