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10-02-2013, 12:30 PM
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LU Men's Hockey Season Breakdown
For those College Hockey fans in the St. Louis area, here's my yearly pre-season breakdown of the Lindenwood Men's Ice Hockey Team. For those hockey fans that haven't made a trip to see the team play, it's worth the short drive west. Free parking, cheap tickets, and a fun atmosphere that puts fans close to the action.

2012-2013 Record: (16-13-4)

2013-14 Record (1-1-0)

Last Weekend: Lindenwood are ranked thirds in the first ACHA Division I rankings, the team opened the 2013-14 season on the road against the University of Central Oklahoma. The Lions defeated the Bronchos 4-2 in the first game but fell 5-0 in the second game after a penalty filled second period.

This Weekend the Lions host the #5 Oklahoma Sooners for a two-game home-opening series at the Lindenwood Ice Arena in Wentzville, Mo. The Ice Arena is a short 20 minute drive from most of Western St. Louis Co. and St. Charles Co., located near I-70 and I-64/Rt61 interchange and the Wentzville Parkway exit of Rt. 61 at 910 Main Plaza Drive, Wentzville, MO 63385. Game times for the home opening series is 7:00 p.m. Friday and 4:00 p.m. Saturday.

The Lions have become one of the traditional powerhouse teams in ACHA Division I, despite only starting hockey in 2003. The Lions are one of a total of 11 schools that have won the ACHA Men's Division 1 National Championship. Only five teams have won multiple championships, including Lindenwood. The Lions have played in five of the last six Men's Division I National Championship games and lifted the Murdoch Cup twice in 2009 and 2010.

Despite a poor overall record, a combination of heavy hits to graduation/a young team as well as the overall ACHA Division I competition rising with the growth of junior hockey in the US and lack of growth at the NCAA levels. The team played one of the toughest schedules in the ACHA last season in arguably one of the hardest conferences, the Central States Collegiate Hockey League (CSCHL). The Lions peaked at the right moment and that lead to a 5-2 win over #8 Davenport, a 5-4 win over #1 Adrian College, 6-4 win over #2 Arizona State in the 2013 ACHA Men's DI National Championship tournament. The Lions reached the championship game but fell 5-9 to Minot State.

The Lions have an experienced coaching staff; the team is led by head coach Rick Zombo, an NHL veteran defenseman for the St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings. Coach Zombo is supported by longtime assistant coach Mark Abney enters his 10th season with the team, and former Blues Head Coach/long-time NHL, Euro professional and National team coach Ted Sator returns for another season on the coaching staff. The experienced coaching staff will look to push and mold the young team and continue to instill a winning Lindenwood tradition into the new additions.

Coach: Rick Zombo (4th Season, 72-22-4)

Key Losses:
Lindenwood lost a lot to graduation over the past few season, including top scorer Grant Gorczyca and captain Cam Chinnery.

Other losses include:
Daniel Walcott, a highly touted defenseman out of Chicago, Walcott signed with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL) and already has 2 Goals, 2 Assists and a +7 in 6 Games.
Joe Kalisz was originally committed to UCONN (NCAA DI) and joined the team in the second semester and added some additional firepower to the lineup, Kalisz left LU to join University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (NCAA DIII).
Darnell Dyck: a high scoring, speedy forward racked up 10 Goals and 11 Assists last season. The native of Chilliwack, British Columbia left LU to play for Selkirk College (Canada).

New Additions:
Adam Newkirk: D, Blind Rivers Beavers (NOJHL). 48 Games, 7 Goals, 18 Assists
Kevin Walters: D, Boston Jr. Bandits (EJHL): 43 Games, 6 Goals, 13 Assists
Ryan Brown: 6'4' power forward, Tennyson (MWJHL), 35 Games, 23 Goals and 34 Assists.
Jeremy Edwards: F (St. Louis Jr. Blues (NA3HL), 51 Games, 16 Goals and 16 Assists
Daniel Rosse: F, Fresno Monsters (NAHL) 5 Goals and 6 Assists. 2011-12 season: 25 Goals, 27 Assists with St. Louis Jr. Blues (NA3HL)
Brandon Rumble: D, Helena Bighorns (AWHL), 11 Goals, 36 Assists.
Jesper Fransson: F, Vaxjo J20 (SuperElit), 2 Goals, 5 Assists
Christoffer Lowenhielm: F, Tingsryds J20 (SuperElit), 2 Goals, 4 Assists
John Petersson: D, Helena Bighorns (AWHL), 45 Games, 8 Goals, 32 Assists
Thomas Emery: D, Tennyson (MWJHL), 21 Games, 2 Goals and 13 Assists.
Luke Daniels: F, St. Louis Jr. Blues (NA3HL), 49 Games, 20 Goals, 20 Assists

Top Returning Scorers:

Steve Brancheau: 66 Games, 27 Goals, 41 Assists, 68 Points
Taylor Wolfe: 30 Games, 5 Goals, 20 Assists, 14 Points
Stephen Bopp: 32 Games, 8 Goals, 8 Assists, 16 Points
Peppi Sipila: 68 Games, 16 Goals, 16 Assists, 32 Points
Nick Carey: 62 Games, 5 Goals, 22 Assists, 27 Points

Between the Pipes:

The Lions return all of their goaltenders from last season, Linus Ahgren, Kirk Croswell, and Trey Flesch. The team also added a fourth goaltender, Cody Karpinski (Brockville Braves, CCHL). Ahgren went 8-5-0 in net for the Lions with a 3.76 goals against average and an .884 save percentage. Croswell finished with a 7-11-0 record, 2.89 GAA and .888 save percentage. Mid-season addition, Flesch went 1-1-0 with a 3.24 GAA and an .886 save percentage.

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