FORMER CAPTAIN TAKES OVER AS BENCH BOSS OF THUNDERWOLVES MEN'S HOCKEY

THUNDER BAY, Ont. - Lakehead University Athletics and Thunderwolves Hockey are very proud to announce the appointment of Joel Scherban as the new head coach of the Lakehead Thunderwolves men's hockey team.

Heart and soul, determination, skill, tenacity, hustle, leadership, academic achievement, winner; any and all of these terms can be used to describe the former Thunderwolves captain and new head coach.

A video of the media conference announcing Scherban's appointment can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0k1G66gx_HE

The Thunder Bay, Ont. native was the Wolves captain for its first five years of existence and, not only did he become the face of Thunderwolves hockey and Lakehead Athletics, he helped to firmly establish Lakehead hockey in the community of Thunder Bay and build it into one of the top hockey programs in the CIS in a very short time. Along the way, Scherban set towering individual marks, collected some impressive awards and hardware, and, most importantly to him, helped the Wolves to astonishing team success in its first five years as a CIS hockey program, including a Queen's Cup title, a CIS silver medal, and two national championships appearances.

Lakehead Athletics director Tom Warden said he believes Scherban is the right choice to guide Thunderwolves Hockey.

"We are extremely pleased to secure Joel Scherban as our head coach. Joel has been the face of Thunderwolves hockey since he started with us and I am convinced he is our future. We think that Joel's character, hard work, determination, and intelligence will guide our program for years to come."

Scherban said he is excited about the opportunity to be the new head coach of Lakehead Thunderwolves hockey.

"I am extremely honoured to be named the head coach of the Lakehead University Thunderwolves hockey team. I would like to thank Tom, Rory, and the rest of the Thunderwolves board of directors for providing me with an opportunity to lead one of the top CIS programs in Canada. Since my graduation as a Thunderwolves player, my passion for hockey, the Thunderwolves hockey team, and Lakehead University has only continued to grow. I look forward to the challenge ahead of me and I am excited to begin preparations for the upcoming season."

Thunderwolves Hockey president Rory Cava said he thinks Scherban is the right fit as the new head coach.

"We enter an exciting new era in Thunderwolves Hockey with Joel Scherban as our head coach. Joel has proven not only his talent, determination and work ethic but also his leadership and passion for the Thunderwolves program. I am certain that Joel will bring all the qualities to his coaching career that he exemplified in his playing career."

Scherban's individual achievements make quite a reading list; Senator Joseph E. Sullivan Trophy winner as the top player in CIS hockey, OUA MVP, five-time OUA first team all-star, CIS first team all-Canadian, CIS second team all-Canadian, two-time CIS and OUA most sportsmanlike player, OUA selection as CIS RBC Top 8 academic male award winner, RBC academic all-Canadian, OUA nominee for Randy Gregg Award, Lakehead male athlete of the year, Lakehead President's Award winner, captain of Team Canada (and tourney leading scorer) at Innsbruck Winter Universiade, and Lakehead's all-time overall points, goals, and assists leader.

Scherban led his team to the playoffs in every year and won at least one playoff round each season. The team made it to the OUA Final Four three times and qualified for the CIS national championships twice. In 2005-06, the Wolves won their first Queen's Cup OUA title and took silver at the CIS national championship. Additionally, he and his Wolves never lost a home playoff game during his five seasons as squad leader.

Scherban, along with fellow "Pioneers" Grant McCune, Erik Lodge, Craig Priestlay and Mark Robinson, all made the leap of faith and commitment to Lakehead Hockey in its first season that proved be the building blocks of the team's success.

Aside from his substantial on ice contributions and team leadership, his off ice work in the community of Thunder Bay helped imbed the team into the city's consciousness and made him perhaps the most popular athlete in Thunder Bay. Any time, any event, and Scherban would be there representing Lakehead hockey and giving 100 percent effort to everything he did.

