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Violin discusses his past, present and future

Sophomore goaltender Matt Violin

Dec. 6, 2002

By LINDSEY MECHALIK, LSSU Sports Information student intern

Most college sophomores look toward the future, beyond college hockey, with uncertainty. Lake Superior State goalie Matt Violin knows he will get a shot at continuing his hockey career after being drafted by the Vancouver Canucks last summer.

During the National Hockey League Entry Draft held at the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Canada, Violin was selected in the eighth round, 247th overall. He was aware that Vancouver was interested in him and was excited when the Canucks' general manager called to let him know he was drafted.

"Being drafted is every guy's dream," Violin said. "I was very happy to hear that I was selected by the Canucks. To be drafted after my freshman season was unexpected, and I am honored to perhaps have the possibility of being part of such a great organization. As a child I watched my fellow Canadians play in the NHL. I always hoped to be able to play for one of the great Canadian franchises."

Violin, who is from Bolton, Ont., has been playing hockey since he was five years old and new from the beginning that he wanted to be a goalie. He has been between the pipes ever since his first try as a six-year-old. He started playing because of Canadian tradition. But after a short time, he fell in love with the game and that is why he still plays today.

Prior to playing hockey for Lake Superior State, Violin played for the Oakville Junior A Blades for two years in the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League (OPJHL). He graduated from King City High school. He also enjoys playing golf and soccer.

The small-town atmosphere and its "personable feeling" are what Violin likes best about Sault Ste. Marie. Violin appreciates LSSU's small class sizes and the one-on-one contact with professors. One of Violin's reasons for choosing Lake Superior State is the great Laker hockey tradition. Violin hopes to help lead the team back to the winning ways of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

In order to get in top condition for this season, Violin worked out harder than he had during any previous off-season. Along with the rest of the Lakers, he followed the rigorous workout schedule laid out by the coaching staff. He also put in time at hockey schools at Lake Superior State and in Toronto. A few weeks before the fall semester started, he relaxed and tried to get mentally ready for hockey season.

Violin plans to head home to Bolton during the team's Christmas break. He looks forward to his one and only chance to visit his family in Ontario during the school year. For Christmas, he will spend time with his large extended family along with his parents, two sisters, and his brother. Violin's parents motivate him to keep playing hockey because they are extremely supportive during good and bad times. His family drives eight hours to Sault Ste Marie a few times during the year to cheer on the Lakers.

Last season, Violin was named the Lakers' most valuable player and most outstanding freshman. Violin appeared in 21 games in 2001-02 and started in goal for the majority of the games at the end of the season. He had a 3.06 goals-against average with a .913 save percentage in overall games. The highlight of the year was his 39-save performance in LSSU's 4-3 victory over Michigan in Game 1 of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Playoffs.

"Our team was considered underdogs and we were expected to lose," Violin said. "Regardless, we went into the game with great attitudes and played hard the whole time. We surprised everyone when we won 4-3 at Yost Arena. It was a great ending to the season."

This season, Violin has played in nine games and has a .891 save average. Violin says that despite having such a young team, the Lakers' future looks bright. He believes that the team is catching on quickly and heading in the right direction.

Violin is majoring in business administration. After his playing career ends, Violin would like to open his own business and be a part of the game he loves as much as possible.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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