Friday, December 30, 2011

You can own this! - "mean helmeted fellow" "great menacing logo"

This item is not really that spectacular but I gotta love the creativity behind this ebayer PuckHound's listings. If you check out his listings he often describes the logos found on the pucks.

Honestly since the logo was unveiled in June 2010 that's the most poetic ways to describe our logo.
"Mean Helmeted Fellow"
"Great Menacing logo "

Don't get me wrong hockey pucks are very collectable but I don't see any point in describing the logos. I do appreciate the logo being called "Menacing" instead of my the usual question by senior citizens in Greer thinking it's an American legion baseball team (long story short that's happen more than once)

I wish I had something more interesting then just this but for next season I think every one tell Neil Smith we want to see this...


Monday, November 28, 2011

You Can Own This! -Former Greenville Road Warrior Backup Game Worn Jersey

I actually stole the premise of this idea from a website I use to visit while back. Basically in this segment I'll show some somewhat obscure/ off beat memorabilia you can bid on that is in some way connected to the Greenville Road Warriors. On our first segment we have this gem

You can bid on this 2001-2002 WHL Vancouver Giants Game Worn Jersey of Greenville Road Warriors nice guy and backup goalie Jordan McLaughlin. Jordan was here for a while as a back up while before we got Beckford-Tseu he didn't see any action and spent most of the season in the SPHL. To my knowledge he is not on any team at the moment. He was a super nice guy I was able to annoy talk to him at a booster club function। If you're a fan here is your chance to own his jersey! Right now in United States currency it's at 193।42 with 25 hours to go। This jersey was from the first year of the Vancouver Giants hockey club. I wouldn't be surprised to see this jersey break $200 because of the style and since it was from the inaugural year of that team. Hopefully next edition of this we'll have something a little more bizarre until then tootles!

Rainy Day projections

Today was one of those days where it starts rainy and never stops. Perfect day to update the blog. Yesterday the Warriors dropped a big game to the South Carolina Stingrays 4-1. The only positive note is that Jeff Caister who has been in and out of the lineup this season got his first goal. Hopefully that will build his confidence as the season goes along. I wasn't very surprised that the Warriors lost as they've had a week off and usually teams with a layoff take a bit to find the wheels again. I look for much better results tomorrow night as Stork and Company take on a familiar team in the Cincinnati Cyclones.

Since the rain has been on full force today I sat around with the calculator. I did some projections. At the current rate. Here is what the playoff picture would look like.

(1)Chicago 96
(2)South Carolina 95
(3)Wheeling 90
(4)Kalamazoo 95
(5)Gwinnett 83
(6)Greenville 78
(7)Florida 76
(8)Elmira 68
(X)Reading 64
(X)Toledo 63
(X)Cincinnati 62
(X) Trenton 60

Some thoughts

Chicago- This team has played very well so far. As an expansion team it may seem a little shocking but not when you think of Steve Martinson who is a somewhat controversial figure but has several titles at various professional levels under his belt. I don't expect a ton of affiliated call ups as it seems like Columbus/Springfield don't have a ton of guys in Chicago. I think Martinson is going to sign and use the guys he wants to for the most part which may rub people the wrong way but it's worked in the past. Which is why I think this team will continue to be a top 5 team in the ECHL. An interesting note as I was writing this it seems like Yannick Tifu has been traded to Reading which comes as a shock to me.

South Carolina- This team looks very good. The Road Warriors have had some success against them earlier in the season. Grubauer has to be so far one of the elite goaltenders in the ECHL. I'd expect if any injuries happen in Hershey or Washington Grubauer will be on the way! The defense is solid as well as a balanced lineup on forwards. Unless call ups decimate this team I could easily see this team being the #1 overall team.

