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LSSULaker889294
07-18-2011, 11:27 PM
http://www.facebook.com/groups/128543560567593

Cool! I sent a request to join the group.

Neil Diamond
07-19-2011, 10:27 AM
I have lived in the Sault for over 25 years. I don't see all of these vultures flying around hoping for the demise of Laker hockey. Sure, there are a few haters here and there, but for the most part, people in this region would love to see the University and its hockey program flourish.

The Evening News writer was just throwing out his thoughts on where he thinks LSSU hockey will end up. It was titled a "commentary". Who cares if he covers a lot of basketball? It was just his opinion. Take it with a grain of salt.

Hi Pete :)

You and I obviously run in different crowds. I'm around the "vultures" on a daily basis; I hear their comments. I've been around them at meetings where the number one goal is to develop a plan that takes the focus off hockey and places it elsewhere. I've seen their utter frustration at the "hockey culture" they live in. I see their happiness when Laker hockey struggles. I see their dismay when the Eagles draw 1,000 fans to a game. I see their celebratory mood when Soo High hockey is eliminated early from state tournament play. I hear the same excuses year after year why our high school basketball and football teams never win a big championship: because of the hockey culture...hockey sticks are placed in kids hands before they can walk (or so the story goes); kids are made to focus on hockey by their parents; kids are forced to play hockey twelve months out of the year. If not for that, our high school football team would be winning state championships, as would our basketball teams. So hockey is a convenient scapegoat for the relative lack of success experienced by our high school teams.

Don't tell me there isn't an anti-hockey cadre in the Soo, whose number one target is Laker hockey.

Then I ask them to do this: pretend the Soo is not in Upper Michigan, but instead Central Texas. Pretend the town doesn't have a hockey culture, but rather a football culture. Now pretend that instead of Laker hockey being the big dog in our local sports scene, instead high school football is.

Then they, especially the 'football people', tell me to kindly bugger off.

They are not upset we are a town with a tunnel vision towards one sport; they are upset that tunnel vision isn't directed on their sport.

Lakerblue
07-19-2011, 11:43 AM
Without a doubt there are basketball people in our town for whom hockey is a foreign and unpleasant sport, which they neither understand nor support. I think these people are a relative loud minority -- because this city really is a deep hockey-first city. Sadly, the Lakers haven't provided many thrills the past few years. And winning ultimately matters.

But lets not fall into this negativity trap -- this trap which paints everything as horrible, which paints everything as negative. Let us not give into this thought process that says the Lakers are in horrible trouble because they only drew 2,000 or 2,200 per game average the past few seasons. We in Laker Country need to stop this hand-wringing. This program has played mostly terrible hockey, certainly boring hockey, for many years. This program has played very few important games over the past decade -- and won very few of them. The CCHA is a depressing league, poorly run, with struggling programs. And yet, in a town with a small population, with a crippling recession, and despite the fear and panic mongering from the "leaders" on the Hill and the basketball people in town -- STILL -- our Lakers brought in over 2,000 people on most nights. Its cold, its dark, the snow is piled up to the roof. Nobody has any money. The school has done a poor job selling Laker hockey, the coach is a snooze, the team is generally losing, and is generally bland -- and STILL the team brings out 2,000+ fans.

The Soo has what, 13,000 people? (Don't tell me about Soo Ontario either).

This is the sort of thing I am talking about. I fall into the trap too easily myself. We need to remind ourselves, and then remind the school, that Laker hockey is alive and well. We want a better league, or a leadersip position in a new league? Lets act like we deserve it. Lets take control.

No WCHA? That will be terrible -- but what are our options if this happens? I say LSSU takes charge. Put the league offices in the Soo. Take the position that LSSU is the best situated college hockey school in the remaining mess. If we must band together and take on UAH, Ferris, BGSU, and Robert Morris, Niagara, Mercyhurst -- then lets take a position that LSSU is the biggest, best, more traditional-laden team of that group.

