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LSSULaker889294
03-13-2012, 10:13 AM
Seeing the other Laker hockey thread is about to be locked because of the 1,000 post limit, I might as well start a new one.

LSSULaker889294
03-13-2012, 12:12 PM
Anyone here think Roque will be fired?

sm2pk
03-13-2012, 12:34 PM
I don't think so . If they don't give him a longer term contract ,such as four more years, they are keeping him on a short leash .

PerkyforPrez
03-13-2012, 12:39 PM
I don't think so either. Dunbar is more concerned with a couple students banging pans.

FRICKER
03-13-2012, 02:03 PM
I see no need to change coaches just to change coaches. There's a lot more to say about having a stable program rather than a revolving door. However, if I could find a recruiting assistant with
experience and an established recruiting pipeline to say western Canada or the USHL, I might consider that change. Assistant Coaches like Ron Rolston,im Roque, and yes, even Scott Borek could
really recruit. Bo was a much more effective recruiter than a Head Coach. I think we can all agree with that.

Lakerblue
03-13-2012, 02:47 PM
I agree that changing coaches is not in LSSU's best interest at this time.

The athletics department is in the middle of a facility improvement and fundraising campaign. They have a coach who is established and appears to work well with teh AD and her office. Roque is not a hockey genius. And his recruiting, while OK, rarely seems to uncover many hidden gems. But the school is trying to make expensive upgrades to the facilities and the Norris Center as a whole -- and Roque and his coaching staff are a key feature in the fundraising efforts. This is not to say a new coach can't get on board with the financial campaign -- but switching horses in mid-stream at this critical juncture in LSSU's hockey history would appear to be imprudent.

Is there a correlation between the recruiting woes of LSSU in the last 15 years and the program's facilities? And perhaps the expansion, and increase in funding, will improve the school's chances of landing a higher level of talent?

And is the team trending upwards, despite ending in the same position?
Last season, the Lakers were 13-17-9 (with five shootout "wins"). They scored 93 goals and allowed 115.
This season, the Lakers were 18-17-5 with four shootout "wins". They scored 102 goals and allowed 108.

They managed to finish off, in the win column, five more games. they scored 11 more goals and allowed 7 fewer.

To put this in perspective, the Lakers won 18 games for the first time since 2006-2007; and they won 18 games for only the third time since Jeff Jackson left in 1996.

Furthermore, the team is only losing two key seniors in Haines and Cassiani, (and Pobur, who was a marginal regular) and the Top Four scorers for this team are all expected back on campus next fall.

The goaltending looks solid -- and I am now wishing (although I didn't complain at the time) that KK was spelled by Murdoch a little more often, as KK appeared to tire and fade down the stretch. But then again, the whole team seemed to fade down the stretch.

Furthermore, LSSU has only one year left in the thankfully-dead CCHA. The upshot of the CCHA dying is that Lakers will find themselves in a conference wherein they will be more competative at the league level. LSSU will still have a small budget, but the budget will not seem so dramatically low when compared to NMU, Bemidji, Mankato, Alaska, Ferris, etc . . .


All in all, the Lakers still ended up where they finished last season -- which is a first round playoff win, followed by a second round playoff loss. But changing the coach is a waste of time if the program doesn't have $250,000 to toss out to lure a top-flight assistant or a "looking for a new challange" head coach to move to the Soo. (i.e., Pearson and Murray).

Bill
03-13-2012, 02:54 PM
I see no need to change coaches just to change coaches. There's a lot more to say about having a stable program rather than a revolving door. However, if I could find a recruiting assistant with
experience and an established recruiting pipeline to say western Canada or the USHL, I might consider that change. Assistant Coaches like Ron Rolston,im Roque, and yes, even Scott Borek could
really recruit. Bo was a much more effective recruiter than a Head Coach. I think we can all agree with that.The USHL is the best Junior A league in the U.S. The BCHL is the best Junior A league in Canada. We recruit very little in the USHL and not at all in the BCHL. The big reason given is lack of money. Although I accept that money is the big issue, I don't think it's the only issue. I think part of it is that our coaches just don't have good connections to the USHL (and none to the BCHL) coaches. With Muskegon now having a USHL team, we should be at least attending a fair amount of games there while recruiting, looking at the various USHL teams. Maybe we are; I certainly hope so. Barring some personal falling out, I don't see Roque replacing Christian or Laprade with another assistant with better USHL connections. The matching donations fundraiser should help some, but the thing that would really help is if some of our former Lakers who went on to long NHL careers would donate some significant money. Guys like Jim Dowd and Brian Rolston come to mind. And although Doug Weight did make a nice contribution several years back, it would be nice if he chipped in some more.

