Source: Laurentian Sports Info
SUDBURY, ON – That sweet sound of a skate carving through the freshly flooded ice, a sound that resonates with nearly every Canadian, will once again be heard at Laurentian University. It was recently announced that the puck will drop on a new era of Laurentian Voyageurs and Lady Vees hockey in September of next year as the men’s team will resume action after a 13 year hiatus and the women’s team will make its debut in the OUA, both in 2013.
There is considerable buzz and excitement around the university with the announcement of the new teams. Laurentian’s President, Dominic Giroux, is full of optimism about the announcement. “To have hockey back at Laurentian, a sport that is not only our national pastime but woven into the fabric of every resident in Northern Ontario, is extremely exciting. Laurentian’s teams are some of the best in the province and to add hockey into the mix is going to build that reputation even more,” Giroux stated.
Athletic Director Peter Hellstrom is smiling from ear to ear, “it’s been a long road to where we are today but what a feeling, the re-birth of Men’s Hockey and the introduction of Women’s hockey has been the number one priority within my tenure here at LU. I have always said hockey in Northern Ontario is as gospel as football in Texas. It’s an historic day for LU, our city and Northern Ontario. Both genders have a plethora of talent in our area and we hope to attract the cream of the crop to our campus to build a provincial and national contender quickly.
He went on to talk about the opportunities for some big games that the teams will have from day one, saying, “We already have a great Northern Ontario rivalry with Nipissing in soccer and to add hockey to that is going to be a lot of fun for the players, the schools and the fans. The Lakers have built a nationally ranked team in a few short years and we aim to be just as competitive just as fast. And that work starts now.”
Laurentian has a storied hockey history on the men’s side. While this is the debut of women’s hockey, the men’s team as produced some remarkable individuals. On the ice, Denis Castonguay is likely the most recognizable name of the many Voyageur hockey alumni. A member of the Voyageurs from 1983-1988, Castonguay holds the OUA records for career points (265), career goals (124), points in a season (72), and goals in a season (35).
There were also great men behind the Voyageurs bench over the years, the most notable being Jack Porter. Porter was the coach of the team from its inception in 1962 through to 1973, again in 1976-77 and finally from 1981-83. He had a career coaching record of 131-52-14, good for a winning percentage of 66.5%. Over his tenure, Porter guided the Voyageurs to 7 conference championships culminating in a trip to the CIAU championship game in 1967.
Both Castonguay and Porter are members of the Alumni Voyageur Hall of Fame.
The next task is to find the new Head Coaches of the teams before they begin recruiting and building a team for that much anticipated first puck drop next September. Continue to follow the development of the hockey program and the rest of the Lady Vees and Voyageurs at www.luvoyageurs.com.
Laurentian University's Department of Athletics is home to 16 varsity sports teams. The Voyageurs and Lady Vees decorated history of pride and tradition includes 62 provincial championships as well as 10 national championships in 50 years of competition.