Monday, April 27, 2009

Report Card: Tri-City Storm

Team Record: 11-48-1

Total Points: 23

Goal Leader: Radoslav Illo - 21

Assist Leader: Anthony DeCenzo - 26

Points Leader: Anthony DeCenzo - 44

PIM Leader: Bo Dolan - 62

+/- Leader: Danny Heath - +1

Wins Leader: T.J. Massie - 5

Tri-City had some funds cut and that left Coach Tom Rudrud with a difficult season ahead of him. He was forced to recruit off the internet and could never really find quality players. The Storm went through a few goalies before hanging onto T.J. Massie, who had left U-Mass. Massie struggled a bit once he first joined the Storm, but despite the team being bad, Massie played pretty well. Matt Margitan went 0-12 for the Storm and didn't post very good numbers. Massie could be a solid goalie and post some better numbers if he had some help in front of him. If he stays with the Storm next season, I'd expect a much improved T.J. Massie.

The defense, like the rest of the team, really struggled. There were a few bright spots in Rick Pinkston and Charlie Carkin. Pinkston was a draft pick and was a very reliable player for the Storm. Carkin was added after the season had started, and he proved to be a very good addition. Though both were a -29 on the season, it didn't reflect on their play at all. Another defensemen I enjoyed watching was St. Paul native Bo Dolan. He made the Stampede roster as a futures pick and was eventually traded in a deal that sent him and David Donnellan to the Storm in exchange for Sean Escobedo. Dolan is a smaller guy, but throws his body around and isn't afraid to scrap. He's a player that will be even more fun to watch come next season.

The forwards were led by Mike Cichy to start the season, and then he was traded to Indiana. Cichy continued his success out East, but the Storm offense really struggled without him in the lineup. Anthony DeCenzo picked up as much slack as possible and led the team in points with 44. Not bad for a guy who was originally unprotected by the Storm prior to last May's entry draft. Josh Berge put up some decent numbers, but was hampered by injuries to conclude the season. He's a 2010 Minnesota State recruit, so keep an eye on him next season. The Zarbo's, Matt and Joe, played very well together and put up some solid seasons for rookies. Matt Bailey was another rookie to post a solid campaign and should be a key forward come next season. And lastly, the biggest surprise for me was the import, Radoslav Illo. Illo made the team as a free agent and was scorching hot to end the season, though he battled some injuries as well. I believe Illo is still uncommitted, so he may return and he could be one of the better forwards in the entire league come next season.

Team Grade: D-

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