He made countless TV and radio appearances and ads for the Wolves, did numerous volunteer jobs for city charities, worked at Lakehead's summer hockey schools, spoke to public school and high school kids on topics such as career choices, anti-tobacco campaigns, and Learn To Read programs. And he always had time to sign autographs after home games for the many young Thunderwolves fans.

Scherban is very proud to have graduated with an H.B. Commerce degree and a Masters of Science in Management degree.

Scherban was an RBC academic all-Canadian and won the prestigious RBC Top 8 award, the only Lakehead athlete to ever have won that award; a fantastic achievement considering the time demands of playing varsity hockey and studying for a very difficult Master's degree.

Not to be forgotten have been the personal health challenges that Scherban faced. He played his whole major junior and Lakehead career with sports-induced asthma and in his final season at Lakehead was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Incredibly, Scherban rebounded from a very sluggish first half caused by his undiagnosed diabetes, and once diagnosed and properly treated, he returned to his normal excellence and led his Wolves to a Queen's Cup title and a national silver medal.

Joel Scherban: OUA/CIS Honours and Awards

2001-2002 Honours:

1) OUA West Conference First Team All-Star
2) OUA West Conference All-Rookie Team

2002-2003 Honours:
1) OUA West Conference First Team All-Star
2) OUA West Conference Most Sportsmanlike Player Award
3) Queen's Cup All Tournament Team Selection
4) CIS Most Sportsmanlike Player Award
5) Thunderwolves MVP Award
6) OUA Athlete of the Week

2003-2004 Honours:
1) Chosen to OUA Selects Team
2) OUA and CIS Athlete of the Week
3) Lakehead Hockey Athlete of the Month for October and January
4) Selected as OUA West First Team All-Star for third consecutive season
5) Selected OUA West Most Sportsmanlike Player for second consecutive season
6) Winner of CIS Most Sportsmanlike Player Award for second consecutive season
7) Lakehead Hockey Best Work Ethic Award

2004-05 Honours:
1) Lakehead Athlete of the Week
2) Lakehead Athlete of the Month
3) Captain of Winter Universiade Team Canada (Tied for 1st in Tourney Scoring)
4) OUA First Team All-Star
5) OUA West MVP
6) CIS First Team All Canadian
7) Winner of Joseph E. Sullivan Trophy as Outstanding Player in CIS Hockey
8) Lakehead Hockey MVP
9) Lakehead University Male Athlete of the Year

2005-06 Honours:
1) OUA West First Team All Star
2) OUA West CIS Randy Gregg Nominee
3) OUA West Sportsman of the Year Award
4) Lakehead Hockey MVP
5) CIS Second Team All Canadian
6) OUA Queen's Cup Championship Game Jack Kennedy MVP Award
7) CIS RBC Top 8 Award as OUA Male Academic Athlete
8) Lakehead President's Award for Academic Excellence

Joel Scherban: Lakehead Stats

Career All Time Points: (No. 1 in Lakehead Hockey History)

Athlete GP G A PTS PPG Pen PM PPG PPA SHG SHA GWG
Joel Scherban 207 109 154 263 1.27 16 32 11 17 6 4 1

Non Conference All Time Stats: (No. 1 in Lakehead Hockey History)
Athlete GP G A PTS PPG Pen PM
Joel Scherban 51 17 38 55 1.08 3 6

OUA Regular Season All Time Stats: (No. 2 in Lakehead Hockey History)
Athlete GP G A PTS PPG Pen PM PPG PPA SHG SHA GWG
Joel Scherban 104 64 71 135 1.30 7 14 28 35 10 1 5

Playoff All Time Stats: (No. 1 in Lakehead Hockey History)
Athlete GP G A PTS PPG Pen PM PPG PPA SHG SHA GWG
Joel Scherban 38 23 26 49 1.29 6 12 10 9 2 1 1

Source: Lakehead Thunderwolves
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