Summer news and notes as we are fewer than 60 days from the start of the 2014-15 season. Season tickets are on sale now!
The Point Mallard Ducks’ first ever home game will feature former Charger teammates behind the benches.
Karlis Zirnis, who was an assistant coach on the Latvian team at this year’s Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, was named the head coach of the Nashville Jr. Predators on August 5. The Predators will face the Ducks at the Point Mallard Ice Complex on September 27.
Zirnis had 119 points for UAH from 1999-2003, 14th most in school history and 2nd in UAH’s modern Division I era. His 46 goals is third in UAH’s modern Division I era, and his 73 assists is second.
The Point Mallard Ducks, Alabama’s first Junior ‘A’ team going into its inaugural NA3HL season, will be led by Craig Bushey, who was hired in May. The Ducks were formally introduced to the city of Decatur with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 8.
Bushey, who played for the Chargers from 2001-05, is 17th on UAH’s all-time scoring list (and 3rd in the modern Division I era) with 112 points. He was fifth in the D-I era with 46 goals and third with 67 assists.
Seabass down under: Former Charger Sebastian Geoffrion played for the United States team that headed down to Australia for a five-game exhibition series against a team representing Canada. The International Ice Hockey Australia event, which had sellout crowds in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne, benefitted the Stop Concussions Foundation.
Penalty Box Radio caught up with Geoffrion to talk about his experience in Australia, where the U.S. team defeated Canada in three of the five games to claim the Douglas Webber Cup. The Brentwood, Tennessee, native spent most of the 2013-14 season with the Arizona Sun Dogs of the CHL.
NCAA rule changes: Last month, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved new rule changes for the 2014-15 season. The rule changes include:
- Video replay can be used to determine if a goal was scored before a penalty occurred. Replay can be used to review a goal if it appears offsides or a too many men on the ice penalty should have been called (and the puck doesn’t leave the offensive zone). Replay can now be used from all video sources (not just the TV/Internet broadcast).
- Major penalty for intereference (to assist officials in penalizing for blindside hits or other significant contact not to the head or neck.
- For faceoffs, playing the puck with the hand now results in a minor penalty. End zone faceoffs now require the defending team to put their stick down first instead of the attacking team. The visiting team will continue to put their stick down first in neutral zone faceoffs. Faceoffs will now stay in the offensive zone if the attacking team attempts to score and the puck goes out of play.
Charger Blue does the Ice Bucket Challenge: Unfazed.