Posted by: Feldman
Pete Spratte is proof of just how far hard work and perseverance can take a hockey player.
Don't get me wrong, Spratte is a talented defenseman, but it's probably safe to say that his work ethic is what has made him a Division I college hockey player.
On Monday morning, Spratte, a 2009 Rochester Lourdes graduate, committed to play for Lake Superior State University, beginning this fall.
Spratte played the past three seasons for the Fairbanks (Alaska) Ice Dogs of the Junior A, Tier II North American Hockey League. The Ice Dogs won the Robertson Cup (the NAHL national championship) in 2011, and advanced to the final four of the Robertson Cup tournament this past season.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound defenseman/forward had his best season as an Ice Dog this year. He tallied five goals and 15 assists for 20 points in 58 regular season games, then added a goal and two assists in 10 postseason games.
For his three-year Ice Dogs career, Spratte had 10-38—48 in 172 games, mostly as a defenseman.
He played defense at Lourdes, first under head coach Bob Haskins, then under coach Aaron Gill.
Spratte is entering a great situation at LSSU. The Lakers went 18-17-5 last season, losing to Central Collegiate Hockey Association postseason champion Western Michigan in a second-round playoff series.
The Lakers will play in the CCHA for one more season, then join the revamped WCHA in 2013-14. That was a big draw for Spratte, who will get to play plenty of games closer to home, with schools such as MSU Mankato and Bemdiji State remaining in the WCHA.
I talked to Pete a few minutes ago; as you might imagine, he's pretty excited and anxious to get up to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. (about 350 miles north of Detroit), to start training and getting ready for the season.
He said he wouldn't have made it to this level without all of the coaches he's had along the way, citing Haskins, Gill, Josh Spaniol, Todd Lampman (and his son, Bryce, who has played professionally), P.J. Lepler, Steve Forliti, and John Notermann.
I'll have more at PostBulletin.com later tonight and in the P-B print edition on Tuesday.