BY: COLLIN SCHUCK
While the professional alums had interesting weeks, we’ll get you set up for the NCAA Division III conference tournaments concerning alumni teams in the 19th edition of the IceRays Alumni Report. Over ten players on team rosters will face-off, all of who are hoping to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
The Dallas Stars have struggled to string wins together as their hopeful season continues to take a down turn, but thankfully forward Ryan Garbutt (’09-’10) has been able to get back to scoring points after a few unsuccessful games. The Winnipeg native has earned two assists over his last five games. Over that span, the Stars have gone 1-3-1 with their points coming against the St. Louis Blues in a 4-1 win and the Detroit Red Wings during a 7-6 overtime loss. Coincidentally, Garbutt earned points in each of those two games. He’s up to seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points, but his rating has dipped from -4 to -8 with the recent struggles in Big D.
Goaltender Anthony Stolarz (’11-’12) has had an interesting weekend following his return to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League (AHL). He picked up two losing decisions on Friday and Saturday against Providence and Hartford while only starting one of those games. Friday’s 5-1 loss saw Stolarz pulled after 37:03 minutes during a 22-for-26 save effort in that span, while Saturday’s 5-4 overtime loss had the Jackson, N.J., native come into the game in the second period in relief, helping the Phantoms claim one point. Stolarz is now 7-11-3 with a 3.17 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage through 25 games. However, with a lower body injury to Philadelphia Flyers netminder Ray Emery, Stolarz joins Phantoms teammate Rob Zepp in the National Hockey League (NHL) to fill-in for Emery and Steve Mason.
Hershey Bears goaltender Pheonix Copley (’10-’11) gained his fourth start of the month on Saturday against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers during their 4-3 win. With 4:20 left in the second period, a skirmish ensued bringing out a full line brawl in Chocolatetown. Copley joined the fray against opposing netminder Kevin Poulin and was tossed for the rest of the game. The North Pole, Alaska, native stopped 15 of 17 shots with no decision that game. He remains at 9-3-3 on the season following game 17.
NCAA Division I hockey has entered the final weeks of the regular season with many of the nation’s team rounding out conference play this weekend, including defenseman Colton Saucerman (’10-’11) and his Northeastern University Huskies. They’ve played three games in a four-day span, going 1-2 in those games. Saucerman has been an ace on the power play within this lineup, and that trend continued in Friday’s 6-4 win over the University of Maine with a power play goal to open the game. All seven goals for the Colorado Springs native have come with the extra skater and boost his point total to 15. The Huskies will round out their regular season against fourth-ranked Boston University, who took them down in overtime on Monday in the second leg for the Beanpot.
NCAA Division III hockey begins their conference tournaments this weekend, and a number of alumni schools are slated to kick off the weekend. Two teams in the SUNYAC host former IceRays this coming week. Tommy Telesca (’12-’13) and the SUNY Potsdam Bears play their quarterfinal matchup against SUNY Geneseo to determine the semifinal round. Brandon Adams (’11-’12) and the SUNY Oswego Lakers earned the two-seed and will play the highest remaining seed from the quarterfinals, which gives the possibility of a matchup pitting the two alums against one another during the weekend. Telesca ended his regular season with five goals and four assists for nine points, and Adams owns five goals and three assists for eight points heading into the postseason.
Plymouth State finished the 2014-15 regular season atop the Massachusetts State College Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) with a 14-3-1 conference record with the help of a strong three-game finish. Despite a 6-3 loss last Thursday against Worcester State, forward Mike Economos (’12-‘13) contributed with a power play assist in the second period and forward Ian McGilvrey (’12-‘13) added a power play goal in the third period. The two would each assist on the power play in one of the next two games: McGilvrey in a 2-1 win last Friday over Framingham State and Economos just yesterday in a 5-1 win against Westfield State. Economos ends the regular season with 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points and McGilvrey slashed seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points. They will team up with defenseman Tommy Dowell (’10-’11) this weekend for the MASCAC Semifinals next Tuesday.
Wentworth Institute of Technology still has one more weekend of play before the end of their regular season, but that didn’t halt forward Kevin Crowe (’10-’11) from tacking on some final points. In Saturday’s 5-5 draw with Suffolk College, Crowe directly aided in the decision with a helper on the game-tying goal by Sean McLaughlin in the third period. That game saw eight goals in the second period with five on the power play and two shorthanded. The Galloway, N.J., native finishes the season with six goals and nine points and will open the ECAC Northeast Tournament this Saturday against fourth-seeded Curry College.
Josh Obregon (’10-’12) and the Johnson & Wales University Wildcats will join them in the ECAC Northeast Tournament this coming weekend, but with the third seed they will have home ice advantage when they take on Suffolk College on Saturday. The two opponents won’t be able to meet in the semifinal round, but they’ll have to contend with either Nichols College or Salve Regina in the next round, depending on who is seeded higher.
After clinching their fourth playoff berth in five years on Feb. 14, Jon Grebosky (’11-’13) and the University of Concordia-Moorhead are slated for their third-straight game against St. Mary’s of Minn., except this time it has MIAC tournament implications. The Cobbers head into Saturday night’s game ranked third in the conference with a chance to head to the MIAC Title Game the next day. Grebosky finished the regular season with 12 goals and seven assists for 19 points and is making his first playoff appearance of his collegiate career.
Further up in the MIAC Standings, John Roisum (’12-’13) and the 14th-ranked St. Thomas University Tommies finish with the top-seed and the MIAC regular season crown thanks to a 10-3-3 conference record. In a somewhat unorthodox playoff setting, St. Thomas will be the only team with a first-round bye and will play on Saturday against the winner of Hamline and Augsburg. Roisum finished the year with one goal and seven assists for eight points through 11 games.
Casey Rogers (’10-’11) finished the 2014-15 regular season on a positive note, hitting ten points during Neumann University’s 5-2 win over Manhattanville on Friday. His eighth assist of the year came in the Knights’ final goal of the game late in the third period as a secondary tally. Neumann will have a bye before they play the highest remaining seed in the ECAC West Semifinals on Saturday night and hope to punch their ticket to the championship game on Sunday.
After 18 games being held off the scoreline dating back to Dec. 27, defenseman Jalen Schulz (’12-’13) finally got back on the point train in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with an assist on Sunday. In the Tri-City Storm’s 4-3 loss to the Sioux City Musketeers, Schulz helped the Storm get on the board late in the first period though they trailed 2-1 after that frame. In 41 games this season, the Cambridge, Minn., native has two goals and five assists for seven points with 15 games remaining in the regular season.
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.