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GENERALS SIGN A SNIPER AND A STOPPER
18 September, 2001
FORMER AUSTIN TEAMMATES SMART AND FOREST BRING ROSTER TO TEN
Greensboro, NC - The Greensboro Generals of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) have announced the signing of center Kelly Smart and goaltender Jonathan Forest to contracts. Both players come to Greensboro from the Austin Ice Bats, formerly of the Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL), and currently in the Central Hockey League (CHL). The Generals now have ten players officially lined up for training camp-seven forwards, one defenseman, and two goaltenders. More signings are expected to be announced each day this week.
Smart, 24, is approaching his fourth pro season. His previous three years were split between the Ice Bats and the Houston Aeros of the now defunct International Hockey League (IHL). Standing 6'0" and 195 pounds, Smart set career highs last season with Austin with 32 goals and 52 assists for 84 points in 68 games. Smart's 84 points placed him sixth in the league in that category, and his 52 assists was fifth best in the league. Smart averaged well over a point a game in his career with the Ice Bats, with 189 points (70g, 119a) in only 163 games. He also has played in 27 games for Houston in the last three years, scoring three goals and adding an assist, including two goals in seven games last season.
Forest had a sensational sophomore season last year with Austin. The 22-year old native of Sorel, Quebec posted a 22-12-3 record in 42 games with a 2.38 goals against average, a .917 save percentage, and two shutouts. Forest finished the season with the second best goals against average in the league and the third highest save percentage.
"Kelly is a highly skilled player," says Generals head coach Graeme Townshend. "He sees the ice very well. Also, despite his offensive numbers, he's very much a two-way player. He should see plenty of time on our penalty kill. As for Jonathan, he really had a breakout year last season. I expect him to come here with the same confidence he finished with, and to produce the same numbers that he put up last season."