SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Lake Superior State plays only two Central Collegiate Hockey Association series during the month of December, including this weekend’s home series against Bowling Green State. The Lakers also travel to Western Michigan Dec. 12-13 before taking a break for final exams.
The Falcons, Broncos and Lakers are all trying to make a statement in the CCHA.
The Lakers (5-9-2 overall, 3-6-1-0 CCHA) are 0-7-1 on the road overall, including an 0-5-1 mark against CCHA opponents. On home ice, however, they have one of the best records in the league. They hope to improve upon their 5-2-1 home-ice mark when they play host to the Falcons at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Taffy Abel Arena.
Notre Dame, which is currently second in the CCHA standings behind Miami, has a 6-0-0 home-ice record, while fifth-place Ferris State is 5-1-3. Alaska, which is notoriously tough on home ice, LSSU, Miami and Michigan own the next-best home records of 5-2-1. The only CCHA teams that are .500 or better on the road are Alaska (3-3-2), Miami (4-2-2), Michigan (3-2-3) and Western Michigan (3-2-2).
BGSU is currently 11th in the league standings with six points. LSSU is eighth with 10 points and trails seventh-place WMU by two points. The Broncos, who have two games in hand on the Lakers, travel to Northern Michigan this weekend before hosting Lake Superior State.
The Lakers defeated BGSU, 2-1 and 5-2, for their only road sweep of the 2009-10 season. Senior forward Rick Schofield totaled three points, netting one goal and two assists, during the series. Senior forward Will Acton and sophomore forward Ben Power each notched two assists for the Lakers. Seniors defenders Matt Cowie and Dillin Stonehouse, junior forward Dan Barczuk, and sophomores Zach Trotman and Nick McParland contributed one point each.
The Lakers have lost four straight games — all on the road — but are on a three-game win streak on home ice. On Nov. 12-13, they followed a home split with Northern Michigan with back-to-back shutout victories over Ferris State. Since then, they lost two at Michigan and finished 0-2 at the 19th annual Denver Cup.
Bowling Green, under first-year coach Chris Bergeron, is 6-10-0 overall and 2-8-0 in the CCHA following last weekend’s 5-1 victory over Alabama-Huntsville and 3-2 loss to Rensselear at the RPI Holiday Classic in Troy, N.Y. In league play, the Falcons split with NMU and Notre Dame for their two CCHA wins, and lost twice to Miami, Alaska and Michigan. Sophomore forward Jordan Samuels-Thomas leads BGSU in points with 5-8–13. Six of Bowling Green’s top eight points leaders are freshmen and sophomores.
The Lakers are 5-1-2 against Bowling Green in their last four series at the Taffy Abel Arena dating back to Nov. 14, 2003. BGSU last visited the Taffy Abel Arena Nov. 7-8, 2008. The Lakers claimed a 2-0 shutout victory and tied, 4-4.
The sophomore class is contributing consistently for LSSU. Sophomore Domenic Monardo leads the Lakers in points with 7-8–15, while sophomore defenseman Zach Trotman is third with 4-6–10. Senior forward Rick Schofield, who scored a goal against Denver to snap a four-game scoring drought, is second in points with 5-8–13, while senior forward Will Acton is fourth at 2-8–10.
Mondardo is tied for eight in the CCHA in overall points, while Schofield is tied for fourth in overall power-play points with 1-6–7, and Trotman is tied for third in defenseman scoring.
Note: Bring a stuffed toy to Saturday’s game and toss it on the ice when the Lakers score their first goal. All toys will be donated to children through local service agencies.