A look ahead at ’16-17 Laker log

May 21, 2016

Along with the other nine teams in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, Lake Superior State Lakers know the whens and wheres for the 2016-2017, 28-game schedule against conference opponents.

For starters, the Lakers currently have the season-opening weekend of October 1-2 available for potential exhibitions match-ups.

Looking beyond that, Lake State will play host to former Central Collegiate Hockey Association rival Michigan State on October 14-15 as part of the annual Great Lake State Weekend festivities, which this year will feature the induction of 1988 national championship goalie Bruce Hoffort into the Laker Hall of Fame.

The Lakers will close out the month of October with their first four WCHA contests, first traveling to play Alabama Huntsville on the 21st and 22nd before returning home for a two-game set with Alaska on the 28th and 29th.

The Lakers then open November with what might be the toughest stretch of the season.

Leading off, the Lakers will play host to 2015-2016 WCHA regular-season co-champion Minnesota State on November 4-5. Following that, the Lakers will travel to ’15-16 co-champion Michigan Tech on November 11-12. WCHA playoff champion Ferris State is the second stop on the three-week road trip on November 18-19 before coach Damon Whitten’s crew closes out the month with a non-conference weekend at Michigan on November 25-26 against the Big Ten champions.

The Lakers will return home for a weekend series against Bowling Green December 2-3 before traveling to Bemidji State on December 9-10 to close the first semester of play.

Following a slated two-week hiatus for the Christmas holidays, the Lakers will travel to face another former CCHA foe, Nebraska Omaha, on December 30-31.

January opens with consecutive home-and-home series against Walt Kyle-coached Northern Michigan on January 6-7 and 13-14.

A home series with Alabama Huntsville on January 20-21 and a road swing at Minnesota State on the 27th and 28th will close out the Lakers first month of 2017.

Following their only bye week of the second half, the Lakers will play host to Alaska Anchorage on February 10-11 before traveling to Fairbanks on the 17th and 18th. The Lakers will close the regular season at home against Ferris State on February 24-25.


The top eight teams in the league standings following the regular season will play a best-of-three WCHA quarter-final series on March 3-5 with the top four seeds hosting the full set.

The semi-finals will also be held at the home sites of the top two remaining seeds on March 10-13.

The WCHA championship game to determine the Broadmoor Trophy winner and the WCHA’s automatic bid to the national tournament will be a one-game, winner-take-all match-up hosted by the top remaining seed.


Under the steady hand of aforementioned, third-year bench boss Damon Whitten, the Lakers can return 20 players from their ’15-16 team in ’16-17.

Among those slated to return to the good ship Laker in ’16-17 are the top eight scorers from ’15-16 including forwards JT Henke, Mitch Hults, Gage Torrel, Anthony Nellis, Gus Correale, Diego Cuglietta and Jake Hand and defenseman Owen Headrick. Top goalie Gordon Defiel is also a key returnee as is his twine-tending partner, Nick Kossoff.

The Lakers finished in seventh place in the WCHA last season with a record of 10-13-5. Overall, the Lakers played 41 games — including non-conference action and playoffs — in ’15-16 and had a record of 14-22-5.

PHOTO: Laker bench boss Damon Whitten will return for a third season in 2016-2017. (Photo by Ali Pearson.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *