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09-28-2012, 12:56 PM
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NHL lockout fever? Lindenwood hockey starts is weekend!

Women's Hockey
Season Preview:

Women's team is starting its second season at the NCAA National Collegiate level (DI and DII women's hockey programs) The Lady Lions will play their first NCAA conference schedule this season as one of three new members of College Hockey America (CHA). Lindenwood finished its first NCAA season with an 8-21-0. record but LU finished the season on a seven-game win streak. Lindenwood will play four games against each CHA opponent, two on the road and host all CHA opponents at home for two games. LU's non-conference schedule is heavy on WCHA teams, with 14 games against members of the WCHA.

Lindenwood Women's Hockey opens the season at Ohio State this weekend in the first meeting of each teams.

Roster Changes:
The Lady Lions returns 16 players and adds five freshmen and two transfers to the 2012-13 roster. Senior Brett Lobreau will serve as captain for the second season and Allysson Arcibal was named as an assistant captain. LU returns its leading scorer from last season, Alison Wickenheiser led the team with 19 goals, 17 assists. Alyssa West was second on the team with 24 pts, including 16 assists and Allysson Arcibal had 12 goals and 12 assists. The three will play together on the same line as last season, known as the AAA line. The Lady Lions return goaltender Taylor Fairchild as the starting goalie. She saw a lot of rubber last season was one of the save leaders in the NCAA last season with 984 saves. In addition she had a 6.62 GAA and a .865 save percentage in 25 games.

Junior Forward Jocelyn Slattery joins the team from the University of Connecticut. Slattery appeared in 34 games for UConn and finished third on the team with six goals and eight assists. Chelsea Witwicke comes to Lindenwood from Niagara University. She had four assists in 28 games on the blue line for the Purple Eagles. Witwicke adds experience in CHA as LU looks to pick up its first conference win, Witwicke saw action in all 12 conference games for NU.

Key Games:
Lindenwood will host #2 Wisconsin for a two game series next weekend (Oct. 6 and 7). Wisconsin hosted Lindenwood last season as the first NCAA DI games for the Lady Lions and absolutely destroyed LU. This season Lindenwood will look to improve against an elite program and stay competitive against the Badgers. Nov. 16 and 17 Lindenwood will host Penn State, it is Penn State's first season at the NCAA level after moving it's men's and women's teams to the NCAA from ACHA, much like Lindenwood last season, this is a big transition year for Penn State. The two teams were both ACHA powerhouses and will continue their rivalry in the CHA. In another battle against a top NCAA program, North Dakota will visit Lindenwood on Jan. 4 and 5, 2013. The Fighting Sioux shutout Lindenwood in one game at Ralph Engelstad Arena last season.

Welcome to the CHA:
Lindenwood is one of three new members of the College Hockey America (CHA) for the 2012-13 season. LU joins Penn State and RIT as new members, both other members are elevating their programs to the NCAA DI-DII level. RIT was a top DIII program and Penn State a top ACHA rival of Lindenwood. The new-look CHA also lost a member when Niagara announced it would drop NCAA women's hockey last year. Lindenwood was winless against members of the CHA last season when they played Mercyhurst, Robert Morris (PA), and Syracuse.

Note: LU is ineligible for NCAA post season play during the university's NAIA-NCAA transition period.

Men's Hockey
Roster Changes

LU has some key departures from the 2011-12 season, including captain Colin Long, assistant captain Brett Morrell and Tyler Bowman. All three were important members of the team on the blue line and saw over 25 minutes of action. Long and Morrell were both ACHA All-Americans. Sophomore Nick Carey (St. Louis Bandits) is the leading returning scorer for defensemen, he will likely see increased special teams time to fill the large voids by Morrell and Long on the power play. Barclay Berner (St. Louis Jr. Blues) leads all returning defensemen in +/- with a +15 and will likely see more time on the penalty kill for the Lions. LU brings in some key freshmen and transfers that will likely play impact roles this season, freshmen Ryan Bakken (Langley Rivermen), Taylor Wolfe (St. Louis Bandits), and Daniel Walcott (New Trier HS) will join transfer Nick Chandler (New England College NCAA DIII) on defense for Lindenwood. The new look defense corps also includes Freshman Will Quillman (St. Louis Jr. Blues), Brennan Devers (CBC HS) and Junior Shawn Wybenga (Paris Mounties).

Lindenwood returns its top four scorers from last season. Seniors Neeco Belanger, Jeremy Meletii, Grant Gorczyca and sophomore Steve Brancheau will play big roles for LU this season. Belanger led the Lions in scoring last season with 21 goals and 24 assists; Gorczyca was second on the team in goals with 20 while Brancheau was second in assists with 25. Lindenwood Darnell Dyck was a top scorer for Langley Rivermen with 19 goals and 46 assists and in the top 25 in the BCHL last season. Steven Bopp (St. Louis Bandits) will also play a big role for the Lions. LU also adds two hard-hitting forwards that will likely see time on momentum swing 3rd and 4th lines. Cody Barra comes to LU from the Rochester and David Scott joins from the ACHA DII/JV team.

A pair of sophomore goaltenders return for the Lions. Linus Ahgren finished last season with an 8‐2‐0 record, 2.00 GAA and .907 save percentage. Kirk Croswell finished with a 6‐1‐0 record including a 2.14 GAA and .914 save percentage.

Season Preview
Ex Blues defenseman, Rick Zombo enters his third season as Lindenwood's head coach and is joined by former Blues head coach and long time coach at the NHL and International levels, Ted Sator. Mark Abney enters his ninth season as an assistant coach.

Despite going undefeated in conference play and winning the CSCHL regular season and playoff championships, the team was handed its earliest exit from the ACHA tournament in multiple seasons when the Lions lost to eventual 2012 National Champion, Delaware in the semifinal round. LU looks to improve on last year and enters the season ranked second to the Blue Hens. Lindenwood begins the season with Central Oklahoma at home on Sept 28 and 29. The 2012‐13 schedule has 26 of 28 regular season games against teams in the top 14 in the pre‐season poll.

Key Games:
LU faces a tough road trip to Tempe AZ to face Arizona State University on Oct. 12 and 13. The Sun Devils are one of the most improved teams in the ACHA for 2012-13 and added Jr. A, NCAA DIII and NCAA DI talent to their roster. The following series is a home series against rival Oklahoma Sooners. Oklahoma is also one of the most improved teams with Jr. A and NCAA talent coming into Norman this season. LU will get a chance to revenge it's losses against the Sooners, last season Oklahoma had LU's number last season and handed LU 3 of its 5 losses. Delaware already was upset by Navy last weekend and has not recruited like other top 5-ranked teams. Lindenwood, Oklahoma, and Arizona State will likely battle for top rankings and the National Championship.

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