By: Collin Schuck – IceRays Staff
Dec. 15, 2015
With the holidays around the corner, we’ll be slowing down just a bit thanks to winter breaks producing gaps of time between games, and though many teams have already concluded their final games of the 2015 calendar year, the 11th edition of the IceRays Alumni Report, Vol. II features a few names from last season’s IceRays squad at both levels of NCAA hockey, including one with his first collegiate points.
Two close games and two different results for goaltender Pheonix Copley (’10-’11) in his pair of games with the Chicago Wolves last week. Last Tuesday evening, the Wolves began a four-game road swing with a stop against the Iowa Wild at Wells Fargo Arena, and Chicago took the edge 5-3 in a back-and-forth game. The Alaskan netminder turned away 32 of 35 shots in the contest for his fifth win of the year. A few days later, the Wolves finished their two-game set against the Lake Erie Monsters with another close one but a 2-1 loss in Cleveland. Two of his 25 shots faced found the back of the net, and the latter of the two made the difference. With his strong performances as of late, Copley continues to maintain his stat line with barely any fluctuation, keeping at a 2.57 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage, including a .923 clip in four December games.
Anthony Stolarz (’11-’12) has now played six-straight games for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms since his return to the lineup following Thanksgiving, including all three last week in a four-day span. The New Jersey kid made some clutch saves on Thursday night as part of a 2-1 comeback overtime win against the Hershey Bears, stopping 19 of 21 shots in the process. The following two home games against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Springfield Falcons saw a jump in goal production for the first time this season. In back-to-back games, Stolarz allowed four goals in a 4-0 loss to the Penguins and a 5-4 shootout win, the first times he’s allowed four goals or more in a game this season. His goals-against average jumped up to over 2.00 for the first time this year, but the more telling stat is his save percentage, which still is fifth in the AHL.
A couple former North American Hockey League (NAHL) were on display last weekend at Niagara University, and both of them joined this season from the South Division. One of them, forward Tanner Lomsnes (’14-’15), put up a three-point weekend during their split home-and-home weekend against Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). In Friday’s 2-0 shutout win, the Canadian assisted both Dan Kolenda goals in the third period to break the deadlock and take their third win of the year. The next night at home, Lomsnes earned his third goal of the year (and the game’s first tally) despite the Purple Eagles’ 4-2 loss at home. With his three points, he now owns seven on the year in 16 games, which ranks tied for fifth on the team.
There was only one game for Saint John’s University in NCAA Division III play, and that’s all the team needed to take a high note into their winter break. In their 7-2 thumping of the College of St. Scholastica, two former IceRays combined for five points in the first two periods. Forward Connor Kelly (’13-’15) earned his first collegiate point just 4:19 into the contest in a combination with Matt Colford (’14-’15) to find an open teammate and get on the board. Colford grabbed two more assists during the night to make it three on the day, and his final one found Kelly for his first career collegiate goal and, at that point, a 4-1 lead. His first two points come in his sixth game, and Colford now rests second on the team in points with two goals and six assists for eight points.
Three players put up points over two games for Plymouth State University as the Panthers made it nine-straight wins heading into the holiday break though still just outside of the national rankings. Defenseman Caleb O’Brien (’12-’14) was the only alum to record a point with his second goal of the year and the game-tying goal with three seconds left in regulation as part of the Panthers’ 2-1 overtime win over Nichols College. Two nights later, Plymouth State scored four-unanswered goals in the second period en route to a 4-1 win over Castleton College on Saturday night, and two of four goals had IceRays’ marks. Forwards Mike Economos (’12-’13) and Ian McGilvrey (’12-’13) teamed up to find Erik Strom on the eventual game-winning goal inside the first five minutes, and McGilvrey added a goal for good measure just a few minutes later to quadruple the lead. Economos now shares the team lead in points with six goals and seven assists for 13 points and the pair of McGilvrey and O’Brien move to nine points with McGilvrey edging the defenseman in goals by one.
Concordia College has two more games this coming weekend to play before they take a break for the semester, but last weekend there was only one game: a 4-1 loss to the University of Wisconsin-Stout. That lone goal on the weekend came from forward Jon Grebosky (’11-’13), who has been away from the report recently after a hot start to the season. His goal opened the game in the first period before the Blue Devils scored four-unanswered goals through the rest of the contest. That goal was his fourth of the year, and Grebosky now has six points through nine games, which ranks second on the team so far.
Remember when we said last week that more production would produce more time to grab points? Tommy Telesca (’12-’13) must have followed along because he has his third-straight weekend of production for the SUNY Potsdam Bears as part of a split weekend of games. The forward was part of the first goals in each game played, scoring the first goal for the Bears in the second period of Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to Elmira College and recording an assist on the game’s first goal as part of Friday’s 4-3 win over Johnson & Wales University. Telesca is officially on a hot streak with points in each of his last four games, racking up two goals and two assists in the process.
After two games without points, forward Ronnie Hein (’13-’14) put up points in consecutive games as the Waterloo Black Hawks picked up momentum as well with a sweep of the Fargo Force at home last weekend. All three points recorded came as assists, with the first two in Friday’s 4-3 regulation win as primary helpers in the first period and the third and final during Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win on the game-tying goal in the third period. The Ferris State University commit now has 15 assists and 19 points through 22 games this season, leading the team in assists and sharing second in points.
Read the IceRays Alumni Report every Tuesday on www.GoIceRays.com and hear the audio version on the IceRays Broadcast Network.
Collin Schuck is the Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations for the Corpus Christi IceRays. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @CollinDSchuck.