THE #ESHOW
THE #ESHOW

Episode · 5 months ago

EHL 10th Anniversary Team of the Week (Avalanche) | Episode 126

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this week's episode of the #EShow we feature a program that has appeared in all four editions of the EHL Frozen Finals, the New Hampshire Avalanche. Chris Cerrella joins the podcast (1:12) to look back on more than just the 2021-22 campaign, but the past five seasons as a whole, and how his program is just nine commitments away from hitting the 100-mark in their short history. Later on in the podcast, the #ECrew reunites (16:06) to put together a Top 10 list as deep as we've seen so far this off-season.

Welcome to the show with Neil Raven. Founded in two thousand thirteen, the E H L has become the college placement leader on the East Coast. Sit Back and learn more about the next step in your junior hockey career. Welcome to the show presented by the Pollton box foundation. The foundation's mission centers around their daily motto we take care of our own as they help out all of those within the hockey community who they experienced the catastrophic events. Learn more at Polli a box foundation dot org. What's up? My name is Neil Raven. This episode number one six of the show. On this week's episode we feature a program that has appeared in all four editions of the E H L frozen finals, the New Hampshire Avalanche. Chris Cerella joins the podcast to look back on more than just the two thousand twenty two campaign, but the past five seasons as a whole, and how his program is just nine commitments away from hitting the one mark in their short history. Later on in the PODCAST, to e crew reunites to put together a top ten list as deep as we've seen so far this offseason. I'm joined now by Chris Sarella, the head coach and GM with the New Hampshire avaliencee Ho's it going? Chris? Good? How's it going? Neil? Thanks for having me on. Thanks for coming back on probably the five sixth time at this point. Funny how the PODCAST has grown and funny we had to go back to back rangers and APPS. So I'll start with the same question I've asked all summer. Though, when you look back on the two two season, what thoughts come to mind this past year? Yeah, I mean, you know, I think we had a fantastic team. Twenty double a commitments, so every you know, every night, every game, we were putting, you know, a future college hockey roster on the ice. So that was really exciting. Didn't end the way I think we wanted it too. Looked like we ran out of gas a little bit at the end there. But you know, I couldn't have been more proud of the team last year and I'm sure when I bring Anthony and Jeff and we'll talk about all the years Um in particular the eight nineteen season, probably your best team. A good team every year, a contender every year, but it felt like, at least from my perspective this year, people took you a little bit lighter than in years past. Did you feel that same way? Yeah, I mean, I think so. I you know, sometimes it's good to be the underdogs and and uh, you know, even though at times we were, we did great, I mean great record, Great College Commitment Record. Um, you know, made a far in the playoffs, which is not easy in our league, has a lot of parody and you know. So, yeah, I mean I would probably agree, but you know it's we we still did well. So, but I would agree. And obviously you're talking a lot about the commitments, which we're not gonna hide that. In in your short time with the avalanche, actually it's been five years out. But Um, the winds. Also, every single time we've had the frozen finals, which is four times, the ads are there. Why? Why? Why is it not the frozen finals with the without the avalanche there? I mean we we've been fortunate to have good teams, right. I mean, like I said earlier, the League's got a lot of parody in it and it's tough to make it to the end and for some reason, some ways, some shape, some form, we figure out how to get there. You know, I don't think we have really a magic potion or anything. I just think that it's a goal of our guys when they report the training camp that we won't expect anything less and I think that culture has been built Um and now just everybody follows and are our guys right now that are coming in the next year. They're on zoom calls together and things like that. They're already building the building blocks to repeat that culture again this year, this upcoming season. So it's been really exciting to be there every year. That's obviously a great event and and uh, you know, we we've been very fortunate when you look...

...at this year's frozen finals. I mean every every frozen finals has been different. Right the first year he actually lost a round robin game. That went on to win the championship. The second year far and away just the best team, led by Nathan picky. In the third year was that at large bid. But you still have been in a championship game this year. I think the frustrating thing for you probably was that your top line didn't have their best week. Have you had a chance to talk to them since? What was the conversation? Yeah, I mean I think that are like I think our top goal scorers you know, Maddie Carlson, aiden Hodgkiss, her Sony Sandag, you know. I mean obviously we got contribution up and down the lineup, but you know, I think those guys uh, you know, they played very well. It just offensively wasn't there. And sometimes that happens. You know, it's sometimes just like in every other sport, sometimes you're starting pitcher has a great day and sometimes he doesn't. And that's kind of what it was for us, where they still played very, very well, had a lot of opportunities, but they just didn't. They just couldn't hit the back of the net and that and that's really it hurt us a bit Um, but we did. I felt we did play well enough to win. It's just unfortunately we score goals all year. Um, I think we were second in the league in goals for somewhere like that, and and we just didn't score goals at the end. The last game of the year is an overtime loss to the wolves. Obviously when it ends you know your season is over. But when you take a step back, you look at all the wolves games from this year and this passed here, no two wolves matchups are the same. Well, why is it so unpredictable when you face each other. I wish I had the answer for that. I mean, you know they're they're there. I think our ranks tough to play in and and and their ranks tough to play in. I think that definitely comes into I think we have a lot of losses up there and not many losses at home, so they would be reversed. Right. Um. Yeah, it seems to become a pretty good battle Um, and you know, almost, I guess, our arrival Um, which which is awesome. It brings a lot of energy to the Games and but yeah, I mean I think you know, one game they beat us, we beat them, or you know, whatever the case is. It's just always seemed to be an offensive battle. I think it's never a one, one nothing game. Well, in the frozen finals this year it was, but it's never you know, I think we had very random four, three or one nothing games. And you're the eighth team of the off season and it just happens to be that I've done too, from the north to from the east, two from the cential, two from the south. I just mentioned the wolves. You also have Vermont and obviously sea coasts in your division. Um with every team that's come on so far. They've made it the point talk about basically how their division is tough. Why is the North Oh wow, I mean I think if realistically and if you look at the records, just any team can beat any team in our division. I'm not saying that can happen in other divisions, but you know in our division, you know there's a lot of tough buildings to play in that you know vermonts are building. The play in Laconi is a tough building to plan, you know. So it's I think we have a little bit more of that where it's some more spread out. You know that that Boston type division. Every one of their rinks or twenty five minutes apart. You know we're getting on a bus to go face Vermont in February. You know that's a tough trip to make. You know we're going north to Laconi, an hour north to Laconia. It's a tough building to play. I think that that's the biggest thing in my opinion, is that each home rink is tough to plan. And we touched on the E H L team making it the providence that actually was also your first time making it to the finals for the E H L P team, which I'm sure for Vinny was a weight off of his back. Did you have a chance to kind of poke it that a little bit? With him? Uh No, I mean, well, yeah, I meanny vinny. Obviously everybody knows the work that many puts in and uh, you know, he's had another successful season. They go all the way to the end. It's just awesome to have two teams in in in Providence. So you know, yeah, I do. I do poke Viney a lot, as you know. Uh, but you...

