Wednesday, December 30, 2009

LSSU Lakers Ice Hockey Ready to Start Seasons Second Half

After finishing the first half of the 2009/2010 season four wins better than the same point last season the Lake Superior State University ice hockey team heads to Pennsylvania this weekend to start what could be the toughest second half schedule of any CCHA team.

After a pair of games against Robert Norris this weekend, who split with the Lakers at home last year, five of the eight teams LSSU will face in the second half are currently ranked in the nations top 20 including #1 Miami of Ohio, #12 Ferris State and #13 Michigan State. Tack on a season final match up against Upper Peninsula rivals Northern Michigan in Marquette and the Lakers could be primed to turn in an overall great season.

LSSU Lakers mens ice hockey head coach Jim Roque. FILE PHOTO - Eagle FI

“We’re excited we had a decent first half” said Lakers head coach Jim Roque, “we have the opportunity to have a great season.” Roque says confidence is a big plus for his team heading into the second half. “We’ve got some good older players” said Roque in a telephone interview Wednesday. “The last three games (before the holiday break) we started scoring goals and played better defensively”. “Our confidence has been dictated by our goalie.” he added. “Brian has played really well”. Brian Mahoney-Wilson’s team leading .920 save percentage “helps give other players the confidence to play better. They know it’s okay if they make a mistake.”

In addition to continued goal tending success the Lakers are going to need players who have had led in the first half to continue to produce. Players like junior Chad Nehring who leads the team in goals heading into the second half with eleven including six power play goals that account for 50 % of the teams total of twelve power play scores. Junior Rick Schofield who tops the individual points earners with 9 goals and 9 assists and senior forward Zac McVoy who’s team high 12 assists added to his four goals put him in second place of the individual points count with 16.

Currently in sole possession of fifth place in the CCHA almost every remaining game for the Lakers will be against another one of the leagues top seven teams. “They’re always tough games” says Roque of second half contests. With only seven points separating the second and fifth place teams every series in the second half has the chance of drastically altering LSSU’s league standings and whether or not they can call their season a success. Considering that only one team in the first half really dominated the Lakers, chances of a good finish are certainly within their reach.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Northern Michigan Art Finds a Home

Some of the artwork that is available at the Northern Michigan Artists Market in Petoskey, Michigan.
It’s no surprise to almost anyone that it’s a tough time to be in the retail art business. The Northern Michigan Artists Market in downtown Petoskey, Michigan has managed to keep afloat in this ailing economy by offering a wide variety of local art that covers almost every price range.

"We’re pretty representative of the large amount of art being done here in the area." says gallery co-owner Marty Scott. "The large variety of art that’s being done here in the area is just amazing." The gallery features the glass, wood, fabric, and pottery work of northern Michigan artists from as far north as Marquette south to Traverse City. They also handle a wide variety of original paintings, photographs and sculptures.

Northern Michigan Artist Market co-owner Marty Scott stands among some of the artwork that is available at his gallery in Petoskey, Michigan.

Hoping to capitalize on the growing interest in local artwork Scott and his partners Susan Lange and Vivi Woodcock now operate the gallery on a strictly consignment basis. Artists who have their work displayed in the gallery pay a monthly fee and commission on any work that is sold. Now in its sixth year the gallery offers original works from as many as a hundred different artists priced from $1.00 to $5,000.

Scott prefers not to talk about the negatives of running an art gallery in trying economic times. Instead he likes to point out the things he feels his gallery does right. "We wanted to be the most artist friendly gallery there was, we offer a wide variety of price points and we’ve been able to capitalize on the tourist market." Gallery customers include "tourists looking for everything from souvenirs to high end fine art" all of which is available at the gallery. "Surprisingly we are one of the best places to buy original artwork cards. A large number of our artists make cards."

"We’re very happy with the customer and artist support we’re getting. There is a lot of interest in what we do." says Scott. The market also offers customers the ability to shop on-line. Almost every piece of art is photographed and made available on the gallery website at

Some of the artwork that is available at the Northern Michigan Artists Market in Petoskey, Michigan.

While a large number of both new and established galleries have closed throughout the region consignment art galleries like the Northern Michigan Artists Market are proving they are able to compete for shoppers even in depressed retail markets. With artists finding it harder and harder to find outlets for their work they also provide a great venue for new and unique artists to get their creations seen by the public.

Additional information about the Northern Michigan Artist Market can be found on their website or by calling the gallery at 231-487-0000.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Choo-Choo Here Comes Christmas, Traverse City 2009 Festival of Trains

Before the X-box and Wii, before the internet, before Pac Man and Pong there was the train.

