News about the comings and going at the Snake Pit...
Steve Mele won't be putting on a Snakes sweater again. Steve told Jerome Bechard that he was going to "pay his dues" and stay with Utah (ECHL). Steve has played in only three games in nearly two months. I don't know how Steve can stand being a healthy scratch night after night. How practicing with the team but not playing constitutes paying your dues. But, as I've said all along, it was Steve's choice and he made it. All we can do is wish him well, which, of course, I do.
More transactions, definitely of the good news/bad news variety. As expected, Chris Bailer was put on the 30-day IR, which will probably indicate the end of his season. The move will be retroactive to Valentine's Day, the last day Chris played. So, in theory, he could be back for the last few games of the season and playoffs, but if I were rating that possibility, I'd have to say it was doubtful. I feel so terrible for Chris. This is one of those injuries that only time will heal. Two steps forward, one step backward.
News that is the total opposite of Chris' grim report is that Seth Ronsberg will be in uniform tonight. Bless his heart. Talk about a rotten rookie year! Seth suffered an injury in game TWO of the season, back on Oct. 26 vs Knoxville at home. Since then, he's been diligently rehabbing the injury and was recently cleared by Dr. Fred Flandry to return to the ice. How great will Seth feel tonight? Indescribable feeling of joy and accomplishment. Welcome back, Seth!
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Andrew Loewen is back in net for the Snakes after filling in for the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL. Andrew picked up a win for the Gladiators, going 1-1 over the weekend. Congrats and welcome back, Andrew!
Dan Bremner is questionable for tonight's game. It would be Dan's second straight game to miss. Chris' roster spot goes to Seth, so if Dan doesn't play, the Snakes will be a man short.
Jerome is shopping for another d-man, but will use Levi Lind on the blue line for now. Levi did well last weekend and has filled in on D in the past.
The colleges are just about finished playing, so Jerome has his eyes and ears open for quality collegiate players who want to try their hand at the pro game.
Tonight starts another big three-in-three weekend. The Snakes and Mississippi Surge play a home-and-home series tonight in Biloxi and in Columbus on Friday night. The Mississippi RiverKings wrap up the weekend's action on Saturday night.
The Cottonmouths have a precarious hold on the eighth and final playoff slot, three points ahead of Fayetteville and five in front of last-place Bloomington. Everybody else in the SPHL is idle tonight, so the Snakes-Surge winner has a chance to gain ground on the rest of the field. The Surge are in 6th place, five points ahead of the Snakes.
Buckle your seat belts for the rest of this season, Snakes fans. It's going to be quite a ride!