Lasch Stands Tall Despite Title Loss
by Dan Myers/CHN Staff
ST. PAUL, Minn. Stand next to Ryan Lasch and there's a good chance he's no bigger than you. The senior winger from California with bright yellow hair stands a generous 5-foot-8 and had to gain weight two summers ago just to approach 170 pounds.
But following his assist on Garrett Raboin's goal 40 seconds into Saturday night's WCHA Final Five championship game, nobody stands taller in the annals of SCSU's scoring history than Lasch.
Of course setting the mark was bittersweet for Lasch. His Huskies lost the WCHA championship game, 5-3, on Saturday.
"I'd trade any one of those points in for a win tonight," he said.
Luckilly for him and SCSU, they aren't done. They'll find out Sunday morning where they're headed for the NCAA tournament (CHN projects playing New Hampshire in St. Paul, Minn.), where Lasch will have a chance to break another school record — this one a team mark: The Huskies have never won an NCAA tournament game. He'll also have a chance to extend his own scoring record.
"That national championship is the big thing for me," Lasch said. "We need to take it step by step and see what happens next Friday or Saturday."
Two weeks ago, Lasch stood a hefty margin behind Jeff Saterdalen in the school record books. But a regular-season series against Minnesota State followed by a three-game playoff series against the Mavericks yielded five points in five nights. He added the game winning goal Friday against Wisconsin in a semifinal game at Xcel Energy Center to tie the record before breaking it Saturday with his 180th point — a helper that also broke the school record in that category. He now has 102 of those.
"We've been awful fortunate to have him in our program," said Huskies head coach Bob Motzko. "From the moment he stepped foot on our campus, he's been a tremendous offensive player."
"It's something special," Lasch said. "I think it's a part of some of the teams you've played on in the past. The success I've had is because of the players I've played with."
Modesty aside, Lasch's success in the Granite City is somewhat of a surprise — at least on the surface. He's 5-8. He's from California. He looks like he should be surfing instead of playing hockey.
But his personal stats don't tell the story.
He's been a remarkably consistent performer. His 53 points as a sophomore were a career high. Even his freshman season, Lasch put up a rock solid 39 points. He's approaching 50 again this season. And despite his size, Lasch has never played fewer than 38 games. That's impressive, because like he was in Saturday's championship game against North Dakota, he's a target of his opponents on a nightly basis.
"They pounded on him pretty hard," Motzko said. "He shows up in big games. I thought he was outstanding tonight. He was around the net and was a whisker away from creating more offense. That's what he does."
Lasch also got a word of advice from Saterdalen, who chased him down following Saturday's game to congratulate him.
"Told me to keep my head up and keep battling," Lasch said.
Of course, looking up won't a problem for Lasch anymore — at least not in the record books. He doesn't have to. He's looking down at everyone else.