CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays have acquired defender Markus Kojo from the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League. Kojo, 20, played 54 games over the last two seasons for Ässät U20 of the Junior A SM-liiga, recording one goal and eight assists for nine points with 82 penalty minutes and a +10. At 6 feet 4 inches tall and 220 pounds, the Noormarkku, Finland native is the biggest player on the ice for the IceRays.
“We were well aware of him months ago,” said Head Coach John Becanic. “We kept our fingers crossed that he would become available. Any time you have a guy who shoots as hard as he does, it gives us an instant threat from the blue line. That kind of weapon helps us offensively, and clearly defensively he can over a lot of ice. Our job is to ice the best possible team for our players and fans, and he makes us better. Bottom line.”
Kojo was invited to training camp by the Sioux City Musketeers this offseason and appeared in five games at the Junior Club World Cup in Ufa, Russia. There, he recorded two assists with two penalty minutes. His claim to fame was a glass-shattering hit in their 7-2 victory over Red Bull Salzburg of Austria in the 2014 JCWC opening game. The video on the USHLinteractive YouTube Channel has over 80,000 views and was featured on major media outlets such as Deadspin and CBSSports.com.
“We’re excited to get a little more experience and size on the back end,” said General Manager Pat Dunn. “You can never have enough of that. He’s a big, rugged defender with a hard shot. We’re looking forward to see what he brings to the team.”
Kojo will practice with the team today before the IceRays depart for their season opener Wednesday night. He will wear number 25. The video is shown below.
“I’m excited to be here,” said Kojo. “It feels like we have a good team, and everyone wants to win. It’s always hard to start on the road, but we’re ready. We’ll do our best at the outset.”
The IceRays open the 2014-15 season this Friday when they travel to Topeka to take on the RoadRunners. Coverage of the opening game on SportsRadio Corpus Christi starts at 6:50 p.m. with Countdown to Faceoff and the opening faceoff at 7:05 p.m.
Individual and season tickets for the 2014-15 season of IceRays hockey are on sale with packages starting as low as $74. Call the front office at 361-814-7825 for season and individual ticket details or check out the pricing and seating chart online at www.goicerays.com. Stay current with the latest team news by visiting www.goicerays.com. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), and YouTube (IceRays TV).