CHL Snapshot – Countdown to Opening Night
This year will mark the 10th anniversary for the Laredo Bucks franchise and fans have a new breath of fresh air with an updated logo, new signings and a new head coach.
The past 9 years of the Laredo franchise has been guided by Terry Ruskowski, who carried a record of 343-175-56 and two CHL Championships. But the Ruskowski era has ended and a new coach, former Bucks star defenseman Serge Dube, will now hold the post.
Last season Dube was lacing up the skates and wearing a Bucks jersey, but now he will be behind the bench in a suit. Dube has been a part of Laredo’s organization for all 9 years and will continue that in the front office. He knows the game and the league well, as last season he put up 25 points in 45 games. His knowledge of the franchise and the game look to help the Bucks back into the post-season after missing the playoffs last year for the first time in franchise history.
A big return for the Bucks on and off the ice is captain Adam Rivet, the first player signed by Dube. Rivet will be entering his seventh year as a Buck and has always provided steady leadership for the club.
The 30-year-old, two-time CHL All-Star, has played in 327 regular season games with Laredo, where he has scored 77 goals and has 153 assists. Rivet has also been a part of 61 playoff games, scoring seven goals with 33 assists.
|Goaltender Torrie Jung
One of last year’s goaltender, Torrie Jung, will also be returning for another year in Laredo. Last season, as a rookie Jung played in 40 games and had a record of 17-18-3 with a G.A.A. of 3.27 and a SV% of .904.
Another key returnee is forward Justin Styffe, who returns for his 3rd year in Laredo. Over the past two seasons in Laredo, Styffe has appeared in 73 games where he has scored 18 goals and 15 assists. During those two seasons, he also racked up 253 minutes in penalties, and he hopes to bring that physical presence to the ice again this season.
The Bucks will be without forward Jeff Bes this season which will certainly change the complexion of the team. Annually among the top players in the league, Bes was second on the team with 55 points (20g, 35a) in 60 games played. He currently holds the all-time Laredo record for Points (117), Goals (46), and Assists (78). The two-time CHL MVP will try a new craft this year coaching the Mississippi Surge of the SPHL.
A new face to see wearing a Bucks jersey this year is power forward Alex Morton who played for SUNY-Fredonia (NCAA III). He was called up for 3 games last season to the Ontario Reign (ECHL). The 6’3”, 209 pound left winger appeared in 26 games last year. He notched 10 goals and had 15 assists for a total of 25 points with the Blue Devils.
Another pickup was Jordan Oye, a 24 year old from Richmond, British Columbia. Oye also played the last four seasons with SUNY-Fredonia (NCAA III). The 5’11”, 174 pound center appeared in 27 games last year. He scored 17 goals and had 23 assists for a total of 40 points.
These two are a deadly combo and already have experience playing with each other. Dube hopes their chemistry will help Laredo make a push for a return to the CHL Finals.
As the 10th year anniversary season approaches, the Laredo franchise thought it would be appropriate to update their logo and add a slogan to commemorate to the special occasion. The logo will have the years of activity on each side of the Buck, and a special slogan that will be used this year. To learn more about the Bucks visit www.laredobucks.com
“At the beginning of each off-season, we sit down as a staff and formulate a new marketing slogan that personifies who and what we are. With our 10-year anniversary upon us, we reflected back to what has really made the Bucks successful in Laredo. It is all about family and family entertainment. We do not refer to our Season Ticket Holders and Corporate Partners as ‘customers’, but rather, as ‘Family Members of Buck Nation’,” stated President Donald Thomson. “We really are One Team and One Family.”
There have also been some major changes in the front office this offseason. Donald Thomson, previously the Vice-President of Sales, has been named President. As the new President, Thomson will lead the business side of the organization.
Nicole Kupaks, previously the Vice-President of Business Operations, has been named General Manager. As General Manager, Kupaks will continue to create the schedule for the Bucks, work with player housing, immigration, travel arrangements, press releases and community efforts for the team.
Be sure to check back to www.centralhockeyleague.com as we will preview a team a day counting down to the start of the regular season.
Saturday, October 8 - Evansville IceMen
Sunday, October 9 - Quad City Mallards