Friday, April 25, 2008

Wildcats Abroad

You've already heard how successful Nathan Martz was in Norway this past season so you're probably wondering how the rest of the Wildcats abroad faired. So here you are.

Wildcat Alums abroad (or who were abroad at some point in this season) include Eric Boguniecki, Eric Nickulas, Mark Mowers, Derek Bekar, Mike Souza, Kevin Truelson, Colin Hemingway, Lanny Gare, Mike Ayers, Steve Saviano, Nathan Martz, Tyler Scott, Preston Callander, Justin Aikins and Tyson Teplitsky. Fifteen in all!

So let me run down some of the highlights of the group in no particular order.

I'll start with Mike Souza. Mike has spent the last two seasons with Sportivi Ghiaccio Cortina, commonly referred to as S.G. Cortina, of the Lega Italiana Hockey Su Ghiaccio (LIHG).

The team was lead by Souza with 22 goals (nearly a third of his team's goals) and 22 assists in 42 games - well below his last year's numbers.

It's tough to figure out the exact nature of the league and its tournament rounds but I've learned that despite a poor season, Cortina staved off demotion from the league's relegation round putting together a brilliant 5-2-1 record with 40 goals for and just 15 against.

Way to go Mike!

Mark Mowers played a few degrees to the north of Mike for SC Bern after crossing the Atlantic AND the States coming from the NHL's Anaheim Ducks. He had 2 goals and 4 assists in 10 games in the Swiss league.

Preston Callander actually returned stateside in anticipation of raising his first child due in June. After two very successful seasons with Wolfsburg EHC of Germany's 2nd Bundesliga he now calls the Florida Everblades home (the ECHL hockey team, not the national park) where he has 25 goals and 32 assists in 47 regular season games but was held to just one assist in three games before the Everblades were eliminated from the Kelly Cup Playoffs this year.

Keep us updated, Preston, and congratulations again!

Next is Lanny Gare. Gare began his season in Denmark with the Herlev Hornets of the AL-Bank Ligaen. He tallied 10 goals and 12 assists in 32 games and was one of the top scorers for the Hornets before he departed to pursue an opportunity with ETC Crimmitschau of the 2nd Bundesliga. There he recorded a goal and an assist in nine games with Eispiraten - The Pirates.

Colin Hemingway. The Edinburgh Capitals', EIHL (Elite Ice Hockey League), star was incredible this season finishing 10th overall in scoring amassing 41 goals and 41 assists in 57 games including 90 penalty minutes! All this despite a very disappointing season for the Capitals.

Tyson Typlitsky. Fellow EIHL standout to Hemingway, Typlitsky wowed the Welsh again this season with 18 goals and 36 assists in 64 games for the Cardiff Devils equaling his last season's total of 17 goals and 37 assists - all from the blueline!

Derek Bekar moved on to play for HK Jesenice, parting ways with fellow Wildcat Eric Nickulas and the Hannover Scorpions of the Deutsch Eishockey League. Bekar found a niche in Austria with Jesenice scoring 15 goals and 24 assists in 49 games - good enough for third on the team. Nickulas meanwhile struggled with points but still proved a valuable team leader for Hannover scoring 6 goals and 8 assists in 41 games. Short-time Wildcat Matt Dzieduszycki came onto the Hannover team and scored 11 goals and 26 assists.

I'd be remiss not to mention my favorite Wildcat of all time (hey I've only been around so long, Nation!), Steve Saviano. Savi spent the season with Finland's SM-Liiga on the Tappara Tampere team scoring 7 goals and 16 assists in 56 games and had his contract extended for the upcoming 2008-2009 season having become a fan favorite and playoff sparkplug almost immediately which I'm sure you can all understand.
From the Tappara in English site:
Saviano's 23 points during the regular season probably wouldn't have been enough for a foreigner to get a new contract, but his 5 goals and 4 assists in the playoffs certainly sealed the deal!

And last but not least is Tyler Scott playing in France's Ligue Magnus pour Les Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble - such an awesome team name! Tyler scored 5 goals and 4 assists over 26 games playing D for the Burners of Wolves.

There you have it for now. I did not get to them all as it is extremely intensive and difficult to sift through the information of these Wildcats playing pro in no fewer than 8 European countries!

Great job 'Cats!

Keep up the good work.

If you've enjoyed this post and all of the accompanying links in the 'Cats in the Pros section - you do know about all of those links, right!? - and want to see more like it please refer a bit further down the right-hand column of the page and look for the Donate button immediately below "The UNH Men's Hockey Blogger Guy's: Words to Live By". Donate any amount that you are able and be sure to note what you would like to see more of.

Go 'Cats!


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