Lakerchum
07-19-2011, 12:18 PM
Holy **** a lot is going on in college hockey this summer. I hope the Lakers find their niche in the college hockey landscape for the 2013-14 season. I think we would all like to see some of the WCHA teams in our barn in the future but it seems that may not be an option. Whatever happens I just want to see the Lakers in action at Abel Arena come october for many years to come! Came across this write up on Zach Trotman from the Bruins camp a few weeks ago:

89 Zach Trotman
Vitals: 6-4, 202
Acquired: 7th round in 2010 (210th overall)
2010-11 amateur team: Lake Superior State Lakers (CCHA)
Signing status: Unsigned
Camp notes: One of the most pleasant surprises of any B’s prospect in attendance. Big man moves well with a good stride, initial quickness and agility. Skates with his head up and makes all the requisite breakouts and lead passes. Effective on the point with a quick wrister or big bomb that he mixes up nicely. Looks to be on a strong upward developmental curve as an older player who turns 21 next month. Entering his junior season at Lake Superior State after leading all team defenders in scoring a year ago. Still raw, but appears to have all the requisite tools that would allow him to play at the highest level. Trotman is another project player, but one who given the right time and chance to come along at a steady pace, could pay off for Boston as the last prospect picked in the 2010 NHL draft.

Bill
07-19-2011, 04:08 PM
The CCHA has talked to Atlantic Hockey about the possibility of adding Robert Morris, Niagara, Canisius and Mercyhurst:

http://www.westerncollegehockeyblog.com/

AVFC
07-19-2011, 04:09 PM
I don't pay a ton of attention to LSSU, but what exactly has happened to their recruiting over the last 10-12 years? Is this purely a function of coaching or were there other factors at play.

Alton
07-19-2011, 04:32 PM
I don't pay a ton of attention to LSSU, but what exactly has happened to their recruiting over the last 10-12 years? Is this purely a function of coaching or were there other factors at play.

There were certainly other factors at play. Here is their 1992 NCAA Championship team's roster, with age, class and place of birth:

FORWARDS
Clayton Beddoes (21, So, Bentley, Alta.)
Paul Constantin (23, Sr, Burlington, Ont.)
Vincent Faucher (24, Sr, Dorion, PQ)
John Hendry (21, Jr, Toronto, Ont.)
Dean Hulett (20, Jr, San Juan, PR)
Sandy Moger (22, Sr, 100 Mile House, B.C.)
Mike Morin (20, Fr, Melville, Sask.)
Jay Ness (21, So, Grand Forks, ND)
Brian Rolston (19, Fr, Flint, MI)
Wayne Strachan (19, Fr, Fort Frances, Ont.)
Rob Valicevic (20, Fr, Detroit, MI)

DEFENSE
Mark Astley (22, Sr, Calgary, Alta.)
Mike Bachusz (22, Jr, Waterford, MI)
Steve Barnes (21, So, Gravenhurst, Ont.)
Tim Hanley (21, Fr, Windsor, Ont.)
Jim Peters (22, So, Barrie, Ont.)
Michael Smith (20, Jr, Winnipeg, Man.)
Darren Wetherill (21, So, Regina, Sask.)

GOALIES
Blaine Lacher (21, Fr, Medicine Hat, Alta.)
Darrin Madeley (23, Jr, Holland Landing, Ont.)

Easily half of these kids would end up in the CHL today, and several of the rest would prefer the WCHA to the CCHA. Lake Superior's recruiting grounds dried up. Some of the issue, of course, is that the coaches in the late 1990s did not adapt as this process was happening. But to blame this entirely on the coaching staff would be to ignore the major trend in college hockey over the last 20 years.

jnacc
07-19-2011, 06:10 PM
The CCHA has talked to Atlantic Hockey about the possibility of adding Robert Morris, Niagara, Canisius and Mercyhurst:

http://www.westerncollegehockeyblog.com/

It seems that the pieces are all falling into place...some big questions remain such as what to do with Alaska and where will Western Michigan go but all and all the Lakers will most likely be in a conference that many of us did not wish to see them in.
The upside is that the Lakers will certainly be one of the if not the top dog...heck I believe Cansisus, Niagra and Mercyhurst play in arenas that seat less than 2000 and I imagine that their facilities are substandard. The downside is that this is a HUGE drop from the current structure of the CCHA and Lake State will be part of one of the weakest college hockey conferences.


