2003 - 2004
October 23, 2003
ECHL Game # 39
Home Game # 2
Referee: Matt Bialota
Linesmen: Mark Hamlett, Paul Carnathan
National Anthem: Kristy Jaskson
Generals stumble in opener: In a physical battle of two teams with one thing in common, both have been under the direction of Head Coach Rick Adduono, the South Carolina Stingrays emerged with a 3-2 victory. The 7,281 in attendance at the Greensboro Coliseum were witness to nine General power-plays, while the Stingrays answered with 11 of their own.
In the opening periood, the Stingrays (1-0-0) converted the first of 11 power-play opportunities that they would encounter, as Kevin Spiewak gave South Carolina a 1-0 lead at the 13:56 point.
A barrage of scoring came in the second period, when Greensboro (0-1-0) knotted the game on a Bryson Busniuk goal at the 1:03 mark. Busniuk caught a feed from Sam Ftorek and Tom Reimann, giving Greensboro it's first goal of the 2003-04 season. The Generals second goal would come with just over eight minutes remaining in the period, as Tom Reimann converted the lone Generals power-play opportunity to give Greensboro a 2-1 lead. However, in the closing minutes of the second, the Stingrays offense would retaliate as Chris Huppe tied the game at 2-2, off assists from Mike Jickling and Kevin Spiewak.
Tough battles and brawls throughout the game, South Carolina took advantage of a power-play situation, as Mart DeRosiers scored at the 12:46 mark of the third period, proving to be the game winner.
Greensboro was unable to match last season's start, as the Generals captured two consecutive wins over the Lexington Men O'War to start the 2002-03 campaign.
Early indications are good: For the first time since February 28th of this year the Greensboro Generals played in front of a crowd of more than 7,000. On February 28th, the Generals hosted Columbia in a "Pack the House" promotion that resulted in 11,374 in attendance. In the team's home opener against South Carolina, the number of fans on-hand at the Greensboro Coliseum was 7,281. Outside of the "Pack the House" night, Greensboro played in front of just four crowds where the attendance was 6,300 or more. Two of these games took place in Trenton (Jan. 17-6,344) and Reading (Jan. 18-7,215). At home, with in-state rival Charlotte traveling to Greensboro on March 28th, resulted in 6,620 to cheer on the Generals.
"Digging for oil": The named derived from an oilman that works on various rigs throughout the state of Texas, and is now a hockey team in the ECHL. The Texas Wildcatters joined the ECHL as an expansion team, when the league moved to west and welcomed: Anchorage Aces, Bakersfield Condors, Fresno Falcons, Gwinnett Gladiators, Idaho Steelheads, Las Vegas Wranglers, Long Beach Ice Dogs, and San Diego Gulls.
Homecoming for Texas Coach: Robert Dirk returns to coaching after spending the past season as Vice President of Hockey Operations for the West Coast Hockey League. Prior to joining the WCHL front office, Dirk spent two seasons as head coach of the Tacoma Sabercats, where he became the organization's third head coach in the summer of 2000. He coached for three seasons in the United Hockey League and won Coach of the Year honors with the Winston-Salem Icehawks after the 1997-98 season.
Dirk also led the Saginaw/Ohio Gears for two seasons during 1998-2000. A veteran hockey player himself, Robert spent part of nine seasons in the NHL, playing 402 regular season games and 39 playoff games. A tough defenseman, Dirk was drafted in the third round (53rd overall) of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft by the St. Louis Blues, for whom he played his first NHL game in 1987-88. He was traded to the Vancouver Canucks where he played over 200 regular season games and 28 playoff games. Dirk also played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Montreal Canadiens. Robert Dirk was born in Regina, Saskatchewan and raised in Kelowna, British Columbia.
"Burning the road up": Greensboro will start its first road trip of the season when they play the Columbia Inferno tomorrow night. The last time that the Inferno and Generals met came on "Pack the House" night, as Sam Ftorek sent a laser shot past Patrick Couture, and sent 11,374 fans to their feet giving the Generals a huge momentum swing heading into the last month of the season.
All told the two teams met four times last season, with Greensboro earning a 3-1 overall record. In the four meetings, goaltender Daniel Berthiaume made 147 saves, while Greensboro managed to outscore the Inferno 16-15 for the series. On the other hand, the Inferno started three different goalies, as Josh Blackburn made two starts, while Jeff Sanger and Patrick Couture also appeared in net. Game time is slated for 7:30.
"Grrr...": The Greensboro Generals will extend the road trip as well as searching to maintain a perfect record under the Rick Adduono over the Grrrowl. Last season the Generals won all three contest when facing Greenville. As for the Grrrowl (0-1-0) after a road opening loss to South Carolina, they pose a new threat to-Greensboro, in that the two are division rivals, especially when considering that Greensboro compiled a 22-14-5 record within the divisional opponents last season. As for Greenville in 2002-03 the Grrrowl finished with a 28-36-8 record, making the playoffs from the Southeast Division of the ECHL's Southern Conference.
The last time that the two franchises met, Greensboro extended a team-record eight game winning streak to nine, after Sebastian Centomo stopped 31 shots on goal, helping to move Greensboro into the playoffs. The 3-2 victory at the Bi-Lo Center pushed the Generals just one point shy of division winning, and eventual Kelly Cup Champion Atlantic City. The game will begin at 7:30 p.m.
"Coaches Corner": The Greensboro Generals have announced head coach/general manager Rick Adduono will appear on the "Our Town" radio show (WGOS 1070-AM) each Monday afternoon beginning October 13. The half-hour "Coaches Corner" will air each Monday at 1:00 PM throughout the season.
The "Coaches Corner" segment is part of the WOOS' "Our Town" program that is hosted by "Buffalo" Jack Umlaluf and Ogi Overman weekdays from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. The show will feature interviews with Adduono as well as segments with Generals players and their involvement in the community.