By: Collin Schuck – IceRays Staff
Dec. 1, 2015
With the start of a new month comes the closure of November as well as the ninth edition of the IceRays Alumni Report, Vol. II. The United States Hockey League (USHL) is seeing an abundance of production from IceRays alumni through the Thanksgiving weekend, while NCAA Division III hockey enjoyed a multi-point weekend from the younger brother of an American Hockey League (AHL) defenseman.
In consecutive weeks, Chicago Blackhawks left-winger Ryan Garbutt (’09-’10) picked up points thanks to a primary assist in last Thursday’s 5-2 road win over the San Jose Sharks, and it appears that the Blackhawks have found their line combinations with Garbutt joining captain Jonathan Toews and right-winger Andrew Shaw. The three combined to outlet the captain’s first period goal, and now all five points the former Central Hockey League (CHL) player owns is in tandem with Toews. The Blackhawks have three games this week with two at home.
It wasn’t the best of weekends for both AHL goaltenders, and in Chicago, goaltender Pheonix Copley (’10-’11) was downed for the second-straight game during the Wolves’ 4-1 loss to the San Antonio Rampage from Allstate Arena. The Alaskan turned away 19 of 22 shots faced, and it’s the third time he’s seen less then 30 shots in five games. Copley closes out November with a 2-2-1 record with a 2.21 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage. However, he’s allowed three goals in three of his last four games with three losses to close the month.
After six-straight starts in net and a trip to the National Hockey League (NHL), goaltender Anthony Stolarz (’11-’12) had a bit of a break this week, only appearing in one of the Phantoms’ three games. In that game, the Edison, N.J., native only saw the first period of last Wednesday’s 7-1 loss to the Utica Comets, stopping eight of nine shots in the frame before a presumed injury. The game was tied 1-1 at that point, so Stolarz didn’t pick up the loss, however there is concern for arguably the best goaltender in the Philadelphia Flyers system right now. The sad end closes a stellar month: 4-2-1 record with a 2.05 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.
Clarkson University still remains outside of the latest national NCAA Division I polls by USCHO.com, however a weekend sweep of the newest top-level member, Arizona State University, sure helps their case to find their way back. In Saturday’s 4-1 win to earn the two-game sweep, defenseman Perry D’Arrisso (’11-’13) scored his second goal of the season, pushing the Golden Knights up 2-0 in the second period for the eventual game-winning goal. In just nine games, the Canadian set a collegiate-high for single-season goals and is only one point away from tying his collegiate-high in points set in his freshman season. The junior is one of two defenseman on the team with at least two goals.
They may not have won, but Niagara University has to be excited with the production up-kick from freshman forward Tanner Lomsnes (’14-’15) after another weekend with points. In Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss to Holy Cross, the Canadian contributed with the eventual game-tying goal within the first nine minutes of the game to initially put the Purple Eagles up 2-0. That’s now four points for Lomsnes, who has grabbed those within his last six games. Niagara is set for two games against Bentley at home this weekend.
Northeastern University spent the Thanksgiving Break in Ireland for the Friendship Four at SSE Arena in Belfast. The Huskies came away with their second win of the season against the same team they defeated for their first: Colgate University. In Saturday’s 7-1 blowout win, defenseman Colton Saucerman (’10-’11) helped get the Huskies on the board first in the opening period. Now with four points, the senior’s point production has been lower than in recent seasons, however it does grab him his first point in six games and his second since October 16.
Following a three-game win streak, Ohio State University fell down in two-straight games to the University of Nebraska-Omaha last weekend, but in his lone game of the weekend forward Matt Weis (’11-’12) helped to tie up Saturday’s 6-4 loss early in the first period with a direct location of Mike Gillespie just under five minutes in. Through ten games this season, the New Jersey product now has five goals and three assists and is on pace to edge out last season’s freshman total of 22 points while trying to get the Buckeyes back on track.
Freshman forward Matt Colford (’14-’15) has put up points in each of his last three weekends with Saint John’s University at the NCAA Division III level, and this weekend was no different despite the Johnnies falling in games against Utica and Oswego State. In Friday’s 4-2 loss to the Pioneers, the Minnesotan fed Neal Smith for Saint John’s first goal in a two-goal third period to draw closer despite the large deficit. In nine games this year, Colford has two goals and two assists.
