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Lakers to Host WCHA Rival Michigan Tech this Weekend

Lakers to Host WCHA Rival Michigan Tech this Weekend

Game Notes 

FOR STARTERS                                                                                                                    

● Lake Superior State will host the Michigan Tech Huskies on Friday, Nov. 15 at 7:07 p.m.

and on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 7:07 p.m. for a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series at the Taffy Abel Arena.

● Last weekend, the Lakers dropped a pair of road games to the Bemidji State Beavers by scores of 7-1 and 5-1 at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn.

● LSSU's record sits at 4-8-0 overall and 2-2-0-0 in WCHA play after opening the season against some of the NCAA's stiffest competition including two games against No. 2 Denver, a pair of road games against the Michigan Wolverines as well as a road series against the No. 4/5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Lakers began conference play with two wins against Ferris State on Nov. 1 and 2.

• Lakers Head Coach Damon Whitten is in his sixth season behind the bench in Sault Ste. Marie. Whitten has led the team to a 70-112-19 record, including 23 wins in 2018-19.

• Lake Superior is coming off of the program's best season in 23 years, posting a 23-12-2 overall record and finishing fourth in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA).

LAST WEEKEND RECAP                                                                                                            

● In the first game of the series against Bemidji, the Lakers fell behind by seven goals before senior forward Max Humitz scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season to ruin the Beavers shutout bid in the game.

● Humitz leads all current Lakers in career points with 87 (48G, 39A) in 120 career games, which also ranks first among his teammates. The Livonia, Mich. native leads all WCHA players in shots on goal this season with 41.

● The goal was assisted by junior Hampus Eriksson who recorded his team leading 12th point and 10th assist on the play. The Swedish forward extended his point streak to a career-high six games with a goal and six assists in that span with the point against the Beavers.

● Eriksson leads all WCHA players in assists with 10, and has assisted on all four Laker game winning goals this season.

Mareks Mitens started the game in goal for the Lakers and made 24 saves through the first two periods. Roman Bengert would start the third period for the Lakers and finished the game with 10 saves against the Beavers.

Alex Ambrosio scored the goal for the Lakers in Saturday's game at Bemidji, bringing his season total to two goals, which is a new career high for the junior forward. Ambrosio has recorded four points in 12 games for the Lakers this season which doubles his previous career total from his first two years at LSSU.

Yuki Miura and Bryan Basilico would add the assists on Ambrosio's goal in Saturday's game. Miura has continued to set new highs in assists and points this season with seven points through 12 games. The assist marks the first point of the 2019-20 season for Basilico, a senior forward.

● For the second consecutive game, Bengert and Mitens would each see time in goal for the Lakers. Bengert got the start in net and played forty minutes making 16 saves against the Beavers while Mitens made five saves in the relief effort.

● Mitens leads all WCHA netminders with 250 saves this season, as no other goalie in the league has more than 211.

LAKERS VS. MICHIGAN TECH                                                                                       

●The Lakers and Michigan Tech Huskies will meet for the first time this season. Last season, the team's played each other three times, including the Great Lakes Invitational on Dec. 31, 2018 and a two-game home series later in the season. The Lakers would win all three contests, outscoring the Huskies by a margin of 12-5.

● The series this weekend will be the first of two meetings between the Lakers and the Huskies this season. Lake State will travel to Houghton, Mich. for a pair of games on February 7 and 8, 2020. 

● In the GLI Championship game, the Lakers would see goals from returners Hampus Eriksson, Max Humitz and Bryan Basilico. Humitz would record three points total in the game with a goal and two assists while fellow Michigan native Ashton Calder would also register a multi-point game with two assists.

● Humitz had goals in all three games against the Huskies last season and had both game winning goals in the February 15 & 16 series against Michigan Tech last season. Humitz leads all Lake State skaters in career points against the Huskies with four goals and four assists in 11 games played.

● In the all-time series between the two teams, the Huskies hold the advantage in the series against the Lakers with a 46-24-7 record. 

SCOUTING THE HUSKIES                                                                                           

• Michigan Tech is led by Joe Shawhan, who is in his third season as head coach of the Huskies. Shawhan, who is a Sault Ste. Marie native and attended LSSU, served as assistant coach at Lake Superior State from 2005-08.

• Shawhan was a goaltender for the Lakers from 1982-87, and totaled 1,130 saves in his career. He led the CCHA in both goals against average and save percentage during the 1985-86 season and left the program tied for first all-time in career GAA at 3.83.

• The Huskies have played nine games so far, compiling a 3-6 overall record and 1-5 in the WCHA. Michigan Tech recorded a pair of wins against Robert Morris in the season-opening series in Pittsburgh and in a split on the road against Bowling Green.

• The Huskies are led offensively by the due of Alec Broetzman (seven points) and Parker Saretsky (six points). Broetzman leads the team with four goals.

• Senior forward Alex Smith ranks first among the Huskies in career points against the Lakers as he has posted four goals and three assists in 11 games.

• Junior goaltender Robbie Beydoun has started the last three games in goal for the Huskies, with a .915 save percentage this season and a 2.16 goals against average. Fellow junior Matt Jurusik has started five games for Tech, posting a .926 save percentage and a 2.04 goals against average.

•Tech is returning 22 players from last season's team including 11 forwards, nine defensemen and a pair of goaltenders.

• Following last season's 13-12-3 record in the WCHA , Tech was selected fourth in WCHA Preseason Media Poll and fifth in the Mankato Free Press Coaches' Poll.

CONFERENCE PLAY AHEAD                                                                                                    

•Following this weekend's series, the Lakers will continue with Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) games through the next stretch of play.

