Hockey: Lakehead believes it can trust a coach under thirty

Lakehead is a different kettle of fish than almost every other men's hockey team in Canada, but replacing coach Don McKee with Joel Scherban, the former captain ... to paraphrase Bart in The Simpsons episode where Homer abruptly stands up in the middle of dinner to tell the family he's going to clown college, "I don't think any of us expected them to do that."
"Scherban returns to the program after graduating three seasons ago as its most successful player. The 28-year-old Thunder Bay native won multiple MVPs and spearheaded the Thunderwolves to two appearances at the Canadian university championship, reaching the gold medal game in his final year. However, the prevailing theme after Tuesday‘s news conference on campus was Scherban‘s lack of coaching experience.

"He hadn't coached a minor hockey team before being given the keys to the most high-profile team in Thunder Bay." — Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal
It could work, who knows? Lakehead was looking for a shakeup after the Thunderwolves failed to reach the final in both the OUA playoffs and Cavendish University Cup. Hiring a newbie coach who's still on the cool side of the big three-oh is a shakeup, for sure.

Scherban would be the third 20-something to head up an OUA team, joining RMC's Adam Shell and Queen's Brett Gibson.

Thunderwolves drop bombshell (Reuben Villagracia, Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal)
Thunderwolves fire coach Don McKee (TB Television)
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  1. Wow. Mckee's team looked totally out of shape at the nationals and I think this played a part in his firing. Hiring someone with absolutely no coaching experience is a mistake. This is ridiculous really. They won't be contenders this year.

  2. You almost wonder if there was something going on behind the scenes. Let's look at some facts:

    McKee's record was 57-27-1-2

    Lakehead finished 2 points out of second place in the OUA Far West this year - in a grouping of 4 teams that were all nationally ranked(although they had a rough second half).

    They beat Western, OUA champ and Nationals Finalist, 3 out of 4 games this past season

    They won their first round playoff series against Waterloo (the Warriors had home ice advantage)

    They next played Laurier - arguably the best team in OUA (based on reg season record and with all due respect to UWO). They beat Laurier once and lost twice by one goal, one of those times in overtime. So basically this series was a coin flip

    At the Nationals, they participated as the HOST team - they did not qualify - did the Board of Directors actually expect they'd win this thing? They played the two best teams in the country and lost by 1 goal to Alberta and by 2 goals to UNB and the shots were relatively even in both games. They were competitive. Yes scoring only 2 goals in two games is not enough, but remember who they were playing and how they got into the tournament.

    Sounds like a pretty darn good record/season to me. The decision seems very strange to me.

    I agree with our friend's hard to imagine them doing this well next year with an inexperienced coach

  3. It reminds me of that crazy owner of the New York Islanders who hired Garth Snow right off the bench (backup no less) as GM. Look where that got them. I guess you could say it got them John Tavares or Victor Hedman. Crazy stupid.

  4. This change had been brewing before the team hit the ice at the nationals.
    The board was embarassed by the teams conditioning level and that resulted in a team that struggled to compete.
    This is a terrible move and Lakehead will suffer.