...know, he was a great player when he played for me, as a great leader when he played for me. He was great in college. Now He's coaching and he has that same type of work. I'm very proud of where he's come. When I watched him recruit he said he's like a bulldog. He just never stopped. Is that what you taught him? Yeah, yeah, you know pretty much. And you know, I I was definitely big on not holding his hand because I felt when I was learning, Um, nobody really taught me how to. I had to get my own niche. Recruiting is really your own Niche and uh, you know, the one thing I knew he was gonna do when I hired him a couple of years ago was I knew he was gonna work hard because that's the kind of young man he is, but it's also the kind of player he was, so I I knew right away. But Yeah, we we've gone up through a lot of philosophies and you know, he's basically on his own for that. You know, I I overlook him and make sure things are right. When I need to come in and and and help him out, I do Um. But he's doing a fantastic, fantastic job and obviously the head coach of the e h l team, but you're the GM for the whole organization when you get knocked out of the frozen finals of the E H L level. But he's still in. So you still go down to show up. But was there ever a hesitation? But you want to, you want to be there for him in those teams. Oh No, yeah, definitely there. You know, I did get to take the premier team to Vermont this year. You know, I coached a couple of games. Uh, it was a fun group and you know, well deserved where they got to and obviously what a great game there Um at the end in the finals. But yeah, I mean, you know, you've got to be there the player where where one big family really are? You know, the E H L and E H L Premier Team Um works together. We have back to back practices. We have kids that stay out on the ice Um from the premier level to you know, practice with the h l team Um, things like that. So it's one big family. So, you know, for for me to not be there, I would never not be there at the end. And you're starting to see guys who had a ton of success at that level move up and have success with your team, Graham Hassen being one of them in the H L P M v P and then moving up. WHO's next? Who can you predict to be the next Graham? You know, you know Graham. Graham is gonna be tough to you know, those are some tough shoes to fill. Um, you know, not only just a good character player, but he was he was he was a workhorse and he can produce. So he's gonna be he's gonna be tough to fill. But you know, like you know, I think that we've we've brought up the you know, the Aaron Rasinos and guys like that that I think are going to do a good job. We have a good core of premier players that have moved up from from this past year's team too. For next year. Um, then we're very proud of that path of development. But I mean if you look at our roster, Baxter Kimball, who is going to sunny for Donia, he played e h LP for us, George McMichael, who's had Bot and he played the H LP for us. So if you look at that kind of, you know, level of development that we're we're creating here. Um, it's great to see, you know, Graham and other guys that have come up in the past do such a great job and I'm looking forward to seeing I guess, yeah, who's the next Graham? You know, and I know for vinny to not have any H LP title yet, the motivation is right there to get that. For you to have the two E H L titles already under your belt plus all the commitments, what is still motivating you to get another one, to avenge the most recent losses? Yeah, I mean that's a that's a tough question. I mean I think the college commitment, things stays the same. You know that's the number one goal is is to get as many kids to school as we can, as you know. You know we did. We have two, two thousand and two's, aiden Hodgkiss and m victor that are deferred. Um, so they're coming back as college hockey prospect players already. Um, you know. And and that's so that's really the idea is to get as many kids as you possibly can to that next level as quickly as you can. And you're not the boss of that. Obviously the college coaches are. Um, but I think so. First off is definitely the college commitment list. But then, yeah, there's a little there's a selfish part of me, a little bit that, you know, wants to come back and win it all again. You know, like, like you said, people take us a little lightly again. You could say, Um, you know, I I don't think.

