Lake Superior State University Lakers — and in particular, two of their freshmen — will skate into 2015 on a hockey high.
The Lakers closed out the 2014 portion of their schedule earlier this week by winning both games to take home the Florida College Hockey Classic championship.
After battling Cornell University Big Red to a 0-0 regulation/overtime tie and winning in the shootout, the Lakers advanced to the title tilt against Notre Dame and stunned the favoured Fighting Irish by a 2-1 margin.
For their efforts in Florida, a pair of LSSU freshmen were honoured by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
Goalie Gordon Defiel was voted Defensive Player of the Week and defenceman Aidan Wright was named Rookie of the Week by the WCHA.
Defiel earned the Shawn Walsh Memorial Trophy as Most Valuable Player of the Florida tournament by stopping 67 of the 68 shots that he faced against Cornell and Notre Dame.
Wright, meanwhile, helped anchor the top defensive unit for a Laker team that allowed just one goal over the two games.
Wright — who played with the erstwhile Soo North Stars of the Great North Midget Hockey League before advancing to the Ontario Jr. Hockey League and then the British Columbia Hockey League — blocked 10 shots during the Florida tournament while averaging more than 26 minutes of ice time per outing.
The Lakers, who have a record of 3-11 within the WCHA, head to Minnesota State-Mankato for games on January 9-10.
Next home games for the Lakers are January 16-17 when they play host to Bemidji State at Taffy Abel Arena.