Easily half of these kids would end up in the CHL today, and several of the rest would prefer the WCHA to the CCHA. Lake Superior's recruiting grounds dried up. Some of the issue, of course, is that the coaches in the late 1990s did not adapt as this process was happening. But to blame this entirely on the coaching staff would be to ignore the major trend in college hockey over the last 20 years.

Pretty much bang on....people have to remember that back in the mid to late 80's, the OHL only had 15 teams and education packages were almost unheard of....today, there are 20 teams and all players receive standard education packages that at a minimum pay full tuition and books making it hard for NCAA teams to recruit against them. There were also something like 35-40 D-1 programs at the time and schools like Ohio State, Miami and Notre Dame didn't give a hoot about their hockey programs...much of course has changed since then and Lake State was unable to adapt and keep up with the changes.

Lakerblue
07-19-2011, 07:27 PM
I am sickened at the thought of being in the CHA cicra 2013. I wish that LSSU would, in lieu of heading west, demand a complete dismantling of the CCHA and create new league. I want to see UAH in this mix -- if only because I don't give a rat's fanny about what the AHA teams feel about travel. Grow up if you want to play D-I sports. Besides, UAH has a larger facility than almost all of the mentioned AHA teams combined.

But what a raggy, cruddy, bottom-feeder league:

LSSU
BGSU
Ferris
Mercyhurt
Niagara
Canisious (of however you spell that place)
UAH

What a joke. And the Laker leadership seems to be just plodding along, tossing up their hands, and dropping on all fours begging for for scraps from mindlessly dull AHA teams.

And what of Fairbanks? I hope they move the WCHA. I still think the best option is for Tech, LSSU, NMU, Bemidji, UAA, and UAF to all join together in their own league and let southern Minnesota and southern Michigan rot.

The drop in LSSU's fortunes? Jeff Jackson left. He was / is a top-flight colleg hockey coach. End of discussion. The NCAA clearinghouse played a part, but i think the ACT scores required did little to hurt college hockey recruiting because the players who choose to play NCAA hockey have to make taht choice at 15-16 years old, before many ever take an ACT test.

As for the OHL issue -- this is a nonstarter to me. Mike Modano went to the CHL, Doug Weight played NCAA. There has always been players who play in the CHL, and there have always been players in the NCAA. If the OHL was a factor in any decline at LSSU, it would have been an equal decline all around the NCAA.

Besides, if a kid in 1994 was going to skip the CHL -- LSSU would've been a top target. Brand new beautiful rink, top coaches, championships, passionate fans, and on the boarder with Ontario. Add into that mix the rather generous admissions standards for LSSU, and you get the picture that the OHL was never going to damage LSSU's program.

Nope -- the real loss was losing Jackson. There are college coaches who win, and many many more who can't figure out the NCAA game. Jerry York won a ton with BGSU before moving to Boston College. BGSU hasn't been seen since. Dean Blais won at North Dakota and now at Omaha, using Kemp's players to win more games than Kemp ever dreamed. Maine was a machine under Shawn Walsh. George Gwozdecky built Miami from nothing, and then turned Denver into a national champion twice. Jackson is a proven winner.

LSSU followed Jackson with Borek (overmatched), Anzalone (past his prime), and Roque (boring hockey). What changed? Nothing. Not a darned thing. Same great building. Same facilities. Same admission requirements. Same proximity to Canada. Same school. A few more CHL teams and a few more NCAA teams -- but that doesn't matter in North Dakota or Boston College. I think the CHL argument is a soft excuse. The hard truth is that coaches MATTER a whole lot in college sports. Period.

Great coaches find, recruit, and develop great players. Good coaches usually have good players. Mediocre coaches usually find their level -- and have mediocre players.

Neil Diamond
07-19-2011, 08:13 PM
LSSU
BGSU
Ferris
Mercyhurt
Niagara
Canisious (of however you spell that place)
UAH


And there you will have your first D II men's league, if only in name only.

jnacc
07-19-2011, 08:44 PM
As for the OHL issue -- this is a nonstarter to me. Mike Modano went to the CHL, Doug Weight played NCAA. There has always been players who play in the CHL, and there have always been players in the NCAA. If the OHL was a factor in any decline at LSSU, it would have been an equal decline all around the NCAA.



