When: Friday and Saturday, 7:05 p.m.
Where: Mercyhurst Ice Center
Players to watch: Mercyhurst – So. F Phil Ginand (0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point), So. F Grant Blakey (1-0-1), Sr. F Brandon Coccimiglio (1-0-1), Sr. F Mike Gurtler (0-1-1), Fr. G Jordan Tibbett (0-0-1 record, 1.70 goals-against average, .957 save percentage); Western Michigan – Sr. C Max Campbell (2-1-3), Jr. F Greg Squires (1-1-2), So. D Matt Tennyson (1-1-2), Fr. F Chase Balisy (0-2-2), So. G Nick Pisellini (1-0-0, 1.91, .889)
Mercyhurst – The Lakers look to avenge a two-game series loss in Kalamazoo, Mich. last October (5-1 and 4-3). … They have won one of four career meetings with the Broncos, a 7-4 victory in 2003. … The Lakers begin their home schedule by hosting a school from a power conference for the first time since beating then-No. 7 Princeton (ECAC) 6-4 on Nov. 29, 2008. … The Lakers were 8-7-1 at home last season. … With a win, coach Rick Gotkin (399-272-53 record in 23 seasons) becomes the 36th NCAA men’s hockey coach to reach the 400-win mark. He would be the 24th coach to reach that plateau while spending 10 or more years at the Division I level and the 11th to earn 400 wins at the same school. … Tibbett makes his first collegiate start in goal. He stopped 22-of-23 shots in relief of junior Max Strang in a 4-4 tie against then-No. 4 Michigan on Oct. 2. Tibbett stopped 12-of-12 shots a night later in an exhibition win against Queen’s (Ontario) University. … Senior goaltender Ryan Zapolski is serving a five-game suspension for violating team rules. He’s eligible to return for the Oct. 24 exhibition game against the United States National Team Development Program’s Under-18 team. … The Lakers are holding several fundraising events this weekend to benefit the Marley and Alexa Beaton Education Trust Fund. Their father, Aaron, a longtime Lakers and Erie Otters fan and a key sponsor of the Erie Lady Lions’ Timbit program, died on Sept. 25 because of complications from a stroke. Proceeds from ticket sales, raffles and donations will be placed into the fund. … Blakey faces his former teammates (Squires and freshman F Shane Berschbach) and coach/general manager (Jeff Blashill) from the United States Hockey League’s Indiana Ice.
Western Michigan – The Broncos split a season-opening, two-game series against Canisius, the Lakers’ rival in the Atlantic Hockey Association, on home ice last weekend. They lost the opener 5-3 before rebounding with a 3-2 overtime win. … Blashill takes over a program that finished 8-20-8 overall and last in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (4-17-7) last season. … The Broncos were picked to finish 10th out of 11 teams in the CCHA’s preseason poll. … Their top three scorers (Squires, Campbell and junior F J.J. Crew return from an offense that didn’t have a double-digit goal scorer last season.
Up next: vs. Canisius (Tuesday, 7:05 p.m.), vs. U.S. National Under-18 Team (Oct. 24, 7:05 p.m.)