Written by: Chelsea Zalewski
Blaine Showcase 2013
A new season has finally arrived after three long months and the Soo Eagle players and fans are ready for another season of NAHL Hockey. Before we get to this season’s trip to the Blaine Showcase, let’s take a quick trip back to last season.
Last season, the Soo Eagles struggled through the Blaine Showcase, leaving Minnesota 0 and 4 to start the season with only one point from an overtime (OT) loss. Many thought perhaps the Eagles had made the jump to the NAHL from the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL) too soon. The boys battled through adversity all season long and made it all the way to the Northern Division finals, only to lose to Jamestown.
The Eagles started a new team with the majority of their veteran players coming from the Traverse City NorthStars, Kyle Froese (’94, D), Jared VanWormer (’92, F)*, Alexander Taulien (’92, F), Kyle Loridon (’93, F), Eric Rivard (’92, F), Chris Waterstreet (’92, F), Nathan Harris (’92, D)*, Zach Nagelvoort (’94, G)* and Jake Peacock (’93, F). In addition, the team had former NorthStars team member Tyler Marble (’92, G)* between the pipes.
The Soo Eagles may have only picked up one win this trip to Blaine but they managed to pick up four points at the Showcase to start – two from their win and two from two OT losses. Any Eagles fan can only hope that means even bigger and better things to come from this diverse group of young men. One more win may mean one more step; like advancing to the Robertson Cup perhaps?
This season, the Eagles return to the league with eight veterans, Paige Skoog (’94, G), Denver Pierce (’95, F), Matt Menta (’94, F), Kyle Loridon (’93, F), Mike Sabatini (’95, F), Michael Crowley (’94, F), Dante Suffredini (’95, D) and Pat Thompson (’93, F) as well as NAHL veterans from other teams, Colin Brennan (’95, Johnstown, G), Charles Hemstrom (’93, Wichita Falls, D), Ryan Urso (’93, Jamestown, F), AJ Jarosz (’93, Corpus Christi, F), Brad Pung (’94, Michigan, F), and Jacob McDowell (’93, Fresno, F).
What can fans expect?
Fans this season can expect another great season of gritty hockey. The team has more returning NAHL veterans this season compared to last season and this is not the first season anymore, both of which could mean bigger and better things to come. The truth of the matter is, while we can compare the two seasons and their past and present achievements doing so is like comparing apples to oranges. But, if you ask me, “all is fair in love and hockey”… that’s how that quote goes, right? Truth be told, there are so many things that go into a team’s success beside the amount of veteran players and how they do at the Blaine Showcase. Things that also should be considered are talent, focus, and determination, just to name a few.
Last season, the team as whole was determined to not end up at the bottom of the North division and they pooled their talent and skills and focused on what was important and what they needed to do as a team to get there. Together, with the coaches, they pushed pass the odds and all the naysayers to finish on top of the North in the regular season. It is also worth noting that the ‘12/’13 team added and dropped players a lot in their first season to get just the right fit.
Be sure to keep up with all the latest Soo Eagles news here as the season progresses!
//Editor’s Note: Since this has been written I have heard rumors the Eagles have changed their roster around a little bit. I have not found any concrete evidence of such.//
* Denotes D1 Commitments