USHL-Flyers Write Final Chapter

By pbadmin

The Thunder Bay Flyers wrapped up their 16th and what looks to be final
season over the weekend with a sweep of the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Scoring
for the Flyers in there 7-4 victory on Saturday night was Aaron Grynol with
the hat trick, Pat Sharp with a pair and Murray MaGill and Jamie Young with
singles. Ken Ritson picked up what could possible be the last win in Flyers
history in the net. Thunder Bay finished with a 18-39-1 record good for 37
points and 13th place in the 14 team league. Thirty-nine losses breaks the
old club record of 33 set in 1985-86 season and the 1996-97 season. The team
leaders for the season where: Aaron Grynol 22 goals, Pat Sharp 25 assists,
Pat Sharp 55 points, Jesse Baraniuk 267 PIM to lead the USHL, Ken Ritson 4.07
gaa 0.888 save percentage, 3 shutouts.
The team is rumored to be folding and moving to Aurora, Ill for the 2001-2002
season. There is however a 60-day window of opportunity for local ownership
to step up and purchase the team. The current owner Ted Carlson is asking
$300,000 US which seems to be a steep price for any local groups. With this
said it looks like Thunder Bay has seen its final days in the United States
Hockey League.
Thunder Bay has played in the USHL for 16 years as the only Canadian team in
the league. The Flyers captured four regular season championships and two
playoff titles in this time. The club from the Lakehead also captured two
Royal Bank Canadian Junior A Championships in 1989 and 1992. Thunder Bay has
had over 90 players take NCAA Division one scholarships. Including five
players this season Pat Sharp, Ryan Caldwell, Mike Kompon, David Bonk and
Jesse Baraniuk. The most famous Flyers would have to be Nashville Predator
Forward Greg Johnson who won the Junior A player of the year in Canada in
1989 and played for the gold medal winning Canadian World Junior Team. Other
former Flyers to play in the NHL are Ryan Johnson for Tampa Bay currently,
Sean Pronger for Anaheim and LA in recent years, Brent Peterson also spent
time in Tampa Bay. The club finished all time with a record of 425 wins-344
losses and 27 ties. Including nine winning seasons in the sixteen year
history.
It is currently unclear with what well happen to the players with junior
elgibilty left. As the USHL only allows each team to carry two non-American
players. The team has eleven players that could return to Junior A hockey
next season. Including goalie Ken Ritson(18), defenceman Brad Bartlett(19),
Kody Mintenko(17), Jeff Cassan(18) and forwards Andy Corran(18), BJ
Greaves(17), Aaron Grynol(17), Murray MaGill(18), Paul Peterson(19), Chris
Shaffer(19) and Jamie Young(18). Age is in brackets. I believe these players
would be a benefit to most Junior A clubs in Canada and if you would like
more information on them please e-mail myself and I will be happy to help you.