SEASON REFLECTIONS: MICHAEL MCNICHOLAS

 Q: Overall how do you feel the season went?

A: I thought the season went well. I think the start of the season was a little slower than we expected to be, but we kind of found our stride mid-way through the season in January going into February. We got some injuries later on in February, early March. It started to go well again and especially the last couple games of the season we going to have a lot of injured player that were key to our lineup back going into playoffs. That would have been huge for us. Overall it was a good year. I feel it was a step up from the first year we had. I think it was good to build some confidence this past year going into next year too.

Q: What was your favorite moment during this season?

A: I would say the Newfoundland trip! We had three big wins there against a good team. Anytime you beat them, especially in their rink. They were on some crazy run, 19 straight wins at home. Beating them was huge, that was the turning point of the season. We build a lot of confidence as a team when we were there and bonded as a group. That was definitely the highlight of the season for me. It was big for our team, not just on the ice but off the ice too. We were hanging out a lot up there and getting to know each other better. It was a fun time up there.

Q: What was your favorite promotional night?

A: The Make-a-Wish Night stands out. I scored the overtime goal, which was nice, but just that game overall against Adirondack that night, that was a fun game to play in.

Q: Which of your teammates were you most impressed with?

A: Getting [Conner] Bleackley mid-way through the year, he is a really dominant forward. I played with him on a line too. It was super easy playing with him at the center position. He is always open, he is strong on the puck and knows how to score goals. Playing with him was really fun! A couple other guys too, like Dillan Fox who had a great year, score a lot of big goals for our team. Same with Terrence Wallin, had a really big year, a lot of goals! Those three in particular. I think even though guys expected him to do really well, but Ryan Culkin, he played so consistently throughout the whole season with our team. He was the number one defenseman on our team the whole year pretty much, if not, number two. Sean Day was great back there too. Any of those guys honestly impressed me a lot this year. I’m excited to see what they’ve got going for next year too because they build a lot up this year.

Q: Did you meet any of your personal goals? If yes, what were they?

A: Yeah! Gaining a lot of confidence with my shot, I developed that this year. I don’t think I’ve ever had that really in the past. Knowing I can score from the slot now and working on my shot a lot we something that I’m proud of from this year. Just getting to know the game more in this league and gaining confidence offensively. I played wing a lot this year, which is a change for me since I was usually playing center, but I liked it. I think I adapted well to that.

Q: Is there anything that you want to say to the fan base?

A: Thanks for the support this season! We can’t do what we do without them. It sucks the way it ended, but it was honestly a build-up year from the first year, so going into next year, our expectations are even higher. We are going to be looking to further into the playoffs next year. If anything, they have something to look forward to and I’m really excited to see how next year goes!

SEASON REFLECTIONS: TED HART

Q: Overall how do you feel the season went?

A: I felt it went pretty well. I had a blast and I thought we definitely had our ups and downs but I thought at the end we were playing well and we were all excited for playoffs. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t finish the season. I think we could’ve done some damage in the playoffs.

Q: What was your favorite moment during this season?

A: I’d say probably the Newfoundland trip. It was a lot of fun to go up there and we got three good wins so I thought that was a big turning point for our team.

Q: What was your favorite promotional night?

A: I’d go with probably the old Mariners jerseys. Those orange ones, those were cool.

Q: Which of your teammates were you most impressed with?

A: I’d say Francois Brassard. When he stepped in he was really good for us.

Q: Did you meet any of your personal goals? If yes, what were they?

A: I did want double digit goals and I was lucky to get that in the last game. I think I could be a good goal scorer so I think finally getting that 10th goal was good for me and I can carry that confidence into next season.

Q: Is there anything you would like to say to the fan base?

A: Thank you for supporting us all year. I would’ve loved to have seen some home games in the playoffs and have all the fans there but we’re excited for next season and hopefully we can get the fans back for another exciting season.

SEASON REFLECTIONS: DILLAN FOX

Q: Overall how do you feel the season went?

A: I think it went pretty well. I think us as team grew as the year went on, which I think was huge. When we looked at our schedule half of it was against two teams, [Worcester and Adirondack]. When you look back at our matchups against those two teams, I think we took care of business. We set ourselves up pretty good. I think we would have clinched [a playoff spot], so all-in-all a pretty good year.

Q: What was your favorite moment during this season?

A: It was when we were in Newfoundland and they had won 19 in a row and we went there and took three out of four. It’s not the easiest trip going up there. It really brought the team together, being able to win three in a row there. That really set us up for that playoff push. That was a really fun trip.

Q: What was your favorite promotional night?

A: My favorite night was early in the year when we wore the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle jerseys. For me, the jerseys I don’t really even think about, but I just remember that night because there was a good crowd and we came from behind and scored late. I remember that gave pretty well.

Q: Which of your teammates were you most impressed with?

A: There’s a lot of guys that you could pick. I’d have to say [Francois] Brassard, the way he was the third goalie at the beginning of the year and didn’t play a game until December 10th. He just kind of stepped in and didn’t miss a beat. Same with him when we were in Newfoundland, he played awesome! I think you have to look at a guy like [Marc-Olivier] Crevier-Morin as well. He wasn’t always on the score sheet, but just showed up every night. With guys going up and down, he was able to play big minutes for us whenever we needed him. Terrence Wallin too, obviously. He was huge all year. Playing in the middle spot, playing center with guys going up and down, he just always played the same role. He lost a couple teeth too. We will go 60/40, 60% of that was my fault, 40% his fault.

Q: Did you meet any of your personal goals? If yes, what were they?

