JV Hockey Reunion
August 8, 2009
Reflections of LSSU JV Hockey Reunion by Daniel May
Laker Hockey Coach Jim Roque,
Ken Debusscher, AJ Coombe,
Daniel May, Joe Wolf
& Paul Theriault in
the Laker locker room.
I read of Paul Theriault's time in Japan from the Spring 2007 Laker Log. Paul was the Junior Varsity Coach in 1973 when I arrived on campus at LSSC. Paul was the finest coach I had as a player, and reading the article got me thinking of a reunion of the team that won the ICHL title, the JV Soo Lakers of 1973-74.
We played in a 3-team league: LSSC, Soo College, and Algoma College. We were a team made up of Americans boys from the Midwest playing a14-game schedule. Playing each of these teams 7 times was quite interesting,and as is often said, "familiarity breeds contempt". We grew together as a team, gelling at the right time. By playoff time in early March, we were ready to go. We beat Algoma College in a two game total goal series for the title, out-scoring them 14-6.
I quickly decided to contact Susan Fitzpatrick in the Laker Alumni office about my idea of a reunion for the team 35years after the championship. Susan gave me the green light to plan it and with her help, and a photoof the team from the Laker
LockerRoom, circaMarch 1974, I was able to identify teammates. (I had transferred to Western Michigan in January 1975,and it was difficult to remember everyone. I enlisted my friend and former teammate, AJ Combe for help.
The guys stop to chat mid-ice.
While speaking to AJ, who lives in Arvada, Colorado, I found out that his wife was a Brimley native and the family had scheduled a family reunion this past August in Brimley. Knowing that AJ and his family weregoing to be up in the Brimley area, we decided to hold the reunion on Saturday August 8th.
We were able to contact a number of teammates, and ended up with four members of the team. AJ Combe, Joe Wolf, Ken DeBusscher, and me. Most important was that our Coach, Paul Theriault, would be able to attend. We all made our pilgrimage to the Soo in August 8th, and we were met by Susan, who hustled over to meet with us at the entrance of the Taffy Abel Arena. Susan had completed a Biathalon that morning and she was great to meet with us. Susan led us into the Taffy Abel Arena, where Laker coach, Jim Roque,met us for a tour of the locker room and the arena. Coach Roque was fantastic and we took photos the locker room and on the ice surface (sans ice). After taking Laker Hockey with Coach Roque, we were ready for a tour of the campus with a student tour guide that Susan had set up for us.
Everyone stopped to admire the "Wall of Fame"
Off we went for the trip down memory lane, highlights were the academic Buildings that we could remember, and of course, Brady Hall, our freshman home. We told many stories of our time in the hallowed halls of Brady and took time and photos, of our dorm rooms. The tour was coming to an end, and we headed to our pre-determined debriefing site, The Alpha Bar. We met Coach Theriault at The Alpha, and had a nice time speaking about families, and our shared time in the special season of 1973-74.
Later that night we all were invited to Paul's wonderful home for food and drink and many more stories of our lives since we left LSSU. Everyone remarked what a great idea it was to get together, and to see the sheer delight that was had by all was priceless. We collected business cards, and promised to stay in touch at our departure later that evening. Little doubt that we all enjoyed seeing each other immensely.
Click here to see more photos from this event.