Uh, you know. You know, for me, my opinion is we again. We still had a good year, even though guys did take us a little bit lightly. But you want to win. It's it's at the end of the day, you want to win. So let's pick that answer apart in two parts. First part of commitments. When you get to your ninth this season, which I'll make it that you do, based off the numbers that have come in, and you take a step back and you see a hundred in in in a short span with the avalanche, doesn't surprise you? Or did you expect to have this type of success as as soon as you moved to New Hampshire? Well, I mean, I think I had some pretty good success in Um, you know, in Hartford and Walpole before Um. I just didn't think it was going to remain this consistent. But you know, college coaches, when they you know, they seem to find niches and then they stay with it there, you know, beasts of habit if you will. So you know if they're going to leagues and teams and they're getting good players that are successful for them, they're going to go back to that. Well and, uh, I feel that, you know, we've had that luxury of getting good players college recruited, recruiting prospects Um. You know, we've had that success and it's just kept ongoing and it's it's been great. Did I ever expect not almost a hundred and in the five years? No, I didn't. I didn't. I figured we'd be, you know, twelve, thirteen, a year Um, which is remarkable. You know, I I think really any number is remarkable, but I thought we were going to be in the dozen every year and now we're we're closer to twenty every year. How much credit do you do? You obviously talked about Vinnie, but also the full staff, includes Mario, owner and then Susan, who just does everything behind the scenes for you guys. How much credit do you also pushed towards them? Yeah, I mean, I mean, I think like like it's, like I said, with the E H L and E H L premier team. It's one big family. You know, Susan takes care of everybody, if you will, the you know, the players, the coaches, the status. She did the rink Um and then, you know, obviously Mario has put nothing but everything into the organism station, from locker room facilities. We now have two gyms, one on site and one off site, which is which is tremendous. We have a full time goalie coach, full time strength coach, which you know, add Justin and Rob Dayana that into that mix as well, who do a very good job for our organization. Yeah, I think, I think it's just, it's just, it's a combination of everything. Um, yes, you know the play, you know, and then on top of that the players we've we've recruited those players that have done well. So you add all that to a mix and it's it's really kind of a perfect storm on the way. And then, as you look forward, we talked about the whole light mentality or whatnot, but a new season on the horizon. Um, I'm not sure if we communicated it well myself, you and rich, that I had planned on putting a showcase matchup for you guys. In the first showcase, two of your first three games are against the Rangers. Four of your first five or against the Rangers or the lumberjacks. Is there any other way to get things started? No, I think that's great. And every year US and the Rangers play each other in the first or second game of the season. Um, so you know, it's I think we've continued to do that. Um, you know, we do have an exhibition game with Maine in the North American league and we're so we're excited about that as well. And you know, the thing is is you want to you get your team going right away. That's the thing that it's those are big tests. Well, any team really is a big test, but rangers being arrival, obviously Vermont in our division. So those are all gonna be big games for us and you know, our guys are gonna have to show up right away. If they don't, then we start over, you know, start from start, from start, from ground up and and and start over again. But but yeah, I mean I think that's uh, I think it was really I think every year has kind of been similar to that. I know we used to play the wolves early on too, you know, along with the Rangers, which has just been, you know, as equally as tough. So, you know, I think it's it's good to test those guys out right away. And the showcase thing, playing the Rangers in a showcase. The great thing is is as as long as both teams are playing well, you know that is going to be college coaches watching. Yep, it's...

...gonna be fun, very fun. Thanks for coming back on. Thanks, Neil. Thanks again to Chris Serella for coming on the podcast this week. Always a great interview and always up for a few jokes as well. Let's bring on the e crew now, jeff and Anthony. Um Prior to interviewing Chris, he sent me his top ten. So we're done. We're done. We don't have to do any packing up. Cue The you know, as they as they always say on pilger mask, cue the music, see later. I guess we just got the episode. Just read off his list and be done. See you guys next week. I was like, he did you realize that we picked that, not you. It's very Chris Crella asked. I mean, would you expect anything else, Neil, and did he give you is, uh, one of the best laughs in the well, hang on, Neil, I have an idea. Uh, what if we picked the top ten and at the very end of the episode we can compare the list? So don't tell me and Jeff, I want to do this blind the top ten and then read Chris's lists and see how it compares. Man Like it. I mean his response to me was I just saved you guys a bunch of time, and I was like, well, it's not really the point. Like we're doing our episode, Chris, we're not. You know, I'm not here for hours on end. Yes, so it's funny. Before we hit record, Jeff, you pointed out something interesting that Anthony pointed out last week also, and we did the Rangers last week Atalantes this week. Obviously, two of the top programs in league history right over the nine years. Really they're right there at the top, top three, top four in the league, but not many one hundred points scores. No, it's just funny how we see hundred points scores from different franchises, multiple ones right, but not from two teams that could say that they're right there at the top. Right. Rangers have the one championship, avalanche have the two countless frozen finals appearances. Obviously they pays past each other in one championship game, but not too many hundred points scores. Now they do have too that we have listed. That we're gonna talk about, I'm sure. And Tim Cronin and Matt Carlson. And then one at nineties seven, where I will put this bet out there right now. AIDEN HODGE KISS returning for his final year. We'll get at least three points to share. I'll put that. That's a bold prediction draft kings right now. Now the bolder prediction would be how quickly does he do it right in a game? In two games on right shift. One this year to aiden for getting to see on his sweater, well deserved. Um, yeah, I'd say one, Game Two tops. They open with. Uh Oh, we just did scheduling. I'm glad that you asked that question, Jeff. I will pull it up while we're talking about this, because I think I might be putting a bulls eye on my back saying Oh, I'll get it a game one, because whever it is, is it is it. DiCaprio's junior rangers will get a text for ever he was. It's Ding. He's had scored three points on me. So last week we put three goalies on the list. Can we do the three always again? I was just gonna say this team is built similar to the Rangers teams in the past, very strong from the back end of a lot of good goals. You can just think of right off the top of your head, right McMichael peg Luca, Ronan Mobley from this past year, Larusso that's just four right there, and there's definitely some more others than that. Um. So it's possible. Oh, this one before before we got too deep into the end of the goalias. Two of the first three games of the year. Again for the for the avalanche against the Rangers. M Hmm. All right, how rough riders in between two Vermont Games.