Bill
03-13-2012, 03:20 PM
Is there a correlation between the recruiting woes of LSSU in the last 15 years and the program's facilities? And perhaps the expansion, and increase in funding, will improve the school's chances of landing a higher level of talent?

I don't think there is that much of a correlation. The updated facilities will help, but I think the lack of money for recruiting has been a much bigger factor over the last 15 years.

Lakerblue
03-13-2012, 03:25 PM
I don't have any idea how much former alumni donate to the program. From the glory days, only Weight and Rolston probably made any serious money in the NHL. Dowd obviously made a good living, but he never had any multi-million dollar deals. And Weight donated a very large amount of money to the tune of $200,000.00. And that money is still used today, as the program uses the interest to fund scholarships. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't have a couple hundred thousand dollars to give away. That is not to say the program is without funding. There are a good collection of very dedicated professionals and alumni who donate quite a bit of money every year. And the amount of donations coming into the Norris remodelling project are a very good indication of the dedication of the alumni towards athletics.

Bill is correct about LSSU footprint being very, very small in the USHL and Western Canada. There was a time when the NAJHL and the USHL were companion-leagues. This meant that there was penty of top-flight talent within an easy drive of the Soo. Once the USHL moved up to Junior A Tier I, most of the top American talent flooded to the that league. The NAJHL turned into a backwater, where it has sadly remained.

FRICKER
03-13-2012, 03:48 PM
I'm not sure I totally buy into the budget dollars reason for not recruiting western Canada or the USHL. I think it's as much not having the relationships to get the inside track on the blue-chippers.
The NAHL isn't what it once was and the gap between the NAHL talent and the USHL is widennng each season. There may be some D1 prospects that pass through the NAHL on their way to the USHL, but
that's about it. Changing the paradime doesn't seem in our future.........................

Laker Dude
03-13-2012, 04:57 PM
Seeing the other Laker hockey thread is about to be locked because of the 1,000 post limit, I might as well start a new one.

I am just hoping for a Truth Squad free 2012-2013 season.

Lakerblue
03-13-2012, 04:59 PM
I am just hoping for a Truth Squad free 2012-2013 season.

Oh, its out there. The truth is out there, somewhere.

Bill
03-13-2012, 05:32 PM
Anyone here think Roque will be fired?I don't know. It probably depends upon what type of relationship he has with the AD, President, and others in power at LSSU. Where are they at on the spectrum ranging from (1) "As long as the players generally stay out of trouble, that's all the matters", to (2) "We want and expect a winning team more often than not, and at least semi-regular trips to the Joe and/or the NCAA tourney"? What type of expectations have they communicated to him when his contract has been up for renewal?

DB Cooper
03-13-2012, 06:39 PM
At the risk of being seen as agreeing with a certain negative Nancy, the following consistent shortcomings of the Laker program persist from season to season:

1. Poor or weak performances in critical series at the end of the season
2. Poor and tentative performance at critical times at the end of games
3. Failure of players to improve during seasons and careers, with actual regression seen at times
4. Rare victories with the Lakers in underdog status
5. Frequent losses with the Lakers in favorite status

