Showing posts with label Mike Benton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mike Benton. Show all posts

Friday, October 14, 2011

Opening Night For The Stockton Thunder and 3 Oilers Prospects

LINEUPS: The Puzzle Completed
Friday, 10.14.11 / 1:27 PM

By Mike Benton

Welcome to Opening Night!

The night that Thunder fans have waited for is finally here and for many, it couldn’t be sweeter. The offseason was filled with anticipation. There was heavy changeover on the roster.

When the pieces were finally laid into place, the finished puzzle presented your way features a collection of promising rookies (see: Ryan Martindale, Colten Hayes, Gabriel Levesque, Olivier Roy, etc) and established veterans (Jason Morgan, Kevin Baker and Matt Foy).

You’ll see many of them tonight, who will face a Colorado team that carries in plenty of Central Hockey League crossovers – and plenty of motivation. Tonight is their first game in the ECHL after spending eight seasons in the Central Hockey League.

We’ve still yet to find out about who Colorado is putting out. Here’s who the Thunder have slated to go in uniform:

Cameron – Morgan – Baker
Fulton – Martindale – Foy
Hunt – Levesque – Shelast

Ringwald – Hayes
Pederson – Little
Deck – Brodie


Get your questions in tonight for us to respond to during the second intermission. As a heads up, San Jose Sharks assistant GM Wayne Thomas is expected to join us in the booth for the first intermission. We’ll see you on the radio!

Oh, and be sure to wish Garet Hunt a happy birthday today.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Paajarvi Starts Off Fast / Oilers Rookies Win First Young Stars Game

No need for a parade yet, but it sure was damn nice to watch an Oilers game again. The win was a bonus. The Oilers rookies beat the Canucks rookies 4-1 with 2 goals from Magnus Paajarvi. Tyler Pitlick and Jordan Eberle each scored one goal. For those wondering, Taylor Hall had the assist on the Eberle goal.

Well the feed for the game was terrible. Gene Principe sounded like he was yelling all the time and his yelling was squealing. Ugh! It was ear bleeding terrible. But to see the Stockton Thunder's Mike Benton there with Gene was cool. Mike is a good guy and it was nice to see him included in the Young Stars tournament.

At one point the Canucks website said to clear your cache and the stream would work better. I tried it and it did work better. So remember that for Tuesday's game against the Flames.

Paajarvi was very good. His speed made him hard to contain. This guy is going to make the team for sure this year. He looks determined and ready.

Tyler Pitlick was also good tonight. Very noticeable. Great draft choice by the Oilers.

Alex Plante played in all types of situations and didn't look out of place. He's very much improved from the last time I seen him and is looking like he's going to be a force with the OKC Barons this year.

Eberle and Hall garnered a lot of attention from the Canucks but still managed to hook up for a goal. In the early part of the game Hall looked like he was in a playoff game but faded near the end of the game. Good chemistry with Eberle. No doubt they play on the same line when they make the Oilers.

Olivier Roy made some huge saves, but the goal that the Canucks scored was a terrible softy. While Roy did play well and looked good, he was shaky on the soft low shots.

Last thoughts. I found it dumb that Hall wasn't wearing #4, that Eberle isn't wearing #14 and Paajarvi didn't wear #91. Why not? It's their numbers.

Can't wait till Tuesday. Make sure you come back and enjoy the TweetCast vs the Calgary Flames.

-Written by Smokin' Ray-

Friday, July 30, 2010

Benton's Blog / Euro Trip / Stockton Thunder Loses Players

07/29/2010 10:06 AM - Benton's Blog

Didn't we document in this blog space several weeks ago about the lure of Europe?

It's happening. The lure of big money, less games and international competition has taken some bite out of the Thunder roster from 2009-10:

- Chris D'Alvise (pictured) - Italy
- Justin DaCosta - Czech Republic
- J.F. Caudron - Italy
- Colin Hemingway - England

Andrew Perugini, Kelly Czuy and Bryan Young have also signed overseas, but they're asterisks in the "players leaving" category because they were under an NHL or AHL contract last season, not an ECHL contract.

That's now seven players from last season's playoff roster we can address as "the departed."

Now, stop before you hit that big, red, shiny, imposing panic button.

1. As we've said many times, don't forget how much the ECHL is now a "step-ladder" league where you celebrate your favorite player moving up, not witnessing the huge chunk of veterans whose careers are dying. Europe, as much of the AHL and NHL, is part of that.

2. Don't overlook the leadership core retained from last season (Valette, Marcoux) - with Steve Vanoosten already inked for next season. Anthony Aiello, Garet Hunt and Trevor Hunt have expressed their interest in returning, so we'll see how those play out. Assuming those potentials come to fruition, you have six returners back into the mix.

3. There's also rights retained to Aiello, Ryan Constant, Jason Pitton and more - making the potential returners at eight.

4. There are 19 teams this season - meaning - less jobs, meaning - more premium players available on the free agent market.

5. The affiliation factor and how much it can provide you with supplemental, elite-ECHL level talent and lure more potential free agents with the possibility of playing in front of said affiliated team's scouts and upper brass.

With all those factors, eight returners in a roster of 20 active players isn't a bad ratio in a league that can often serve as a revolving door, year-after-year.

It's still only late July, and the hot stove season hasn't even kicked into fifth gear. Enjoy it and with how the Thunder roster for 2010-11 is continuing to evolve!

Mike Benton has served the Thunder as radio broadcaster since the team's inception. Got a question or comment? E-mail Mike at

-Written by Mike Benton of the

*reprinted by with permission from the Stockton Thunder hockey club*

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