Right there too. What a start of the year. That's not easy by any means. But let's get through the goalies. Um, because last week we had Miller, Egbert and Gerard. Mm Hmm, one I forgot. I mean you could have mobly, you could have picket, Pag Luca, mck Michael, Matt Lane was this single season, uh sorgio, Mr Ebug, Kyle Connin, him so that his NHL appears this year. Kyle Connin, for those at home that are not following along, one of two goalies in the E H L who served as e bugs this past season, along with Kyle Shapiro's right and Connin was with the blues. I think he was the one did that epic lap. was which one was the one that had the long, flattest, long flow? It was Connon. It was a it was it was funny because Kyle skated without the bucket and then when Shapiro served as the e Bug, P K Suban told him that he had to do the same thing, take that first lap without the helmet on and show it off. So I know there's gonna be at least one goalie on this and I want to go back to the eight team nineteen season, which was the last year the avalanche won the championship. They were in the championship game, didn't win it, even though it was a great season for McMichael. Will probably talk about him, but in the eighteen nineteen year nobody was really better then Nathan Pickett, and he almost forget just how good he was that season, winning thirty games and lost two. Two like that's out of this world. His and his playoff numbers. Why where the playoffs coming? He saw almost a thousand and pucks. Because it was between him and Brendan Brawley, because Brawley set the record for shutouts in a season that year. I think Brawley got the goalie of the Year award, which only motivated picket to go all in the postseason. Win All six of his games with a one point one seven goals against. Is that good. And if you remember, that includes probably arguably as worst game of the year in the championship game, because remember we were like looking at each other like how is this game to too after twenty minutes of these two really good goalies, only twenty two series. I mean he was out of this world in the postseason. Yeah, a couple of a couple of goose eggs there. Shut out two goals, one goal. I mean that was the second time he faced the Philadelphia a little flyers that post season. On the schedule. There's that three to win. That was in the round round. You know, he gave up two goals, but he still put up seven SAPER centished that game. Yeah, Alo, Alo, must have been burning up the tapes there and they saw something in the scouting reports of game footage on them. But yeah, what a postseason. So, yeah, so I think. So. Do we have our numero boys? There's at least there's at least one goal I'm not sure where he's gonna fall in the list here, but I want to make sure we put at least one goalie on to start, because you were to put another goalie, would it be rouning, Mobley, Mobley or Mcmichael? I was just gonna say I liked McMichael's posted. I mean that year too. We've talked about it with a lot of these teams that we've gone through with the the h this past off season, the covid season. We don't have to, you know, bring up too many bad memories, but that was that was that was a season, to put it lightly, and for them to get all the way to the postseason with the different format, being the Cinderella's team. McMichael was very, very good. He was unbelievable in the championship game in yeah, and actually and and Mobley both too.

Ye, that's something sorrella likes. The righty goalie. Who else is are you have to look at everybody now, just those two, just those two. There's a there's a goaltender on twitter who you know playing the NHL. He's an hl broadcaster now, Mike McKenna, and he's a very big proponent of encouraging like if goalies skate out and they're right handed, then he would say then you should catch with your right hand because it's not hard catching with your throwing hand and it's better because then you can play the puck better. One of the best guys in the game, Anthony Mike mckennick, because when I worked for the Portland Pirates for a season, which was right here, that's who the goalie was, Mike McKenna. Yeah, he was one of those best guys. M Hm. So back on track, though I guess Um we have the goalie. Let's go back now to those top scores and I think we'll would be were missed to not put Tim Cronin on this list. But while a lot of people don't know about Tim as, he was more than just a product of their e h l team right, because he actually spent some time with their e tem you team as well and definitely put a few games for the renegades. I've totally forgot about legends. He I think he was just getting out of midgets and was trying to get some time with the e h l team and they got him a few games in the showcase with the e h l p renegades, because he was the inaugural year right teams their first season in the U H L. Yes, and then he spent the next two years. You Said said, you said symmetry, Jeff. How about you love Pims? PIMS, year one, two, one, seven total. I don't remember Corona beat as much of a he was a fraction of Brad Marsham, like a little bit of a pest. Right. Can Score, but he finished his hits right, I mean, and even a hundred points in the regular season. Added four points in the postseason. Um was obviously on that eighteen nineteen championship team. Would have loved to see what would have happened for him in nineteen twenty. But now he's part of a plethora of players at suiting brockport. See See this fall. I was just talking to Dob Cherco the other day. I hope I see you up at Brockport this uh, this win through Jafferson. Yes, I was like, yeah, you were. The rest of the NHL love us. Um. Matt Carlson also has to be on this list, which I guess Um brings us to story time and maybe a little bit of a repeat story for the podcast. But Matt Carlson was part of team blue, which was jeff's team at the inaugural E H l all start classic, which was coached by Ryan McGrath and Corey highlight fully. Sorry, H and remember. Do you remember what? What? Were you there when Corey was talking to Chris Afterwards? M Hmm, Chris Serrell, obviously the head coach of the APPS. Yeah, Cory Coy, the head coach of the wizard, says to Chris I'm glad we worked that trade out and Chris goes what trade are you talking about? The Trade Carlson, the trade for your captain. Can't wait to bring him in after the holiday break. And Chris Goes, I'm not trading him and Corey. Yes, you are. I'm taking Carlston and you can take five players. I was like what? He's like, yes,...

