September 29, 2010 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Columbus Cottonmouths
The Columbus Cottonmouths have re-signed forward Brent Clarke, and welcome defensemen Cody Straker and A.J. Wensley for their professional debuts.
Clarke joined the Snakes in January last season, after spending time with the Flint Generals of the IHL. In the Snakes' final 27 regular season games, Clarke recorded five goals and four assists. Prior to that, he spent two seasons (2007-2009) with the Bloomington PrairieThunder of the IHL, where he registered 33 points in 128 games. Clarke will head to Illinois to attending camp with Bloomington prior to joining the Snakes this season.
"Obviously, Brent came in last year and filled a pretty big hole," head coach Jerome Bechard said. "He provided some speed and was very responsible in his own end. I wish him well in Bloomington, but we could very well see him here once camp starts."
Straker has signed with the Snakes but will be attending training camp with the Missouri Mavericks of the Central Hockey League. Straker, 21, spent the last three seasons with the Swan Valley Stampeders of the MJHL, where he compiled 669 penalty minutes and 49 points in 166 total games. The 6'1" defenseman hails from Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan.
"Cody is a big, physical defenseman," Bechard said. "I'm looking for him to be the guy who makes a good first pass out of his end, and make players pay the price in front of our net. I hope he does well at camp in Missouri, but I'm excited about the chance of him coming here."
Wensley, 20, will join the Snakes for his first professional season. He spent the last two seasons with the Sioux Lookout Flyers of the Superior International Jr Hockey League, where he collected 66 points in 93 total games. The 5'11" defenseman hails from Atikokan, Ontario.
"Wensley put up some pretty big numbers in juniors, and I'm anxious to see what he can do as a pro," Bechard said. "You can never have too many defensemen who can contribute offensively."
The Snakes have now signed 11 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders for training camp. Per new SPHL rules, teams have the option of carrying 17 or 18 active players on their rosters, but only 17 can dress each game.
The Cottonmouths open the 2010-11 regular season at home against the Pensacola Ice Flyers Friday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. They also host the Ice Flyers in an exhibition game Friday, Oct. 15. All exhibition tickets are $5 and general admission seating. For more information, contact the Cottonmouths at 706 571 0086.