Former IceMen Compete for Kelly Cup as ECHL Playoffs Begin
EVANSVILLE, IN - The Evansville IceMen, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Ottawa Senators and AHL's Binghamton Senators, nearly doubled its win total from last year when the 2015-16 regular season wrapped up last Saturday. The IceMen (29-33-7-3, 68 pts.) finished 11th in the Western Conference standings, the team improved 14 wins and 29 points over the 2014-15 season. While Evansville missed out on a playoff spot, 13 former IceMen were listed on various ECHL postseason rosters as the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs begin.
Those players are: Aaron Gens and Tristan King (Allen Americans), Kevin Lynch (Florida Everblades), Randy Cure and Will Weber (Fort Wayne Komets), Andre Bouvet-Morrissette, Radoslav Illo and Branden Komm (Idaho Steelheads), Brett Ponich and Tyler Shattock (Kalamazoo Wings), Mark Anthoine and Alex Guptill (Manchester Monarchs), and Spencer Humphries (South Carolina Stingrays).
Illo and Komm participated in Evansville's training camp last October, but neither made the opening day roster. Komm started eight games in goal for South Carolina where he went 6-2-0 with a 1.89 goals against average and .923 save percentage, before he was traded to Idaho. The goaltender, who appeared in 20 games for the IceMen in 2014-15, went 4-4-1 in nine starts for the Steelheads. Illo played one game for the Tulsa Oilers to start the season, before Norfolk claimed the Slovakian forward off of waivers. He skated in 17 games for the Admirals, before finishing the season with Idaho.
Anthoine, Guptill and Humphries each spent portions of this season with the IceMen. Anthoine recorded four assists in ten games with Evansville before the 25-year-old was traded to Manchester. The Lewiston, ME native compiled eight goals and nine assists in 34 games with the Monarchs. He scored in Manchester's playoff opener Wednesday night, a 3-2 loss to Adirondack.
Guptill tallied nine goals and four assists in 24 games with Evansville before Ottawa reassigned the Burlington, ON native to Manchester. The 24-year-old finished the season with the AHL's Rochester Americans, after Ottawa traded his rights to the Buffalo Sabres at the NHL deadline. He is eligible to play for the Monarchs in the playoffs. Humphries had two goals and 14 assists in 54 games for the IceMen, before the Delta, BC native was dealt to South Carolina at the ECHL trade deadline. He finished with six assists in seven games for the Stingrays.
Thursday, Bouvet-Morrisette scored for the Steelheads in a 3-1 win over Allen in Game 1 of their best-of-seven series. He, Anthoine, Komm, and Cure were all part of the 2014-15 Evansville team. Cure appeared in three games for Tulsa to start the season before finishing the year in Fort Wayne, where he scored a goal and three assists in 28 games. He, Weber, and the Komets start their playoff series against Cincinnati tonight at Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne.
Weber only played eight games for the IceMen in 2012-13, when Evansville was affiliated with the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets. Gens, Ponich and Shattock were also a part of that IceMen team in the first season the organization competed in the ECHL. Ponich, Shattock and the Wings start their first round series against South Carolina tonight in Kalamazoo. Gens and King look to bounce back from a Game 1 loss, when Allen hosts Idaho again Saturday. King spent 32 games with Evansville in 2013-14, where he scored 11 goals and added 10 assists.
Lynch appeared in 14 games as a member of that 2013-14 IceMen team. His Florida Everblades host Wheeling tonight in Game 1 of their first round series. The Grosse Pointe, MI native also appeared in seven AHL games this season, five with Manitoba and two with Syracuse.
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