Wednesday 3 October 2012

Tommies get underway tomorrow

The long, long, long wait is finally coming to an end.  The Tommies will have their first game of the 2012-2013 preseason tomorrow evening against the St-FX X-Men in Fredericton Junction.  Game time is 7:30 PM at the Tri-County Complex.

Under Troy Ryan, last year's Tommies improved by 5 points over the previous year and made strides towards respectability.  This year's team will have to do without former Tommie and assistant coach Eric Bissonnette, one of the more important summer time causalities.  His replacement is former FHS Blackcat head coach Tim Smith.

From the forward ranks the Tommies lost two players to graduation and one to injury.  Brad Gallant and Jordan Scott graduated, while Matt Eagles playing days came to an end due to concussion problems sustained over his hockey career.  That translates into 34 combined points being lost for the three forwards, including 10 goals and 24 assists.

Coach Ryan has brought in Colin Martin from the OHL Champion London Knights and former Universite de Moncton forward Alexandre Leduc to fill the voids.  Martin is a big strong winger that can play in any situation.  He is very likely going to see duty on the top two lines and will probably contribute to both special teams.  Leduc finished third in points for Moncton back in 2010-2011 and only played 23 games. STU is going to be looking for him to put some pucks in the net.  It is very likely these two players will cover the 34 point hole left by the graduating players.

Most of the losses from last year occurred on defense.  Bryan Main, Andrew Andricopoulos and Erick Tremblay graduated and Chris Van Laren did not return.  There is lots of experience being lost but the three defensemen brought in to replace them should do just that.  Matt Hobbs should be able to cover Andricopoulos' 8 points from last season and Marc-Andre Levesque is of equal size to Van Laren, plus has more offensive upside.  Bryan Main might be a little harder to replace but Jordan Thomas is bigger and won't quit until he succeeds.  Thomas might have a learning curve to figure out, coming from the MHL, but he'll be forced to get there sooner, rather than later. Tremblay only played home games last season and there is no replacement for the former Captain.

Our biggest loss was goaltender Charles Lavigne.  Charlie kept us in games, it is that simple.  His replacement did the same thing for the WHL Swift Current Broncos last season, so that bodes well for the Tommies.  Jon Groenheyde is no doubt going to be seeing some rubber coming at him this winter and for the Tommies to return to the post season, he will have to steal a few games for us.  If anyone will be capable of making that big stop, it will be Groenheyde.

It is pretty obvious that St. Thomas has little room for error or bad luck.  In the AUS the average team has 20 to 24 skaters on the roster and we only have eighteen.  STU will need all the help from above they can get. So if anyone from above is listening, keep those boys safe and send reinforcements.  


  1. Go Tommies go. Have a good game son. Papag
    Name spelling error: its Jon Groenheyde

    1. Thanks for the note Frank and my apologies on the spelling error. Jon looked really good last night and will be a great asset for the Tommies.