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Channel Cats Roster to Feature Familiar Names

September 24, 2003 - South East Hockey League (SEHL) - Huntsville Channel Cats News Release

HUNTSVILLE, AL – Huntsville Channel Cats fans can expect to have a few familiar names on the roster when the team opens training camp on October 15. Head Coach, John Gibson, announced today that former Cats, Mike Degurse, James Patterson and Wade Tulk have signed tryout agreements with the team.

“As a coach, I wanted to keep a local flair to the team,” Gibson said. “I wanted player that the fans would recognize and identify with. Bringing in Goose, Patty and Wade has accomplished that.”

Degurse (6-2, 220) played for the Channel Cats from 1996-2000. He also has stops with the Winston-Salem Mammoths, Topeka Scarecrows, Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, Corpus Christi Icerays, Petrolia Squires and Laval Chiefs. He has played in 393 career games and scored 166 goals and 120 assists for 286 total points. He has amassed 1,906 penalty minutes. He played in 213 games as a Channel Cat and scored 108 goals and had 78 assists for 186 points. He acquired 1,070 penalty minutes. He helped led the Cats to the 1998-99 Central Hockey League Championship. He is originally from Sarnia Reserve, Ontario.

“Goose is a fan favorite from years’ past,” Gibson said. “He brings championship experience, leadership and toughness to this team. I look for him to be a physical presence on the ice and help offensively on the scoreboard.”

Patterson (6-2, 185) claimed Central Hockey League Rookie of the Year in 1999-00 with the Channel Cats. He played in 61 games and scored 34 goals and had 25 assists for a total of 59 points that season. He has played in 260 career games and scored 119 goals and has 163 assists for a total of 282 points. He acquired 236 penalty minutes. He has stops with the Detroit Vipers, Toledo Storm, Houston Aeros, Cleveland Lumberjacks, Lowell Lock Monsters, Toledo Storm, Jackson Bandits and Adirondack Icehawks. He played four years at the University of Denver from 1995-1999. He played in 141 games and scored 45 goals and had 47 assists for 94 total points. He is originally from Wayne, Michigan.

“Patterson is one of best hockey players to come out of the Huntsville area,” said Gibson. “We saw him here as a rookie and he went on to play in the YHL, ECHL and IHL. He returns to the Cats as a seasoned veteran. I look for him to be one the league’s top scorers.”

The Southeast Hockey League has a two veteran rule where each team can only have two players that have played in over 200 games on their roster. Degurse and Patterson will serve as the two veterans.

Tulk (5-9, 190) played in eight games for the Cats during the 1996-97 season and scored two goals and one assist. He also has stops with the Nashville Nighthawks, Nashville Ice Flyers and Oklahoma City Blazers. He has played in 102 career games and scored 20 goals and had 24 assists for 44 career points. He acquired 123 penalty minutes. He played in 54 games at the University of Alabama-Huntsville from 1992-96 and scored 16 goals and had 24 assists for a total of 40 points. He is originally from St. Catherines, Ontario.

“Wade Tulk returns to Huntsville, but not as a stranger,” Gibson said. “He was a team leader with UAH and I look for him to bring that leadership to the Cats and help solidify our blueline.”

The Cats are also bringing in forward Tim Thompson and defenseman Daniel Kletke to compete for roster positions.

The Channel Cats will open training camp on October 15 before opening the season on October 23 in Tupelo. The home opener is set for Saturday, November 8 against the Winston-Salem Moosehead. The Cats’ offices are located inside the Von Braun Center. Season tickets are on sale now, for more information contact the Cats at 256-518-6161.

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