US right in. Fill in the five players for one. That's a really longsided trade. Corey goes, no, I love this kid. He's been awesome all all weekend. And I was like you have no person's second line anymore. And Chris looked at me. I was like, is he serious? I think he's joking, he could be serious. So at the same time that's like I don't know. He goes, well, I'm not. I'm not training Carlson. I was like, okay, that's what Carlson on that line with with Scottie, Cole, Scott for the wizards. I think he makes a good yeah, they had some good chemistry. Yeah, we built it. We built a good team. The Blue Boys. We didn't well, but two seasons with the avalanche. Um, you know, when you combine regular season and postseason and even hundred points heading off to wilkes this fall, one of the top division three programs in the country. So definitely on this list. So there's there's two forward so far and Cronin and Carlson, and one goalie in Pikett. Now Mac Carlson is his mom, part of the famous mom crew too with Tammy, Aaron's and I'm blanking on Mrs Carlson's first name. But they were all awesome at the the covid playoffs when they came down because everyone was finally released from their backyards and everything. So Um, one thing that Chris Always pokes sent me about is how the avalanche never win awards in his mind right, and I'm like, well, you know, to Anthony's point, there aren't like there's not a bunch of a hundred points scorers. It's always kind of just been a balanced team effort. Like maybe maybe the year pick it one or didn't win. Go with the year. He could have won it over Brawley, but really it was like a coin flip between those two. That year probably was out of this world. And pick it. Right there behind him, Um crawls won the Defenseman of the Year award over Zeki Morose that year right. So like the little flyers got one in the avalanche got one, as opposed to one team getting two other team getting none. Right, but yes, but if there were ever two forwards, they had a case on the offensive side of the game. For Chris it was wiggle, Kerb Brat and Jake Atkins, and they were together a part of that t r sorry. Yes, the eighteen nineteen team that obviously with Pickett won the championship. They were on another level. Yea. And if they had spent more than a year, I mean I know Kerb Brad got there late in the seventeen eighteen year. Suddenly it's a two time champion. U. But they they had spent more than a year with the APS, I think they would be far and away the one and two scores ever in the team history. Right like they were. So they were together on a line and I'll never forget to play when Herb Brat collected the pluck on the half boards, right, so he's at the Hash Mark, basically in his own zone, flipped it to Atkins who somehow like collected it off his knee, then off his skate and like sttle the puck down went and it just roofed one and I was like you, like I was like that. That was that like a set play and they practiced that because that was the so I mean curb Ra as I mentioned. He came late in the seventeen eighteen year. Quickly put up eleven points in fourteen total games down the stretch, right, and then the next year as a solid seventy seven points season, regular season the postseason combined. Now at Leslian Atkins was just that eighteen, nineteen year at seventy points combined of his own and now that umss Boston, I think easily they're both on this list. Yeah, and Atkins was the one that was part of the rollerblade across America's ory.

That's a great story to tell to Neil. Yes, so tell me more. So they skated him and his teammate Andy Walker to raise money for cancer. RESTARCH roller bladed from from Boston to Andy's and he's hometown in Michigan. Yeah, and they and they took videos that. I remember seeing them on social media. That was like that's a journey. was that or was that okay? And and his father, Blake went always a huge supporter of the league. Um, you still see a lot of his companies backpacks everywhere right anyone that you see that looks like this with a team walk? Oh yeah, that's his that's his company. And he followed behind them with an Rv the all time and man like. I couldn't even imagine rower blading to mass from here right like what Chriss house stuffs like like they went like on a on a journey, and and credit to them right like that. To do something like that you have to set your mind to it really right. And I think I remember I had them on. I think I had them one together, him and Andy, at one point. I don't know what episode. I have to go back and see, but I asked him like, did you ever want to quit? And they're like yeah, too many times, but you just couldn't quit. So awesome kid though. Obviously at UMS Boston, now um which just like I mentioned for Matt Carlson with with Bilkes and then Crownin with brockport and herb Brad with Wesley and like. Look a look at the school, as those guys are all at like high end. It is in three colleges, so which we know the avalanche or right up there with anyone placing kids in the school. I'll pull up the number so we could say that we said it right. Please do over, else you're gonna get a call. So I mean we're talking one, two, three, four, five seasons were at ninety one comments. Wow, nineteen fifteen, nineteen, eighteen, twenty. So my teens, twenties all the every day. That's phenomenal that. That went a hundred hundred plateau. It's coming this season as well for the avs in terms of commitments. But Chris, basically they, Chris and Mario, basically find the spot for almost everybody on their team to go to college if they want to play. MINUS PLUS or mine is a couple of guys. So quickly, that's five guys, right, Tim Cronin, Matt Carross and wiggle curb rat, Jake Atkins and Nathan Pickett. Now, Anthony, I'm not telling you Chris's list until the end. I like that. Yeah, wait until the end. Okay. And and speaking of Chris, why do we put Chris Aerans on? Neil, former captain, kid was tough as nails. Speaking of nails, didn't he have Tammy? Tell us he his mom, Tammy aarons. Hi, Tammy, if you're listening at home, she still follows us on social media. Um, we miss you and the whole Aaron's family. Didn't she tell us that Chris had like screws her nails in his foot in that championship game against the Rangers a couple of years ago? His quote was like broken. It was like a mess. Yeah, it was. It was definitely broken. I remember that. Just out played the entire time. Was Blocking shots, throwing hits right in front of the net. You never would have known, kind of like Valery Nakushi with the avalanche. Show the X rays of him. Well, yeah, I think aarons is the only guy who's actually spent a full three years with the APPS. Um in eighteen, in eighteen nineteen, that championship here, that he scored a goal that was shot by Mendez June, Jake Mend and like half the team was celebrating with Aaron's in the corner and half a celebrity manage center rice, and they're like I score, no, you score, I scored. Guys, just the championship. Ye, I don't think, like a pluck in the net right, um,...

