by Tim Rosenthal/Staff Writer
Head Coach: Jim Roque
2006-07 record: 21-19-3 (11-14-3 CCHA)
Key Returnees: Dan Eves F SR., Derek Smith D SR., Jason Blain F SR., Troy Schwab F JR., Josh Sim F JR., Steven Olesky D JR., Pat Inglis G SO., Nathan Perkovich F SO., Simon Gysbers D SO., Steven Kaunisto D SO.
Key Losses: Ryan Baird (early retirement), Barnabas Birkeland, Jeff Jakaitis, Trent Campbell, Derek R. Smith, Jeffrey Rainville, Dominic Osman
After losing 12 seniors following the 2005-06 season, Lake Superior was picked to finish 10th in both the coaches and media polls in the CCHA last season. No one even expected the Lakers to make it to the Joe Louis Arena.
"It was a nice ending for the end of the season," said head coach Jim Roque. "We made it to The Joe at the end and I'll take that."
After a 12-6-2 mark through December, the Lakers saw some struggles in January and February, going 5-10-1 before heading to the league playoffs.
The Lakers lost their first game to Ferris State in the playoffs in overtime. The next two nights they won each game by one goal. Next up was Miami. This is where everyone thought the team would be eliminated in the 2-7 matchup. Instead the Lakers rode behind goaltender Jeff Jakaitis, who stopped 81 of 83 Miami shots on goal in the two-game sweep of the RedHawks.
This season though, the brilliant netminder, Jakaitis, is gone. But there is a replacement ready in Pat Inglis.
However, if Inglis wants to have the same or more success than Jakaitis, he will have to do it this year with a young team. Only eight upperclassmen return.
A captain has not been named yet for this young team, but, Roque gave a hint on a possibility.
"Troy Schwab is a proven leader," said Roque. "Our decision will be made in the fall, but Schwab has a good following and he will probably be the guy."
Whoever the captain is, they will have to lead by example with a young team. This year there are eight freshmen added to the roster.
"We got some needs filled," said Roque about the recruiting class. "We got two defensemen who can handle the puck and we got a bigger."
The question mark still surrounding this team is the goal scoring. The Lakers had five players with 10-plus goals , but this year they lost two of those scorers.
"I think we got better," said Roque about the goal scoring. "It is still a concern and I think we underachieved in that aspect last season.
"We have a tough schedule. We got Clarkson, Michigan Tech, Minnesota-Duluth and we have to travel to Notre Dame. I am excited about the team and I would love to get back to Joe Louis."