#1 Michigan vs. Lake Superior State Preview

No. 1 Michigan hosts Lake Superior State in a two-game home series this weekend at Yost Ice Arena. How do the Wolverines match up with the visiting Lakers skating for the first time since taking Miami's No. 1 ranking. How will the games play out as the Wolverines look to maintain their lead on first place in the CCHA?

Michigan reclaimed the top spot in all the national polls by taking three of four points from then No. 1 Miami in Oxford, Ohio, last weekend. How will the Wolverines fare now that they have reclaimed the No. 1 ranking and have gone from the hunter to the hunted? How do the Wolverines match up with Lake Superior State in the second series of the season between the two schools?

Series Notes
Records: Michigan (23-3-4, 16-2-4 CCHA), LSSU (6-16-6, 4-13-5 CCHA)
Series vs. LSSU: Michigan leads 51-46-6
Season Series: 2-0 Michigan
Last Meeting: 6-2 Michigan (11/17/2007)

U-M Offense vs. LSSU Defense
F – Kevin Porter (25-20-45, +18)
F – Chad Kolarik (20-19-39, +16)
F – Aaron Palushaj (7-21-28, +4)
F – Max Pacioretty (10-17-27, +16)
F – Travis Turnbull (11-9-20, +16)

U-M Goals/Game: 3.9
U-M Shots/Game: 31.4

LSSU Goals Allowed/Game: 3.6
LSSU Shots Allowed/Game: 30.9

Outlook: The Michigan offense was like a well-oiled machine in scoring nine goals against the nations' top statistical defense last weekend in Miami. If the team plays just half as well, expect Michigan to have no trouble finding the back of the net against Lake Superior State University this weekend.
Advantage: Michigan

LSSU Offense vs. U-M Defense
F – Nathan Perkovich (13-4-17, -7)
F – Zac MacVoy (8-10-18, -6)
F – Dan Eves (6-11-17, +1)
F – Troy Schwab (4-13-17, -11)
F – Chad Nehring (4-8-12, +2)

LSSU Goals/Game: 2.2
LSSU Shots/Game: 25.1

U-M Goals Allowed/Game: 1.9
U-M Shots Allowed/Game: 26.6

Outlook: Lake Superior State has struggled to put the puck in the net at times this season. Michigan's defense has been one of the better defensive teams in the nation. With the games at Yost, this is another clear advantage for the Wolverines. Don't be surprised if the Maize and Blue are even more motivated than usual skating against former teammate Zac MacVoy.
Advantage: Michigan

Billy Sauer
Record: 21-3-3
GAA: 1.85
Save Percentage: .930

Bryan Hogan
Record: 2-0-1
GAA: 2.28
Save Percentage: .901

Brian Mahoney-Wilson
Record: 4-8-3
GAA: 3.13
Save Percentage: .896

Pat Inglis
Record: 2-8-3
GAA: 3.97
Save Percentage: .873

Outlook: Billy Sauer was good enough to lead Michigan to a three-point weekend against Miami University in Oxford last weekend. He'll be facing a much less potent offense this time around, and Lake Superior State has struggled to replace Jeff Jakaitis from last season. Another advantage to the home team here.
Advantage: Michigan

U-M Power Play vs. LSSU Penalty Kill
U-M Power Play: 20.9% (34-of-163)
U-M Shorthanded Goals Allowed: 2

LSSU PK: 72.1% (93-of-129)
LSSU Shorthanded Goals: 1
LSSU PIM/Game: 14.1

LSSU Power Play vs. U-M Penalty Kill
LSSU Power Play: 15.6% (23-of-147)
LSSU Shorthanded Goals Allowed: 3

U-M PK: 88.2% (149-of-169)
U-M Shorthanded Goals: 6
U-M PIM/Game: 18.4

Outlook: Special teams looked better last weekend for the Wolverines, but they still aren't where they need to be. A weekend against Lake Superior State might be just what the doctor ordered to solve some of the special team's woes. Don't be shocked if the Wolverines net a few on the power play and skate much better on the penalty kill this weekend.
Advantage: Michigan

The only thing stopping the Wolverines from a two-game sweep of the Lakers this weekend could be looking ahead to Michigan State next weekend. I don't see this being a significant problem for the Wolverines as they hold just a one point lead on Miami in the standings, but look for Michigan to come out fast, early and skating hard against Lake Superior State to try and put this one out of reach before the Lakers gain confidence.
5-1 Michigan, 4-2 Michigan

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