GoalieGate is over. Three contenders came into camp and now the Snakes have their two starting goaltenders.
Ian Vigier and Chad Rycroft will man the nets for the Snakes this season. Rookie Steve Bounds is the odd man out.
Jerome announced the decision today and I can't say that I was surprised. There's no doubt that Steve will be a good SPHL goalie one day. But the fact of the matter is that Jerome knows what Chad can do. Chad Rycroft is the goalie who led the Snakes to their only SPHL title, ironically, in his rookie season.
Chad will be the first one to admit that last season was tough after a year's layoff. He and I have talked about it many times. My feeling is that we'll see a strong performance by Chad in net this season. I'm sitting down this week to get his thoughts, so watch the L-E for this story.
After the first weekend, the Snakes own a 1-1 record and there are many reasons to be optimistic about the season. It always takes several weeks for the lines to settle in and for Jerome to find the exact combinations he wants. When there are a number of new players, he spends a lot of time evaluating them and determining their strengths and weaknesses.
The good news is that all five rookie forwards have contributed offensively in the first weekend of play. Veteran Orrin Hergott leads the team in scoring with three goals. Two rookies also have three points each. Levi Lind and Jeff Martens each have a goal and two assists. Nic Boucher has one goal and one assist and Joey Martini and Jesse Cole one assist each.
It was good to see Tom Wilson at the rink on Saturday...not ready to drop the gloves, but in his post-hockey job as a paramedic.