First-year coach Damon Whitten and his Lake Superior State University Lakers are in position to land a Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoff spot.
The Lakers are home to the Ferris State University Bulldogs on Friday and Saturday needing just a win or tie to secure a bid to the WCHA playoffs on what is the final weekend of the regular season.
LSSU can also receive a playoff bid via a loss or tie by Alaska-Anchorage in either of its two games against this weekend.
The Lakers head into the weekend home set at Taffy Abel Arena with a WCHA record of 7-18-1.
Ferris State, on the other hand, has a mark of 11-14-1.
Of note, Lakers freshman goalie Gordon Defiel leads the nation in saves with 1,019. He is the only Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association goalie with at least 1,000 saves this season.
Meanwhile, Ferris State features sophomore forward Jared Van Wormer, who has 6 goals, 8 assists, 14 points this season.
As captain of the Soo Eagles, Van Wormer led the entire North American Hockey League in scoring during the 2012-2013 season — but somehow the previous Lakers coaching staff missed a top player in their own backyard.
Van Wormer’s 16 points this season are as many as Lakers senior forward Stephen Perfetto, who leads LSSU in scoring.