This weekends match up against visiting Notre Dame could provide the nations #18 Lake Superior State Lakers ice hockey team an opportunity to put some breathing room between themselves and the three CCHA teams that are within reach of their current fourth place standing in the conference.
With fifth place Alaska, along with Michigan and Notre Dame who are tied for sixth, all within the maximum weekend series point total of six the Lakers will have to be on their ‘A’ game to stay in the conferences top four and increase their chances for a first round bye in this years CCHA playoffs.
Hampered by injuries throughout the season the Irish have been unable to put together any substantial winning steaks with their longest being four that included two regulation wins and two overtime shoot out wins. That by no means makes them a push over. Notre Dame’s goal scoring defense (goals against) ranks fifth in the conference, two spots above the Lakers, and their 20.1 power play conversion percentage is tied for first. Add on the three overtime shootout wins, an area that has been a problem for the Lakers, and the keys to a good weekend for LSSU will be to score early and minimize their time in the penalty box.
A good weekend could be a must for LSSU as they will hit the road to face off against the number two in the nation, conference leading Miami of Ohio next weekend and then number eight in the nation, third in the conference Ferris State the following weekend.
The puck drops for the Lakers and Irish both Friday and Saturday nights at 7:05 p.m. at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie.