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Scoran wants to be a part of Lakers' resurgence



Kory Scoran

Jan. 17, 2004

By Lindsey Mechalik, LSSU Sports Information intern

For a hockey team that prides itself on solid defense, Lake Superior State sophomore Kory Scoran is a perfect fit.

The 6-foot-3-inch, 210-pounder makes his presence known at the blue line, but he has also bolstered the Laker offense. He has six points with two goals and four assists and is second only to junior Ryan Reid (1-6--7) in scoring among the defensemen.

"I like being the last line of defense," Scoran said. "I take pride in not getting goals against when I am on the ice. Even though I play defense I also get chances to be offensive too. I like the physical part of the game, and on defense we get more chances to hit. I like to wind up for the big slap shot that sometimes forwards don't get a chance to do as much. From my position we get to see more of the whole game."

Scoran often plays left defense with sophomore Ren Fauci.

"I really like having Ren as my defense partner," Scoran said. "We read really well off each other. It's great to be able to play with the same guy all of the time. Last year was hard because we switched partners a lot because we were all still learning, and there were only two upperclassmen to play defense. There were a lot of freshmen. With Ren and me, we have gotten where we will know what the other person is going to do. I know if I mess up, where he is going to be. If I am in a jam, I know he is going to be there for me."

The Lakers pride themselves on leading the league with the fewest penalty minutes. It's not easy doing a defenseman's job without spending time in the penalty box.

"As a defenseman, one of our jobs is to protect the goalie," Scoran said. "It is hard in this league with the amount of penalties that are called compared to juniors. We have to be careful in front of the net to not get penalties. We don't want to let anyone push our goalie around, and we do everything we can to protect him and his crease. He can't always see everything so we have to help out. A great part of the game is moving the guys out of his way so he can see any shots coming in. One of the hardest and frustrating parts of playing defense is clearing guys out in front of the net, but not crossing the line of what is allowed and getting a penalty. We have to play as hard as we can without breaking the rules.

"The toughest part of playing defense is that sometimes if you screw up there is no one left behind you except the goalie. We are the last line of defense. It's horrible if you make the wrong move when you have guys coming down on you on a one-on-one or two-on-one. There is a little more pressure."

Scoran has been playing defense for over 13 years.

"I played forward until I was nine," Scoran said. "One day the coach put me on defense, and I have been playing there ever since. I have always wondered what it would be like to skate as a forward, but I really like defense. I like skating backwards. I know we can still be really offensive as defensemen. If you are good at both, it's a better game."

Scoran has been playing hockey since he was three years old. His dad had played hockey and coached.

"I don't really remember why I started," Scoran said. "My dad just probably bought me skates, and I started skating and just liked it. By 3, I was playing on my brother's team. He was five and playing 6-Under. I keep playing because I love it and there is nothing else I would rather do. If I can do something I love for the rest of my life, I'll be set. I love the competition and playing in front of large crowds. It is a real adrenaline rush. It doesn't matter if it's a home crowd or we are away."

When he is not busy with school or hockey, Scoran enjoys spending time with his teammates off the ice.

"My roommates, who are my teammates, and I make up games to keep us busy," Scoran said. "Sometimes we will clear stuff out of the way and make little nets to play mini sticks (hockey). We like to play video games, especially Hot Shots Golf. It's awesome to live with my teammates. They are really great guys and we get along great. We don't really get tired of always being together. We are all doing the same thing and have the same focus. We know what each person is doing and going through, and respect each other."

Last year Scoran was part of largest rookie class in the school's history. That was one of the reasons he chose to be a part of Laker hockey.

"I wanted to be part of a program that was growing," Scoran said. "My freshman year, I was one of 15 rookies. I hoped that, coming in, I would get some ice time and a chance to prove myself. I wanted to be part of a team that starts off together and grows. Being with a lot of the same guys for four years is going to be a lot of fun.

"We have a great rink here. Our dressing room is one of my favorite places. I kind of feel spoiled by it. There is so much tradition. On the walls there are posters and pictures of past teams. It's great walking down the hallways and seeing all of the tradition. It really helps with motivation. The locker room is kind of a sacred place. We keep it neat and are cleaning it all of the time. We don't mess around in there."

Another rink with great tradition is Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, where he looks forward to playing in February and hopefully March.

"I really love playing at the Joe," Scoran said. "Detroit is my favorite team in the NHL. I had never been there before. I have always followed Steve Yzerman since I was young. He is my idol. I respect him as a player. I like the team he is on and knowing that he is never going to another team. I collected hockey cards when I was little, and I always saw his name. I started watching for him on TV, and I liked him even more. Hockey is on non-stop on highlights in Canada, so I got to see him a lot."

Despite the long trip from Winnipeg, Man.,, Scoran's mother, Marlene, father, Gord, and brother, Kris, visit as much as possible. They see him play a few times each season.

"When I was little my mom stood in the net when I played street hockey when no one else was home," Scoran said. "I would shoot tennis balls at her. Most of the time we would be out there so long the tennis balls would end up being frozen."

Kris, 25, played hockey, but his real love was football. He was an offensive lineman in the Canadian Junior Football League. His team in Okanogan won the Canada Cup.

Before coming to Lake Superior State, Scoran played junior hockey for the Melfort Mustangs of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. In 63 games in 2001-02, he had five goals and 41 assists. He received the most valuable player, most valuable defensemen, and best plus-minus awards. Scoran was assistant captain for two years was also named to the SJHL All-Star Team.

"Playing in the all-star game was an awesome experience," Scoran said. "We (Northern Division Saskatchewan Junior All-Stars) played the Manitoba All-Stars of the South Division. That included teams from close to my home in Winnipeg. The game was two hours from Winnipeg, so I got to play in front of friends and family. My parents and a few of my buddies who hadn't seen me play in a long time came. I hadn't played that close to home in three years.

Before heading to Melfort, Scoran played for the St. Boniface Saints of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. During the 1997-98 season he was named the most improved player.

"It was pretty hard to make the decision to leave home when I was 17 to go to play for Melfort," Scoran said. "I had never really lived away from home before. But, my closest friend came with me, so it made it that much easier."

Sadly, his friend, Kyle Johnson, with whom he moved to Melfort, died in a tragic camping accident.

"It was really hard," Scoran said. "We went to high school together and played baseball, hockey and roller-hockey. He was one of my best friends. At the beginning of the next hockey season, it was really hard without him there. It was really weird without him and knowing he should have been there. He was really awesome at hockey.

"The funeral was at the hockey rink and there were about 2,000 who attended. They had a huge screen with a highlight tape of when we were in Melfort. It was really tough when they played the song, "I Will Remember You," with video of him scoring and with the clips from the radio announcer. At the beginning of the season they raised a banner with his name and number on it. I had a hard time because I had to start that game. We had horseshoes on the sleeves of our jerseys, and we had a little horseshoe with his initials and his number on all of our jerseys. Kyle inspires me to keep playing, and I know not to take anything for granted because it can be taken away from me in an instant."



Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
 
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