BY: COLLIN SCHUCK
Former players are beginning to match up against one another throughout all levels of hockey as we tread through the second edition of the IceRays Alumni Report with an American Hockey League matchup from last weekend and opening weekend in NCAA Division III Ice Hockey play. With most Division III programs opening, just about all of our alumni will be in action simultaneously at the cusp of the month of November.
The Dallas Stars have seen a quiet but strong contribution from left-winger Ryan Garbutt (’09-’10) this season, already recording five points in his first eight games. With one more assist in Saturday’s 7-5 loss to the New York Islanders, Garbutt is now on pace to record a career-high 51 points this season if he plays all 82 regular season games. Even if he plays the same number of games as last season (75), Garbutt will still eclipse his season-high set last season with about 47 points this season.
A battle of former IceRays netminders took place for the first time on Sunday in the American Hockey League as Pheonix Copley (’10-’11) of the Hershey Bears and Anthony Stolarz (’11-’12) of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms played in a rematch of the Flyers-Capitals rookie game on September 16. This time around, it was Copley that recorded the 3-0 victory, earning his second-straight shutout in a 22-save effort. Stolarz stopped 27 of 29 shots in his second game of the season. Copley is now 3-0-0 while Stolarz dropped to 0-2-0.
It took six games for forward Perry D’Arrisso (’11-’13) to record his first point of the season with Clarkson University, but it came on the power play in the Golden Knights’ 5-4 loss to Bowling Green State University on Saturday. The goal tied the game in the second period, 1-1, before Bowling Green scored four unanswered goals to take the lead. The Knights are now 2-3-1 after their loss and 2-2 draw on Friday.
Defenseman Payden Mielke (’11-’12) of Colorado State University is heating up on his point-scoring game, recording another assist on Friday against the University of Colorado in their 3-1 loss. Mielke now has points in three of his last four games and leads all blue liners in assists with six. They play three games in Arizona this weekend: one against the University of Arizona and the other two against Zach Holstrom and Arizona State University.
Up in the Southern Tier of New York, goaltender Hayden Stewart (’12-’13) made his debut with the Cornell Big Red in an exhibition game against Carleton University, winning the contest, 3-2. Stewart made 24 saves on 26 shots in the game, including a pivotal blocker save on a breakaway with less than eight minutes left in the third period. The Big Red begins their season this Friday and Saturday against the University of Nebraska–Omaha.
NCAA Division III Ice Hockey is preparing for their season openers this, and also playing in exhibition is forward Brandon Adams (’11-’12) of SUNY Oswego. The Lakers defeated the U.S. National Under-18 team on Saturday, 5-3, and the junior was a key factor in the result. His goal turned out to be the game-winning tally at the tail end of the second period. He also added a power play assist. SUNY Oswego begins their season Friday against Buffalo State.
While most of the NCAA Division III teams are beginning their seasons this weekend, one game we’re keeping an eye on is Plymouth State College at Norwich University on Friday. Four former IceRays are slated to be on the roster for the tilt between both sides. Defenseman Tommy Dowell (’10-’11) and forwards Mike Economos (’12-’13) and Ian McGilvrey (’12-’13) will help lead the Panthers against forward Dmitry Ermakov (’11-’12) and the Cadets.
One of the two former IceRays in Sioux City had a strong game on Friday. Forward Jake Durflinger (’13-’14) posted three points in Friday’s 5-1 win over Des Moines, including his first goal of the season. He factored in the Musketeers’ first three goals in the opening two periods. Durflinger now has five points on the season. Sioux City leads the USHL with an 8-1-1 record, good for 17 points and a four-point lead over Tri-City, Des Moines, and Fargo for the top spot in the Western Conference.
The Pietroniro brothers have each been making news in their own respective ways over the last week. Chad (’11-’12) was traded from the Sioux City Musketeers on October 21 to the newest USHL franchise, the Madison Capitols, for future considerations. Last weekend, Chad made his debut with the Capitols, recording one assist in the weekend finale against Dubuque as well as his second game with 17 penalty minutes this season.
Phil (’11-’13), on the other hand, has put up four points over his last six games played with the Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, scoring one goal and earning three assists. He now ranks second among defenseman in points on the team. The Olympiques sit in second place in the West Division with an 8-7-0-4 record and 20 points.
And finally, in one of the lesser-known collegiate leagues, the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League, forward Beau Walker (’10-’13) is tearing up the five-team league in his rookie season with Eastern Washington University. Walker has scored points in each of his first seven games, leading the team with eight goals and ten assists, and he’s already recorded a hat trick in his fifth game of the season on October 11 against the University of Victoria. Despite his individual efforts, the Eagles are 3-4-0 and in fourth place.
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.