Soo Greyhounds Training Camp Wraps Up

By Brad Coccimiglio
The Soo Greyhounds opened up their 2000 training camp almost a month ago
on August 30th. On the first day came the usual things like player
registration and fitness testing. The second day of camp was reserved
for a team practice. The third day was when the fun really started. With
the 40 players split up into 2 teams the scrimmages got underway.

The first scrimmage of camp produced the most intensity of all the
games. There was plenty of hitting and a couple of fights including one
between 1st round pick Jeremy Swanson and Sault native Jordan Kennedy.

Kennedy was also involved in an incident with veteran winger Ryan
Healy. The incident started when Kennedy had Greyhound veteran Cory
Pecker tied up in his zone. While following the play up ice the 2
exchanged slashes. When the 2 reached the visiting bench they exchanged
punches and that’s when Healy came flying off the bench and blind-sided
Kennedy and began punching him with Kennedy having no way of defending
himself. Healy was then sent home due what the coaching staff called
philosophical differences after the team’s annual Red & White game. The
Healy incident was settled when he was dealt to the Oshawa Generals in
return for winger Shane Fryia.

In the annual inter-squad, won by Team White, 5-2, game there was
little intensity (there was only 1 fight-involving Jeff Richards and
Tyler Barath).

The first set of cuts were made after the Red-White game. The first
players cut included goaltenders Tyler Mercier and Mark Mateja, and
forwards David Brooks, Tyler Barath, Craig Meredith, Graham Charbonneau,
Cliff Miller and Kevin Draper. Also, Kris McLean, a former 15th round
pick of the Greyhounds, did not report to camp. The reason being he
wanted to concentrate more on his schooling.

Other than Healy the Greyhounds also dealt overage winger Derek
Campbell to Kingston in return for a draft pick. Campbell did not report
to camp after being acquired from Owen Sound earlier in the summer. The
reason Campbell didn’t report was because his father is ill and he
wanted to play closer to home.

Other new faces coming to Sault Ste. Marie through trade include former
Peterborough Pete, and Sault native, overage centre Preston Mizzi, and
former Kitchener Ranger Ryan Held, also an overage centre. In exchange
for Mizzi the Greyhounds sent overage winger Ryan Milanovic to
Peterborough. Milanovic was acquired from the Kitchener Rangers near
last season’s trade deadline in exchange for defenseman Bill Browne.
Winger Josh Bennett was sent to Kitchener in exchange for Held.

Despite the fact that he hasn’t been with the team for the entire camp
import pick Martin Bonda has played well. Bonda has a good mix of speed
and skill. He played well during the pre-season.

The Greyhounds had a very successful pre-season going 3-1 in their 4
games. The Greyhounds started the pre-season on a good note beating the
North Bay Centennials in North Bay 2-1. The next night the Greyhounds
skated into Sudbury and lost 3-2 to the Wolves. The Greyhounds then
opened up the home portion of their exhibition season by hosting the
Centennials. The return match between North Bay and the Soo was quite
intense with a 5-on-5 brawl erupting 5 minutes in. The Greyhounds
eventually won the game 3-2. The Greyhounds finished their exhibition
season 2 nights later at home against Sudbury. The Greyhounds got their
revenge beating the Wolves 3-2. Jeff Richards was the hero scoring 2

In the week leading up to the season opener the Greyhounds did trim
their roster by a couple of players. Ryan Caicco and Stephen Cooke were
both cut.

Here’s how the Greyhounds roster looks:

Shane Fryia Ryan Held Cory Pecker
Jeff Richards Preston Mizzi Mike Melinko
John Osborne Malcolm MacMillan Brett Trudell
Martin Bonda Jason Ricupero Rob Chapman
Alan Nolan
Ryan Weistche

Trevor Daley John Cilladi
Jeremy Swanson Jordan Kennedy
Derek Fox Chris Martin
Dustin Van Ballegooie Paul Ballantyne
Darren Strilchuk Scott Hazen
Vaclav Zavoral

Ray Emery
Jeremy Day

Some of the rookies who had solid camps include Dustin Van Ballegooie,
Ryan Weistche, Brett Trudell, Scott Hazen and Jason Ricupero. Weistche
and Ricupero were both training camp invites.

By the looks of things if the offense comes around and the defense and
goaltending hold up the Soo Greyhounds could be in for another
successful season.