Led by third-year head coach Damon Whitten, the Lake Superior State Lakers of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association will begin the 2016-2017 season on Sunday when they play host to the Laurentian Voyageurs of Canadian Interuniversity Sport in an exhibition match.
Game time is 5 p.m. at Taffy Abel Arena and legendary radio announcer Bill Crawford will call the play-by-play on 99.5 YES-FM.
All time, Lake State and Laurentian have met on the ice on 32 occasions with the Lakers holding the advantage with a record of 21-6-5.
With only one senior skater — newly-appointed captain Gus Correale — the Lakers return a log of high-end players for the 2016-2017 campaign including a pair of area products in junior defenseman Aidan Wright and sophomore blueliner Owen Headrick.
Including Correale and Headrick, the Lakers return their top eight scorers from the 2015-2016 season in which they finished seventh and made the playoffs in the 10-team WCHA.
New to the Laker staff this season is Jamie Henderson, former assistant coach, assistant general manager and general manager of the reigning Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League champion Soo Thunderbirds.
Henderson will assist Whitten and the Laker coaching staff as a volunteer director of hockey operations.