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Lee endured a long wait for his first game as a Laker

Carter Lee

Jan. 15, 2008

By LINDA BOUVET, LSSU Sports Information Director

Junior Carter Lee was one of two players who transferred to Lake Superior State from Northeastern University following the 2005-06 season. Lee and senior Jason Blain both had ties to Sault Ste. Marie, but it was a coincidence that they left NU at the same time. Blain is a Sault native who returned home for family reasons, while Lee was encouraged to give LSSU a try by the Lakers' all-time leading scorer, Jim Dowd.

Dowd, who played at LSSU from 1987-91 and leads the Lakers career scoring list with 91-183--274, and Lee are both from Brick, N.J. Lee is a 6-2, 200-pound forward and a 2003 San Jose Sharks draft pick.

"I talked to Coach Roque when I was in high school, and I talked to him again the summer after the 2005-06 season, so coming here wasn't a complete shot in the dark," said Lee, who left a school with a 20,000-student enrollment. "I came here because of Jim Dowd. His brothers taught me how to skate, and I grew up playing with his nephew. Jim told me how close LSSU was to Canada, that it was a small school, and a good community with a lot of support and a great hockey history. Otherwise, I really didn't know what to expect."

Although Lee knew he would be on a practice-only status during the 2006-07 season due to NCAA transfer rules, he didn't expect to sit the first 12 games of the 2007-08 season. LSSU discovered he was lacking credits, but he was eventually cleared to play by the NCAA during the Nov. 23-24 Northern Michigan series thanks to appeals filed by Faculty Athletics Representative Tom Boger and Director of Athletics Kris Dunbar.

"Last year wasn't as bad, as I knew coming in that I couldn't play," Lee said. "This year was tougher because I came to school and had no idea. I had to sit back and wait, knowing it would happen eventually. My teammates and coaches made it easier...I have matured a lot going through all that I did this year and last year. The patience and waiting, it definitely helped me mature as a person and a player."

Lee notched is first assist as a Laker in his second game, which was LSSU's 3-2 loss to Michigan State on Nov. 30, then he was hit from behind during Game 2 of the series and suffered a concussion.

"A shift or two into (my first game) I was OK," Lee said. "But I didn't know what to think when I got hit...I'm getting used to game speed. In practice when you get hit, you don't feel like you're trying to hurt each other. When you take that first hit in a game, it's much different than practice."

"He should have had a goal during his first shift at NMU," LSSU coach Jim Roque said. "He's not had a lot of great opportunities to play this year. First he had the eligibility issue, and then the concussion. Then the team has played well the last four games, and I didn't want to change the lineup. He just has to wait his turn, but there is always a spot that opens up."

Roque is impressed that Lee made the most of not missing classes last semester and had a 3.3 grade point average.

"He had a little setback in the fall, but he's going to be alright," he said. "He had a great semester in school. He's definitely matured during the last year and a half that he's been here."

One aspect that Lee has missed while sitting out is the Central Collegiate Hockey Association's officiating initiative to eliminate holding and the "clutch-and-grab" style from college hockey. He hopes to adapt quickly and contribute to the team as a goal scorer.

"It seems a little more offensive out here," said Lee, who played hockey on the East Coast until he transferred to LSSU. "There are a lot more line rushes and scoring chances. But all college hockey is pretty similar."

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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