A holiday themed 'O' guage model engine makes its way around the main display table at the 2009 Festival of Trains.

For millions of children in the 1950’s or 60’s Christmas morning may well have included any one of a hundred different electric train sets that would endlessly hum and click their way around their small oval of tracks. In Traverse City the Northern Michigan Model Railroad Club is helping to keep these holiday memories alive by hosting their annual Festival of Trains.

Each holiday season the twenty four member club opens up its layout of tracks, trains and accessories for public display at the downtown Heritage Center. The event has been held at the center since 2003 and according to club member Roy Aydelotte of Grawn, who also does toy train upgrades and repair, last years event drew more than 8,500 guests. In its first three days this year it has already hosted more than 2,500 visitors.

Mallory Rhem (left) speaks to her daughter Shannon (center) as she and Caitlynn Gehrett (right) enjoy one of the displays at the 2009 Festival of Trains.

The event draws people of all ages from around the area and is very popular with families. Children can operate the various trains and the numerous accessories that line the hundreds of feet of track that make up the festivals main display. “Trains have historically been, for the last hundred years, a part of Christmas and this is a place to come to help celebrate Christmas” says Aydelotte who got his first set at the age of four. “You won’t have this kind of fun anywhere else.”

Model train enthusiasts of all ages enjoy the main display of the 2009 Festival of Trains.

Club members man the controls of the various layouts and are often happy to answer questions about the trains and their club. In addition to the changes the club makes to the layout each year to keep it fresh visitors are likely to see different trains each day as club members bring in and operate engines and cars from their personal collections.

New additions to this year’s event include a small Thomas the Tank Engine cab for children. Kids inside the cab can operate a small model of the popular storybook train, turn on and off the cabs lights, ring the engines bell and sound the trains whistle using a rope pull.

The Festival of Trains is open every day except Christmas day through January 3rd. The events entrance fee also allows visitors to browse the Heritage Centers local history collections that include Native American artifacts and Victorian era displays.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lakers Sweep Northern, Claim Fifth Place in CCHA

NMU's Greger Hanson (left) and LSSU's Zach Trotman (5) chase a loose puck into the corner during the third period of Saturday nights game at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

Heading into the third period of the LSSU Lakers game against the NMU Wildcats Saturday night at Taffy Abel Arena it looked like it was going to be a carbon copy of the previous nights win by the home team Lakers. That was prior to the Wildcats turning up the heat and fighting back to within one with less than eight minutes to play.

LSSU senior forward Zac MacVoy put the Lakers on the scoreboard first beating NMU starting goaltender Reid Ellingson less than ten seconds into the first power play of the night. Concluding the first periods scoring junior forward Will Acton made it two nothing in favor of the home team on the second Laker power play opportunity.

LSSU's Chad Nehring (16) watches as NMU goaltender Brian Stewart (right) reaches for a rolling puck Saturday at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

Reversing their roles from Friday night, NMU’s Ellingson, who got the starting nod in goal from Wildcats coach Walt Kyle, was replaced by senior Brian Stewart just over half way through the first period. Coach Kyle acknowledged that goaltending has been a concern for the Wildcats ”It’s been an issue for us” he said in post game interviews.

Lakers junior Rick Schofield picked up his eighteenth point of the year when he scored the only goal of the second period by either team.

NMU's Jared Brown (15) gets ready to backhand the puck past LSSU goalie Brian Mahoney-Wilson (35) for one of his two third period goals Saturday night at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

NMU junior Jared Brown put the Wildcats on the board scoring three and a half minutes into the third period. He racked up his second of the night less than three minutes later when he beat Lakers goalie Brian Mahoney-Wilson on a short handed breakaway narrowing the Lakers lead to one goal. A minute and a half later LSSU senior John Scrymgeour returned the favor by scoring shorthanded against NMU net minder Stewart.

LSSU's John Scrymgeour celebrates after scoring a shorthanded goal against NMU Saturday at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

Wildcats Senior T.J. Miller brought the score back to within one with 7:43 left to play but empty net goals by the Lakers Zac MacVoy and Chad Nehring put the game out of reach and into the win column for LSSU.

The last games before the holiday break, the weekend sweep of the Wildcats extends the Lakers current winning streak to four, their longest of the season and puts them into sole possession of fifth place in the CCHA standings. “I think it was a really big weekend” said Lakers head coach Jim Roque. “It’ll be crazy over there at the end of the year.” referring to the two games the Lakers will play at NMU in February.