I truly enjoyed watching the team this year. I think this is the pinnacle of success we can anticipate without changes being made. I don't know if the current staff can address these and other issues repeatedly demonstrated over multiple seasons. I want to be clear; the LSSU Laker Hockey Team deserves, and can obtain good coaching. I don't like to read what sounds to me to an acceptance of mediocrity in the interest of stability or saving the budget. I want the current staff to be successful, but any excuse I've read on this board is easily refuted with demonstrated turnarounds by other teams. It's not about money or talent. It's about the culture of the program. I agree the data presented by Lakerblue could be seen to show progress, but does it truly feel that way? Who expects one of the best and most exciting players this year, a freshman forward, whose name I won't use, to show progress and improve each year? The Lakers can't afford the talent Michigan gets, or a $250,000 coach, but they can afford a team that doesn't mail it in the last game of a playoff series, or the final series of the season against a rival. Those who foresee success in the new WCHA due to a lower level of competition had better reconsider. Make no mistake about it, I am confident in the opinion that 5 of the current coaches of future WCHA teams do a better job getting more out of less than our program's leaders.

Laker Dude
03-13-2012, 08:05 PM
Does anybody know what the non-conference schedule looks like next year?

I thought I heard that Union and Huntsville will be playing in the Sault.

Not sure if a trip is scheduled to Bemidji since they played in the Sault last year.

jnacc
03-13-2012, 08:16 PM
I want to be clear; the LSSU Laker Hockey Team deserves, and can obtain good coaching. I don't like to read what sounds to me to an acceptance of mediocrity in the interest of stability or saving the budget. I want the current staff to be successful, but any excuse I've read on this board is easily refuted with demonstrated turnarounds by other teams. It's not about money or talent. It's about the culture of the program. I agree the data presented by Lakerblue could be seen to show progress, but does it truly feel that way? Who expects one of the best and most exciting players this year, a freshman forward, whose name I won't use, to show progress and improve each year? The Lakers can't afford the talent Michigan gets, or a $250,000 coach, but they can afford a team that doesn't mail it in the last game of a playoff series, or the final series of the season against a rival. Those who foresee success in the new WCHA due to a lower level of competition had better reconsider. Make no mistake about it, I am confident in the opinion that 5 of the current coaches of future WCHA teams do a better job getting more out of less than our program's leaders.

The reality is that Roque is the lowest paid coach in the CCHA and one of the lowest paid in D-1 hockey. The Lakers recruiting budget is also the smallest in the CCHA and is comparable to a small Atlantic College Hockey program that only offers 12 scholarships. LSSU does not have the financial wherewithal to hire a first rate coach ala Western Michigan or Michigan Tech. These budget limitations have an obvious affect on the success of the program and it is foolishness to expect regular appearances at the JLA or berths in the NCAA tournament.

Yes, LSSU can possibly hire what is considered an up and coming coach, gleaned from the USHL ranks with solid connections to the best teams and leagues on the continent but would that really ensure success in recruiting top players from the USHL/BCHL and the NTDP? I hardly think so, considering that such players end up playing for major programs that the Lakers simply cannot compete against.

We have to be realistic and now our pecking order in the college hockey world.

DB Cooper
03-13-2012, 09:47 PM
The reality is that Roque is the lowest paid coach in the CCHA and one of the lowest paid in D-1 hockey. The Lakers recruiting budget is also the smallest in the CCHA and is comparable to a small Atlantic College Hockey program that only offers 12 scholarships. LSSU does not have the financial wherewithal to hire a first rate coach ala Western Michigan or Michigan Tech. These budget limitations have an obvious affect on the success of the program and it is foolishness to expect regular appearances at the JLA or berths in the NCAA tournament.

Yes, LSSU can possibly hire what is considered an up and coming coach, gleaned from the USHL ranks with solid connections to the best teams and leagues on the continent but would that really ensure success in recruiting top players from the USHL/BCHL and the NTDP? I hardly think so, considering that such players end up playing for major programs that the Lakers simply cannot compete against.

We have to be realistic and now our pecking order in the college hockey world.


I couldn't have your outlook and still stay interested in the Lakers or college hockey in general. At the beginning of the season they should list the budgets of the programs from largest to smallest and produce the final rankings, eliminating the need for playing all those predetermined games.

