By: Collin Schuck – IceRays Staff
Nov. 17, 2015
The seventh edition of the IceRays Alumni Report, Vol. II brings exciting news ahead of National Hockey League (NHL) action tonight with the recall of a former goaltender for his fourth trip and a weekend of "firsts" for eight more players, including one from last season’s squad against one of the nation’s best collegiate teams. Plus, teamwork provides a couple pairs of alumni skaters multiple points through combinations.
Goaltender Anthony Stolarz (’11-’12) has had quite the busy week, playing all three games for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and helping to earn points in all three matchups. And his strong performance has earned him his fourth trip to the Philadelphia Flyers following Michael Neuvirth’s injury ahead of tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. Wednesday started the week and the first of two-straight wins for Stolarz in their 6-3 victory over the Binghamton Senators on the road followed by a very comfortable 7-1 win on Friday at home against the Rochester Americans. However, the New Jersey native couldn’t make it a three-game weekly sweep on Saturday night in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Albany Devils. In total, Stolarz saved 90 of 96 shots for a .938 save percentage over the week and continues to dazzle in his second season, ranking third in goals-against average (1.90) and save percentage (.930).
The winning streak came to an end for both the Chicago Wolves and goaltender Pheonix Copley (’10-’11) on Friday night, but the Wolves still picked up a point in their 3-2 overtime loss to the Manitoba Moose. The Moose came back in the third period to tie the game then took the victory just over two minutes into the overtime frame. Copley stopped down 28 of 31 shots, both of which tie season-highs. The second-year man ended a three-game winning streak but has helped grab points in each of his last four games dating back to October 25, and his record moves to 3-1-1 on the year.
Friday night was a night to remember for Tanner Lomsnes (’14-’15) at Niagara University. Despite being routed 7-3 by 12th-ranked University of Michigan on the road, the freshman earned his first collegiate goal, scoring with 1:49 remaining in the second period for the Purple Eagles’ first goal of the night. He also tacked on an assist in the third period, finding Stanislav Dzakhov for the final tally for either team. Of his performance, head coach Dave Burkholder stated, “I thought Tanner played a very complete game and was happy to see him get his first collegiate points.” The Red Deer, Alberta, native now has played eight collegiate games though Niagara is still searching for their first win.
What a weekend for Matt Weis (’11-’12) and Ohio State University at home. After starting the season with seven-straight losses, the Buckeyes have now won three-straight games, including a 4-1 decision on Friday and 6-4 victory on Saturday, both against Canisius College. The sophomore scored the second goal on Friday for Ohio State, which later became the game-winner, and put the Buckeyes up 2-0 in the second period. In an escalating first period on Saturday, Weis factored in back-to-back power play goals, scoring at 7:35 and picking up a secondary assist just over one minute and one half later. Ohio State may be just kicking up the pace, but the Freehold, N.J., native has been producing all season, putting up five goals and two assists for seven points in his first nine games.
UMass Dartmouth dropped both games over this past week in NCAA Division III play and remains without a win in four matchup, however forward Brandon Berkley (’12-’13) has now contributed in consecutive weekends for the Corsairs, most recently on Saturday against Westfield State. The Corsairs made a late push in the third period to come back within one, and Berkley put up assists in both goals separated by just over four minutes. The sophomore now has already surpassed his assist total from last season in a small fraction of games, earning three assists through four games.
Maybe it’s poetic nature or just mere coincidence, but a pair of freshman with Saint John’s University earned their first collegiate points on Friday in a 1-1 draw against the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. With the game scoreless in the third period, forward Matt Colford (’14-’15) earned his first career goal just over six minutes in to put the Johnnies up, and forward Joe Chitwood (’13-’15) factored into his roommate’s goal with a secondary assist. Colford has played five of the team’s six games so far, while Chitwood has appeared in every game to start his career.
Alumni were all over the scoresheet this week for Plymouth State during their two wins as the Panthers continue to roll. In Wednesday’s 4-2 win over UMass Dartmouth, sophomore defenseman Caleb O’Brien (’12-’14) earned his first collegiate point with an assist in the second period on the Panther’s first goal of the game, and forward Mike Economos (’12-’13) helped Chris Zuccaro with the game-winning goal on the power play later in the third period. On Saturday, both Economos and forward Ian McGilvrey (’12-’13) put up multi-point nights during the Panthers’ 5-2 win over Salem State. The two teamed up to help Economos score the game’s first goal on the power play as well as in the third period to give Zuccaro an early third period goal just 47 seconds in. McGilvrey also earned an assist on the power play in the second period. McGilvrey is tied for second on the team in points with two goals and three assists and Economos is right behind with a goal and three assists.
