2010-11 Brock Badgers Men's hockey preview
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - After a two-year play-off drought the Brock Badgers men's hockey team is primed for a return to the post season. Badgers head coach Murray Nystrom has brought in a strong rookie class that will mesh well with an experienced veteran core.
Among the returning Badgers are 2008-09 scoring leader Derek Brochu (Welland, Ont.) and junior defensemen Isaac Smeltzer (Estevan, Sask.) and Steve Miller (Thunder Bay, Ont.). Also returning this season are three members of the 2007-08 team that earned a birth in the CIS National Championship tournament; forwards Steve Mullin (Guelph, Ont.) and Ryan Allen (Fort McMurray, Alta.) and defenseman Joey Pell (Dryden, Ont.).
"What we have are great locker room guys and guys that are here to work hard," said Badgers head coach Murray Nystrom. "Ryan Allen and Derek Brochu are great leaders on the ice and in the room, but guys like Dan Dooley and Adam Schwark have really worked hard in the offseason to improve their games and help the team. Smeltzer and Steve Miller are going to give us a physical presence. Our returning guys are going to be very important."
The 2010-11 Badgers roster will feature nine newcomers. Included in the bunch are Thomas Stajan (Mississauga, Ont.) and twin brothers Kaine and Anthony Geldart (Kingston, Ont.). Also joining the squad are three players from the Golden Horseshoe Junior B League; 2009-10 scoring leader Jordan Gignac (Hamilton, Ont.), league MVP Matt Abercrombie (Sarnia, Ont.) and his former teammate C.J. Dickson (Thorold, Ont.).
"We've added some players with an offensive pedigree, but the question is how long it will take these guys to adjust to the OUA game," said Nystrom. "Thomas Stajan, Matt Abercrombie and Jordan Gignac look to be making those adjustments quickly so we hope so see an impact from them early on."
In goal the Badgers will have two veterans. Kurt Jory (Brandon, Man.) returns between the pipes after suffering a traumatic injury nearly two years ago. Also strapping on the pads for the Badgers will be sophomore Jordan Bent (St. George, NB) who held the starting role for half of the 2009-10 season.
"We've got two capable goaltenders in Kurt Jory and Jordan Bent," said Nystrom. "How we're going to divide up the playing hasn't been figured out yet, but we're comfortable with putting either of them in the game any night."
Badgers head coach Murray Nystrom enters his 13th season at the helm. Also returning are fourth year assistant coach Jeff Corey and second year assistant Rob Meecham. New to the coaching staff this season are Yvan Charrois, Mike MacDonald and Garry Miotto.
The Badgers will have a unique mix of rookies and veterans heading into the 2010-11 season. With so many rookie players adjusting to the OUA game the beginning of the season may be a bumpy ride, but head coach Murray Nystrom knows exactly what the goal for this year's team is.
"We're focused on a play-off spot this year," said Nystrom. "The west division is a tough one and we're going to have some ups and downs early in the year. We want to stay focused and get better each week and out ourselves in a position to be playing our best hockey at play-off time."
The Badgers open the 2010-11 regular Friday October 1 when they host the York Lions at the Seymour-Hannah Centre for a 7:15 start. Advance tickets to all Badgers home games are available at the Walker Complex front desk on campus or at Front Row Sports located inside the arena. Prices are $10 for adults, $5 for students / seniors and children under 10 free.