Greyhounds Host Eventful Training Camp
On August 27th the Soo Greyhounds opened up their 2001 training camp and set out to erase last seasons disaster. With a number of new faces reporting to camp like Dean Byvelds, who was acquired from Barrie in a trade for defenseman Jeremy Swanson, as well as Greg Mizzi, who was picked up after being let go by Barrie, the Greyhounds looked to get back on track after a number of problems last season.
On the first day of on-ice workouts new head coach Craig Hartsburg sent a message to rookies and veterans alike that off-ice discipline problems would not be tolerated as 3rd year goaltender Ray Emery was sent home after arriving to the rink 15 minutes late for the team’s pre-practice stretching exercise. Emery said he slept through his alarm.
Prior to the team’s annual Red/White game draft pick Derek MacKay, the Greyhounds 3rd round pick in the 2000 draft, and 17-year-old invite Joey Coccimiglio informed team management that they were leaving camp in order to protect their college eligibility. Goaltender Shane Bellini, who was having a great camp and was another camp invite, also left to protect his college eligibility.
The Red/White game was the last chance for players to impress management before any cuts were made. In the Red/White game rookie Rob Hisey put on a show for the 1,200 or so in attendance. Hisey scored 2 goals and assisted on another in leading Team White to a 5-3 victory. Overage candidate Brent Sullivan also scored 2 goals while Brett Trudell added another plus an assist. Malcolm MacMillan and Ryan Weistche added 2 assists each in the win. Scoring for Team Red in the setback were Trevor Daley, Patrick Lamesse and Ryan Caicco.
After the game a number of cuts were made. The cuts included goaltender Steve Hamel; defensemen Kyle Jones and Shawn Bovair as well as forwards Brent Sullivan (pick up from Barrie with the stipulation that he had to make the team in order for Barrie to receive compensation), Steve Cooke, Jason Ricupero, Matthew Sweazey, Scott Maher, Ryan Caicco, Jared Wiseman and Steve Atkins.
In their first pre-season game against North Bay overage centre Robin Boucher scored the tying goal in the 3rd after Trevor Daley coughed up the puck. Boucher added an assist as well. Also scoring for North Bay were Geoff Platt and Nick Vernelli. Brett Trudell led the Greyhounds with a goal and an assist. Mike Melinko and Jeff Larsh also scored for the Greyhounds. Rookie sensation Rob Hisey had a chance to win the game in the final minute but hit the post on a breakaway. After the game sophomore Ryan Weistche was released.
In their second game overage winger Jeff Richards led the Greyhounds with 2 goals as the Greyhounds scored their first pre-season win, a 4-2 victory over the Sudbury Wolves in the Nickel City. Veteran Kyle Neufeld was let go after the game then traded to Kingston for a draft pick. Neufeld pick up 5 point, 2 goals and 3 assists, in his first game with the Frontenacs. The Greyhounds also picked up goaltender Anthony Marshall from Brampton and overage centre Brent Kelly from Guelph. Kelly was acquired for a draft pick.
The return match between The Greyhounds and Wolves back in Sault Ste. Marie provided plenty of excitement. The teams fought until the final buzzer with the Wolves Jerry Connell tying the game with 12 seconds to go in the 3rd period. The final score was 6-6. Rob Dmytruk set up 2 goals for the Wolves while Zack Sortini scored 2 and Troy Duncan had a goal and 2 assists. The Greyhounds got 2 goals out of import Petr Taticek, 2 power play goals and an assist from Brent Kelly as well as a goal and 2 assist from defenseman Trevor Daley.
In their final pre-season tilt in Timmins, Ontario against North Bay, Brett Trudell led the Greyhounds back from a 4-1 deficit to salvage a 4-4 tie and to keep the Greyhounds undefeated pre-season record in tact at 1-0-3.
Goaltender Anthony Marshall, picked up from Brampton, didn’t spend much time in a Greyhounds uniform. When the Greyhounds learned that Jeremy Day would be back from the Atlanta Thrasher training camp sooner than expected, Marshall was let go. Ray Emery, the Greyhounds other returning goalie is still at the Ottawa Senators camp but is expected back.
Craig Hartsburg continues to tinker with his lineup. Veteran Kyle Wailes was released and centre Malcolm MacMillan was dealt to Guelph for sophomore defenseman Niko Tuomi. After the acquisition of Tuomi the Greyhounds sent 2nd round pick Jordan Smith, a defenseman to their NOJHA affiliate, the Soo Thunderbirds.
There were a number of rookies that had strong camps like Rob Hisey, 1st round pick Jeff Carter, as well as some veterans like Brett Trudell, and Jeff Richards. If camp is any indication this will be a very hard working team. Hartsburg know he has a tough task ahead of him attempting to rebuild this team but if they work hard every night that’s about all Soo Greyhounds fans can ask of them.