The Milwaukee School of Engineering is a private school of just over 2,500 students in Wisconsin, and despite their small footing in the hockey world, one alumni forward earned his first point of the season in Friday’s 2-0 win over Northland College as part of a weekend sweep. Forward Christian Elsborg (’11-’12) has played in five games this season, and in his fourth game he earned a secondary assist just 43 seconds into the second period for the team’s insurance goal. The Swede now has as many assists as he did in his freshman season in as many games.
It wouldn’t be an alumni report without forward Jon Grebosky (’11-’13) picking up points at Concordia College, and this weekend was no different with a goal on Saturday in their 6-3 loss to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. After being shut out the previous night, the Cobbers struggled to right the ship against their Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) opponents, but in the second period Grebosky sparked life for the home side with a short-handed goal. That’s his first of his career and his third goal in just six games. He still leads the Cobbers in points with five despite their three-game losing streak.
Five games into his collegiate career, forward Nick Monfils (’13-’14) finally has a point on his records, and even better it comes as a goal. In Marian University’s 4-4 tie with 5th-ranked Adrian College, the Oshkosh, Wisc., native scored the second goal of the game to initially put the Panthers up 2-0 before having to battle back late to force overtime and a draw. Following his departure from the IceRays, Monfils spent last season with the Minot Minotauros, recording 31 points in 56 games to finish his junior career.
Yet another player earned his first point of the season, but for junior defenseman John Roisum (’12-’13) it took four games to equal his career-high in goals this early into the season. In St. Thomas University’s 2-1 road win over Gustavus Adolphus on Saturday, the Bloomington, Minn., native tallied the eventual game-winning goal in the second period to double up the Tommies’ lead to 2-0 and keep undefeated in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) play. In 23 games over his last two years, Roisum has recorded two goals and 10 assists for 12 points, so maybe playing early and often can contribute to a career year this season.
After a three-year career in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) and one season in college, defenseman Chris Taff (’11-’12) picks up his sophomore season with SUNY Plattsburgh and a feat he had yet to accomplish: scoring his first collegiate goal. The 21-year-old had a strong day on Friday night, earning one goal and two assists in the Cardinals’ 5-4 overtime win over SUNY Oswego. Not only did he score his team’s first goal and help tie the game on the power play in the second period, he assisted Pat Egan’s game-winning goal en route to four-straight wins to start the year. Taff now has four points in three games, and SUNY Plattsburgh moves up to fourth in the Division III USCHO.com polls.
Forward Jake Durflinger (’13-’14) is now settling in with the Bloomington Thunder after his jump to a new United States Hockey League (USHL) team, picking up points in his third-straight weekend including his first goal with the Thunder. He didn’t participate in the shootout, but the 18-year-old did help in Bloomington’s 3-2 win over Waterloo early in the game with a tally just over seven minutes in to double the Thunder lead. Over his last five games, Durflinger has three points after going pointless in five-straight, and while his role has lessened, his production has certainly picked up.
One of his opponents that night, forward Ronnie Hein (’13-’14), was kept away from scoring, but the following night against the Lincoln Stars he got back to scoring with his third goal of the year as part Waterloo’s 3-2 win at home. Just before the end of the second period, the Chelsea, Mich., native tallied the game-tying goal to move the Black Hawks to two goals on the night before a third period goal sealed the victory. Hein now owns ten points on the year and continues to impress 14 games into his second USHL season.
Saturday night was also successful for forward Nico Sturm (’13-’14) with the Tri-City Storm even though the Sioux Falls Stampede 2-1 downed them in overtime, and the Austrian’s goal on the power play sent the game into overtime to at least give the Storm a point on the night. The Storm have had trouble getting toward the top of the Western Conference, but Sturm has been consistently aiding in the efforts with ten points in 15 games. He’s one of five players in double-digits.
In a week of firsts, one comes from the Western Hockey League (WHL). Forward Landon Quinney (’14-’15) earned his first Major Junior goal on Friday night during his Moose Jaw Warriors’ 4-2 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He was the first of three Warriors to score in the third period to come back from down 2-1, and the Nevada native did it himself at 2:25 of the final frame. That’s two points over his last three games and four total through 19 games this 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.