Your Danville Wings welcome the Sioux City Musketeers for their inaugural appearance at the David Palmer Arena. The Musketeers are coached by Dave Siciliano, one of junior hockeys more respected mentors. Theyre off to a 1-1 start, losing to the early season cream-of-the crop in the USHL Tri City Storm by a 4-1 count, and defeating Chicago 3-2 in a shootout. We dropped a 3-2 shootout to them at the pre-season Buc Bowl in Des Moines. In that very offensive-minded game, we outshot them 36-26. Sioux City boasts one of the leagues biggest teams, with 13 of their players standing over six feet tall.
We come into this game 1-0-1, having lost a shootout contest a week ago here to Lincoln 1-0, and then defeating St.Louis 3-2 in a shootout last Saturday. In the latter game, we outshot our opponents 46-10. Tomas Klempa netted both regulation goals, and Alex Foster and Bryan Marshall tallied in the shootout. Justin Tobe posted the win in goal. Taking 3 out of 4 possible points in our first USHL weekend was gratifying, moreso in that we outshot both of our opponents last week in a pretty decisive manner. Its encouraging because we have some pretty good offensive snipers on this squad whos numbers and productivity will increase as the season progresses and they get their bearings.
The USHL requires each team to have at least 3 players born in 1986 or later, and our younger players have had very solid starts to their junior careers. Forwards Nik Sellers and Steve Bandurski have brought a consistent work ethic and pace to each shift theyve played, and like our veteran forwards its just a matter of time before they begin putting up impressive offensive numbers. Last weekend, we added another young speedster, Todd McIlrath, to the Wings. Todd was drafted to join us next year, but decided the USA National program wasnt the right fit this year, and made the move earlier than we all anticipated. Together with Nik and Steve, that gives us an extremely accomplished trio of underage forwards ticketed for big things. On the backline, Mike Beck has been equally effective, and hes being groomed to be an impact power play quarterback. We expect defenseman Brett Beauchamp, our big young Canadian to make his debut tonight for us. Possessor of a booming shot, Brett adds toughness and good passing sight to the squad.
Returning to the line up tonight is Andrew Panchenko, whos brother, defenseman A.J. will also likely be making his debut. Andrew missed last weekend for medical reasons, but is now good to go and will start the game on the left side of Nik and Steve.
Weve been very happy with our teams defensive work thus far (allowing only 2 goals and 36 shots against in 2 games) but the offense has a way to go. We have good speed and skill up front, but it usually takes some time for players with that profile to click and anticipate each other so they can score with regularity. Our most consistently effective line last Saturday was the unit of Ryan Hoehn, Travis Winter, and Chris Walsh, three guys who play the game simply and with great intensity. Its not unusual for players like that to be ahead of the others here in the early going. For much the same reason, our penalty kill is well ahead of where our power play is, and weve given our power play personnel a wide range within which they can create using their skill. In a month, I expect our power play will be one of the better ones in the league as our players get more and more used to each others tendencies.
To be successful tonight, our forwards are going to have to be very smart on the attack. If Sioux City uses its size to full advantage, we have to out-speed them and out-smart them when we attack their blue line. Well have to establish our forwards quickness in going to the net, and first and foremost, were going to have to get to and bury rebound chances. A players size in front of the net battling for rebounds isnt just determined by his height, it most often comes to the size of his heart.
As a side not to all of our great fans, next weekend is a rare double home game weekend. The USHL schedule doesnt give us many of these, so make plans to get out and see great back-to-back USHL games.
We appreciate your support .let us feel the noise!
The Danville Wings Coaching Staff
Week 2 Feature player of the week: Brad Robbins #4- Defense
Favorite actor: Adam Sandler
Dream date: Halle Berry
What do you do for fun? Play video games, watch movies, play cards
What are your hockey goals? Keep working to be the best player I can be
Desired occupation (after hockey): Dentist
If you could spend a day with anyone past or present that would be: Michael Jordan
What is the best advice anyone as ever given to you? Everything happens for a reason
Most admired person: Dad
Biggest reason for choosing Danville: Best league (USHL) and unbelievable ownership
If you could spend a year outside of USA, I would go to: Japan
If I could pick anyone in the world to play golf with, my foursome would include: Dad, Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer
What meal do you miss the most from back home? Steak
What does being name one of the three captains mean to you? It is a great honor that my teammates selected me as one of the three captains. It means my teammates respect me and trust me and I am thankful for that
What is the biggest responsibility of being a captain? Making sure our team stays focused for the task at hand and try to get them ready for each game.
Coach Adrahtas quotes Brad Robbins has been everything weve expected on the ice, and more than weve expected off the ice. Hes an impact defender, and has more than justified his status as a first round draft choice.
Come join us for the 1st annual Harley Davidson/Danville Wings tailgate party. The festivities get under way at 4pm under 200ft tent across from Palmer Arena where you will enjoy beer, food and a live band. 5 lucky fans will have a chance to win a Two-Tone Duece. Admission to the tent requires only a Wings ticket for that evening's game. Special discount tickets of $5 can be purchased at Gutteridge Harley Davidson/Buell in Danville.
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United States Hockey League Stories from October 6, 2003
- USHL Weekly Report - USHL
- U.S. National Team Weekly Report - U.S. National Team
- Tomorrow's Stars Get a Lesson in Life, Hockey at USA Hockey Development Program - U.S. National Team
- Wings News - Danville Wings
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