With only one game last week, it was a quiet weekend for alumni at Plymouth State. That doesn’t mean nobody picked up points. In fact, three of the four alumni skaters earned a tally in the Panthers’ 4-3 overtime win at Connecticut College. Forward Mike Economos (’12-’13) and defenseman Caleb O’Brien (’12-’14) both helped on the team’s opening goal, a short-handed shot with 14 seconds left in the first period, while forward Ian McGilvrey (’12-’13) helped the same scorer, Chris Zuccaro, pick up an even-strength goal in the second period in a back-and-forth affair. Economos sits tied for third on the team in points with nine, and the pair of McGilvrey and O’Brien own six points each while sharing sixth.
A win is a win, no matter how ugly it can be, and Neumann University will gladly take that in their weekend sweep of Morrisville State over Thanksgiving. The rougher of the two games, Saturday’s 7-2 takedown, saw 24 combined penalties between both teams, but late in the third period defenseman Casey Rogers (’10-’11) aided Mike Davis for his second goal of the game and Rogers’ first point of the weekend. Already, the Moreno Valley, Calif., native has just under half of last season’s career-high point total thanks to one goal and five assists in only nine games.
This year is it for defenseman Jonathan Sdao (’10-’11) to give his best shot on the back end for Colby College, and his impressive weekend puts him atop the team in points despite earning three points in a 1-1 draw against UMass Boston and a 5-2 win over Endicott College as part of the Bowdoin-Colby Classic at Bowdoin College. In Friday’s draw, the Colorado native gave Griffin Fadden his first of the season to initially go up 1-0 in the second period. On Saturday, Sdao helped on the game’s opening goal in the first period then slotted his first goal since his freshman year coming from Fadden to pay back the senior for the previous night’s goal. Sdao has three points in four games and is five points away from his collegiate-high set his freshman season.
The junior year for forward Tommy Telesca (’12-’13) has been slow though the Potsdam Bears have been hot out of the gates. In the Skidmore Invitational in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., the third-year man finally earned his first point of the season in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with host Skidmore. Late in the first period, Telesca found Jake Rivera for the Bears’ first goal of the game in another back-and-forth game. That was his fifth game of the season, and now he’s looking to get back to his career-high nine-point performance set in 20 games last season.
The USHL is preparing for the rise of Jake Durflinger (’13-’14), who continues to roll to round out November. He added three more points last weekend during the Bloomington Thunder’s split: a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Steel and a 3-2 win over Team USA. In Wednesday’s loss, the 18-year-old earned an assist on the team’s lone goal, while in Friday’s win, he tapped in the eventual game-winning goal on the power play in the third period and also helped get the Thunder on the board in the second period. Durflinger is now riding a four-game point streak with one goal and four assists in that span to close out a seven-point November through eight games. In total, he’s grabbed eight points over his last nine games.
Don’t consider it a tapering off for forward Ronnie Hein (’13-’14) with only one point in a three-game week, but after an impressive stretch the Michigan can slow things down though his Waterloo Black Hawks also seemed to have slowed down. In Thursday’s 5-1 loss to the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, Hein picked up a primary assist in his squad’s only tally of the night. It’s been mainly helpers for the forward in his second USHL season, and he owns 12 with 16 points through 19 games while sitting second on the team in points and leading in assists.
Another strong November campaign is in the books, and forward Nico Sturm (’13-’14) rounded out the month with points in two of three games last week for the Tri-City Storm. In Wednesday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Lincoln Stars, the Austrian helped tied the game later in the third period to aid the Storm to one point on Thanksgiving Eve. Three nights later, Sturm added two more assists with one in the second period and another in the third period of Saturday’s 4-3 loss to the Muskegon Lumberjacks. The forward finishes November with eight points in nine games and sits tied for third on the team in points.
Though the IceRays have seen a lot of time without home games, the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League (WHL) have now played seven road games to close out November in a three-week span. In a four-game week, center Landon Quinney (’14-’15) helped the Warriors pick up a point during their 6-5 overtime loss to the Portland Winterhawks by finding Tanner Jeannot as part of a three-goal third period to draw back even and force overtime. In his rookie season, the Las Vegas native has seven points through 26 games.
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.