LSSU followed Jackson with Borek (overmatched), Anzalone (past his prime), and Roque (boring hockey). What changed? Nothing. Not a darned thing. Same great building. Same facilities. Same admission requirements. Same proximity to Canada. Same school. A few more CHL teams and a few more NCAA teams -- but that doesn't matter in North Dakota or Boston College. I think the CHL argument is a soft excuse. The hard truth is that coaches MATTER a whole lot in college sports. Period.


Blue I agree with you for the most part. This "new look CCHA" will be a sorry excuse for a legitimate D-1 conference and the current coach at the helm leaves much to be desired...and the current A.D. seems to be in over her head concerning the changes that are rocking the college hockey world.

You are, however, underestimating the impact that both the CHL and NCAA expansion have had in terms of recruitment. The CHL has become very aggressive in going after the available talent pool simply because they have to. Over the past 15 to 20 years they have added 20 teams to their respective leagues, meaning that they have had to find an extra 450 players to fill those rosters. In order to do so they had to drastically increase the scholarship packages they offered as well as go on massive facility re-builds. They now offer pro style amenities and educational packages that rival anything that the NCAA can offer, nor are they restricted and hamstrung by silly NCAA rules concerning when a player can be contacted and how much contact time there can be. This has given the CHL a distinct advantage over the NCAA, especially concerning Canadian born players.

When Frank Anzalone was laying down the ground work for the Laker glory years, his chief recruiter, Jeff Jackson, only had to worry about 38 other D-1 programs and not the 57 others that the Lakers are competing against today. Back then, Jackson easily won recruiting battles against Miami and Ohio State as those programs were underfunded and neglected by their schools. He did not have to go against U.N.O. and Notre Dame while Michigan was just a shell of what it has become today. There was no NCAA Clearing House to concern himself with and for those who simply did not have the academics to get in, well the Lakers could make them a "partial qualifier" and sneak them in through the back door.

If the same circumstances existed back in 1992 as they do today, I would bet big money that Brian Rolston would be playing for the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL, Blaine Lacher would be tending goal for the Edmonton Oil-kings of the WHL, Rob Valicevic would be under Red's guidance at Michigan and Astley would be patrolling the blue line for the U.N.O. mavericks. Mike Morrin would not have been able to get in as a partial qualifier and as a result would end up playing for the Regina Pats of the WHL. The Lakers would have been after Strachan hard, offering him the sun, the moon and the stars but would have lost him to the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs while Vincent Faucher would have been plying his trade for the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL.

In short, there never would have been a 92 NCAA championship team.

EupNews
07-19-2011, 10:57 PM
If the same circumstances existed back in 1992 as they do today, I would bet big money that Brian Rolston would be playing for the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL, Blaine Lacher would be tending goal for the Edmonton Oil-kings of the WHL, Rob Valicevic would be under Red's guidance at Michigan and Astley would be patrolling the blue line for the U.N.O. mavericks. Mike Morrin would not have been able to get in as a partial qualifier and as a result would end up playing for the Regina Pats of the WHL. The Lakers would have been after Strachan hard, offering him the sun, the moon and the stars but would have lost him to the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs while Vincent Faucher would have been plying his trade for the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL.

In short, there never would have been a 92 NCAA championship team.

I think that is a gross over assumption.

Players go to colleges and teams that they respect and that attract them as players. Not because of some regional allegiance. I played in Texas for a team that had almost all of it's players from Michigan, New York, or Minnesota. Players that could have played for any team they wanted to, but because of the coaching staff and the commitment to the organization, they moved at 18 years old (or whatever age they were), 1,500 miles away because it gave them the best opportunity and chance to move on. I think assuming just because a team is close by would make a player choose to play there is a major oversight. And yes, the coach had a big thing to do with it - he now is a head coach in the AHL.

AVFC
07-20-2011, 12:10 AM
I presumed that the advancement of the CHL/fall of tier II Ontario junior hockey didnít help the cause in the Sault. The NCAA has lost some serious ground in the last 5-10 years to the CHL. The sheer number of Americans (especially those from non-traditional hockey markets) taking the CHL road, suggests this is the case. The educational packages are largely illusory at the end of the day, but I think they do figure into the rationalization process.