LSSU goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson (right) slides to block a breakaway shot by NMU's Andrew Cherniwchan (23) Saturday at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

The Lakers next game will be against Robert Morris on January 2nd and 3rd before facing off against number fourteen Michigan State on January 8th and 9th.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lakers Power Past Wildcats In First Of Two

LSSU's Fred Cassiani (13) breaks toward the net around NMU's Ray Kaunisto (left)during the second peiod of the Lakers Friday night game against the Wildcats at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

Lake Superior State University hockey team was less than a minute away from their second shut out of the year when Northern Michigan Universities Phil Fox jammed the puck in for the Wildcats only score in their 5 to 1 lose to the home team Lakers at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie last night.

LSSU's Rick Schofield watches the puck after a faceoff during the second period of the Lakers Friday night game against the NMU Wildcats at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

Lakers co-captain and individual points leader Rick Schofield started the Lakers scoring on what would be the first of the nights combined 12 power plays just over four minutes into the first period. He tallied the Lakers second goal less than three minutes later when he beat Wildcats starting net minder Brian Stewart on a shorthanded opportunity upping his point total to 17 for the year.

LSSU's Ben Power reacts after scoring during the third period of the Lakers Friday night game against the NMU Wildcats at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

Freshman forward Ben Power and sophomore forward Fred Cassiani added to LSSU’s lead both scoring in the third period sending NMU’s visibly frustrated Stewart to the bench. The Lakers Chad Nehring scored the games only even strength goal of the night when he sent the puck past the glove hand of the Wildcats Reid Ellingson just over 15 minutes into the final period.

NMU goaltender Reid Ellingson reaches unsuccessfully for the puck during the third period of the Wildcats Frisy night game against the LSSU Lakers at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

Prior to last nights game contests at Taffy Abel Arena were relatively low penalty affairs. One ten minute misconduct, one five minute holding call, two goaltender interference calls and three after the whistle roughing calls as tempers flared late in the third all helped bring the nights combined number of penalties to 19. The ten Lakers penalties were almost double their season average of 5.2 per game.

Referees try to break up a third period brawl between the LSSU Lakers and NMU Wildcats Friday night at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
LSSU's Matt Cowie (7) looks on as the Lakers starting goalie Brian Mahoney-Wilson (35) makes one of his 30 saves during the second period of the Lakers Friday night game against WMU at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.
Lakers starting goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson made 30 saves on the night while NMU’s Stewart stopped 33 of the 37 he faced and Ellingson stopped 6. The Lakers and Wildcats will face off again tonight in Taffy Abel Arena at 7:05 p.m.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Northern Michigan Ski Resorts Open For the 2009/2010 Season

Dressed up for the coming holiday season the main lodge at Boyne Highlands Resort is shilouetted by the lights and snow gun plumes as the resort makes snow 24 hours a day to get ready for the up coming ski season.

A lack of natural snow and a warmer than normal fall will keep most northern Michigan ski areas from opening until December 11th or 18th but both Harbor Springs Resorts, Boyne Highlands and Nubs Nob, got off to an early start opening on a limited basis this weekend. Boyne Highlands used the social networking websites Facebook and Twitter to officially kick off their season offering internet users signed up as friends of the resort two hours of free skiing Saturday afternoon.

A happy unidentified skier gives a double thumbs up as he and his friends ride the lift to the top of Boyne Highlands Heather run after the resort officially opened its 2009/2010 ski season Saturday afternoon.

While the Highlands was open for skiing on one run with one lift operating on Sunday Nubs Nob had four runs open with two lifts taking skiers to the top of the hills. “We were all brown here last Thursday” said Nubs general manager Jim Bartlett “but with the snow guns and two feet of natural snow we’ve even got our cross country trails open.”

Both Resorts will close at four p.m. today and reopen on their regular full schedules next Friday at 9 a.m. “We’ve still got a lot of snow making to do.” said Bartlett but he anticipates that when the resort opens on Friday they should have at least twelve runs open for skiers.

With the lights from the slopes of neighboring Nubs Nob in the distance some of Boyne Highlands new low energy snow guns run through the night to get ready for the opening of the coming ski season.

While crews at resorts around the state will be busy making snow 24 hours a day with most using traditional snow making equipment Boyne will be using its new “Low E” or Low Energy snow guns to build up their base of snow. The new guns were developed by Boyne and are extremely more efficient than the older models. According to Boyne Highlands area manager Joe Breighner the new snow runs produce a lighter, drier snow.

Also added at Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls this year is a new Zip Line Adventure that lets resort visitors fly down the mountain using harnesses on a series of cables that are stretched back and forth the across the ski runs. The Zip Line is a very popular attraction that Boyne has been operating at its Big Sky Montana resort.

