Tuesday, September 16, 2008

TUMHBG's Notes

It is always interesting to note who will be coming back to the team almost a new guy and while their physical stats don't tell the whole story they do tell some interesting tales of the tape.

Look for this year's team to come back with quite an edge after having been betrayed by certain segments of the fan base calling for Coach Umile's ouster after a stellar season but a tough first round playoff loss for the fourth consecutive year. As well, the team itself is going to face a lot of internal competition for playing time with a roster that is flush-full and brimming with talent from goal on out.

Some are reported shorter than they were, many taller. Some bulked up a bit more lost a few. Here's what I noticed.

Joe Charlebois. Senior. Defenseman. Defensive defenseman extraordinaire. This Co-Captain will look to lead the team six pounds lighter than last year but don't expect his hits to come any less hard because of it.

Brian Foster. Junior. Goaltender. The cool, calm and collected netminder almost makes Kevin Regan look downright jittery between the pipe. With the addition of five pounds I'm guessing that he spent his summer preparing to be at the top of his game for what is expected to be his first season as starting goaltender. Look for him to display a strong presence in the paint and have sharpened his quickness and lateral movement for those post to post plays - expect another workhorse. Now, can he match Regan's numbers - not only can he in his final two seasons but, within reason, he could exceed some of them.

Nick Krates. Junior. Defenseman. This rangy defenseman is staring down his fellow blueliners daring them to try to take his spot. With the addition of nine pounds look for Krates to punish the opposition even more and to build on his late season successes that left him with a reasonable +5 which I'm sure he'll want to add to as well as his lone assist in 36 games last season.

Paul Thompson. Sophomore. Forward. Vision and a nose for the net. Comes back for the 2008-2009 season listed as fifteen pounds lighter plus an inch compared to the beginning of last season. Look for a lean, mean, fighting machine who is going to be much more dynamic on the ice this season.

James van Riemsdyk. Sophomore. Forward. All the skills and limitless potential. Returns to the Blue and White, amid some speculation that he wouldn't, having added one inch and fifteen pounds - I highly doubt any of that is anything less than lean muscle on this future NHL power forward.

Phil DeSimone. Sophomore. Forward. Great playmaking and shooting ability - very responsible in both ends of the ice. Lost eleven pounds from last year's roster to this year's. That ought to give him the extra step to return to the high levels of production he enjoyed in the USHL where he once outpaced his teammates including Sam Gagner who put up 49 points for the Edmonton Oilers this past season and the following year led the league in scoring as fellow sophomore Paul Thompson did in his last season in the EJHL.

Matt Campanale. Sophomore. Defenseman. Whose quick feet will be that much quicker after having dropped five pounds himself. Look for him to compete for time on the blueline.

Danny Dries. Sophomore. Forward. Seemingly coming out of nowhere last season, due to injuries in previous seasons, to taking the team's fifth highest point total as a freshman with 28 look for him to really take control of the play on the ice. Always making things happen look for even more with the addition of two inches in height.

I'm sure there's much more going on with the team and I'm looking forward to hearing more about them as we close in on the two-weeks mark when we'll get to see our 2008-2009 Wildcats in action for the first time in the exhibition game versus St. Francis Xavier.

Go 'Cats!


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