BY: COLLIN SCHUCK
Big news out of the National Hockey League (NHL) this week as we set sail on the 17th edition of the IceRays Alumni Report. On Monday, the Philadelphia Flyers recalled goaltender Anthony Stolarz (’11-’12) from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League (AHL), making this his first call-up to the NHL and the second IceRays alum to do so this season. Stolarz will most likely back up current goaltender Ray Emery while injuries to both Steve Mason (2-3 weeks) and Rob Zepp (leg) give the 21-year-old the nod. Stolarz could see some playing time, which would be the first for any IceRays junior alum in franchise history. His recall comes after saving 36 of 40 shots during a 5-4 overtime win on Sunday.
Coincidentally, his opponent on Sunday was Pheonix Copley (’10-’11), who earned his call-up from the Hershey Bears to the Washington Capitals last month. The 23-year-old also faced a peppering of shots, turning away 34 of 39 shots though unable to help force a shootout. Two days prior, the Bears traveled to Binghamton and edged the Senators 3-2, and Copley gained the benefit of another win, stopping 29 of 31 shots. Over his last nine games since Dec. 6, Copley has earned a 5-0-3 record, helping to provide points in each matchup with only one game not recording a decision. The game dropped his record to 8-3-3 with a 2.18 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage.
Keeping with the NHL theme, Dallas Stars forward Ryan Garbutt (’09-’10) picked up another point two games ago when the Buffalo Sabres upset the Stars 3-2. The Canadian’s assist helped Dallas draw within one during the third period and was the only tally in that frame. After beginning very hot out of the holiday break, Garbutt has cooled off considerably, only garnering one point over his last ten games and four in the 2015 calendar year. His last goal came on Dec. 31 against the Arizona Coyotes, which was 19 games ago including last night’s 5-3 win over Boston.
Saturday was a big day for Mychal Monteith (’10-’12) at Mercyhurst University, as the defenseman earned his first points of the 2014-15 season in his ninth game of the year during their 5-2 win over American International College. Monteith came alive in the third period, netting the eventual game-winning goal at 5:50 then tallied an assist at 19:12. His goal is his first with Mercyhurst now in his junior season. Over his collegiate career, the Toledo, Ohio, native has one goal and ten assists for 11 points over 70 games with the Lakers.
Colton Saucerman (’10-’11) continues to turn up the heat at Northeastern University with another goal, this time coming as part of the Huskies’ 5-3 win over UMass. After trailing 2-0 early in the second period, the Colorado Springs, Colo., native kicked of the scoring for Northeastern with a power play goal at 13:39 of the frame. The defenseman continues to dominate with the extra skater, scoring all six of his goals this season on the power play. He now has points in three-straight games and 12 total points heading into a two-game set against UConn. The Huskies are over .500 for the first time this season, earning a 12-11-1 record and winning four-straight games.
Last weekend was more difficult for Ohio State University, and while the Buckeyes were swept by the University of Minnesota, forward Matt Weis (’11-’12) was able to hit the decade mark in assists in Saturday’s 6-2 loss. The game concluded with four power play goals, and Weis directly fed Victor Bjorkung to gain his side’s second goal. The Madison, N.J., native is the first NCAA Division I alum to hit ten or more assists this season and leads his counterparts with 14 points.
As ACHA Division I play begins to wrap up for the regular season, there is still time for alumni to tack on points, and that’s what defenseman Payden Mielke (’11-’12) did last weekend during their sweep of the University of Arizona. Friday’s game was a barnburner in Colorado State’s 8-5 win over the Wildcats, and the Loveland, Colo., native helped Austin Ansay to a three-point night, assisting the forward on his second goal at 9:40 of the second period. The Rams finish their season this week, playing their final three games in the next four days with the final game coming against the University of Colorado at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
In a matchup pitting two alumni team against one another, forward Michael Dery (’11-’12) came away with his fifth point of the season as Worcester State College took down UMass-Dartmouth 4-0 last Thursday night. The Grand Rapids, Mich., native grabbed the only assist in the final goal of the contest that came in the second period. The 22-year-old hasn’t been known to rack up points now in his sophomore season, but he’s tied last season’s point total with two less games played. The Lancers have six games remaining in their season.
Plymouth State College continues to find ways to win, and forward Mike Economos (’12-‘13) and defenseman Tommy Dowell (’10-’11) capitalized during their weekend sweep of Salem State and Fitchburg State. Economos earned three goals over the weekend including two in Saturday’s 6-2 win over Fitchburg. His goals got the Panthers on the board and became the eventual game-winning goal as part of the rout. Dowell claimed two assists in the first period of Saturday’s game with one coming on Economos’ opening goal at 1:15. Economos is the first NCAA player of any ranking to hit the decade mark in goals, recording 11 goals and 10 assists for 21 points and earning a +5 rating over the weekend. He also leads NCAA alumni in points. Dowell now has two goals and six assists for eight points in 20 games this season. Forward Ian McGilvrey (’12-‘13) was kept off the scoreline this weekend.
Speaking of two-point weekends, forward Josh Obregon (’10-’12) of Johnson & Wales University followed Dowell’s lead and tacked on two assists during Sunday’s 5-1 win over Becker College. While the game was becoming out of reach with each goal, Obregon tallied helpers on the third and fourth goals by the Wildcats crossing through the first and second periods. The Omaha, Neb., native is now the fourth NCAA Division III skater to earn ten points or more this season, recording five goals and five assists over 21 games.
With his hot stretch as of late, defenseman Casey Rogers (’10-’11) has been earning starts for Neumann University, and on Saturday he picked up another point to kick-start the power again. This time, the Moreno Valley, Calif., native posted the Knights’ first goal of the night coming in the second period to draw within one of Elmira College, who would overtake the Knights 6-5 in a high-scoring finale. After missing out on points in three-straight games, Rogers added to his climbing point total, recording two goals and seven assists for nine points with three games remaining.
After a bit of a slump, forward Tommy Telesca (’12-’13) of SUNY Potsdam got back to grabbing points in Friday’s 2-0 blanking of SUNY Fredonia. It was the game-winner in the first period that the Selden, N.Y., native factored in, feeding Billy Pascalli 4:54 of the frame. After a three-game point stretch in November, Telesca has had more sparse point production but still owns four goals and three assists for seven points this year.
In the first three games of February, defenseman Phil Pietroniro (’11-’13) of the Victoriaville Tigers in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) showed no signs of slowing down with two points over that stretch. The Prescott Valley, Ariz., native helped develop the game’s opening goal in Thursday’s 5-1 win over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens and factored in to the second of two goals for the Tigers in Sunday’s 5-2 loss to Blainville-Boisbriand. With 15 games remaining, Pietroniro has five goals and 30 assists for 35 points.
For the third time this season, forward Beau Walker (’10-’13) claimed a four-point night with East Washington University of the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL). Instead of a hat-trick, the freshman split up his points evenly by grabbing two goals and two assists in a 5-2 redemption win over Simon Fraser University on Saturday. Walker had gone four games without a goal but extends his point streak to three games, garnering nine points in that span. Walker stays ahead of the entire league and is averaging two points per game in his first 20 contests in the BCIHL.
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 email@example.com or on Twitter at @CollinDSchuck.