Wheeling- This is a team that seems to thrive on how the young players preform. I don't mean any disrespect but this is not a popular place for free agents to land. Last year this team got a big offensive punch with Ben Street this year a very similar punch has been injected into Wheeling by Rookie Chris Barton. Street got a call up last season and didn't return. I'm guessing selfishly the fans don't want to see Barton leave. In net Wheeling has one of the more impressive tandems. Peter Delmas who GRW fans know way too well and Patrick Killeen who is a complementary boost in net. Barton is not the only rookie game changer on the team. Andrew Hotham, Zach Hansen an Olivier Dame-Malka all young blue liners will continue to help. Already this is a team that had a big player leave the team as Nick Plastino who left for Europe , Plastino was a big offensive threat on the blue line but like the quote goes one player is not bigger than the team. Basically as I said earlier this team will go as far as the young players can take them. As long as the call ups/Lonas don't stack up too much I can see this team still being a solid playoff team.

Kalamazoo- The Eastern representative in the 2011 Kelly Cup finals look to be an elite team again. Like Wheeling , The K-Wings have already lost a big player in Patrick Asselin who left for Germany last week. I do think Kalmazoo will miss his offensive input but I don't think its the end of the world for them. This team is one of the older teams in the east. I think they may be philosophically a Western team. The Ageless one Kory Kalander, Justin Taylor, Brandon Svendsen, Trent Daavettila and one of the most underrated players in the league in my opinion Dean Strong. Have been Kalamazoo main stays and will fill the void that Asselin has left. Between the pipes you have Riley Gill who I would put as a solid net minder but the real treat is Maxime Clermont. Clermont a New Jersey Devils prospect who some have pegged the possible Heir apparent of the New Jersey net. Clermont will be a solid player of the K-Wings but will probably see multiple call ups to the AHL which will hurt Kalamazoo. I see this team having a a great season I think they can challenge for the top seed.

Gwinnett- The Gladiators 2010-11 Season mimicked seasons. The first part of the season was much like summer in the south, blazing hot. Unfortunately for the fans in North Georgia the season ended like Christmas in the North Pole. Gladiators are hoping that this season will be far from last. So far ex Wheeling Nailer forward Joey Haddad has been as advertised leading the team in scoring. First year head coach John Wroblewski was also able to bring in Tyler Murovich from Wheeling who will also help. Maybe the most overlooked signing for this team is Nikita Kashirsky former Stingray who if he is on his game can be one of the biggest offensive threats in the league. Pat Galivan and Andy Brandt return from last season. I see top to bottom a good but average lineup but in net Gwinnett has 2 game changers. Jeff Jakatis who is currently in Rochester and Phoenix prospect Marc Chevire. Both Jakatis and Chevrie are great goaltenders that being said call ups will dictate how much time they spend in Gwinnett. I see this team being in the playoffs but a 5th-8th seed.

Greenville - Out of fairness I will keep this short and sweet. I'm obviously a bit biased on how I feel about the team . I think in Net Greenville has one of the best goalies in the league Nic Riopel. He is one of those goalies who can steal a game if needed. Forward wise Jeff Prough, Brendan Connolly, Justin Bowers have carried the team as far as forwards go. Wes Cunningham and Cullen Eddy added a dynamic offensive paring but with Eddy currently called up. Someone will have to fill his void. The thing that happen in Greenville last season which hasn't happen so far is the lack of Rookies stepping up. A lot of mix and matching going on with the young guys and some have not been in the lineup due to play or injuries. I believe at some point these guys will get in the lineup and be able to step up and help out the team and take some of the pressure off Prough and the other vets. I think this team maybe a wild card I could see them winning the division I could also see them sneaking into the playoffs. Only time will tell

Florida- Is there any team harder to read right now? Florida is one of those teams who some nights look like a Kelly Cup Contender and other nights look painfully average. In Net John Muse and Pat Nagle two rookies from the College ranks who are both very good. Like all rookies they'll have some rocky points as we've already seen against Greenville but overall I'd have to say this combo is going to help them win some games. Both under contract to AHL(Muse) and NHL (Nagle) contracts so I'd safely say you'll see them up and down at least a few times this season. As far as forwards go this team has a nice mix of returning players and rookies. Guys like Robby Dee, Philip-Michael Devos who can contribute as rookies. They've also had scoring from DJ Rutherford the pesky forward who came over from the CHL this season. Those players have preformed well but , Overall this team looks average. A guy they had to start the season Justin Shugg would be a big boost to their team but it's unknown if he'll be sent back down this season. I think this team is going to make the playoffs if they can avoid their 2 solid goalies getting called up long term. If that happens well I don't think you'll see any playoff games in Florida this year.