...but then he was the captain the next two seasons. I think that's probably what he looks back on is the most is like being the captain that nineteen twenty year, not knowing what would have happened, right, and then being the captain one year and obviously losing the championship game. So yes, there is a title on his resume, but I'm sure in his mind he still kicking himself that there's not a title while he wore the sea for the team. But I mean a year. He battled that he only played half the season, two twenty one games. He was the if we did an all the time toughest team, it would start with him. Yeah, like and not the biggest kid by any means. At Five it's which I can say because I'm five FT nine. Rounding, rounding up a little bit right, but it's still not much different for me. Anthony. I mean just one of the one of the best kids, though, and one of the best family so we've ever had in the league. So Chris Aaron's, yeah, without a doubt, on this list. Um, you just talked about zooon. I mean we don't have any defenseman yet. We gotta get a defenseman on there. You want to talk a little bit about Jake Menezer. He was good points getting but sturdy defenseman as well, kind of two way demand. Another brock porter. What do you know, hey, they like US breaking six four two pounds, big dude brother. Ian Prospects is killing me right now. They keep playing these as so many ads prospects, but I don't need the music right now. I decline. I don't want to hear that. No, thank you for recording. Thank you. Recording in progress. But two seasons with the ABS Um he was just rock solid man. Sixty four points in the two years. I know pretty would be mad if we didn't mention that. Often she picked him in fantasy. I remember we got into a heated argument over a secondary assist once that I I was like, he there's no way, like it wasn't his assist. He was on the bench, like there's no way, and she was like go back and watch the film and sure enough, he makes the pass and the play continues for like a solid ten seconds, fifteen seconds right, and nobody else touches it in that time. He got on the bench. He gotta Change. So technically, yes, it's his assist, but tenderally also, he had no impact on the play. But whatever, like like, I'll count the assist man. That one really pissed me off. Had to enough my chest, but he was awesome. Up to seven people now and he was part of that nineteen twenty e h l all star team that helped us go won one and one against Salem state, ums Boston and in Fitzbrooke state. So Um yeah, definitely has to be on this list. What about Michael Tiersoni? Yeah, I was gonna say we haven't really talked. We did talk about I mean you can make the case that no one has ever shot the plock harder in our league. Right. Probably want to Chris's best sniper type scores too, because they were talking about how he usually as depth scoring. With this kid, how would you compare his shot to college? Because at least what I haven't watched Trisoni as much because I'm down in the south. I Know Colin has a hard shot. How does Tiersoni compared to that? The first thing I thought of with Colin always was was Colin shot was probably a little bit more accurate. Right. Ersoni shot was just a little bit heavier right. Maybe not the pinpoint accuracy that that that that I had. And not not to not to say that there is an accurate shots to come off the stick of Trissoni right. But I just remember with Bella, it's like, oh, there's a spot right here, next year, year...

...old, and I'm gonna shoot it right there. Right with Witherson, it felt like there's a spot there, but if I get part of your face mask, it's gonna go through your face mask and then get into the net. Also, like I remember the very first game of the season. I actually called it with Tyler, and Tyler immediately like fell in love with Persony, like on the air and everything was like I love it, I love him, he's the best player, like because there was just so many chances for him to I think he had a hat trick in that game. Um, back to the right, back to points on opening night there, Jeff, but you're saying that could happen. You never know. I mean to the century mark. But you know, s Anthony's point, sixty six points in the regular season. Um, played in nearly every game. Forty six. Didn't score in the POSTSEASON, which I'm sure frustrated him a little bit, but I'd still have three assists, Um, and that was puzzling a lot of those guys. We're kind of quiet at the frozen finals us here, Torsoni and Carlson and some of those guys. Um, but TRSNI is coming back? No, Oh, he's aged out. Yes, he's the one that's going to the University of New England. His linemate, her Sony, by the way, is tied with Wiggle Ker Brat for the highest points per game, and Trsoni also has the most points of any avalancheho's only played one season, Atkins being right behind him. Oh, these ads are killing me. Now Go away ads. Fine, so that's eight so far. Now I know you want to weigh Anthony, but I'll just I'm just gonna say it. We're we're perfect, eight for eight so far. Oh, I have to just say it, all right, because that's the dame. This is well, this is where it gets interesting, right. And two, Chris's credit, credit, you know he knows his team right. But the next few are gonna be a little bit interesting because I'm looking at this the middle of the list. When you get to like the eight through, she's like eight through, like sixteen on EP. You could pick any of those guys. I remember jared sleear. I remember interviewing him at the First Rosen finals before we have the monster set up we have now with all of our crew. Um slear was a great player next crawl, as we mentioned, one defense from the year. We haven't put him on the list yet. Parker Saund Egg, Matt Cassim, who we learned was Kassab after three years at the edge event, or vice versa. Yes, Arto Matachenko, Victor. Nick Afour was another guy. Used to love how Leclair, son of John mcclair. We met John mcclair those years ago. Oh Man, remember that that was? That was an avalanche versus Revolution Championship game. Not The year that that cat and Primo played for for the revolution, but at that championship game I remember looking down and I was like, Jeff, that's John Leclair, and Jeff, that's Keith Primo. I was like there are two massive individuals at this game right now who like like literally staria crossed each other, each wanting one side to win, each for just beasts in the NHL, and I was like that's kind of cool. The hands of those guys. Holy smokes. Leclair, huge dude, really nice guy too. But Claire was another one too that he was only there a year. It was really impactful. Calclaire, but another guy was just a quick little in and out. Can I tell two stories about Nick's trol us, because Nick...

