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Ward is humbled to be a Laker assistant captain
Nov. 15, 2003
By Lindsey Mechalik, LSSU Sports Information Intern
Nathan Ward has proven that he can help to lead the Lakers to victory, but is humbled to be named assistant captain as a sophomore.
"It's an honor to wear the "A"," Ward said. "It's a huge privilege because a lot of great players have worn it in the past."
Ward established himself as a freshman by being only one of two freshmen to play in every game. He registered six goals and four assists. Through nine games this season, he is among the Lakers' leading scorers with three goals and four assists.
Playing at Joe Louis Arena is the highlight of the season.
"I am really looking forward to the game against Michigan State at the Joe," said Ward. "I love the amount of fans that are in the arena. My idol is Steve Yzerman so I love to play where his home team plays.
"I'm excited that the game this year will be on TV. I hope to be able to send a tape of the game to my family and friends back home."
One aspect of playing college hockey that Ward loves is the travel.
"Being able to travel all around the states is a great experience," said Ward. "I really loved the experience of getting to go to places like New York and Alaska. You can't get much better than being able to go to new places and play hockey at the same time."
Ward's parents, Gerald and Vera, made the 28-hour trip from his hometown of Edmonton, Alb., to attend Parents Weekend during the St. Lawrence series on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.
"The win against St. Lawrence was really awesome because my parents were there," said Ward, a business management major. "I love ringing the bell after the win. It is a huge rush. It meant a lot more for my parents to see it. The trip is really long, so they stayed here for the week. They drove to Nebraska the week after to watch the games there, then made the trip home. One of my best friends from home plays for Nebraska-Omaha, and his parents were in town as well."
Prior to coming to LSSU, Ward was an assistant captain for the Weyburn Red Wings of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. The league honored him with the Graham Christie Memorial Award. Before Weyburn, he played for the 1999-00British Columbia Junior Hockey League champion Penticon Panthers.
Ward considers himself to be a superstitious athlete.
"I like to do things the same way before every game," he said. "Even though I am superstitious and have a lot of pre-game rituals, I make sure it's not a huge deal if they don't happen. I won't let anything effect my playing. Before every game I like to take a nap at the same time. I also like to play the same three songs before I go to the rink. My pre-game rituals help me to get into game mode."
Ward plays center for the Lakers, which is a position he really loves.
"I love taking the big draws," he said. "I really like having to be relied on to play my position and make the move down the ice."
Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey