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This week in hockey CCHA: home ice in sight for the playoffs, Lake Superior State returns at the right time of the season – College Hockey

Lake Superior defender Jake Willets topped the Laker Bluliners last weekend, scoring four points in a match against his former team, Ferris State (photo: Lake Superior State Athletics).

It is safe to say that this season was not as Damon Whitten could have hoped.

After finishing an unexpected second place in the WCHA last season, winning a conference tournament and the first since the NCAA tournament since 1996, the Lakers-Superior head coach hoped that this season the Lakers will be able to take the next step. Perhaps they could challenge Minnesota and win the first league title in the new CCHA.

Instead, the season was a little more challenging. The Lakers have a 14-15-1 record, and instead of battling Minnesota for the league title, they are currently trying to beat Bowling Green for the fourth and final slot on home ice in the upcoming playoffs.

Whitten said in a phone interview Tuesday that although he thought his team could fight for the league title, he also knew it would be a problem if some new faces join the program this year. It took the Lakers a new look to take some time to form, but he believes the team is coming together at the right time.

“Last year was such a wonderful year, with second place and home ice cream (and participation in the NCAA tournament),” Whitten said. “We wanted to come back and we wanted to bring down Manakto and try to fight for first place.

“The frustration is that we’re not where we want to be, but we also knew we were losing a lot and new parts would be hooked up and we needed to see how the guys would do, so we were willing to be there as a little patient. Now it’s nice to see that the guys are stuck, and this patience is beginning to bear fruit. “

The Lakers got off to a good start to the season, going 6-3-1 against a solid non-conference opposition, but two long winless streaks (a series of five losses that lasted most of November and a four-game draw in early January) left the Lakers. , playing catch-up in the CCHA standings. This was partly due to a lack of healthy organisms – Whitten said that last week, for the first time in three months, the Lakers even had an almost complete team for games and training.

“We’ve come close to a full team, like for the first time in two, maybe three months,” he said. “It was hard to find consistency, but I don’t blame the players, I think they worked well in a difficult season. It’s nice to get good results, the guys are playing well, and our competition has increased again, because we have healthier bodies. “

The latest results were encouraging – the Lakers stopped their January loss by crashing against Northern Michigan, which included a 6-1 victory on 28 January. Last weekend they managed to beat Ferris State at home with a score of 5-3 and 4- 0 wins.

“We get input from our entire staff,” Whitten said of the LSSU’s recent success, noting that with only four high school students, it was nice to see freshmen get on the board. “On Saturday night, in particular, our freshmen held the best games of the year. They played a lot in critical situations and played well, so it was nice to see. “

But the leaders of the weekend in the Lakers were the stars of the team. Junior striker Luis Budon scored two goals and three assists in the series, while defender Jake Willets made a hat-trick against his former team on Saturday night, and Miroslav Mukha had a five-pointer weekend with five assists.

“Budon is still playing at a very high level, I think Miroslav Mukha is playing for us in his best hockey he has played in his career,” Whitten said. “And Willets, I was surprised to learn that Saturday night was the first time the Laker defender made a hat-trick in our school history, so it was a great evening for him and a great evening for our program.”

Budon, who is the team’s top scorer, has 13 goals and 20 assists per year, and Mucha, who has at least one point in each of LSSU’s last four games, has eight goals and 20 assists.

Two victories over the Bulldogs were also extremely important for the Lakers in the standings: the scale allowed the Lakers to jump northern Michigan to fifth place and give them a much-needed respite in the standings. They are ahead of NMU by four points and the FSS by seven points, and in the regular season they will have four games. Now, instead of fighting for Ferris for sixth and seventh place, they found themselves in the thick of the race for home ice with Bowling Green.

The Lakers are heading to St. Paul this weekend to take last place St. Thomas; if they can sweep Tommy on the road, they can go back to So St. Dreams for the final series against the Falcons.

