Steven Kaunisto, born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, played his youth hockey in the Soo AND played NCAA DI hockey for the Lakers. Steve earned his BA degree from Lake Superior State University in Finance and Economics with a minor in Marketing. Steve went on to play 10 years of professional hockey in the ECHL, CHL, and SPHL.
Steve’n’s wife, Abby, is the Clinic Coordinator at Bay Mills Health Center. When Steven isn’t playing or coaching hockey he enjoys being with his family and two dogs.
“Coach Kaunisto’s biggest strength is his wealth of knowledge of the game and the ability to teach hockey skills and systems to his players. He also has an honest, compassionate, direct communication style that players respect and appreciate. Along with being the Head Coach of the men’s program he will also assist the women’s hockey program with scouting, recruiting, campus visits, and practice planning execution.” Ruthann Cantile, LSSU Director of Club Sports
“I am very excited to be able to stay in the game of hockey and to help the student-athletes continue to grow both on and off the ice. I am also looking forward to be able to grow the sport of hockey in my hometown that helped make me the person I am today. I am looking for student-athletes that strive to push themselves to be better in the classroom as well as on the ice.” Steve Kaunisto, LSSU Men’s ACHA Head Hockey Coach
Matthew Parker, born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, played his youth hockey in the Soo as well AND has been a proud supporter of the LSSU NCAA DI team since birth. As a USA Hockey Certified Level 4 Coach he has over 15 years of coaching experience with the Soo Firehawks, JR A Hockey, St. Ignace Firehawks, midget hockey, and the LSSU ACHA DII men’s hockey club. His wife Abby is an ER Nurse at War-Memorial Hospital and supervises Nursing Clinicals at LSSU. Matt and Abby have two daughters that enjoy skating, being outdoors, and working on projects with their parents.
“Coach Parker’s enthusiasm, dedication, and loyalty to Laker Hockey shines through and through. We look forward to him sharing that passion in the recruiting process with our current and future student-athletes. He is a student and a teacher of the game. His ability to connect with people and maintain solid relationships are a huge asset to our program. He will do well serving the LSSU community with his time and talents. Along with being the Head Women’s Hockey Coach he will also assist our Men’s program with scouting, recruiting, campus visits, and practice planning execution.” Ruthann Cantile, LSSU Director of Club Sports
“I am beyond ecstatic to be offered this opportunity to be a part of this ground-up program at LSSU. I look forward to the challenge of creating a competitive team but more importantly helping young people develop on and off the ice. This is going to help draw more positive nation-wide attention to the University and give the students a great college experience.” Matt Parker, LSSU Women’s ACHA Head Hockey Coach
Director of Club Sports
Ruthann Cantile, Director of Club Sports, grew up in Cheboygan, MI. Ms. Cantile played hockey in Cheboygan and the Ice Arena is named after her father, Ralph G. Cantile, who coached and managed the arena for many years. Along with hockey she played boys soccer, volleyball, and softball at Cheboygan Area High School. Ruthann continued playing and coaching club hockey in college at Western Michigan University, where they won a National title in 1998 in Lake Placid, NY. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education. Ms. Cantile coached/managed at many levels and has been in on the ground floor of most of these programs.
Historically, she was the youngest NCAA DI Head Women’s Hockey Coach in the country at Bemidji State University. After coaching at BSU she went on to coach at Minnesota State University, where their staff earned Western Collegiate Hockey Association WCHA Coach of Year honors in 2004. Ms. Cantile coached both of her kids, Mariah (25) and JD (18) in their various youth sports. She earned a Master Degree in Sport Administration in 2006, and in 2010 she began her own financial consulting business. Ruthann is a passionate, self-driven, competitive spirit that aspires to bring students with the same qualities to Lake Superior State University and provide them with the opportunity to play the sport they love.
As Director of Club Sports her goal is to bring exposure to the University and comb the region looking for the most qualified coaches and student-athletes that fit the culture of LSSU. By cultivating strong relationships and creating a bond with these folks awareness, participation, pride, and funding become present and strengthen the community. For the 2020-2021 season the first two sports we are offering are Men’s and Women’s Hockey and plan to add two new teams every year for the next 5 years. Soon we will announce the sports teams LSSU will endorse in 2021-2022.