Ralis has to be on this list. He I mean he was defense with the year that that nineteen season. So let me put crawls on this list first. So, Oh man, these are two great stories. You're gonna like these. Was it just eighteen nineteen or was it actually two seasons? And actually was two seasons. Seventeen nineteen. So the first year of the frozen finals was seventeen eighteen. Second Year Eighteen nineteen. Avalanche one each year. Obviously, this past year, the third time we were in Providence, they lost both games around. So if you focus on just the two years prior where they won the championship and they were we were in Providence, the avalanche were nearly perfect. They won two of their three round Robbin Games their first year and then the championship game. I just made a lot of years that. Yes, and then we want they won all three of the Round Robin Games the second year and the championship game. Right, so they want all but one game in their first two years in Providence. So they were combined, Oh man, one to three seven, seven and one right. Eight Games, three of which were against the little flyers. So there's kind of that born hatred, even though they didn't face each other that often. And one loss, the one loss, was against the little fires in the round robin the first year. I want to say it was like two to one or three to two. And there's a play down by the avalanche net where it was just like chaos, bodies everywhere, goalie goes flying podcasts up in the net and Chris is beside himself, Chris saying, saying, goalie Interferens, you gotta call it this, like screaming up on the press box. I'm like, Chris, calm down, your your Guy Cross checked the player into the goalie and like caused the whole thing him and being crawless. And we pulled the video up and we're watching the play and I'm showing Chris and I'm looking at the screen like this and I turned around, like see Chris, he cross checked him in. Chris is gone mm HMM, and I'm like where do you am? I, where do you go? So I walked down to the locker room and I was like what happened? He goes. I saw it the first time you played it. Okay, you'll have to rub it in. I was like, rob wanted. He's like, I was wrong, you were right. I was like, Oh wow, can I hit record on this too, like so obviously that it all played out the avalanche favor. They won the championship that year and the next year. And and nothing against cross because he was a fantastic player, but he caused that, that that situation. But then to keep the crawling stories going, a player who he was often paired up with but won't end up on this list and and unfort it he'll be mad at me for this. His D partner was a j prestowski. For All those age Jay is probably one of my favorite players to ever play in this league. Just down to Earth, funny as hell. And yes, Aj once said to me if you touch nicks, I will hurt you, and I was like, I was like what, I was like, he's like that's my message to opponents. He's like that's my d partner, like you don't touch him. And there was one play where like carolins got like hit from behind. They the REF had the call, like arm up, he's gonna call checking from behind or boarding or whatever. A J has the Puck, fires it on a tape, the tape pass the kid that had just hit nicks and then just too handsome and I'm like what the Hell just happened? And Chris goes. You can hear Chris, ah, we were going on the power play. I know you want to protect him, but the REF have a call, like why do you have to do that, old buddy let and you can just hear Aja. You know that, Chris, you don't coach, you...

...don't touch my d partner, like I was like man like. That was I couldn't handle it. On the year, I think I was just laughing the whole time. I would imagine he won't be on this list. I'm sorry, like it's he was just more of a defensive defenseman. There was a period actually, where I think the avs put him like on the second power play unit and they said just stand in front of the net and don't move, just just like cause, cause the screen. Just do a char a big body, six four to sixteen, you throw him in front and forgetting. I mean here's a I remember those two goals that I see listed right here. We're we're from a J being in front of the net. Yeah, five goals in two years over seventy games. Action followed suit that. Oh, I forgot. He was at Brockport than transferred to court one. Yes, so another actually played Chris at the wolf pack too. Yeah, trust from Harvard, trust the process. That's right. Hard do we need? Do we need a third story? Right ahead? So a door. beat the crap out of you on the list. A third story. Oh Man. So, uh, it may have been that season, eighteen nineteen, Vicky and I were moving apartments. Were moving from the second floor of our apartment building up to the third floor because the person, I'm convinced the kid bill above us, every night at nine o'clock, was playing legit basketball, like legit dribbling the basketball and putting it in a hoop in the apartment. I was like I can't take this anymore, like we couldn't, we couldn't do the podcast. Probably there was no podcast at that time, but I was I was like, like it was like a hard dribble and I was like let's just move apartment. So they actually moved us up one four and I was like it was the day after a showcase. So like it was like busy and I was like, I gotta make stories. Yes, I gotta make this go fast and Um, all of this get the ads to come down. So Chris sent like eight players. Right. A J took the couch and put it on his back, right, and he's like by himself. He goes, I think I'm good. Someone just give me a little nodge off on the back end of the couch and he just carries this thing upstairs, right, not the one you have now. Not, no, no, no, no, this was this was a different couch actually, just different couchs that I eventually gave to Chris. Funny how the whole world turns, right. But so, like they do this whole move and obviously I I got them pizza and like tipped them a little bit for them, for their services. Everyone. Everyone leaves and a j is just sitting on my couch and I'm kind of like, could you hanging out? Could you get out? He's like no. He's like where we getting drinks after this, and I was like, oh no, no. He's like, you know, players turned twenty one during the season. Neil I just turned twenty one because he's an August birthday, right. So he turned it like right in the beginning and I was like no, that's that's not happening, like we're not doing that. He's like all right, all right, after my e h l days are over. I was like sure, we'll cross that bridge when we get there. We're no longer working in the league. And I'm you know, management, you're playing. Yeah, not a great look. All right, yes, but there's nine guys so far. Some awesome stories because we've I've had some great times with the ASS right. I mean it feels like every time I'm at the ice then like mid game, crystal like tell his team, like during a time out, to yell up high nil. I'm on the broadcast. Well, just like you were with the wizards. You were the lone play by play man for them for years and I filled in for you admiably a bunch of times, and then now tyler took it over this year doing a bunch of games. So one of the best vanus points, Anthony, you would love it, because...