Boyne Highlands Resort general manager Brad Keen (left) lets photographers know that this is the first ski run of the season as he, Boyne Snow Sports Academy director Tony Sendlhoffer (center) and Boyne Resorts vice president of Ski Operations John McGregor (right) take the first chair lift ride to the top of the resorts Heather run to officially start the resorts 2009/10 ski season.

Both ski areas are looking forward to better seasons in 2009/10. According to Boyne USA vice president of ski operations John McGregor Boyne reservations are “up over 2008 and a little over 2007 levels” at this same time of year. “You have to be an optimist to be in this business” said Nubs Nobs Jim Bartlett. While the economy and rainy 2008 holiday season helped put a damper on last season Bartlett said “We’re slightly better off this year than we were last year.”
Almost all of the ski resorts in the northern part of Michigan’s lower peninsula plan on being at least partially open next weekend including Boyne Mountain, Caberfae, Crystal Mountain, The Homestead, Treetops and Shanty Creek.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

UAF Hockey Team Tops LSSU To Split Weekend Set

UAF's Joe Sova (11) tries to keep LSSU's Chad Nehring (16) away from Nanooks goalie Scott Greenham (35) during Alaskas Saturday night win over LSSU.

Down by two headed into the third period the University of Alaska Fairbanks hockey team turned up the heat on Lake Superior State University tying the score by the end of regulation play and claiming a 3-2 overtime win to split the weekend series at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

LSSU's Ben Power celebrates his first goal of the season during the first period of the Lakers Saturday matchup with the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Sault Ste. Marie.

From the opening face off it was clear that both teams had turned up the intensity a notch from Friday nights contest. LSSU lit up the scoreboard twice in the first period. Freshman Ben Power scored his first of the year with an assist from junior defenseman Dillin Stonehouse and less than three minutes later forward Chad Nehring beat UAF goaltender Scott Greenham to extend the Lakers lead.

Starting goalies, Greenham and LSSU’s Brian Mahoney Wilson, each faced one power play opportunity and less than ten shots in the second period to keep the score even headed into the third. Both teams had four power play opportunities over the course of the game but neither was able to capitalize.

UAF's Dion Knelsen (20) gets congratulated by the UAF bench after scoring in the third period of the Nanooks Saturday night win over LSSU.

Number ten ranked Alaska got its scoring started just over a minute into the third on a goal by senior Dion Knelsen. Knelesen tallied his second of the game and seventh of the year six minutes later to even the score and eventually send the game into overtime.

Alaska'a Bryant Mollie turns up ice with the puck during UAF's Saturday night win over LSSU.

Just over four minutes into the five minute sudden death overtime period Lakers goalie Mahoney-Wilson found himself facing a 4 on 2 that provided UAF’s Bryant Molle a scoring chance he took advantage of giving the Nanooks their eighth win of the year.

The split weekend moves the Lakers record to 6-7-1 and the Nanooks to 8-3-1 and fourth in the CCHA.
Alaska returns home to face Northern Michigan next weekend and the Lakers will travel to Troy New York to face non conference foes Union on Friday and Bentley/Rensselaer on Saturday in the Rensselaer Holiday Hockey Tournament.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

LSSU Hockey Tops #10 Alaska

Lake Superior State University's Chad Nehring chases the puck into the offensive zone during the Lakers Friday night 4-3 win over the University of Alaska Fairbanks at Taffey Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

With the exception of Michigan the Lake Superior State University ice hockey team has won at least one game against each of the nationally ranked teams they have faced. Friday night the Lakers showed their talent yet again as they beat the number ten ranked University of Alaska Fairbanks 4-3 at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

Just short of halfway through the first period LSSU jumped out to a two goal lead when, within a minute of each other, junior Rick Schofield and senior Brad Cooper each beat Alaska goaltender Scott Greenham. The Schofield goal was his fourth of the year and Coopers third.

University of Alaska Fairbanks Nik Yaremchuk celebrates after scoring against the Lake Superior State Lakers Friday Night at Taffey Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Despite a very near miss off the top bar in the first Alaska was unable to score until two and a half minutes into the second period when Andy Taranto racked up his fourth goal of the year just as a UAF 5 on 3 power play advantage expired. Alaska’s Nik Yaremchuk scored his first of two goals less than three minutes later tying the score at two.

Lake Superior State University's Rick Schofield (left) shoots during the first period of the Lakers Friday night 4-3 win over the University of Alaska Fairbanks at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

Rick Schofield scored his second of the night 5:30 into the second making the score 3-2 and giving LSSU back the lead. Laker Simon Gysbers increased the lead to two with what would turn out to be the game winning goal a few minutes later. Schofields two goals and an assist for senior Zac MacVoy on the Gysbers goal moved the two into a tie for the Lakers overall individual points lead.

