June 9, 2009 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Odessa Jackalopes
(Odessa, TX) - The Odessa Jackalopes announced today that forward Paul Kelly and defenseman JR Bria have both signed for the upcoming 2009-2010 Central Hockey League season. Kelly joined the Jackalopes for the final nine games and playoff run during last season, while the rights to Bria were acquired earlier this offseason to complete a trade with Bossier-Shreveport.
Kelly signed with the Jackalopes for the final month of the 2008-2009 regular season and postseason, in which he scored six points (three goals, three assists) in 13 playoff games - including a pair of game-winning goals in the conference finals against the Texas Brahmas. The West Peabody, Mass., native split his time last season between Odessa and the Rapid City Rush, appearing in 26 games with seven goals and four assists for 11 points.
"Paul came in late last year and really surprised us," said Jackalopes head coach Paul Gillis. "He has good size, he was good on the faceoff, and he scored some big goals for us in the playoffs so we\'re certainly happy to have him back."
Bria was acquired on May 20th from the Mudbugs, completing an earlier trade in which the Jackalopes sent Mark Johnson to Bossier-Shreveport in exchange for future considerations. A Monroe, Connecticut, native, Bria just completed his third season as a pro, playing in 62 games and scoring 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) for the Mudbugs.
"(Bria) is a solid, all-around defenseman with good size," said Gillis. "He has some skill as well so he\'ll be able to work in different situations, and he\'s a nice addition to our blue line."
Kelly and Bria are the second and third players signed by the Jackalopes this offseason. Sebastien Thinel was also re-signed earlier this year.
The Odessa Jackalopes are the Central Hockey League affiliate for the NHL\'s New York Islanders and the AHL\'s Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The team will begin its 13th season in October. Season tickets, mini-plans, and single game tickets are available by calling (432) 552-PUCK or visiting jackalopes.org.
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