Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Know Thy Enemy: Lake Superior

The CCHA season gets in full swing with five series. Michigan State will travel up to the Soo to take on LSSU this weekend for a pair of games.

Michigan State was swept at the Soo last season dropping a pair of one-goal games

The Lakers are entering a key part of their schedule - coming off of three road games. LSSU plays eight of their next ten at home, with three of those series being CCHA teams. It'll be extra important, because Notre Dame and Miami road series follow this stretch of games - so the schedule gets tougher.

LSSU is 2-2 on the season so far splitting a series with Michigan Tech and Bemidji State. LSSU beat Bemidji last weekend 2-0 before dropping the second contest 5-0.

CCHA History

This series marks the final time that Michigan State and LSSU will cross paths in a regular season CCHA series. The conference was founded in 1971, and LSSU was one of the early members admitted into the league coming in the following year in 1972. The Lakers have won three national titles (tied w/ MSU) with the last coming in 1994. They've made it to four Frozen Fours (last time in 1994), and they have been to the NCAA tournament ten times (1996). They last won a CCHA Championship in 1995-1996. LSSU finished last year in seventh place in the CCHA standings with 41 points, only one point out of 6th, and six points behind MSU for 5th.

Know (some of) the Players

Domenic Monardo (Sr.)        2 goals, 6 points
Chris Ciotti (So.)                   1 goal, 3 points
Six Players Tied with 2 points


Kevin Kapalka (Jr.) 
Record: 2-2-0
GAA:  3.83
Save %:  .881

All-Time Series Notes:

Michigan State leads 68-34-13

Michigan State leads at LSSU 23-16-6

LSSU is 4-3-3 against MSU over the last 10 meetings

LSSU won both meetings at LSSU last season

LSSU hasn't won three in a row at home against Michigan State since October 14, 1988 (2-19-88, 2-20-88) 

Early Thoughts:

Historically, LSSU isn't the type of team that will light up the scoreboard, but they are always very tough to beat at home. LSSU's size certainly will test the Spartans this year, and the youth needs to show that they can play better on the road. It might be a little too obvious to say that the Spartans need to be able to put the puck in the net earlier in the game - zero goals before the third period this year isn't a stat you want to continue for very long. 
If MSU can keep the game low scoring, defensive, and limit the power play opportunities it gives up, Michigan State should be able to come away with points this weekend - which would be a nice start for a young team. The CCHA is deep this year, so it would be surprising to see anyone really run away with the conference, so every point you can pick up on the road is critical.

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