It'd be nice to have a week without controversy for a change. Here are 10 things to know about this week's opponent, the LSSU Lakers.
1) They're tied for 8th place in the CCHA with a 6-8-6-1 record (and a 9-11-8 record overall). They're 4-6-3 on the road with wins against BGSU, OSU, Ferris, and Colgate. They've also tied Notre Dame twice, Wisconsin and UMD (ND and Wiscy were on the road).
2) LSSU has won three straight (against BGSU and a sweep of FYS) after winning just three of their previous 18 contests.
3) They have just one player with 10 goals (freshman Frank Cassiani, who is just sixth on the team in points), but there are three more with 9 apiece, including our old friend Zac MacVoy. If you're new to the college hockey world, MacVoy played 20 games for Michigan in 05-06 before he transferred. He had 27 points in 35 games last year and has 20 in 28 so far this season. Troy Schwab is their leading scorer with 9-16--25. They don't get a ton of offense from their defense, but Steven Kaunisto (3-15--18) and Simon Gysbers (3-13--16) have a pretty good amount of points.
4) Sophomore Brian Mahoney-Wilson has played the majority of the games and has a 6-7-6 record, with a 2.52 goals against and a .921 save percentage. Pat Inglis, a junior, is 3-4-2 with a 2.41 and a .921. So they're still getting solid goaltending. Super.
5) LSSU's hockey team may collectively win the "Dude, get a job" award. At the end of this calendar year, their entire team will be old enough to drink. As it stands right now, only three can't, and that will go down to two next weekend. (These numbers don't include freshman Brett Wall, who I can't find a birthday for.) By comparison, eleven of our guys aren't able to legally drink at the end of 2009, and sixteen can't legally drink right now.
6) They're actually #27 in offense, which (without looking it up) I would say is pretty solid for LSSU. They score 2.93 goals per game. Seven CCHA teams are worse than that. And at 2.57 goals per game allowed, they're tied for 19th in team defense. How did this team only win 3 out of 18? Seems like they should be doing better than that...
7) Amongst the CCHA teams, only NMU and Alaska take fewer penalties. LSSU is 42nd nationally in penalty minutes at 14.8 a night. The power play isn't so good, ranked #46 in the country at 13.8%. They've also given up six shorties. The penalty kill is 86%, good for 20th in the country. (Side note, after that brutal start to the season, Michigan is now 13th nationally at 87.2% on the PK.)
8) Sophomore forward Will Acton is the son of Keith, who played 15 years in the NHL.
9) Last week's sweep of FYS was the first time they've swept the Spartans since 1989. The Wolverines are 53-46-6 all-time against LSSU and have won the last 5 meetings.
10) Aaron Palushaj has the most points against LSSU of the current Wolverines. He had 2-4--6 in four games last year. Second is actually Danny Fardig, with a 1-4--5 line in 7 games against the Lakers. Caporusso had two goals in two games as well. Billy Sauer has done very well against the Lakers in his career, posting a 4-1-0 record with a 1.81 goals against and a .939 save percentage. Hogan is 1-0-0 with a 2 goals against and a .913 save percentage.
Friday night's game will air on MGoBlue.com (and HSR and I will be doing a Cover It Live broadcast over at MGoBlog). Saturday will be on Comcast Local in Metro Detroit and the NHL Network in Canada (it will re-air on Sunday on the USA's NHL Network).
In honor of the game against LSSU this weekend, MVictors has posted some great audio from Dave Shand, in which he retells the story of Red's famous walk back to the hotel after a beatdown at the hands of the Lakers. Don't listen to this one at work without headphones.
It should be a fun weekend. LSSU is probably better than their record and they have solid goaltending. Michigan never ties, LSSU leads the nation in ties. Will we see a shootout this weekend? Last stat for you: If we do see a shootout, it's probably not a bad thing. LSSU is 1-5 in the six they've participated in.