Wednesday, September 30, 2015

By Lee Samuels

Las Vegas –  At last, coach Gabe Gauthier and his WSHL Las Vegas Storm will hit the ice and take on one of the newest teams in the league – the Tahoe Icemen – in a three-game series which gets underway Thursday 7 pm at the Las Vegas Ice Center.

Gone from the Storm are graduated players like star goal scorer Beau Ricketts, Kyle Pacheco and the Vegas Hockey ‘Defenseman of the Year’ Moritz Matzka

There are some key returning players and quite a few new skaters.

Let’s take a look.

Key Returning players

Arrigo Burgener, Switzerland, 16 goals, 18 assists, 44 points – the leading Storm goal scorer last winter.

Vincent Dekumbis, Switzerland, 17 goals, 13 assists, 30 points

Nikita Tsvetov, Russia, 3 goals, 12 assists, 15 points

Nathan Fournier, Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., 2 goals, 11 assists, 13 points

Kody Holmes, Lake Elsinore, Ca., 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points

Las Vegas players

Hunter Ladd, 5’11, 170 lbs, forward

Jake McKenna, 5’10, 165 lbs., defense

Newest Players in camp

J.C Lachapelle, Quebec, forward

Tino Nummela, Finland, defense

Top goalie in camp

Jaedon McConnell

Las Vegas, in its first WSHL season a year ago, won its first two games 3-2, 3-2 on the road against the San Diego Jr Gulls. Las Vegas was hot early in the season, getting wins which were important as the Storm was able to qualify for the playoffs. There, the Storm lost twice to a very skilled Ontario Avalanche team and were eliminated.

Gauthier, now in his second season, says he feels the right kind of vibe going into the new season.  

“I have a great feeling about our team,” he said.

From the Blue Line – On the team bench with coach Gabe will be Matt Johnson, Evan Zucker and Garrett Burnett. ….Game times this weekend are 7 pm Thursday, then 6 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. All games will be on the North Rink.