I also agree that a top notch coaching staff is the only way out of whatever hole the Lakers land in. The really great coaches have an amazing ability to reel in quality kids. I hope everything works out for the Lakers and they find a good home.

Truth Squad
07-20-2011, 10:22 AM
It was into this same enviroment that Frank Anzalone brought the persona of Crazy Frank. He refused to allow the small-town-mentality to limit this program. I was there. He absolutely refused. He worked 20 hour days. He hammered the students. He worked the dorm rooms. Literally went into the dorms and rallied the students to support the team. He worked every possible church, Rotary, and men's breakfast club every day, month after month, year after year. He stood strong against those in town who laughed at him, those who said (in their small-town mentality) that a school as small as LSSU can't compete in D-I sports, can't compete in hockey, can't compete nationally. Folks, that man was so darned stubborn and passionate that him and his players hit the ice every day for practice and every night for games, with a rage. Frank told them nobody believed in them -- now go out and prove those SOBs wrong.

The Truth Is Out There....

Flashy Man
07-20-2011, 10:28 AM
The Truth Is Out There....

You missed the important part:


Frank came back, but lets be honest (and lets not beat a dead horse here), he was not the same his second time around. He was older, had a family, and his enemies were ready for him. After years of Borek losing games, fans, and local interest -- Frank had a tough job. Too many old enemies were far too happy to see Frank founder. And Frank foundered. He did not win many games. He did not reconnect the program to the town. He did not reignite student interest. He did not fight, and win, against the administration.

giwan
07-20-2011, 10:49 AM
I think that is a gross over assumption. Players go to colleges and teams that they respect and that attract them as players. Not because of some regional allegiance. I played in Texas for a team that had almost all of it's players from Michigan, New York, or Minnesota. Players that could have played for any team they wanted to, but because of the coaching staff and the commitment to the organization, they moved at 18 years old (or whatever age they were), 1,500 miles away because it gave them the best opportunity and chance to move on. I think assuming just because a team is close by would make a player choose to play there is a major oversight. And yes, the coach had a big thing to do with it - he now is a head coach in the AHL.

The players go places that give them opportunity not always best opportunity. Whatever they think will be in their best interests, like the coach, like the location, etc, most have no clue which team will help them the most. It's a gut feel and just how hard the kid works, the rest is left to a lot of chance, luck and randomness.

I believe you will see a contraction in this area soon.

davyd83
07-20-2011, 10:53 AM
This "new look CCHA" will be a sorry excuse for a legitimate D-1 conference



Why? Because it will be full of teams like LSSU and Ferris?

aparch
07-20-2011, 11:38 AM
Why? Because it will be full of teams like LSSU and Ferris?

Last I checked, they're all schools still playing at a Division I level. If the mentality is that they're really just lame Division II programs, well, that's how the conference is going to be viewed. The remaining CCHA programs, and potential future CCHA members need to step up and remember that they are playing a Division I level. They are the premiere teams in the NCAA. A UW-Plattsburgh, Adrian, SUNY-Albany they are not.

LSSU hockey, without the WCHA and with the AHA teams, is still a Division I program.


As for the "Basketball" supporters out there, they do realize that the cutting of 18 scholarships for Men's Hockey could mean the cutting of say, softball. Right? I don't see adding Baseball being a popular move for guys to play in February, March, and April in the Soo. Plus, all the other sports are Division II. Again, these people need to take a step back and realize that making noise at the Division II level happens for all member schools a few times a generation (ie: MTU in Women's Final Four). None of those sports can compete with the name recognition of opponents at the Division I level though; Hockey can.

LSSU Basketball may get an exhibition invite to play at Munn once a decade in a game that doesn't mean anything but a paycheck... LSSU Hockey has the chance to be a non-conference opponent at Yost, Boston (College/University), Notre Dame, North Dakota, etc. in a game that matters on the national level.

bigmrg74
07-20-2011, 12:08 PM
Last I checked, they're all schools still playing at a Division I level. If the mentality is that they're really just lame Division II programs, well, that's how the conference is going to be viewed. The remaining CCHA programs, and potential future CCHA members need to step up and remember that they are playing a Division I level. They are the premiere teams in the NCAA. A UW-Plattsburgh, Adrian, SUNY-Albany they are not.