...we're just I was I was about to say, Neil, I've been been there, because you always talked about how I took the ride with the lumberjacks, but because I went from Hook set to exeter. Yes, did I a perfect sideline? Did I warn you about the possibility of getting hit there, because you could get hit? I don't think you have, but I was able to put two and two together, being the vantage point the fact that there's no protective netting, which I'm honestly okay with. H I like it better too, Anthony. I mean, I forget who it was, but someone came around the net once I was trying to flip it off the glass and out of the zone. It missed the glass, it missed the little window pane, I guess you can call it, of the of the section where you can sit, and a hip behind my head off that like the warm up glass to that warm room and then kicks back onto the ice and I was like, if I was looking down, that probably would have hit at me. I mean you gotta, you gotta look alive up there, though. I think we almost got ripped together that opening. UH, remember, we were wearing masks and that was what the first game of the season. Yeah, I think we're like, we're like twenty ft apart and I'm pretty sure we almost ripped that game too. All right, what a season, what a year? Yeah, I just look alive when you're there, that's for sure. Yeah, so, yeah, that was the that was the first time I've been to the ice then. And Yeah, it's a great facility and I agree Neil. It is a very good vantage point. Great Lights too, nice and bright. They shine right down the ice, not dark at all. Perfect for Trevor Blackburn's TV videography. Yep, nine for nine so far. We're gonna screw off the tenth. Then it just means that this is too because, man, I said that giant. That that Middle List. You guys agree? That's you could pick a lot of those guys. I mean I have to right now, I feel for me, it's probably a toss up between Parker Sandag and Ronan Mobley. Okay, I like both of those, but I also have recency bias. Yep, I know he was a big man of Chanko guy too. Ardham was another guy playing from Manhattanville. Now, Ukrainian native, another guy that was not big at all. Five seven six, Yep, that's light. It's crafty that he was one of the most skilled forwards they've had. Right, I can't give it away. This isn't this is what I want you to you know. We don't. Yes, I mean if I say a name, it's it gives it away, right, so don't, don't, I mean don't, don't tell us who that last pick is. I guess that's for me and Jeff to figure out. Want to put a second goalie in? That's that's another to be of this. Mobley is their all time games. We are now it's sixty after this past year. Two years, only two years, I feel like, was the e h l version of Bro door where, especially in this past season, he just he played almost all the games very early, sat those guys. It likes to. He gets better with the more pucks he sees. Doesn't like rest. MM hmmis just sitting there smiling for everybody that can't see it. I wish Chris hadn't sent me a list before we got to started, but it's where. It's where we're at now. MHMM. We Go Mobley, Anthony. I put Mobley in there. All right, Neil, are we wrong? Are we right? If Mr Rohdan Mobley, Colleen Mobley, it's Mobley. There's just a few other name him. So I want to mention we're wrong. So I...

...know Jeff mentioned his name. Earlier. This is the one that Chris had. We don't have to have jared slayer, right, but he was a part of that seventeen eighteen season. Um, I think he was actually the MVP of the frozen finals that year because he had six points in Providence. Right. He's now. He's now at Plymouth State. Other names that we didn't say. I Know Jeff mentioned Mark Madashenko, Parker Saan Dag Um. I think Jeff mentioned Victor Nikoforoff as well. Derek Britney was a great player for them for for a season. Um, Graham Hassan E H L P, M v P his first year, then e h l this year and then off to now uh northern college to play both golf and hockey. James Zenka was a solid d for that seventeen eighteen season. And we talked about toughness earlier. Baxter Kimball was tough as hell throughout his time in the league. Thomas Dempsey was a very sturdy defenseman. I think I skipped over just one season for just defenseman, but I think people underrated Jake Yeah Eeda was so good his single season. He actually scored I want to say twice for the E H l all star team in that nineteen season. I know he scored a goal against Pittsburgh State and I think he scored a goal against Salem state as well. So at smart kids to go to the tough jimboos. Yes, he like so, I mean it's it's your pick. If you guys are sticking with mobly, that's fine. I'll put him on here. I'm just saying that in Chris's mind it was slear. It doesn't doesn't have to be sleeper though, right. I mean also played a year with the Hartford junior wolf pack, probably a little bit like Chris the way. Any the other guy as a soft spot for his old old packers that he brought to what a contrast. So I'll go from Hartford. A Hook set a little a little different. Yeah, a little different. You've got a few more and more green. You got a few more trees up here, even more the less chaos, less violence. God, Oh it's a little wild and Hartford. I was gonna say, Neil, do you agree with Mobley? What do you think? Do you what would you go? Sleeer? I remember sleeper slee a very good player. Like we said, Chrispreener from the wolf pack. But I don't know, I feel I know Mobley was a little bit he's starting a little bit down the stretch this year. It still wasn't really was a huge reason in getting them back to Providence. I can't. You have to look at his overall body of work. That was kind of a bitter, bitter ending. Not even bitter sweet, just bitter ending for him. I mean, we've had the frozen finals four times. The avalanche have been in the frozen finals four times. So the first year was really a combination of PAG Lucas swordgio. The second year it was the Nathan Pickett show Um. The third time it was George McMichael. In the fourth time it was rowing in Mobley. So if you're if you're saving that last spot for a goalie and it comes down to Mobley versus McMichael, I think it's a toss up. But I think the body of work that mobby put together in his final year gives him a little bit of the slight edge. Yep, beautiful. Hey, you know what it's? It's a top ten. It's not an all time team. Right, so it's it's not gonna we can't include everyone, right we can't include. I mean, Hey,...

...it's honestly just a good way to summon up, right. We mean you have this conversation, we've had it a lot over the years, that a lot of these kids that are going into U Mass Boston and toughs and all these other really talented schools, towny, brockport. Yes, it's division three, but there's just not enough division one slots Um for talented hockey players. There isn't the schools. Now, that's not enough division one schools, but that's a conversation for a different day. Right, there isn't more division two and three? Yeah, I don't that's easy. Mass for me, it's seven spots more in division two and three. But just like that, there's just not enough slots for some of these top ten teams. We can make top fifteen, top twenty, top thirty. Some of these teams Avouche easy, you know. Yeah, but so hey, you know what solid back to back weeks that with the Rangers and the avs. The avs top ten, Tim Cronin, Matt Carlson, wiggle, Kerb Rat Ake Atkins, Nathan Pickett, Chris Arns, Jake Mende Zoom, Michael Tsni Nicks crawlins and Ronan Mobley. It's a solid top ten, very good. So that will do it for this week's episode. We'll figure out behind the scenes who we're gonna highlight next week and keep moving a little bit closer, one week at a time, to the season. Talk to you guys next week. See you next week. Thanks for listening to the show. Learn more at Eastern Hockey League Dot Org and follow us on Facebook, twitter, instagram and Youtube. Also, be sure to subscribe and get notified when next week's PODCAST is released.

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