clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Season Preview: Lake Superior

My choice for 2nd place in the CCHA is Lake Superior.

Projected Depth Chart

LW Trent Campbell C Troy Schwab RW Dominic Osman
LW Matt Martello C Jeffrey Rainville RW Derek R. Smith
LW Nik Sellers C Josh Sim RW Nathan Perkovich
LW Dan Eves C John Scrymgeor RW Michael George
LD Simon Gysbers RD Derek Smith G Jeff Jakaitis
LD Steve Kaunisto RD Barnabas Birkeland G Patrick Inglis
LD Steve Olesky RD Ryan Baird

Strengths:

For the past three years, Jeff Jakaitis has been one of the lone bright spots for the Lakers. He’s never posted a save percentage below .915 nor had a goals against average above 2.85 for a season, despite a 24-42-15 career record.

Weaknesses:

The Lakers have made huge strides in the amount of offensive talent they had, but their not that far removed from the single-digit win teams of the second Anzalone administration. Most of the offensive talent that the Lakers do possess is still quite young and relatively unproven.

Overall:

I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out on this. I really like the way this Laker team looks, and I think they will be this year’s surprise team. They were on their way to surprising a lot of people last season, but goalie Jeff Jakaitis got tired down the stretch and they finished without a win in their last 7 games. This year’s team returns the talented Jakaitis and adds another infusion of offensive talent. The Lakers are no longer the offensively inept doormat they were for the past few seasons.

The biggest criticism you’re going to hear about the Lakers before the season starts is how young their defense is. Yes, they have a lot of new guys on the blueline, but then again, did you see how the old guys played? A new influx of Jim Roque-recruited talent seems to be a better alternative than holdouts from the Anzalone 2.0 debacle. Jakaitis didn't have a ton of help in his first three seasons and did just fine, and I think he’ll do the same this year regardless of how much blueline help he gets.

Question Marks

Despite what I just said, there are still a lot of freshmen defenseman that are going to be playing. Will the offense really be better? Matt Martello probably would have been drafted if he had been playing in the OHL, but will he really be able to step in and contribute right away? Will the Lakers struggle down the stretch run again this year?

Key Player: Matt Martello. Martello is one of the most talented forward recruits that Lake Superior has had in a long time. If he can adjust quickly to the college game, he should help give Lake Superior some of the scoring that they desperately need.

Breakout Player:
Josh Sim.Coach Jim Roque was asked who he thought would be a breakout player for the Lakers this season, and he picked two obvious choices, and the intriguing Sim, who scored 8 points last season in 25 games, before his season was ended by injury.

Bellwether:
The success of back-up goalie Patrick Inglis. Coach Jim Roque said he wanted to give Inglis some starts to rest goalie Jeff Jakaitis. But if Inglis struggles and Jakaitis is forced to play more games than the Lakers want, he could wear down again at the end of the season.

Did You Know:


According to John U. Bacon’s book Blue Ice. Former head coach Frank Anzalone once pitched Lake Superior as a "glorified high school" to then-recruiting target David Harlock

Lake Superior was founded as an extension of the school that later went on to become Michigan Tech

If You Go There

You Have to Eat At: Antlers. Locals will hate me for picking the most obvious, touristy place, but if you’re obviously a tourist, it’s worth a stop. It’s known as the "best taxidermy restaurant in Michigan"(beating out stiff competition from a number of Downriver locales) There’s a bunch of crazy stuff on the walls and the food is pretty good too.

You Have to Stop At: The Soo Locks is the obvious answer here if you’re into water and engineering marvels and whatnot. I believe there’s also a shipping museum or something that’s kind of cool