Laker notes, quotes

September 10, 2015

Lake Superior State University Lakers of the Division 1, Western Collegiate Hockey Association have finalized their coaching staff…And a freshman defenceman from Garden River First Nation has a roster spot as the youngest player on the team…


Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. product Terry Barbeau is returning to the Laker staff for a third stint as goaltending coach.

Barbeau’s return to the Lakers comes after former assistant coach/goalie coach Peter Aubry left LSSU after one season to take a position with the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League.

Though Barbeau has a good reputation for his work from his prior time with the Lakers, the erstwhile Soo Indians of the North American Hockey League and both the Soo Greyhounds and Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League, there are some within the game who view him as being arrogant and aloof.

At any rate, second-year Laker head coach Damon Whitten is counting on Barbeau to continue the development of sophomore goalie Gordon Defiel, who as a freshman in 2014-2015, led all Division 1 goalies in the nation with 1,148 saves.

Freshman Nick Kossoff and little-used junior Aaron Davis are the two other Laker goalies who will be tutored by Barbeau.

Whitten, to be sure, is a believer in what Barbeau can and will do for the Lakers.

“Terry has not only had a strong legacy here with former Laker goalies like Jayme Platt, Matt Violin, Kevin Kapalka, and Kevin Murdock but also in his work with goalies across North America,” Whitten said. “Anybody who knows Terry will tell you what a great person he is and how much he cares about the players, which I think will make him a great fit for our program.”

Defiel, as the returning starter, is looking forward to further development under Barbeau.

“Obviously losing Coach Aubry was a huge loss for our team because he did a lot of great things for the goalies but I’ve met Coach Barbeau and he seems like a great guy and he has a wealth of experience.

“He has a great background working with elite goaltenders and goalies can’t become successful without good goaltending coaching,” noted Defiel.


Doug Holewa has joined the LSSU coaching staff as an assistant under Whitten.

Holewa most-recently served as an assistant coach for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League. Bridgeport is the top farm club of the New York Islanders of the NHL.

“Doug’s role in the development of prospects within the Islanders organization stood out, as they’ve done an incredible job of developing many young players through the ranks of that franchise,” Whitten began.

“With 18 freshmen and sophomores on our roster, assistant coach Rich Metro and I thought it was a huge benefit to bring in a guy with experience developing players. Also with our senior and junior classes featuring guys who want to pursue professional hockey after they leave here, we thought having a guy with that kind of experience of developing players for the next level would also prove beneficial to our program,” Whitten added.


Owen Headrick will make the move up to the Division 1 level with the Lakers this 2015-2016 season after two standout terms with the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

A smooth-skating, 1997 birth-year defenceman who hails from Garden River First Nation just outside Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Headrick is the youngest player on the Lakers.

It speaks volumes about Headrick’s ability and potential that he has a roster spot with the Lakers despite having three full seasons of junior eligibility remaining.

A 6-foot, 190-pound defender who is known for his smarts and skill, Headrick finished the 2014-2015 season with a flourish for the NOJHL and Dudley-Hewitt Cup, Central Canada champion Thunderbirds.

After having shoulder surgery last fall, Headrick returned to the Thunderbirds late in the season and had a spectacular playoff with 12 goals, 8 assists, 20 points in 14 games from his blueline spot. For his efforts, he was named NOJHL most valuable player for the playoffs.

All together, over two years, regular season and playoffs included, Headrick played in 98 games for the Thunderbirds and scored 26 goals, 51 assists, 77 points.

On the ice, Headrick will wear no. 28 for the Lakers and in the classroom, he will major in criminal justice. He is the son of Dave and Anne Headrick.

First official appearance on ice for the Lakers will be on Saturday, Oct. 3 when they will play their annual Blue-White, intra-squad match.

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