Elmira- If you looked at the ECHL Score sheets you couldn't miss the tear Evan Barlow was on. Not surprisingly he's in the AHL right now at a nearly point per game pace. Elmira misses Barlow but Mike Radja and Rookies ( former Road Warrior) Dustin Gazley and Artem Demkov have picked up the pace. Gone are the days of The Donati Brothers , Tifu and others in Elmira. This is a whole new team. The B-Sens are a good working partner with Elmira so I expect to see a ton of movement. Which can be very frustrating for fans of this team. Guys like Riley Armstrong, Josh Godfrey, Maxime Gratchev can be big time players but it's really a mystery how much time they see in Elmira. In net former Road Warrior Brian Stewart is playing well and maybe one of the more underated goalies in the league. German product Timo Pielmeier is also a solid option in net. Marco Cousineau who had a battle with Riopel in the playoffs last season has been loaned to the Central Hockey League could possibly end back with Elmira. He showed last year obviously he can be a game changer and obviously a valuable asset to have. I really have no idea where this tea will end up I'd say they have a chance to make the playoffs but call ups and loans will probably determine if this team gets to play deep into the spring.

Reading- If you can pinpoint one team that should have more points, It has to be the Royals.Olivier Labelle and Yannick Riendeau have been big offensive producers but out side of that not a ton of production from the forwards . Chad Painchaud had been the 3rd leading scorer before being traded to Chicago for Yannick Tifu today. A big plus for Reading has been some offensive production from the Blue Line. Denny Urban, Marvin Degon and Rob Kwiet have all hit double digit point totals for the Royals. In net Joe Palmer has been and will need to continue keep this team in games. Rookies Mark Owyua(Currently in the AHL) and Karel St. Laurent have also played with some good and some mixed results. This is team that I think will eventually figure it out. I could see a few trades coming and making this team better. I will be anxious to see how Tifu help this team. I'd consider this team a contender for the 5-8 spots in the Playoffs.

Toledo- The Toledo Walleye are that team that started off really slow but finally picking it up. This team has a lot of affilated players on the team. This team like Reading boast a solid offensive blue line Gleason Fournier, Bryan Rufenach two Detroit prospects who have produced so far will be a help if they stay with Toledo. Some other rookies like , Forward Adam Estoclet and Rob Flick have helped as well. Toledo's most prolific player Evan Rankin(Currently on loan to Rochester) is scoring and getting things done. Former first round draft pick Thomas McCollum has shown signs as being an good pro Goaltender but will most likely see time with Grand Rapids(he currently with them). Toledo will likely have to depend on Carter Hutton and possibly Alec Richards for the time being. Toledo is one of those teams that could jump up and get into the mix but still aren't quite there as of now. One of the best things about this league is your just one roster move away from improvement or regressing as a team.

