AIHL '09-'10 Season gearing up in the Pacific North Division in Northern California so let the shaking begin.
9/28/2009 Hollister, Ca
You can feel the weather finally changing here in Nor-Cal after a nasty heat wave, teams are having dry land sessions at The'Plex, players are jockeying for roster spots and there are the familiar faces as well as some new faces so sit back and enjoy this pre season article.
Elite Division has 4 of the original 5 teams from last season returning with 1 new team. East Bay Jawz, Nor Cal Riot, Northern California Mustangs, Ripon Savage and The San Jose Pirates round out the Elite Division.
Defending champs The San Jose Pirates look solid with 8 players returning as well as 2 goalies. Top point getter Kelly Spain returns along with Matt Smith, Logan Martinez, Jon King, Dustin Tilbury, Sean Kotsubo, Doug Cech and player/owner Adam Dekeyrel. Tony Hartman and Steven Barker return as solid net minders. Dekeyrel has added some new faces with local player Jacob Hickey along with Casey and Kevin Kennedy from the bay area. The Pirates were tops in the Elite division last season and have added some fire power to their club and all I have to say is watch out for this explosive club.
East Bay Jawz return 10 players from last season and have added 4 new players including Goalie Kevin Silva. Top scorer Vince Castoro returns with Jason Weiser, Ric Sudario, Jim Murray, Lucas Bartsh, Abram Figueroa, Greg Peralta, Jacob Van De Roovaart, Jason Longbine and player/owner CJ Gamble. Joining Silva are newcomers Alex Olsgaard, Allen Gonzales and Gleb Finklemen. Look for the Jawz to improve this season and make some noise in the division.
Next up The Northern California Mustangs along with Captain Travis Hawkins return 10 players from the Elite squad with Jeremy Mamon, Mason Nave, Jeff Brown, Derrek Lobban, Javi Martinez, Shawn Hickey, Joe Fritz, Dominic Mamon, Ryan Greenwood and Stuart Shiraishi.
Coach Sousa has rewarded hard working Lucas Hart with a spot on the Elite squad as Lucas played up and down last season and was a leader on the Minor squad and additions Matt Bianco and Matt Brown round out the Elite's. Sousa has added 1 new goal tender in Kenny Hamilton and a returning Ryan Linnane who sat out last season with an injury. Expect to see a hungry team that has experienced success and will play championship hockey under Coach Sousa.
The Nor-Cal Riot are also back again this season with 1 Elite team and have added 2 new players to their squad. Returning for the Riot is Captain Travis Suyeishi, Assistants Blake Peckham and Trevor Kleinsmid, Joe Drake, Michael Tilbury, Chris Sebastian and Lonny Lovins. New faces Alex Redmond and Jarod McIntosh have made the club this season. This club will be better this season and Travis tells me that the roster is not set until the first puck is dropped so stay tuned.
The new team in the mix this season is the Ripon Savage and at press time a roster was not available but as soon as it becomes available it will be reported.
See you at the rink.