BY: COLLIN SCHUCK
February 4, 2015
For those in the collegiate ranks, the month of February spells the end of regular season play and conference tournament for NCAA Division III teams. With season-ends looming and both professional and junior teams continuing the press in the second half, we jump back into our regular format with the 16th edition of the IceRays Alumni Report.
The weekend was unsuccessful for both netminders in the American Hockey League (AHL), however Pheonix Copley (’10-’11) did find a way to help the Hershey Bears earn a point in their 3-2 shootout loss to the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday night. The shootout was his first of his professional career, stopping one of two chances for the Crunch. It’s also worth noting that the Alaska native also turned away a penalty shot in the second period. Despite the loss, Copley earned first star of the game in his 30-save effort. His record drops to 7-3-2, but his .924 save percentage ties him with teammate Philipp Grubauer.
For Anthony Stolarz (’11-’12), it was a matchup against Copley’s Bears that did him in, falling 6-1 on Friday night at home. The Lehigh Valley Phantoms kept the netminder in net until the second period, through which he allowed four goals on 22 shots in 35:29 minutes. Backup Rob Zepp didn’t fair much better, stopping 11 of 13 shots in relief. The Jackson, N.J., native drops to 6-10-1 on the year and increases his goals-against to just over 3.00 on the season (3.04).
Tuesday continued the consistent production for defenseman Colton Saucerman (’10-’11) and Northeastern University, defeating 11th-ranked Boston College 3-2 on the road. Scoring didn’t begin until the second period, and just 21 seconds into the frame the Colorado Springs, Colo., native kicked off the scoring with a power play goal. All five goals for Saucerman have come on the power play, and it bumps his season total to 11 points. He now has points in each of his last two games and four of his last eight.
Payden Mielke (’11-’12) also picked up points in two-straight games thanks to one goal and one assist last weekend with Colorado State University. In an explosive 9-3 win over the University of Denver’s ACHA squad on Friday, Mielke ended the first period with a power play goal, eight seconds before the period horn. The following night, the rivalry continued between Colorado teams, and the University of Colorado edged the Rams 4-3. The Loveland native fed Erik Waring for the game-tying goal at 7:52 of the third period before the eventual game-winner by the Buffaloes. Mielke now has 15 points through 29 games this season.
Remember that game-winning goal by the University of Colorado? Luc Neitenbach (’10-’11) was instrumental in getting the Buffaloes the win, assisting Mick Bruce’s power play goal at 12:34 of the third period to seal the win. The assist ends a three-game point drought for the 24-year-old, who bumps up to 16 points this season with 11 of those coming as assists. Five of the 11 assists have come on the power play.
Over the past couple weeks, forward Brandon Adams (’11-’12) has been stroking points on to his season totals, and his success pairs with better national positioning for SUNY Oswego. The Lakers put up four goals in the first period in Saturday’s 7-4 win over SUNY Cortland, and the night began with the 22-year-old’s goal at 7:30 of that frame. That makes it goals in each of his last two games for Adams and points in three of his last four. He now owns five goals and three assists while his Lakers have only lost twice, going 13-2-3 this season and now ranking second in NCAA Division III hockey.
His freshman season has been slow to pick up, but with some consistent time on the ice Brandon Berkley (’12-’14) may be starting to heat up with another point last weekend. On Thursday, UMass-Dartmouth put up a 6-3 win over Stonehill, and Berkley directly fed John Sartell for the team’s fifth goal. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native added up his third point and now has points in three of his last five games.
Offense was on display last weekend for Plymouth State College, combining for 18 goals over two games in a weekend sweep, which allowed for all three alumni to spark production. Thursday’s win was the larger of the two, throttling Framingham State 12-2 on home ice, and forward Mike Economos (’12-‘13) led the charge with three points. His first was a shorthanded goal in a seven-goal first period, followed by a power play goal to begin the second frame. On his second goal, defenseman Tommy Dowell (’10-’11) fed the forward for his fourth helper on the season. Don’t forget forward Ian McGilvrey (’12-‘13), who placed a secondary assist on the Panthers’ final goal of the first period. The next game, only Economos tallied a point, assisting on the power play during a 6-3 win on Saturday over Westfield State. With the four-point weekend, Economos now leads all collegiate alumni in points (18) and joins McGilvrey as one of two players in NCAA Division III alumni to record at least 10 assists this season.
Though he’s stayed off the radar of the IceRays Alumni Report, defenseman John Roisum (’12-’13) has been staying productive with the University of St. Thomas this season, adding another point on Saturday. In the first period of their 4-3 loss to Augsburg, Roisum picked up a primary assist on a first period power play goal. With that assist, the sophomore from Bloomington, Minn., improves to one goal and seven assists for eight points through 11 games.
Friday was a good night for Phil Pietroniro (’11-’13) of the Victoriaville Tigers in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), picking up two points during their 9-3 defeat at the hands of Rimouski. The first two goals for the Tigers came in the second period, and the defenseman factored into both with a goal at 5:51 followed by an assist at 13:39. By that point, the Tigers trailed 4-2 and would allow five more goals in the third period. The alternate captain now has over 50 games under his belt this season, and his weekend improves his numbers to five goals and 28 assists. He’s now one goal away from his junior career-high set last season.
Freshman forward Beau Walker (’10-’13) was kept off the weekly awards for the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) despite pumping a five-point weekend for East Washington University. Friday’s 6-3 loss to Trinity Western was easier to take for Walker, who added two primary assists over the course of the game. The following night, the Eagles came close but fell 5-4 in a shootout to Simon Fraser, and the West Richland, Wash., native assisted on the team’s final three goals to lead into the shootout, where he would come up empty in the first round. Walker now jumps back into the league lead in points thanks to 13 goals and 23 assists in 19 games this year.
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.