ITEM ONE: ICEDOGS HOME OPENER
Sure felt like 2007 all over again at the Jack Gatecliffe Arena last night. The opponents were from Mississauga and the weather outside was muggy, making for some interesting ice conditions. The result, however, was vastly different. Back in 2007 the IceDogs led by Stefan Legein and Michael Swift fashioned a tidy 4-1 victory over the then Mississauga St. Michaels Majors. Last nights affair was anything but tidy, as one could expect from two young teams trying to find their way and their identity. The final outcome was a rollicking, entertaining and highly uneven affair with Mississauga prevailing in OT 6-5. The IceDogs set the pace but could not hold leads of 2-0, 3-1, 4-2 and 5-3. Credit goes to the Steelheads for never giving up on the game. A lesson was learned by the young IceDogs as well. You can never take your foot off the pedal against anyone in the OHL. The Dogs are off for a week before a strange road trip that will see them hit Kingston, Belleville and Ottawa before returning home to face North Bay. Geographical logic dictates that the more seamless road trip would be Ottawa, Kingston and Belleville, but such is life in the OHL.
Last nights highlights are HERE:
ITEM TWO: TRACKING ICEDOGS ALUMNI IN THE AHL/NHL
Been around the league long enough now to see guys start their pro careers with varying degrees of success, ranging from the wildly successful Alex Pietrangelo, to guys like Michael Swift carving out their niche far away from North America in Japan. A couple of IceDogs alum. popped up on AHL rosters as they start training camp. Alex Friesen and David Pacan are plying their trade now for Utica, the new farm home for Vancouver. Drew Schiestel gets a little hometown cooking as he is trying out for the Hamilton Bulldogs while Stefan Legein is on the training camp roster for the Toronto Marlies. Andrew Agozzino, owener of a new NHL Contract will be in Lake Erie while draftees like Mark Visentin, Freddie Hamilton, Ryan Strome, Brett Ritchie and Jamie Oleksiak remain in NHL Camps and will likely be assigned to Portland (Visentin) Worcester (Hamilton) Bridgeport or New York Islanders (Strome) Dallas or Texas Stars (Ritchie and Oleksiak). Nice to see so many ex-IceDogs finding their way in the pro ranks.
ITEM THREE: BROADCAST SHUFFLE
Lots of off-season broadcast shuffling locally. Dan Dunleavy moves from Leaf radio broadcasts to Buffalo to eventually succeed Rick Jeannerrette, while Jon Abbot gets Dunleavy's old spot in Toronto as he vacates the Marlies booth. Hamilton Bulldogs TV voice Todd Crocker jumps to full time work with the Marlies. What is interesting about Crocker's appointment is that he will also be filming a documentary on the AHL as he travels the circuit. What is sure to be interesting is his take on the AHL Outdoor Classic at Comerica Park as the Marlies take on Grand Rapids. Todd is pretty handy with the camera and has shot a number of short documentaries through his company From Thin Air Pictures. As for myself? a 7th year at the Jack Gatefcliffe looms, as well as other assorted yet to be named freelance dates. Happy to see guys move up, and it makes me think that maybe one of this opportunities may slide my way at some point.
Till next timeSteve Clark