BY: COLLIN SCHUCK – IceRays Staff
Oct. 20, 2015
The third edition of the IceRays Alumni Report, Vol. 2 features a specific day for alumni skaters: Friday, Oct. 16. Five of the six former players featured factored into scoring between the professional level to NCAA Division I hockey, with all three minor league players making their season debuts and one his professional debut.
The new season with a new team did not start the way goaltender Pheonix Copley (’10-’11) had hoped in his debut with the Chicago Wolves on Friday. The second-year netminder gave up seven goals in his 7-3 loss to the Texas Stars at Allstate Arena. The Stars put up at least two goals in each period with three on eight shots in the third frame, completing Copley’s night with 23 saves on 30 shots. This is in stark contrast to his AHL debut last season: a 29-save performance in a 5-2 win with the Hershey Bears. He will have a chance to rebound this weekend against either Rockford or Charlotte.
Back on the East Coast, second-year goaltender Anthony Stolarz (’11-’12) made his season debut with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on the same night with a much better result: a 4-1 win on the road against the Springfield Falcons. Whether it was his new number or his new motivation heading into the 2015-16 season, the former second-round draft pick only needed to make 19 saves; only eight of those saves came in the first and third periods combined. The effort is a good start to a rebound season. Last year, it took four games for Stolarz to earn his first win.
Defenseman Phil Pietroniro (’11-’13) is now officially a professional hockey player after last weekend’s first two games of the ECHL season with the Utah Grizzlies, and on Friday evening the 21-year-old made a quick statement in his first game. The first goal of the season for the Grizzlies comes with his name etched in the assist column as part of their 4-3 overtime win over the Colorado Eagles. Also worth noting is that the Quebec native also participated in his first fight of the season. Pietroniro will make his home debut this weekend against last year’s Kelly Cup Champions, the Allen Americans.
After dropping their opening game of the season, the University of Denver has won three-straight games, and forward Emil Romig (’12-’13) is also having a strong opening to the season, and during the Pioneers’ weekend sweep of Michigan State, the junior notched his second goal of the season and the first of Friday’s 4-2 win at home. The Austrian already has half of last season’s goal total and is on pace to break his career-high in points. The sixth-ranked Pioneers will take on a challenging weekend starting on Friday against fourth-ranked Boston College then Saturday versus eighth-ranked Boston University. Both games are on the road.
Defenseman Colton Saucerman (’10-’11) could be called “Mr. Power Play” for Northeastern University over the past two seasons, and it’s no coincidence that his first goal of the season came on the power play despite the Huskies’ 3-2 loss to Bentley University as part of a weekend sweep. In Friday’s loss, the senior placed the first goal of the game for Northeastern early in the third period as the Huskies fell to 1-2-0 on the season. The schedule doesn’t get easier with a weekend set against 19th-ranked Minnesota on the road.
The Western Hockey League (WHL) saw a blowout last Thursday in Calgary. The Moose Jaw Warriors came into town and walked away with a 10-3 win against the Hitmen, scoring five goals in the third period alone. Way back in the first period, before the Warriors took control, forward Landon Quinney (’14-’15) helped get Moose Jaw on the board with a direct feed to Brayden Watts to tie the game, 1-1. That makes two assists in nine games for the young forward in his first season in major junior hockey.
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.