UAF’s Nik Yaremchuk would close out the scoring in the second, and the game, with a power play goal at 13:42. The two goals were Yaremchuk’s second and third of the season.

Lake Superior State Lakers goalie Brian Mahoney-Wilson stops a Ron Meyers (bottom left)shot during the second period Lakers Friday night 4-3 win over the University of Alaska Fairbanks at Taffey Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.

The third period turned into a defensive struggle. In addition to 3 UAF and one LSSU penalties the period was marked with several offside and icing calls. Lakers goalie Brian Mahoney-Wilson, who made 16 saves in the second period, and UAF goaltender Scott Greenham both faced only five shots on goal in the third.

The Lakers and Nanooks will face off again tonight at Taffy Abel arena.


The Fan Zone 11-20-09 - Images by Eagle Feature & Image


Saturday, November 14, 2009

MSU Tops U of M in CCHA Matchup

Michigan Sate Spartan Jeff Petry (EFI File Photo)
The Michigan State ice hockey team went into Ann Arbor’s Yost Ice Arena Friday night without a win in their last six meetings against their CCHA rivals the Michigan Wolverines. At the final buzzer the Spartans had successfully ended the number six ranked Maize and Blue streak with a 3 – 2 win.

University of Michigan Goalie Bryan Hogan (EFI File Photo)
The Spartans Andrew Rowe started the scoring just under 8 minutes into the first period with an unassisted goal against Michigan goaltender Bryan Hogan. Michigan’s Lee Moffie racked up the Wolverines first score just short of thirteen minutes into the second evening the score at one.

University of Michigans Lee Moffie (EFI File Photo)
State’s Matt Crandell picked up his first assist of the night on a second period goal by Corey Tropp that put the Spartans back up by one. He tallied his second when MSU increased its lead to two on Daulton Levielle’s game winning goal just over a minute into the third.

The Wolverines brought the score back to within one when Matt Hagelins scored his fourth goal of the season as he beat MSU goalie Drew Palmisano just over half way through the third period.

The Wolverines found themselves with a great opportunity to tie the score when, after pulling their goalie, Spartan Captian Jeff Petry went to the penalty box for hooking. The Wolverines where unable to capitalize on the resulting 47 second 6 on 4 advantage giving the Spartans the win.

While the Wolverines seem to be struggling coming off two home losses to Alaska and now a home loss to MSU the Spartans continue to increase their win total against nationally ranked teams. With only four seniors on the roster the young Spartan team has beaten three teams that are currently ranked in the top twelve including a split series with number one Miami.

The Spartans and Wolverines will face off again tonight in Ann Arbor in the final game of the weekend at 7:05. The game will be televised on Comcast.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

LSSU Loses One, Splits One With Western

Lake Superior State University’s trip to Kalamazoo this weekend could have been worse but could have been a lot better. The Lakers managed a tie in their Friday night contest against the Western Michigan University Broncos but fell 2 – 1 Saturday. After being swept at home the previous weekend by the fourth ranked Wolverines the Lakers headed into Lawson Ice Arena this weekend at 4-4-0 with only one conference win.


The Broncos jumped out to an early lead Friday with two first period scores against LSSU goalie Pat Inglis and one against Brian Mahoney-Wilson. Mahoney-Wilson held the Broncos scoreless through the second and third periods giving the Lakers the opportunity to battle back.

Chad Nehring started the Lakers scoring in the second with Zac MacVoy adding number two just after the start of the third. With less than ten seconds left in the game and an extra attacker on the ice LSSU’s Fred Cassiani tied the score at three, which was the final after neither team could best the other in the subsequent overtime. WMU got the conference standings points after scoring in a shoot out.

EFI FILE PHOTO - Brian Mahoney-Wilson

Lakers head coach Jim Roque gave junior goalie Brain Mahoney-Wilson the starting nod for Saturday night. Mahoney-Wilson faced 38 shots giving up goals to the Broncos Ian Slater in the second period and then Patrick Nargorsen in the third. Mid way through the final period LSSU scoring leader Chad Nehring scored his second goal of the weekend and seventh of the season on the Lakers only power play opportunity of the night. It was the only time the Lakers would beat the Broncos starting goaltender Riley Gill. Gill stopped forty of the Lakers forty-one shots giving him and his team the 2 –1 win.

EFI FILE PHOTO - Chad Nehring

The Lakers will head west to battle CCHA foe the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks next weekend.

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.