Signings Underway in SouthavenJuly 22, 2011 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) Mississippi RiverKings
Today, the longstanding franchise is pleased to announce the first player signings of the off-season in anticipation of the 2011-2012 inaugural season in the SPHL.
Out of the six players selected by the RiverKings in the SPHL expansion draft back in June, three have come to terms with the hockey club.
Ryan Ramage, who spent most of last season with the Louisiana IceGators, will join fellow defenseman Gentry Zollars on the blue line next year. Zollars also spent time with the IceGators last season before finishing out the year with the Huntsville Havoc .
Ramage entered the SPHL last year and spent his rookie season with the Knoxville Ice Bears before becoming a member of the Louisiana IceGators halfway through the season. Originally from Ft. Erie, Ontario, Ramage played hockey collegiately for NCAA Division III Buffalo (NY) State Bengals, tallying 22 points in 59 games played.
Gentry Zollars is a 6'0" veteran defenseman from Bethel Park, Pa. who finished the 2010-11 SPHL season with a total of 40 games played. Over that span he compiled 11 points (1G, 10A), featuring a Plus-Minus rating of -5 with 35 penalty minutes.
The lone forward selected by the RiverKings in the expansion draft and third player to sign with Mississippi is Jason Dolgy . A member of the Augusta RiverHawks during the 2010-2011 season, Dolgy's resume includes playing for the Flint Generals and the Quad City Mallards of the former International Hockey League (IHL). He played in 29 games for the RiverHawks last season collecting 13 points (7 G, 6 A) and a Plus-Minus rating of +3.
Before recently signing with the RiverKings, something wasn't sitting well with the consummate professional after last year's season in the SPHL. "I have a winning attitude, and losing in the finals (against the Mississippi Surge ) last season left me unsatisfied and eager to begin a new season. The fact that it's with an organization like RiverKings makes me even more excited and I want to bring a championship to Mississippi."
All players will be required to report to the team by October 9 in order to complete a required physical. Training camp is slated to begin the following day on October 10.
"Everyone is going to work hard here," says Head Coach Paul Gardner. "We have to treat it like we're an expansion team entering a new league and we're going to have to work. We may not be the most talented team on paper right now, but we're going to work hard to get there as we continue to fill the remaining roster spots."
Gardner and the final roster will have their first opportunity to prove themselves when they take to the ice for the home opener on Oct. 22 at 7:05 p.m. against the Pensacola Ice Flyers at the Desoto Civic Center. The RiverKings have announced intentions to try and sell out the arena in order to celebrate their 20th Anniversary as the longest running professional sports franchise in the Greater Memphis Area.
Southern Professional Hockey League Stories from July 22, 2011
- Signings Underway in Southaven - Mississippi RiverKings
- IceGators Agree to Terms with Fan Favorite Dennis Sicard - Louisiana IceGators
- President's Cup Coast Tour Continues - Mississippi Surge
- Surge Makes Coaching Change - Mississippi Surge
- RiverHawks Re-Sign Aaron McGill and Sign Quinn Waller - Augusta River Hawks
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