“Now we’ve given ourselves a good chance,” Whitten said. “Friday is the biggest game of the year. We have to keep doing our own business, and if we do that, we will be able to control our destiny at the end of the season. ”

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This week in hockey CCHA: home ice in sight for the playoffs, Lake Superior State returns at the right time of the season – College Hockey

Lake Superior defender Jake Willets topped the Laker Bluliners last weekend, scoring four points in a match against his former team, Ferris State (photo: Lake Superior State Athletics).

It is safe to say that this season was not as Damon Whitten could have hoped.

After finishing an unexpected second place in the WCHA last season, winning a conference tournament and the first since the NCAA tournament since 1996, the Lakers-Superior head coach hoped that this season the Lakers will be able to take the next step. Perhaps they could challenge Minnesota and win the first league title in the new CCHA.

Instead, the season was a little more challenging. The Lakers have a 14-15-1 record, and instead of battling Minnesota for the league title, they are currently trying to beat Bowling Green for the fourth and final slot on home ice in the upcoming playoffs.

Whitten said in a phone interview Tuesday that although he thought his team could fight for the league title, he also knew it would be a problem if some new faces join the program this year. It took the Lakers a new look to take some time to form, but he believes the team is coming together at the right time.

“Last year was such a wonderful year, with second place and home ice cream (and participation in the NCAA tournament),” Whitten said. “We wanted to come back and we wanted to bring down Manakto and try to fight for first place.

“The frustration is that we’re not where we want to be, but we also knew we were losing a lot and new parts would be hooked up and we needed to see how the guys would do, so we were willing to be there as a little patient. Now it’s nice to see that the guys are stuck, and this patience is beginning to bear fruit. “

The Lakers got off to a good start to the season, going 6-3-1 against a solid non-conference opposition, but two long winless streaks (a series of five losses that lasted most of November and a four-game draw in early January) left the Lakers. , playing catch-up in the CCHA standings. This was partly due to a lack of healthy organisms – Whitten said that last week, for the first time in three months, the Lakers even had an almost complete team for games and training.

“We’ve come close to a full team, like for the first time in two, maybe three months,” he said. “It was hard to find consistency, but I don’t blame the players, I think they worked well in a difficult season. It’s nice to get good results, the guys are playing well, and our competition has increased again, because we have healthier bodies. “

The latest results were encouraging – the Lakers stopped their January loss by crashing against Northern Michigan, which included a 6-1 victory on 28 January. Last weekend they managed to beat Ferris State at home with a score of 5-3 and 4- 0 wins.

“We get input from our entire staff,” Whitten said of the LSSU’s recent success, noting that with only four high school students, it was nice to see freshmen get on the board. “On Saturday night, in particular, our freshmen held the best games of the year. They played a lot in critical situations and played well, so it was nice to see. “

But the leaders of the weekend in the Lakers were the stars of the team. Junior striker Luis Budon scored two goals and three assists in the series, while defender Jake Willets made a hat-trick against his former team on Saturday night, and Miroslav Mukha had a five-pointer weekend with five assists.

“Budon is still playing at a very high level, I think Miroslav Mukha is playing for us in his best hockey he has played in his career,” Whitten said. “And Willets, I was surprised to learn that Saturday night was the first time the Laker defender made a hat-trick in our school history, so it was a great evening for him and a great evening for our program.”

Budon, who is the team’s top scorer, has 13 goals and 20 assists per year, and Mucha, who has at least one point in each of LSSU’s last four games, has eight goals and 20 assists.

Two victories over the Bulldogs were also extremely important for the Lakers in the standings: the scale allowed the Lakers to jump northern Michigan to fifth place and give them a much-needed respite in the standings. They are ahead of NMU by four points and the FSS by seven points, and in the regular season they will have four games. Now, instead of fighting for Ferris for sixth and seventh place, they found themselves in the thick of the race for home ice with Bowling Green.

The Lakers are heading to St. Paul this weekend to take last place St. Thomas; if they can sweep Tommy on the road, they can go back to So St. Dreams for the final series against the Falcons.

“Now we’ve given ourselves a good chance,” Whitten said. “Friday is the biggest game of the year. We have to keep doing our own business, and if we do that, we will be able to control our destiny at the end of the season. ”

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