The TPH Thunder has officially announced its 2012-13 lineups for the Peewee Minors, Peewee Majors, Bantam Minors and Bantam Majors.
The process for initial selection contains several steps including a recommendation from the head coach of one of the AA travel hockey teams in the area, and successful performance in both the TPH tryouts in Huntsville and/or the Showdown in Motown annual tournament in Detroit for those youth players participating for the first time.
Returning players also must participate in tryouts to return to the Thunder roster.
The TPH Thunder 99’s (now Bantams) and 00’s (Peewee’s-Now Majors) both performed close to expectations last season.
Both the U12 and the U16 squads competed in the national championships-a first time double play for the organization.
The Bantam squad was consistently ranked in the top 6 all season and the Peewee Minor squad ranked in the low 20’s nationally before losing a few close matchups and ending up in the top 30 nationally.
The Peewee and Bantam rosters include the following players:
The Peewee Minor squad will be coached by Chris Fairbanks and will have to be molded into shape as the season progresses. The team has a number of good skaters and puck handlers and could surprise several AAA teams early. The roster includes:
The majors squad will have an interesting season losing scoring leader Cannon Green (52 goals) to Detroit Honeybaked and Val Passarelli to Little Caesars as well as forwards Cole Warner and AJ Kolesar to the Atlanta Fire.
The Thunder picked up Sean McAvoy, Dylan Sampsell, Nathan Solis, Gentry Shamburger and Joshua Stich. During tryouts several of the new players exhibited excellent skating passing and hockey sense.
The defense and goaltending which is sometimes overlooked will help the team tremendously this year. Mason Palmer and Mack Guzda are both capable of show stopping performances.
Returning defensemen Breck, Connor, Larson, and Shaw, make the Thunder blue line mobile and a better positional unit having played one season of AAA hockey already.
Newcomer Josh Stitch adds needed size and attitude as well as a good shot from the point.
The only question is whether Coach Karlis Zirnis will be able to mature his team into a hardworking passing unit rapidly enough to move above last year’s performance. If he does, the 2000 squad could actually move up several places from last year’s respectable standings. This year’s team roster will include:
As first year Bantam’s the 99 squad will begin the season heavily favored in the national rankings. Last year the team (as Peewee’s) ranked in the top 6 in the nation and had one of the best seasons ever coached by Steve Milosevski. Gavin Bank, Chuck Bay, Kyle Harris, Anthony Luongo, and Nash Wood return, but forward Kyle Kawamura (a linchpin last year) will skate with the 98’s this season. The 2012-13 roster will consists of:
BRENDEN ENG TOW
Keith Rowe will be overseeing the Majors development this season. Last year the team experienced some growing pains and did not play up to its potential. This year the Thunder organization is looking for the team to rebound which is why Rowe will be the bench boss closely overseeing the team. With forward Kyle Kawamura and Rowe’s intensity and leadership the Majors could surprise a lot of their detractors.
CLAY BROCK ELLER