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MacVoy appreciates the opportunity to return to the CCHA
Oct. 27, 2007
By LINDA BOUVET, LSSU Sports Information Director
Sophomore forward Zac MacVoy may be a rookie on the Lake Superior State hockey team, but he's no stranger to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association's brand of hockey.
It's easy to see why the Laker coaching staff picked up MacVoy, who is a 6-2, 215-pound forward from Livonia, Mich. Size has always been an important factor in the Lakers' scheme. And as the program continues to improve, they hope to find players with the right mix of size and speed.
MacVoy played for the U.S. National Development Program's 17-under and 18-under teams before heading to the University of Michigan as an 18-year-old. He found that U-M wasn't the right fit for him, and spent last season playing junior hockey with the Omaha Lancers and Ohio Junior Bluejackets of the United States Hockey League.
Although he made the most of his stint in juniors, MacVoy missed the college atmosphere and is thrilled to be back with a CCHA team.
"Once I got the offer from Lake Superior State, I was happy I could stay in the same league and show I can compete in this league," MacVoy said. "I know what the style of play is like and how the reffing is. I have a lot of friends in this league."
MacVoy said he had the jitters of a freshman during the Lakers' season opener at the Superior Showcase.
"I felt more like a freshman, getting used to the speed and size again," he said. "I'll get used to it."
MacVoy is one of 14 underclassmen who have dressed for the Lakers during their first three games. He knows the freshmen and sophomores are expected to contribute this season, and that they don't have much time to acclimate. Six of the Lakers' next eight games are against some of the nation's highest-rated teams, including defending NCAA champion Michigan State.
"We are young class-wise, but not age-wise, which is good," MacVoy said. "We have a mature team - a real good group of guys - and we all get along really well. I've never played a system like this. But the way Coach has gone through it, he is very lenient with the guys and making it easier to adjust to the system. It's different than what a lot of guys have played. The responsibilities for the wingers, the defensive responsibilities - they are different for different positions. Most teams have the same system. I like this. It gets you more involved."
MacVoy is now living in a much different environment than he did when he attended U-M's 38,000-student campus. He was familiar with the Lakers after playing the Soo Indians in North American Hockey League games during his two seasons with the USNTDP.
"When you walk downtown and see Canada right across the river, you forget you're in Michigan sometimes," MacVoy said. "I like how it's small and the community is so close. Everybody knows you. The housing situation, I like that a lot too. Everyone is living in the same area."
MacVoy never stopped taking classes since enrolling at U-M in 2005 and he is on track to earn a business degree.
MacVoy's father, Doug, is a Canadian who has played hockey, and Zac's older brother also played hockey. He is the also the second cousin of NHL Hall of Famer, Norm Ullman, of the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.
"Livonia is a big-time hockey community," MacVoy said. "I also played golf and baseball, but by my freshman year of high school I had made hockey my No. 1 sport."
While with the USNTDP, MacVoy played for former LSSU assistant coach Ron Rolston, who is one of current LSSU coach Jim Roque's best friends.
"The system there is different, but he is the same type of coach and same type of person as Coach Roque," MacVoy said. "They are both funny guys and have open communication with their players, which I like."
In addition to visiting Sault Ste. Marie to play the Soo Indians with the USNTDP, MacVoy traveled to Slovakia, Finland, Russia and Newfoundland.
"That hockey brings you to those places is amazing," MacVoy said. "Even though I was playing only a half hour away from home, playing for (the USNTDP) and playing for my country was a big step and forced me to mature a bit fast."
His fondest memory was winning a tournament in a packed 6,000-seat pro rink in Russia.
"It seemed like everyone hated us there," he recalled. "We were in an area that had been open to the public for only 20 years. It was a 12-hour bus ride from the airport just to get there. But we stayed in a real nice hotel, and it was a nice city."
Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey