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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Lake Superior State’s 6th Place Finish Last Season Declared Fluke by CCHA coaches and Media

After finishing last season in sixth place in the CCHA, after being placed 11th in the CCHA preseason poll, LSSU has failed to gain the respect of the CCHA coaches and Media who have predicted them to finish 10th in the league this season.

The same pollsters that predicted that Ohio State would walk away with the CCHA crown last season, and that Miami of Ohio would finish in the lower half of the league not surprisingly predicted that Michigan, Michigan State, and Miami of Ohio where ranked 1-3 in both polls, with Bowling Green, and Western Michigan being projected to be 11th and 12th in both polls.

The loss of 12 seniors from last years team obviously contributes to the Lakers poor showing in the CCHA Media and coaches poll. The media and coaches showed their lack of respect for the job that Head Coach Jim Roque has done in recruitment of this year’s incoming freshman class, nor the talent that this class brings the Lakers.
"We graduated a lot of guys last year but we are very enthusiastic about our team. We have some real good freshmen coming in and we have a group of six seniors I think that will be outstanding this year that have been biding their time following the gentlemen that just left last year and are getting their chance to lead their team." Coach Roque said.

Senior Goalie Jeff Jakaitis was voted Preseason Second Team All CCHA. Prompting Coach Roque to say, "We obviously have an outstanding goalie (Jeff Jakaitis) to anchor us back there."

Media Poll
1. Michigan (26) 845
2. Michigan State (38) 844
3. Miami (13) 800
4. Northern Michigan 570
5. Nebraska-Omaha 539
6. Ohio State 514
7. Ferris State 437
8. Notre Dame 403
9. Alaska 390
10. Lake Superior State 379
11. Bowling Green State 158
12. Western Michigan 127

Coaches Poll
1. Michigan State (7) 117
2. Michigan (1) 108
3. Miami (4) 107
4. Ohio State 84
5. Nebraska-Omaha 75
6. Notre Dame 62
7. Alaska 60
8. Northern Michigan 59
9. Ferris State 55
10. Lake Superior State 30
11. Bowling Green State 18
12. Western Michigan 17


FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – For the first time in recent memory, the coaches and media disagree over who deserves top spot in the CCHA’s annual preseason polls. The conference’s 12 head coaches ranked Michigan State first while the media voted for Michigan, albeit by the narrowest of margins. Defending regular-season champion Miami placed third in each category.

The Spartans garnered the most first-place votes in both rankings with seven in the coaches poll and 35 in the media poll. The Wolverines received a single vote for top spot from the coaches, polled 26 from the media and landed the No. 1 position in the media poll by virtue of a strong number of second and third-place votes. Four CCHA coaches chose the RedHawks to defend their regular-season title as did 13 members of the media.

The Spartans return 17 players, including seven that are NHL draft picks, from a squad that went 17-4-3 in 2006 en route to the 11th CCHA playoff championship in school history. Sophomore goalie Jeff Lerg, the league’s Rookie of the Year last season and Bill Beagan trophy winner as CCHA Tournament MVP, anchors the team defensively. Junior forward Bryan Lerg, who produced 15-23-38 last season, is MSU’s top returning scorer while Rick Comley, beginning his fi fth season in East Lansing, Mich., needs a dozen wins to become just the fifth coach in Division I history to record 700 career victories.

The Wolverines, gunning for their 17th consecutive NCCA Tournament appearance, are led by senior captain and defenseman Matt Hunwick along with senior forward T.J. Hensick who is aiming for a third-straight 50-point season. Behind the bench, Red Berenson, in his 23rd season and directing a roster loaded with 13 NHL draft choices, is 15 wins shy of reaching the 600-win plateau for his distinguished career.

The Redhawks, the only team outside of the state of Michigan since 1987 to have taken the league’s top regular-season honors, have 15 players back from their championship squad, including the stellar goaltending rotation of junior Charlie

Effinger and sophomore Jeff Zatkoff. Junior forwards Nathan Davis (Chicago) and captain Ryan Jones (Minnesota) are among a seven-member contingent of NHL draftees that Enrico Blasi, the 2006 National Coach of the Year, will rely on.

A total of 77 members of the media ranked the 12 CCHA teams in projected order of finish for the regular season. Points were awarded on a 12-11-10-9, etc., basis. League coaches ranked the CCHA teams, excluding their own school, in the order they predicted the regular season will end. Points in the coaches poll were tallied on a 11-10-9, etc., basis.

Comments on "Lake Superior State’s 6th Place Finish Last Season Declared Fluke by CCHA coaches and Media"


Blogger toivo99 said ... (10:21 AM) : 

We did not declare last season as a fluke. As a media member who voted in the poll, I picked the Lakers to finish eighth. This is coming from a life-long LSSU fan that has nothing but high hopes for this team.
If you actually look at the number of points the Lakers got in the media poll, the average media pick was around eighth. The reason they are 10th is because many media had other teams with surprise finishes while we realize it would be difficult for the Lakers to repeat what they did last year with LSSU losing more than most teams. And the Lakers trade four games against Ferris and Western for four games with Miami and Ohio State.
Remember, third through tenth were separated by something like six points last season. Things will be very close.
It's not a matter of disrespect. It's a matter of reality. But I hope I'm very, very, very wrong.

Go Lakers!


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