After losing in the ACHA Division I championship game last season, Oakland University is looking to assemble a team to make it back to the finals next year.
The team announced its first seven signings for the 2012 recruiting class, including four Michigan natives.
“We are very excited with this year’s class so far,” head coach Jeremy Bachusz said. “We have very strong players that are going to be able to come in and make an impact right away.
“Last year was a big step for our program. We had a young team going into the year and made a nice run. It shows with the recruits, that we are a team every year which is one of the top ranked in the nation.”
Forward Doug Lindensmith (Sterling Heights) will make the transition from NCAA Div. III where he scored 12 goals and eight assists in 20 games for Norwich University. In 2010-11, Lindensmith played for the La Ronge Ice Wolves in the SJHL and scored 98 points in 55 games.
“I still have a love for game and wanted to play,” Lindensmith said. “I know a little bit (about the program). I heard they went to the national final and that it’s a winning program.”
Branden Morganroth (Highland) made the transition from forward to defense a year and a half ago and will be manning the blue line for the Grizzlies next season.
“I chose Oakland because it’s always where I wanted to go.” Morganroth stated.
Morganroth netted three goals and had two assists for the Metro Jets (NA3HL) last season.
Defenseman Jason Scheuer (Waterford) will make the step up from Oakland’s ACHA Div. III team where he scored five goals and 11 assists last season. He is the brother of former Grizzlies defenseman Jeffrey Scheuer.
“Jeff said it’s (Oakland DI) the place I want to play hockey” Jason Scheuer said.
“I am a shot blocking puck moving defenseman and I will try to be a great penalty killer and a solid plus-minus guy.”
Defenseman Austin Accettura (Novi) comes to the Grizzlies from the NAHL where he recorded three assists in 12 games for the Michigan Warriors. In his three seasons in the NAHL, he notched 22 points in 112 games.
Forward Anthony Coles (Wonder Lake, Ill.) also comes from the NAHL where he scored 18 goals and 21 assists for the Jamestown Ironmen last season. He finished second on the Ironmen in points with 39—one shy of the team lead.
“Oakland seemed like the right fit school wise,” Coles said.
“I know it’s a good program. I know (Dustin) Hopfner and (Billy) Balent and they informed me what it (Oakland Hockey) was all about and I like the brotherhood of the team.”
The Grizzlies will also add a pair of Canada products – forward Richard Hubscher and defenseman Nick Rogers – that grew up in the same town together.
Last season, Hubscher led his team, the Kimberley Dynamiters, and the KIJHL in points with 106. Rogers netted three goals and added seven assists for the Regina Capitals in the PJHL.
Bachusz and his staff are continuing to recruit and are holding a summer prospect camp June 20- 21.