LSSU hockey, without the WCHA and with the AHA teams, is still a Division I program.


As for the "Basketball" supporters out there, they do realize that the cutting of 18 scholarships for Men's Hockey could mean the cutting of say, softball. Right? I don't see adding Baseball being a popular move for guys to play in February, March, and April in the Soo. Plus, all the other sports are Division II. Again, these people need to take a step back and realize that making noise at the Division II level happens for all member schools a few times a generation (ie: MTU in Women's Final Four). None of those sports can compete with the name recognition of opponents at the Division I level though; Hockey can.

LSSU Basketball may get an exhibition invite to play at Munn once a decade in a game that doesn't mean anything but a paycheck... LSSU Hockey has the chance to be a non-conference opponent at Yost, Boston (College/University), Notre Dame, North Dakota, etc. in a game that matters on the national level.
Whats awrong wit da Adrian? :p

All kidding aside, Marketing and Branding of LSSU is what's needed here now. Last time I checked, you're supposed to cheer for the team that has your school's name on the sweater, not the other team of sweaters. And agressive marketing and rebranding along with a visable commitment to becoming the dominate team in the new look CCHA thats composed of half of current AHA schools right now. Is there any reason why LSSU can't get a few good role players and steal the occasional star within that kind of a league where it should be rather common for them to win by about 5 goals a game? Make yourself better, and the rest of the league will have to wake up and realize that the beatings will continue until they choise to get better. Thats how Adrian did it. Hell, when they started, the MCHA didn't have an autobid, and non of their teams had ever competed in the playoffs before. Just after their first year, people were screaming about how Adrian wasn't included in the D3 playoffs because they only had 3 losses, but the MCHA had such a weak SOS and Pairwise, they still couldn't get into the playoffs. Soon after that, Adrian was working the phones, about getting the league to get its act together about getting the paperwork in for an automatic bid for itself, and ended up getting Minnesota-Crookston tossed out of the league because they were a D2 school that was playing down in D3. And well, Hammer, myself, or about any other Adrian fan can tell ya, the other teams have improved since the first couple of years when the first class there was just freshmen and sophomores. Some of those other teams had guys on it that could barely skate or make a tape to tape pass on the fly. Now, they've gotten better because they realized if they didn't they was going to have their doors blown off till Adrian called off the dogs and used most of the Third period to work on their passing skills.

Neil Diamond
07-20-2011, 12:34 PM
If the same circumstances existed back in 1992 as they do today, I would bet big money that Brian Rolston would be playing for the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL, Blaine Lacher would be tending goal for the Edmonton Oil-kings of the WHL, Rob Valicevic would be under Red's guidance at Michigan and Astley would be patrolling the blue line for the U.N.O. mavericks. Mike Morrin would not have been able to get in as a partial qualifier and as a result would end up playing for the Regina Pats of the WHL. The Lakers would have been after Strachan hard, offering him the sun, the moon and the stars but would have lost him to the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs while Vincent Faucher would have been plying his trade for the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL.

In short, there never would have been a 92 NCAA championship team.

A lot of truth to that.

The main reason I tell people not to expect the Lakers to ever rattle off two national championships in three years, as they did in '92-'94, is because it was a 'perfect storm' scenario that will never (can never) play out again. Here what the Lakers had going for them:

Coaching: The Selman-Anzalone-Jackson trifecta was one of the best in college hockey history, for any program. Right people at the right time.

Major Junior Hockey in Canada: The CHL was still stuck in the seventies in the early-90's. They were just coming around to realizing a new era had dawned, and kids and parents liked the idea of getting a degree to fall back on if they didn't make it to the NHL (which most did not, obviously). NCAA hockey had the upper-hand on the CHL back then; not so much now, with the CHL adjusting by offering education packages to prospective players.

Hockey apathy at Ohio State, Miami, and Notre Dame: Back in the 80's and early-90's, for many players going to a program like ND or OSU meant you didn't have what it took to make an LSSU or UM. Lake State may not have been option number one for most players, but is was a close option number two if you couldn't crack a UM or MSU. LSSU attracted quality players.


Many good things came together in that time span for Laker Hockey.