K-Wings Sign ThreeSeptember 11, 2007 - International Hockey League 2 (IHL 2) Kalamazoo Wings
After spending his first-year of professional hockey in Texas, mainly with the Houston Aeros (AHL) and Austin IceBats (CHL), goaltender Tony Quesada is ready to call Kalamazoo home for the 2007-08 season.
"We (K-Wings) have had success finding young standout goaltenders and we believe Quesada will follow in that same mold," said General Manager Wade Welsh. "He (Quesada) has proven himself at the colligate level and given some time between the pipes he will have the same success as a pro."
While Quesada did play a season of pro hockey last year, under IHL rules, he still meets the minutes played criteria to be considered a rookie for the upcoming season.
Making the most of his time in the American Hockey League, Quesada earned his lone AHL win with a dazzling 41 save performance to preserve a 1-0 shutout for Houston (top affiliate of the Minnesota Wild) on April 7th against the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights.
Before turning pro, the native of South Freeport, Maine was a four-year standout at Holy Cross College. During his time with the Crusaders, Quesada went 61-33-8 with a 2.50 goals against average, including his senior campaign, where the netminder amassed a record of 22-6-2 and earned team co-MVP honors. Quesada holds five of the Crusaders' six goaltending records - wins (61), save percentage (.915), GAA (2.50), games played (105) and minutes (6,034).
During the 2005-06 season, Quesada helped the Crusaders to one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history, making 35 saves in a 4-3 overtime win over Minnesota. The victory made NCAA history, proclaiming the Crusaders as the first number 4 seed to ever upset the top seed. The victory was also the first-ever for Holy Cross in its NCAA Tournament history.
Joining Quesada between the pipes will be Jeremy Symington. Selected by the New York Islanders in round 8 (196th overall selection) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Symington split last season in the Central Hockey League in both Rio Grand Valley and Youngstown.
A two-time CHL All-Star Goaltender, Symington has been part of two goaltending tandems that have led their clubs to its league's Finals (Elmira 2002-03, Laredo 2004-05).
"He (Jeremy) has had the knack of helping his team in the playoffs and we found it essential to have a goaltender with playoff experience," said Welsh. "With three goaltenders in camp (Quesada, Symington and Brad Smith) we expect a spirited battle for the two jobs available."
Symington is 82-73-23 with nine shutouts in his professional career. He played five games in the American Hockey League with the Binghamton Senators (the top affiliate of the Ottawa Senators) during the 2002-03 season going 3-1-1 with a 2.32 goals against average and a .922 save percentage.
His college hockey was played at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York where he posted a career mark of 23-16-0.
Looking to add energy up front, the K-Wings also sign forward Daniel Calitri. Entering his inaugural season of professional hockey, Calitri played the past three years in OPJHL, including the past two seasons with the Oakville Blades.
"He (Calitri) has a great motor and plays with a lot of heart and energy," said Welsh. "Calitri also brings the ability to play the role of an agitator."
In 97 games in the OPJHL, Calitri has tallied 93 points (45 goals, 48 assists) and 274 minutes in penalties.
The K-Wings also announce the retirement of defensemen Jeff Brown and Adam Elzinga. While signing contracts earlier this off-season, both players notified the K-Wings that they are leaving the organization to pursue interests outside the sport of hockey.
"Jeff (Brown) notified us during our coaching search that he had an opportunity outside of hockey that was too good to pass up for both him and his family," said Welsh. "Adam (Elzinga) told us before Labor Day that he was going to hang up the skates. We wish both Jeff and Adam the best in their future endeavors."
The addition of Quesada, Symington and Calitri gives the K-Wings thirteen players signed for the upcoming 2007-08 season, which will commence on Saturday, October 20th on the road against the Muskegon Fury. Signed for the 2007-08 season are forwards Nick Bootland, Glenn Detulleo, Lucas Drake, Kory Karlander, Mike Manley, Joel Rechicz, Mark Versteeg-Lytwyn and Tyler Willis. Also signed for this season are defenseman Ed Campbell and goaltender Brad Smith.
Kalamazoo will open up the home portion of their schedule on Saturday, October 27th versus Muskegon during the 4th Annual Orange Ice Game.
Season tickets for the upcoming 2007-2008 season of K-Wings Hockey are currently on sale at the Wings Stadium Ticket Office during their regular business hours of Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. or by calling (269) 345-5101. Fans can save 15% on their season tickets by paying for their seats in full by this Friday, September 15th.
Single-game tickets for both the preseason and regular season will go on sale Saturday, October 6th. Tickets for all K-Wings home games range in price from $9-$14. Fans can purchase individual game tickets at the Wings Stadium Ticket Office or at any Ticketmaster outlet. The price for all K-Wings premium night games (all colored ice and New Year's Eve game) will be increased by $1. Preseason tickets for the game on October 12th will be $5.
All tickets that are purchased for any K-Wings game (including the pre-season) on game-day will be increased by $1 per ticket.
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