• The remainder of November will see the Lakers alternate between home and away series with the team traveling to Bowling Green and closing out the month with a home series against Bemidji State. 

BALANCED ATTACK                                                                              

•The Lakers have four players among the top 12 scorers in the WCHA. The Laker offense has been evenly distributed this season as 18 players have recorded at least a point, 12 players with four or more points, seven players with seven or more points and three players recording eleven or more points. 

• 13 different players have scored a goal for Lake Superior this season and all four game winning goals have been scored by different players. 

• In the Lakers first weekend of conference play, 10 different players notched at least a point in the series with eight players recording two or more points during the pair of games. 

•13 Lakers notched at least one point against Merrimack, 10 players had two or more points, four players had three points and one had five points. Nine different players recorded at least one point in the Lakers Oct. 26 game against Notre Dame.

•Last season the Lakers had 13 players record 10 or more points with nine of those players returning this season. Eight players registered at least 22 points and five of them are returning members of the 2019-20 squad. 

• The Lakers also return one of three 30-plus point scorers from 2018-19 in Max Humitz (33 points). 

• 13 different players netted the game winning goal for the Lakers in 2018-19 - with 10 of those players returning to the lineup this year. 

ANCHORED DOWN                                                                                

• The Lakers returned five of their top six defensemen from last season as well as two goaltenders to provide a solid back end presence for the team heading into the 2019-20 season. 

• Lake State's defense has been active with six  d-men recording at least two points through the first ten games of the season. Collin Saccoman leads all Lakers defenseman with nine points (6G, 3A), and notched his first multi-goal game of his career against Notre Dame on Oct. 26.

• Saccoman has scored five goals in the past three games and leads the Lakers as well as all NCAA defensemen in goals this season.

• Saccoman was named WCHA Defenseman of the Week earlier this month ranks second among all WCHA defenseman in points this season with nine and first in goals with six. Saccoman is tied for the team lead in goals, which half of have come on the power play this year.

Will Riedell and Lukas Kaelble are tied for second in points among Laker defenseman. Riedell has posted two goals and two assists while Kaelble has one goal and three assists this season.

• In the opening weekend of the 2019-20 season, the Lakers defensemen proved to be the same steady force that they were last season with five defensemen all tallying a point against the Warriors and five of them having multi-point weekends. 

• Two game-winning goals this season have been scored by Laker d-men (Nordqvist, Saccoman). 

• Four of the last year's regulars recorded at least 11 points - Will Riedell (11), Nordqvist (18), Kaelble (23) and Saccoman (25). 

BETWEEN THE PIPES                                                                                             

• Laker netminder Mareks Mitens earned his second set of back-to-back wins this season as he backstopped the team to a pair of wins against Ferris State at home on Nov. 1 & 2. 

● Mitens leads all WCHA netminders with 250 saves this season, as no other goalie in the league has more than 211.

Roman Bengert got the start in goal for the Lakers in the Oct. 26 game against Notre Dame. The game, which ended in a 6-4 Laker defeat, marked Bengert's his first career start for the Lakers. Bengert would stop a career-high 24 shots in the contest. Bengert would start his second career game on Nov. 9 at Bemidji State.

• Mitens started the first seven straight games this season for the Lakers, which included a home series against Merrimack, a pair of home games against No. 2 Denver, a road series against Michigan and the first game of a two-game series at Notre Dame. Mitens posted a 2-5-0 record through that stretch. 

• In the opening series of the season, goaltender Mareks Mitens was solid in net for the Lakers as he stopped 52 of the 57 shots he faced from the Warriors, including a penalty shot save in the first game. It marked the first time in Mitens' career that he has posted back-to-back wins in a weekend series. 

Mareks Mitens appeared in 11 games for the Lakers in 2018-19, including a shutout on the road against Minnesota State.

OTHER INFORMATION                                                                                                                                    

• Tickets for home games are $14 for adults, $10  for seniors and $7 for children (under 17). LSSU students receive free admission and must possess a valid student ID.  For tickets, call or visit the Norris Center Ticket Office at 906-635-2601.

• The month of November will see the Lakers with a few special promotional nights recognizing important community members and organizations. On Nov. 15, the United Way of the EUP will hold the annual "Light the Lamp" game. The Michigan Tech series on Nov. 15 & 16 will be Lake Blue, Laker Gold! Weekend where fans wearing Laker blue branded gear will receive $2 off their walk up ticket and there will be specials on Laker Gold Beer. More information on these events can be found on

• Every week Bill Crawford along with head coach Damon Whitten, the assistant coaches and players take a look at the Laker Hockey program.  A review of past games, a look ahead to future action and more information and insight on the team and players. The show is live from the Antlers restaurant on East Portage Avenue every Tuesday night starting at 6 p.m. and can be heard on WKNW ESPN Radio 1400.

• Every home game and all road games against conference opponents will be available via live stream hosted by FloSports on or at Buffalo Wild Wings in Sault Ste. Marie. Radio PxP from the voice of the Lakers, Bill Crawford, will be heard every game on 99.5 YES FM. 

• Laker Athletics will announce designated games that will include viewing parties at Buffalo Wild Wings. There will be special deals for any Lake State students that attend the watch party. 

• This season, Laker Hockey introduces Soo Brewing as the official pregame and The Wicked Sister as the official postgame spots.

• Follow Laker Hockey on social media all season long for news, updates and behind-the-scenes action. 

Twitter: @HockeyLSSU

Instagram: @LSSUHockey

Facebook: @lssuhockeyfans