Cincinnati- Wow I don't know what else to say about this team. Look at their roster and you'll see so many guys who are loaned/called up and in the case of blue liner Adam Comrie who was on a tear at 6 points in 4 games apparently on hiatus from the sport. Gone are guys like Wacey Rabbit, Joel Champagne , Garrett Wilson and many more. The good thing for this team is it has to get better. Eventually the dust will settle and you'll get some more of the talented guys back on this team. For now guys like Daniel Koger, Mathieu Aubin will have to step up for the Clones. In net Chet Pickard former Nashville first rounder has improved but still not at the level that was expected out of him. Tyler Plante who has some experience as an NHL Backup should probably be in the AHL but for whatever reason is down here. I believe if they play well the team can come back. Right now I'd give this current team a very small chance to make the playoffs but like I said it's going to get better for the Cyclones if I saw this team battling for a playoff spot near the end of the season I wouldn't at all be surprised

Trenton- So many changes during the off season long gone are the Trenton Devils , Welcome back the Trenton Titans. That being said it hasn't been all smiles in Trenton. The team has had some scoring from Andy Bohmbach, Randy Rowe and Rob Bordson but that has not been enough . Through the lineup this team has not had a ton of consistency. The Goal tending has been below average. The bottom 3 forward spots seem to be a gong show of sorts. They've taken chances on guys released from other teams such as Ryan Hayes, Jordan Pietrus, Chase Langeraap. Some have worked such as Ryan Hayes others have not. I really don't see this team making the playoffs unless more Consistency is found. The Goal tending has to improve, which you can't blame all on the guys between the pipes. It takes a team to win and lose a game! Hopefully for the fans of Trenton this team will shoot up the standings but for now I don't see it happening

I hope you enjoy my thoughts on each team. I guess I could of chosen a better point to do it but most teams have played at least 15-20 games so I figured why not.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Roster News and Notes

The 2011-2012 ECHL opening day rosters are due today. Here are some notes

-Chris Chappell - Chris Chappell has been called up to the CT Whale likely to be reassigned to another ECHL or CHL Team. Chappell skated in 53 Games for Greenville last season putting up 21 points.

-Peter Boyd - Former Ohio State forward and one of the goal scorers in the Preseason was released and claimed by the Bakersfield Condors

-TJ Fast - after starting the season with the Whale. Was sent back to Greenville only to be called up the same day to The Hamilton Bulldogs. Fast a skilled blue liner may rack up a lot of travel miles this season between the AHL and ECHL.

-Vincent LoVerde- The Blueliner who completed his College career at Miami this spring was released.

I'm going off the preseason numbers but here is your Opening day roster

1- Billy Sauer
30- Jerry Kuhn*
31- Jason Missiaen * (7 Day IR)

8- Jeff Prough
9- Brendan Connolly
10- Brandon Wong
11- Max Campbell*
12- Jason Wilson* (3 Day IR)
15- Connor Shields
17- Marc Oliver Vallerand
19- Jeremy Gouchie*
20- Kale Kerbashian*
21- Justin Bowers A
22- Ryan Hayes
25- Sean Berkstresser
27- Brett Robinson

2- Woody Klassen* (21 Day IR)
3- Wes Cunningham A
4- Corey Toy*
7- Sam Klassen
14 Jeff Caister
26- Francis Meilleur*
44- TJ Reynolds C

* Denotes Rookie

Where are they now?(10-11 Road Warriors on 11-12 Opening day ECHL rosters)

Brian Stewart G- Elmira (3 Games, 2-1-0 , 2.68 GAA , .918 SV%)
Dustin Gazley F- Elmira (2 Games , 0G, 0A )
Chris Clackson F- Gwinnett (19 Games 5G 6A, 5 Playoff Games 1G 1A )
Matt Schepke F- Reading (15 Games 5G 7A )
Dan Ringwald D - Stockton (1 Game 0G 0A)
Trevor Glass D - Utah (50 Games 2G 11A)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Road Warriors finish preseason perfect.

The Greenville Road Warriors were able to get a win in both preseason games against the South Carolina Stingrays . Friday night at the Bilo Center the Road Warriors took a 3-2 contest in a shootout. Saturday night they Warriors won 2-1 in Charleston. Friday night Jerry Kuhn started the game and the Warriors took the lead early just 1:34 into the contest. When second year Warrior Justin Bowers jumped on a botched breakout and netted it past Darren Machesney. The rest of the 1st period was scoreless.

