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Lakers pick up three defensemen and two forwards for 2008-09

"Go Lakers"

May 1, 2008

SAULT STE. MARIE - Lake Superior State hockey coach Jim Roque announced that Weyburn Red Wings defensemen Stephen Simms and Kyle Haines, and St. Michael's Buzzers leading scorer Fred Cassiani have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Lakers in 2008-09.

Simms, Haines and Cassiani will join Ohio Blue Jackets forward Dan Barczuk, who committed to LSSU last spring, and South Shore Kings defenseman Kyle Pobur, who is a recruited walk-on, to make up LSSU's recruiting class. Roque will also add Providence College transfer Brad Cooper of Coppell, Texas, to the Laker roster.

"We felt we had to get more depth on defense with only five guys coming back," Roque said. "Up front, we hope that Barczuk will develop into a Dan Eves type of player, while Cassiani replaces Jason Blain. Plus the eligibility of Brad Cooper gives us three more forwards. The freshman will not be leaned on as much as they have been the last two years, but we think they can all play. It will be interesting to see what the added depth does for us."

Simms (Reidville, Nfld.) is a 6-0, 180-pounder who finished third in scoring among defensemen in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in 2007-08. He totaled nine goals and 31 assists in 58 games. He was a two-time SJHL Player of the Week last season and participated in the Canadian Junior A Hockey League Prospects Game in 2006-07.

Haines (Weyburn, Sask.), who is 5-11, 185 pounds, was the runner-up for the SJHL Defenseman of the Year Award in 2007-08. He totaled 4-23--27 in 57 games last year and compiled 13-47--60 over three seasons with the Red Wings. He was a SJHL First Team All-Star and played for Canada West at the 2006 World Junior A Hockey Challenge.

In addition to the Weyburn teammates, SJHL alumni playing for the Lakers include Dillin Stonehouse, Troy Schwab, Josh Sim, Chad Nehring and Tyson Hobbins.

Cassiani (Toronto, Ont.), who is 5-10, 180 pounds, finished third in scoring in the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League during the regular season after leading St. Mike's Buzzers with 32-57--89. He also totaled a team-leading 10-7--17 in the playoffs. Cassiani set a Buzzers career record for games played at 166. He was part of a 2007-08 squad that set club records for wins (43), points (88), goals for (291) and fewest losses (4). St. Mike's enjoyed a remarkable 37-game unbeaten streak in regulation games. Cassiani also participated in the OPJHL All-Star Game.

Barczuk (Livonia, Mich.), who is 6-2, 190 pounds, played part of the 2006-07 season with LSSU forward Zac MacVoy for the Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets of the United States Hockey League. Barczuk totaled 16-11--27 at Ohio during the 2007-08 regular season and had one goal and three assists in the playoffs.

Pobur (Commerce Twp., Mich.) totaled eight goals and 17 assists in 45 games with the South Shore Kings of the Eastern Junior Hockey League. The 5-10, 180-pounder also participated in the 2008 EJHL Winter Showcase.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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