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Michigan hockey travels to Lake Superior State for weekend series

The No. 5 Wolverines will have their first road test this weekend.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Michigan Wolverines (3-1) are hitting the road for the first time this season and heading to the U.P. (Upper Peninsula for the southerners) to face Lake Superior State (0-1-1) for a two-game series.

The Lakers are still searching for that elusive first win, but their offense finally showed signs of life in the second game against Nebraska-Omaha. Senior forward Louis Boudon is the catalyst offensively on this team. A 44-point scorer a year ago, Boudon is currently tied for the team lead with two points.

Junior forward Harrison Roy is the other team leader in points. Roy appears to have taken a step up in the offseason after only being a 19-point scorer a year ago. Junior defenseman Jacob Bengtsson led all blue line scorers in points (27) as a premier set-up man, and penalty minutes (63).

In net for Lake Superior State, Ethan Langenegger has beaten out Seth Eisele as the starter. Last season, Langeengger posted a 10-11-1 record with a .912 save percentage. Through two games this season, Langenegger has posted a .903 save percentage.

The fifth-ranked Wolverines enter the matchup fresh off their first loss of the season against Boston. Despite that, Michigan actually rose in the rankings and are looking to continue to rise with its highly rated offense.

Through four games, the Wolverines have scored 21 goals which ranks No. 2 in the country, just behind surprising Penn State with 22. Freshman All-Universe center Adam Fantilli is living up to the preseason hype and leads the country in points and assists — averaging 2.00 and 1.75 per game, respectively.

Sophomore forward Mackie Samoskevich is tied for second nationally with four goals on the season, with freshman defenseman Seamus Casey (3) and sophomore forward Dylan Duke (3) right on his heels.

Super Swede goaltender Erik Portillo is tied second nationally with three wins and, and his .900 save percentage is destined to rise as the chemistry of his new defensemen rises.

Keys to the game

  • The Lakers are a veteran team that knows how to score. Michigan needs to play physical and disciplined. There is no need to rush the scoring chances against a team this inconsistent on the blue line.
  • Michigan defenseman Luke Hughes needs to continue to find his rhythm. Hughes broke U-M records last year for scoring by a freshman defender and is only ranked eighth on the team currently with three points on the season.
  • Keep experimenting with the top two power play lines. Fourth line center TJ Hughes has shown a propensity as a play-maker and Frank Nazar should be debuting for this team soon. The Wolverines possess too much firepower to have the No. 19 power play unit in the country.
  • STOP leaving Portillo out to dry. Aggression is great and Portillo can make big saves, but giving up lazy two-on-ones and two-on-nones is what cost the Wolverines their undefeated season. More discipline, and less neutral zone sloppiness.

When: Friday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 22, 6 p.m.

Where: Sault Ste. Marie, MI

How to Watch: FloHockey

How to Listen: Varsity Podcast Network