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.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

It's Super Bowl Time!

Yes, we know, the pre-game show this year started sometime Thursday morning, at least it certainly feels that way.

Where is your favorite place to hang out and enjoy the game?

Leave us a comment to let us know!  Come back on Monday to vote for your favorite Super bowl commercial on our sports poll!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lakers Ice Hockey To Face #1 Miami of Ohio This Weekend

After a week off the Lake Superior State Lakers ice hockey team heads south to face the Miami of Ohio Red Hawks in Oxford, Ohio. Miami is currently ranked number one in the nation and are firmly situated atop the CCHA standings a full ten points ahead of number two Michigan State. Lake Superior remains in the fourth position, tied with Norte Dame.

The Coach Jim Roque will have to direct the first game of the weekend without the teams individual points leader Rick Schofield who has to sit out a game as the result of a penalty in the Lakers last game against Notre Dame. The rest of the Lakers squad will have to find a way to get the puck past one of the best defenses anywhere. Miami goaltenders Cody Reichard and Connor Knapp are first and second respectively on the CCHA list of lowest goals against average and first and third respectively in win percentage. Add on a 90% penalty kill and the Red Hawks are tough to beat.

Miami is not invincible though. Chinks in their armor this year include losses to Michigan State, Bemidji State and a pair to Robert-Morris who the Lakers swept the weekend before they beat the Red Hawks.

While most media sources acknowledge that the Lake Superior State is having a good year they don’t seem to expect them to finish very strong. Win or lose this series could be one of the biggest of the season for the Lakers. Wins or ties confirm that they are indeed a team worthy of national notice and would be a major confidence boost while losses could be the motivation they need to head into their last three match ups of the season and the playoffs having something to prove.

Game audio is available through WYSS, 99.5 YES FM via their website.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

X Gamer Pastrana Wins Sno-Drift Road Rally

Open class winner Subaru Rally Team USA's Travis Pastrana and Christian Edstrom drive toward the finish of the fifteenth stage of the 2010 Sno-Drift road rally just ouside Atlanta, MI.

January 31, 2010 - X games favorite Travis Pastrana got the full rock star treatment from the hundreds of spectators from across the Great Lakes region who turned out to watch him and his Subaru Rally Team USA partner Christian Edstrom win the 2010 Sno-Drift road rally race in Atlanta, Michigan. Road rally racing is considered to be an extreme sport and, according to the events sanctioning body Rally America, it will be a part of the 2010 Summer X-Games. Teams are required to drive street legal cars which in the case of the Sno-Drift means no studded tires.

With fans filling the designated spectator areas Pastrana, along with a field of international drivers, tackled the two day, twenty stage rally that wound its way through 130 miles of back roads in Montmorency county this past Friday and Saturday. Extremely icy road conditions caused by recent warmer than normal weather were the big news of the weekend. The three top open class finishers all made note of the treacherous conditions and their effect on the race. “It’s literally like driving on a frozen pond.” said driver William Bacon between stages “in sections, its gotta be two inches thick of just ice.”

Open class second place finishers the Rockstar sponsored Antoine L'Estage and
 Nathalie Richard drive toward the finish of the fifteenth stage of the 2010
Sno-Drift road rally just ouside Atlanta, MI.

“Trying not to get to aggressive was the key for us” said Pastrana who finished just over a minute and a half ahead of the Mitsubishi of second place finishers Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard and more than six minutes ahead of the third place team of William Bacon and Peter Watt. Pastrana credited Friday’s seven and a half mile long “Ranch” stage as one of the key sections of the race. “Every year it’s got that one stage that feels like a motocross track. It’s the only time that I can really feel like I can take my background from motocross and really be able to judge where the ruts are.” “It does come down a lot to just going with your gut and at the end of that stage we almost doubled our lead on Antoine (L’Estage). It went from really a push, push, push rally to a okay, lets not make a mistake and see if you can make up the ground kind of rally.”

Fan favorite Ken Block, driving one of the events few American made cars, won the rallies opening leg but was unable to finish Friday and dropped out of the competition after suffering suspension damage while transiting between stages. “Ken always comes out of the blocks hot” said Pastrana at the post race press conference “when he gets a lead he’s almost impossible to catch. We were curious to see how the Ford was going to hold up and how he was going to adapt to it.”

Two Wheel Drive competitors Chris Duplessis and Catherine Woods look for traction
 on the edge of a snowbank as they head towards the finish of the fifteenth stage of the
 2010 Sno-Drift road rally just ouside Atlanta, MI.

Other notable finishers included Terry and Tim Hansen who finished fifth overall and top in the Super Production class as well as two wheel drive driver Christopher Duplessis and his partner Catherine Woods. With almost all of the two wheel drive cars in the event finishing at the bottom of the final results list Duplessis surprised even Rally America officials finishing eleventh overall ahead of more then half the field four wheel drive cars that completed the race.

Rally America’s national championship series moves to Salem, Missouri February 26th and 27th for it’s second scheduled event, the 100 Hundred Acre Wood rally.  Complete results available at