Strachan honoured by LSSU induction

It’s becoming increasingly harder to believe, given the recent form of their teams, but there once was a time when my hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and its cross-border sister city of the same name in Michigan, were the powerhouses in major junior and collegiate hockey.
During a three year-span in the early 1990s, the OHL’s Soo Greyhounds were the team to beat, winning the league crown in 1991 and 1992, as well as the Memorial Cup as the top team in all of Canada as host in 1993.
Across the river, meanwhile, the Lake Superior State Lakers became a force almost overnight, winning three NCAA titles in a seven-year span.
This past weekend, the entire 1992 national championship squad was inducted into the LSSU Athletic Hall of Fame in honour of the 20th anniversary of that feat, with one of those enshrined being Fort Frances native and current Fort Frances Lakers’ general manager and head coach Wayne Strachan.
“Obviously, it’s a great honour,” said Strachan, who was unable to attend the ceremony.
“It was a great bunch of guys that we had and we rallied together in the second half of the season to put a championship run together, so the memories and the camaraderie that we had as a team are always in the back of my mind,” he noted.
“To get the opportunity as a freshman player to contribute in a pretty important role, and play every game in our championship run, was an honour in itself, especially with the guys that we could and did dress.”
Strachan, who notched 30 points in 42 games during the 1991-92 season, also was part of the Lakers’ championship squad again 1994, featuring a lineup that was almost identical to the team that had won it all two years earlier.
“We were a big freshman and sophomore class in our first title win, and the lineup was pretty much the same when we won again except for Brian Rolston, who had left the team the year before,” Strachan recalled.
“Both of those teams were very similar in their style of play as we had a defensive first philosophy that coach [Jeff] Jackson instilled in us, and we were probably one of the most prepared teams in knowing what we were doing out on the ice,” he added.
“During our second national title season, we were a little bit more offensive-minded, which is something that I think led to the blowout win [9-1 over Boston University] in the title game compared to the one we had two years before [a 5-3 triumph over Wisconsin],” Strachan said.
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While the hot weather may not prompt some to already think about the return of Old Man Winter, local minor hockey organizations certainly are doing just that.
Registration for the Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association currently is open online on its website, which has been redone completely since the end of last season.
Those who have any questions about the registration process can contact Nikki Sandelovich at 274-3391.
Meanwhile, the Emo-Devlin-Barwick Minor Hockey Association will be holding its registration on Monday, Aug. 27 and Tuesday, Aug. 28 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Emo-La Vallee Community Centre.
The registration will be held upstairs at the arena, with all first-time players being asked to bring along their birth certificates.
For more information, contact Tammy Strachan at 482-1212.