Summers Returns To Bucks For Second Season
LAREDO, TX- The Laredo Bucks of the Central Hockey League announced Tuesday that they have re-signed second-year forward Matt Summers for the 2008-09 season. Summers is the first Buck from last seasons roster to re-sign for the upcoming campaign.
Summers, who hails from Savage, Minnesota, had a productive rookie season for Laredo in 2007-08, finishing tied for 20th in scoring among first-year players, scoring 12 goals (three on the power-play), while handing out 23 assists (six on the power-play) for 35 points. Summers contributed points in some big spots last season, tallying five game-winning goals.
In 11 playoff games last season, Summers lone goal came came in the third period of game four of the Conference Finals in Arizona to tie the game at 3. Laredo would eventually lose the game 4-3.
“Matt is very versatile for us, he can play all three forward positions, especially the two wings well”, said Bucks head coach and general manager Terry Ruskowski. “He has a good scoring touch, and he handles the puck well. We’re happy to have him back, and we expect big things from him this season”.
Of Summers five game-winning goals last season, three of them came in either the third period or a shootout.
On December 22nd against Austin Summers gave the Bucks a 2-1 lead with 8:03 left in the third period on their way to a 3-1 win, on January 11th against Arizona Summers tallied the game-winner in the sixth-round of a sudden death shootout to give Laredo a 6-5 win, and on February 23rd in Rio Summers gave the Bucks a 2-1 lead just 44 seconds into the third period in what would be a 3-1 victory.
“I can’t wait to get back to Laredo for this coming season”, Summers said by phone from his home in Minnesota. “I have a sour taste in my mouth about the way last season ended, losing in game seven (to Arizona). I want to erase that bad memory and win a championship here”.
In just his third professional game on October 23rd Summers notched the only multi-goal game of his rookie year, when he scored two goals in Amarillo to lead Laredo to a 6-0 win. Including that game against the Gorillas, Summers had multi-point games six different times last season.
“I got my feet wet last season, I feel with a year under my belt I can do a lot more this year”, Summers said. “With the guys that coach is bringing in, we should be able to contend for the title and bring it back where it belongs”.
Prior to his rookie campaign with the Bucks Summers was a MJHL all-star in 2006-07, having played in 63 games for the OCN Blizzard, while leading the team in scoring with 50 goals (third in league), 69 assists, for 119 points (fifth in league).
Ruskowski liked what he saw from Summers in his rookie campaign in the Gateway City in 2007-08.
“At the end of last season with us Matt’s defensive game improved tremendously. He even started getting more physical, but that will come in time”, Ruskowski said. “Matt became very popular with the school kids from playing floor hockey with them; he also became popular with our fans. He is a great kid and very easy to coach”.
“I know I improved last season, I’m looking forward to getting more ice time this year so I can get us back to the top of the mountain”, said Summers.
During his junior career Summers, who turned 22 years old last Tuesday, played three full seasons, and part of a fourth with the Blizzard, compiling 105 goals, 180 assists, for 285 career points in 195 MJHL games. Summers played the second half of the 2004-05 season in the USHL with the Green Bay Gamblers, playing in 32 games, while scoring two goals, four assists, for six points.
Summers becomes the fourth Bucks player signed for the upcoming 2008-09 season, joining rookies Ryan Gibb (goaltender), Jeff Gilbert (defenseman), and Devin Featherstone (defenseman). For the latest player signings, keep checking our website, laredobucks.com.