The Second period was an interesting one. Brandon Wong wearing a new number(10) was able to light the lamp at 8:41. Less than a minute later Corey Toy was tagged with a 5 minute boarding major. The Road Warriors Penalty Kill stood tall killing off the penalty. New York Rangers prospect 21 year old Jasson Missiaen took over at 35:03 and played in net for the rest of the game. The game got a little chippy after a whistle, Former Gwinnett Gladiator Danick Paquette made contact with Warriors Woody Klassen which started a big tussle in the corner. Justin Bowers and Garrett Mitchell dropped the gloves while Paquette and Vallerand picked up associated penalties.

The Third period would be a comeback period for the South Carolina Stingrays. South Carolina cashed in early with a Power Play tally from Danick Paquette. The Stingrays struck again to tie it up with a goal from Jerry Pollastrone. The game took a physical turn when Corey Toy and David de Kastrozza dropped the gloves with under 4 minutes left in the game. The game remained tied as the Sixty Minutes were up.

In Overtime the Road Warriors penalty kill stepped up again killing off a Tripping Call, that ended with just ten seconds to go in the overtime. The game did not get settled in overtime as it headed to a shootout. Brandon Wong and Marc Oliver Vallerand scored in a shootout as Missiaen stopped 4 out of 5 shooters to pick up the Shootout win.

In Saturdays game unfortunately coverage was limited due to the game being at the practice facility of the Stingrays. The Stingrays struck early with a Maxime Lacroix goal. The Road Warriors fought back with a power play goal from Brett Robinson in the 2nd frame. Peter Boyd would strike the Game Winner 48:45 into the game. The Road Warriors hold off the Stingrays to pick up the Win. Billy Sauer played in net stopping 20 of 21 shots.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Warriors add three Blue Liners.

A few days ago it was announced that The Greenville Road Warriors have added 3 D-men to the roster for the 2011-2012 season. Returning to the team from the inaugural season is Wes Cunningham the 10-11 All ECHL selection was one of the best blue liners coming down the stretch for Greenville. He put up 43 points (7+36) in 69 contest last season and also notched 5 assist in 11 playoff games. Wes also brought a solid defense game having the second best plus/minus rating on the entire team.

TJ Fast a 24 year old former 2nd round draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings. Spent the 10-11 season between the Cincinnati Cyclones and Rochester Americans .The Calgary native put up 27 points (9+18) in 59 ECHL Contest. In 13 games for the Americans he put up 2 points (1+1). Fast has 3 years of pro hockey under his belt. Including 77 AHL games and 113 ECHL games. Fast was a WHL All star with the Tri City Americans and also played at the University of Denver in the NCAA ranks.

Jeff Caister a 26 year old Ontario native. Is entering his second full year of pro hockey. After playing for the Milton Icehawks of the OPJHL for 3 seasons. Caister attended Wayne State for 2 seasons before the program shut down. Caister transferred to St Lawrence University for his final two years of College hockey. Caister put up 74 points in 152 NCAA games. In 2009-2010 Caister joined the rival South Carolina Stingrays for 4 regular season games and 5 playoff contest. He started the 10-11 season with South Carolina before being traded to the Victoria Salmon Kings. Caister played 46 games with the Salmon Kings htiting double digits in goals(10) and assist (11). Caister also chipped in 8 points in 12 playoff games for the Salmon King.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Possible new Signing? Vincent LoVerde

According to an Oxford News article. It has Vincent LoVerde listed as a Greenville Road Warrior. The 22 year old defenseman just wrapped up his 4 year career at Miami University. Where he put up 36 points in 159 NCAA Games. He also played 2 seasons in the USHL for the Waterloo Blackhawks putting up 32 Points(9+23) in 99 USHL Games. The first year pro is a Chicago native. At press time I have no official word from Greenville so this is a devolving story. I will keep you updated as I found out more about this possible signing. Also good news in only 55 days the first regular season game will be played at the BI-LO Center against the Wheelng Nailers.