I can't agree that because a budget is small, and a coach on the low end of the pay scale, that the team can't play with more consistency and effort, and players can't improve. My original post says nothing about expecting league or national championships.

Coach Roque and his staff are intelligent and motivated. I don't think they give less effort because their budget is smaller. The program simply has some chronic issues with underachievement. They haven't found a way to make the most of what they have.

Think about it, last friday the Lakers play a good game against WMU. Saturday they look as if they have not yet been aquainted with their hockey sticks. This is not an isolated incident. What does that have to do with their budget or Coach Roque's salary?

LSSULaker889294
03-13-2012, 10:26 PM
Does anybody know what the non-conference schedule looks like next year?

I thought I heard that Union and Huntsville will be playing in the Sault.

Not sure if a trip is scheduled to Bemidji since they played in the Sault last year.

I would think they would go to Bemidji, but I'm not sure. Also I believe the clusters are NMU, Miami, Alaska and Ferris, but not 100 percent sure. This is my guess what the schedule will be like:

Cluster: NMU, Miami, Alaska, Ferris
Home: Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State
Road: Bowling Green, Western Michigan, Notre Dame
Non-Conference: UAH (Home) Union (Home) Bemidji? (Road), Holiday Tournament? (Road)

davyd83
03-14-2012, 09:16 AM
At the risk of being seen as agreeing with a certain negative Nancy, the following consistent shortcomings of the Laker program persist from season to season:

1. Poor or weak performances in critical series at the end of the season
2. Poor and tentative performance at critical times at the end of games
3. Failure of players to improve during seasons and careers, with actual regression seen at times
4. Rare victories with the Lakers in underdog status
5. Frequent losses with the Lakers in favorite status

I truly enjoyed watching the team this year. I think this is the pinnacle of success we can anticipate without changes being made. I don't know if the current staff can address these and other issues repeatedly demonstrated over multiple seasons. I want to be clear; the LSSU Laker Hockey Team deserves, and can obtain good coaching. I don't like to read what sounds to me to an acceptance of mediocrity in the interest of stability or saving the budget. I want the current staff to be successful, but any excuse I've read on this board is easily refuted with demonstrated turnarounds by other teams. It's not about money or talent. It's about the culture of the program. I agree the data presented by Lakerblue could be seen to show progress, but does it truly feel that way? Who expects one of the best and most exciting players this year, a freshman forward, whose name I won't use, to show progress and improve each year? The Lakers can't afford the talent Michigan gets, or a $250,000 coach, but they can afford a team that doesn't mail it in the last game of a playoff series, or the final series of the season against a rival. Those who foresee success in the new WCHA due to a lower level of competition had better reconsider. Make no mistake about it, I am confident in the opinion that 5 of the current coaches of future WCHA teams do a better job getting more out of less than our program's leaders. So which players "mailed it in?" Who wasn't giving what you felt to be a solid effort? And remember, effort doesn't always mean results. I've seen plenty of games where the effort was there, but the result was lacking. But to say that some players "mailed it in" would insinuate that they didn't try. I doubt that was the case. I can assure you that in the final series of the regular season at NMU that there was no mailing it in by anyone from LSSU.

PerkyforPrez
03-14-2012, 11:25 AM
So which players "mailed it in?" Who wasn't giving what you felt to be a solid effort? And remember, effort doesn't always mean results. I've seen plenty of games where the effort was there, but the result was lacking. But to say that some players "mailed it in" would insinuate that they didn't try. I doubt that was the case. I can assure you that in the final series of the regular season at NMU that there was no mailing it in by anyone from LSSU.


It was nice to see the Lakers finish the season with class and not stoop to thugery or trying to hurt someone with a cheap shot.

I don't think there was one player that did not give 100 percent, mailing it in is more a shot at the coach. We had more talent this yearthen we had in a while is why we feel we could have done better in them two series in question. We are not talking about the players we could not afford to recruit but the ones we have watched all year not just the two games up at Marquette.
Dave we know we have the lowest payed coach and smallest budget, this time last year all we heard from you was how the WCHA would never grant us admission.