Last-place LSSU next for hockey

With an unbeaten streak of four going, the Falcon hockey team will head to Lake Superior State to battle the Lakers this weekend. BG will be coming off a win over Niagara while Lake Superior is coming off a series where they split two games with Nebraska-Omaha.

The Lakers were the bottom dwellers of the league last year, going 6-28-4 overall with a league record of 3-24-1. However, this season they currently sit at 3-3-2 overall and already have a CCHA win under their belt.

“It’s going to be a tough weekend series up there,” head coach Scott Paluch said. “They have traditionally over the years played tough in their building and this year they bring more speed along which will makes them a dangerous team to play.”

Lake Superior has a team full of youth this season as freshmen and sophomores dominate their roster. Forwards Dominic Osman and Nathan Ward lead the team in scoring thus far.

In net, the Lakers return Matt Violin and add Jeff Jakaitis to make up a solid pair of net-minders.

Last year when the Falcons traveled up to play the Lakers, Violin stole the first game of the weekend by recording a 2-0 shut-out where he had 31 saves. Jakaitis has played solid already this year and has 1.75 goals against average in three games, while Violin has a current 3.05 goals against average on the year.

“Matt Violin is a goalie, who I thought was one of the best goalies in the league last year just because he saw a lot of shots and made a lot of saves,” Paluch said. “This year they add Jakaitis along with Violin and they form a great tandem for them. Whoever we face on the two nights we know we’ll have to get a lot of chances and make it difficult for them to see the puck.”

The Falcons will come into the weekend with a CCHA leading 92 percent penalty-kill team, which ranks fourth in the country. They have killed off the last 29 power-plays they have faced and are 47 for 51 in penalty killing this season.

“We’re going hard after teams and not giving them chances to setup their power-play,” forward Ryan Barnett said. “Basically we’ve just been practicing going harder after teams on the penalty-kill and its showing right now.”

The Falcon youth continue to perform as Rich Meloche added another goal to his team leading total against Niagara.

Then Jonathan Sigalet was awarded the first star of the game with his first goal as a Falcon along with adding an assist.

“The most impressive thing about the freshmen as a group so far has been their work ethic,” Paluch said. “That’s a big credit to our upperclassmen in showing the new guys the amount of work that is needed at this level and the guys have picked up on that.”

Mark Wires continued his now five game point streak getting a goal last week as well. He and Kevin Bieksa lead the team in points with both having seven points on the season.

Jordan Sigalet continued his strong play in net and now has a goal against average of 2.64.

“Jordan has been solid throughout the year for us,” Paluch said. “Last weekend he played solid from start to finish and did what he needed to get us a win.”

The Falcons and Lakers will square off at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault St. Marie, Mich. tonight and tomorrow night with face-off at 7:05 p.m. both nights.