North Dakota vs. Lake Superior State, Series Preview

This weekend, the top-ranked University of North Dakota entertains unranked Lake Superior State in a two-game non-conference series. This is the last home series of 2014.

Series History

All-time, UND has a 2-0-0 (1.00) record against the Lake Superior State Lakers. At home, UND leads the series 2-0-0 (1.00) against the Lakers. In Sault Ste. Marie: N/A. UND hasn’t played against the Lakers since the December 14-15, 1973. Hakstol’s teams have never played against LSSU. For those keeping track, this is the first time in 41 years that the two teams have played against each other. Currently, there are no common opponents on LSSU’s and UND’s schedules.

UND forward Michael Parks, (Eric Classen/UND Athletics)
UND forward Michael Parks, (Eric Classen/UND Athletics)

Tale of the tape

#1 North Dakota (10-3-1, 5-2-1 NCHC) vs. Lake Superior State University (3-13-0, 3-9-0 WCHA).
Date: December 5-6, 2014
Game Time: Friday 7:37, Saturday 7:07 p.m. CT
Location: Ralph Engelstad Arena, Grand Forks, ND
Last time out: LSSU was swept by Minnesota State (0-7 L, 0-3).
Last time out: UND Took four-of-six points from UNO (2-2 SOL, 3-2 W).
LSSU Offense: 56th Nationally
LSSU Defense: 55th Nationally
UND Offense: 14th Nationally
UND Defense: 16th Nationally
TV: Friday – Midco Sports Network
TV: Saturday – Midco Sports Network
Live Streaming: NCHC.TV
UND series notes

Key players to watch

North Dakota – Forwards: Drake Caggiula (7g-13a—20pts), Michael Parks (5g-11a—16pts), Mark MacMillan (7g-6a—13pts), Nick Schmaltz (1g-7a—8pts), Luke Johnson (3g-4a—7pts), Brendan O’Donnell (3g-1a—4pts). Defense: Troy Stecher (1g-8a—9pts) Jordan Schmaltz (2g-7a—9pts), Paul LaDue (3g-5a—8pts), Tucker Poolman (3g-1a—4pts), Gage Ausmus (2g-1a—3pts). Goalies: Zane McIntyre (10-3-2, 2.02 GAA, .928 SV%), Cam Johnson (0-0-0, 2.68 GAA, .800 SV%).

UND Injuries: Bryn Chzyk (2g-3a—5pts) is out indefinitely.

Lake Superior State – Forwards: Bryce Schmitt (5g-5a—10pts), Stephen Perfetto ((4g-2a—6pts), Chris Ciotti (4g-1a—5pts) Defense: James Roll (0g-7a—7pts), Jason Bird (1g-3a—4pts). Goalies: Gordon Defiel (3-11-0, 2.53 GAA, .900 SV%). Kevin Aldridge (0-2-0, 4.80 GAA, .833 SV%).

Special teams

Lake Superior State – The Lakers penalty kill is ranked 54th in the nation (41/54, 75.9%). The Lakers  power play is ranked 57th in the nation (5/72, 6.5%).

North Dakota – UND’s penalty kill is ranked 23th in the nation (57/66, 86.4%). UND’s power play is ranked 19th in the nation (13/70, 18.6%).

Series prediction

Let’s take a look at the numbers. The Lake Superior State Lakers are ranked 58th nationally in team winning percentage. The Lakes are also currently ranked 54th in the all-important Pairwise Rankings. Keep in mind that there are only 59 teams in division I college hockey.

They say that the numbers don’t lie. On paper this series “should” be a miss match. Statistically, comparing the two teams numbers it’s not even close.

Last weekend, the Lakers were outscored 10-0 by the Minnesota State Mavericks. The Lakers are currently ranked 56th overall in-goal scoring. The Lakers offense is anemic they’re scoring 1.69 goals per game. On the defensive side of the ice, the Lakers are ranked 55th overall. The Laker are giving up 3.88 goals per game.

On paper, this series looks like a practice session. That being said, this has the making of being a trap series. I don’t see UND taking the Lakers lightly, coach Hakstol will have his team prepared.

Prediction: UND sweeps (5-2 W, 7-1 W).