By: Collin Schuck – IceRays Staff
Feb. 21, 2017
Playoff time is either mounting or has already arrived, so production is now hitting a crucial point crossing into the 14th edition of the IceRays Alumni Report, Vol. III. NCAA Division III programs begin conference tournament play this weekend with numerous players earning big weekends, Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) has already eliminated most alumni teams, and individual records were set both in professional and NCAA Division I hockey, including a head-to-head meeting in the latter.
Well, it’s finally official. During what seems like a dream season, forward Chad Costello (’09-’10) reached the 100-point mark with the Allen Americans in the ECHL for now the third-straight season, hitting that mark in an impressive 56 games. He’s the third player in ECHL history to earn three-straight 100-point seasons, joining 2014 ECHL Hall of Fame inductee John Spoltore and Trevor Jobe, and he’s one more 100-point season shy of tying Spoltore’s record of four-consecutive three-digit point seasons. He earned another six-point performance last week through four games and extends his point streak to 13 games, amassing five goals and 23 assists for 28 points in that span. He owns 28 goals and 72 assists on the season, and is now 35 points ahead of the second-highest point grabber: Greger Hanson, who is also on the Americans.
Though his mini streak came to an end last week, defenseman Colton Saucerman (’10-’11) had another strong showing for the second-straight week in a three-point effort through four games. All three points came in the front end of a four-game week starting on Tuesday with an assist in the South Carolina Stingrays’ 4-2 win over the Atlanta Gladiators and followed up by a two-assist night in Friday’s 5-2 win over the Manchester Monarchs. The first was on the game-tying goal on Tuesday, and Friday’s first assist was on the game-winner. He came up empty in the next two games, but he now has four points in the month and stretches to 18 points over 36 games this season with 17 of those points coming as assists.
Two alumni teams met in a conference battle in NCAA Division I play when the University of Miami (OH) hosted Denver University last weekend. Though both games went to the second-ranked team in the country during 5-2 decisions, former teammates Grant Hutton (’12-’13) and Emil Romig (’12-’13) each cashed in multiple times for their respective teams despite being on opposite ends. Hutton earned a two-point weekend, assisting on the second goal of Friday’s loss followed by scoring on the power play the following night, which was also the second goal for Miami. Romig had a three-point showing, scoring three goals including an empty net goal on Friday and a pair on even strength on Saturday. Both players have now reached double-digit points for the season with Hutton improving to seven goals and four assists for 11 points through 30 games and Romig bolstering to five goals and five assists for 10 points through 24 games, which is now one point from his career-high.
Just before the beginning of NCAA Division III conference tournament play, one of the newest members of collegiate hockey earned multiple firsts in just one game. Forward Adam Canepa (’15-’16) has quietly gone through his freshman season at the University of New England, but Saturday night was a big splash for the Californian. He scored the first goal of the game in their 7-0 blanking of Wentworth Institute of Technology and followed that up with another in the third period to help the cause. Not only did he score his first career collegiate goal but also his first multi-point game of his career. He’s played in 12 games during his first year and heads into Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament play this Saturday against Curry College.
Speaking of big games, another came through for forward Brandon Berkley (’12-’14) to set his own new records just before conference tournament play. As part of a three-game week, the Scottsdale, Ariz. native posted four points starting with the game-winning goal last Tuesday in a 2-0 win over Westfield State followed by a three-point night on Saturday against Fitchburg State, posting an insurance goals and a pair of assists in their 7-2 rout at home. Not only does Berkley hit double-digit goals but he also sets a new career-high point total at 13 through 24 games with one left before Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Tournament play on Saturday.
Like multi-point weekends? How about another three-point and four-point performance at Plymouth State University for two individuals finishing out their careers? Forward Mike Economos (’12-’13) and Ian McGilvrey (’12-’13) closed out their final weekend of regular season play on a high note as part of a three-game week. Economos started with a two assist night last Tuesday in a 4-0 blanking of Salem State then followed that with an empty net goal on Thursday and another assist in Saturday’s victory over Worcester State. McGilvrey also assisted on Tuesday but cashed in on Saturday with a power play assist and an insurance goal in the third period. The pair has been a consistent source of production over their last four years with the Panthers. Economos owns 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points with one game remaining to tie or break his career-high 26 points set two years ago, while McGilvrey owns five goals and nine assists for 14 points in a down year. They’ll start MASCAC Tournament play in the semi-final round.
Forward Jon Grebosky (’11-’13) also followed up with a solid weekend against Bethel University while keeping his scoring going into the late portion of February. The junior Pennsylvanian cashed in twice during Concordia College’s 6-2 win over Bethel starting on the power play for the game’s opening goal and followed by the first of three insurance goals in the third period. That moves him one goal under his career best and three points under his best in that category as his 2016-17 regular season comes to a close. Now sitting second in points with 12 goals and 10 assists, Grebosky and the Cobbers go to work in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Tournament this week.
Queen’s Cup play has already begun in CIS hockey, and after a weekend of opening round play only one team remains. Anthony Cortese (’14-’15) and Concordia University won their best-of-three set over the University of Ottawa Institute of Technology two games to one and move on to play Queen’s University. However, Queen’s took down the University of Ottawa two games to one, meaning that goaltender Graham Hunt (’15-’16) is now finished with his freshman season. The Massachusetts native played all three post-season games, earning a .952 save percentage and only conceding five goals for a strong close to his first year. After starting with the brand new program, Hunt started the season slow but picked up the pace, finishing with wins in four of his last five decisions to reach over .500 by season’s end. He walks into the off-season with a 9-8-0 record with a 2.68 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage through 19 games, sitting in the top-15 in both goals-against average and save percentage. It’s a promising start to his collegiate career.
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.