A: Yeah for me personally it was a pretty successful year. I think after last season, having the second half that I did kind of worries you that you will come into this year that you will do the same thing, but I think I just grew as a player. I was able to get 20 goals, which it was hard for me to get into this league at one point, so to get that 20 goals is pretty special. Then obvious, getting my first AHL call-up was huge. Getting a taste of the next level and producing was huge. Hopefully I’ll get a couple more next year and do the same thing.

Q: Is there anything you would like to say to the fan base?

A: Yeah, they were great all year! I think our jobs, you’re not always in the same place for a while, but I was there pretty much the entire season, so I got the chance the get familiar with the same faces and for me personally, they were always supportive. You can definitely feel the tension in the building when we need a goal or how we are playing so they are really engaged and that is all we can ask for as a player.

MARINERS ANNOUNCE END OF SEASON AWARDS

PORTLAND, ME – April 23, 2020 – Mariners Head Coach and Assistant General Manager Riley Armstrong announced the end of season team awards on Thursday. Forwards Terrence Wallin, Ty Ronning, Dillan Fox, Ted Hart, and defenseman Ryan Culkin were all recognized for their achievements in the 2019-20 season.

The “Community Leader” Award went to Terrence Wallin. The second year alternate captain put in 12 hours of community service in 2019-20, the most of anyone on the team. He participated in events such as the South Portland Fire and Police Community Open House, volunteering at the South Portland Food Cupboard, and participating in the Aroma Joe’s Community Skate. Wallin also runs “Evolution Hockey,” which puts on camps for youth hockey players and has launched computer-based “Quarantine Classroom,” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although he’s a native of Pennsylvania, Wallin has Maine roots in Kennebunk, which he called home for many years.

“Terrence has devoted himself to the community in Portland,” said Armstrong “He continues doing work even now with his zoom hockey skills to help develop and grow the game in Maine.”

The “Most Improved Player” award went to Ty Ronning, who saw his season similarly split between Maine and the Hartford Wolf Pack for the second year in a row. The 2016 draft pick of the New York Rangers posted 11 goals and 13 assists in his 28 games as a Mariner in 2019-20.

“The way Ty approached this season on being sent to Maine was a 180 from last season,” said Armstrong. “His maturity level both on and off the ice was eye opening for myself. The way he played in Maine, he really deserved to be up in Hartford.”

Ronning got a pair of call ups to the Wolf Pack – first on October 24th, 2019, and again on February 3rd, 2020, after which he stayed in the AHL for the remainder of the season. With the Mariners in 2019-20, Ronning had three multi-goal games, highlighted by his second career hat trick on January 24th, 2020 in an 8-1 home win against the Worcester Railers. Ronning will forever hold legendary status in Mariners history for his five point ECHL debut on November 24th 2018 vs. Manchester, still a single game franchise record.

The team’s “Unsung Hero” was Dillan Fox for the second year in a row. Fox was tied for the team lead in goals with 23, and power play goals with five. He has also become the franchise’s career leader in both categories though its first two seasons. Fox played in 59 games for the Mariners in 2019-20, second to Michael McNicholas’ 60.

“Dillan pretty much put the team on his back at the start of the year scoring some big goals and breaking the 20 goal plateau,” said Armstrong.

His blazing start to 2019-20 was marked by six goals in the first six games of the season. Fox initially joined the Mariners on a loan from the SPHL in January 2019 and made a name for himself by scoring 16 goals in 37 games for Maine in the inaugural season. This past season, he had nine multi-point games for the Mariners including a four point performance on November 22nd at Norfolk. On December 28th, 2019, Fox was loaned to Hartford, and made his AHL debut by dressing in two games for the Wolf Pack.

Ted Hart was named “Rookie of the Year.” The Cumberland native officially became the first Maine-born Mariner on November 9th, 2019 when he made his ECHL debut in a 5-1 win over the Adirondack Thunder. Hart scored his first ECHL on November 20th at Norfolk and finished the season with 10 goals and eight assists in 48 games. Hart was initially cut from the team after training camp, but put up six

points in five games with the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Peoria Rivermen, and stuck with the Mariners for the rest of the season after his November recall.

“Once he came back to Maine from the SPHL, he showed that he can play in this league,” said Armstrong. “I can see Ted scoring 30 goals [next season] if he puts the work in the summer.”

Hart, 24, is a former two-time Maine state champion for Greely High School and played four seasons of NCAA Division I hockey for Yale University before turning pro this past season.

Armstrong named co-MVPs for 2019-20. Wallin and defenseman Ryan Culkin share the honor.

“Terrence was our most consistent player throughout the course of the year making a big impact in every game that he played in,” said Armstrong. “Ryan was a big part of the D-core even though he only played half the season for us. He played in all key areas and big minutes.”

Wallin finished second on the team with 43 points, and tied Fox for the goals lead, with 23. That mark was a career high in his fifth pro season, and he was seven points shy of his career high in points, with 10 games canceled due to COVID-19. To illustrate his consistency, Wallin had just one span of more than two games without a point in the entire 2019-20 season. He registered his first career hat trick on January 3rd, 2020 against the Jacksonville Icemen.

Culkin, also a second year Mariner, was remarkably productive offensively from blue line. His 33 points in 45 games was by far the most by a Mariners defenseman (13 more than the next highest: Sean Day), and also good for fifth on the team overall. Under contract with the AHL’s Laval Rocket, Culkin was recalled in late November and again – for good, in mid-February. Like Fox, Culkin had a four point game on November 22nd in Norfolk, highlighting his season.

Maine Mariners Award History:

Community Leader
2018-19: Louie Rowe
2019-20: Terrence Wallin

Most Improved Player
2018-19: Dwyer Tschantz
2019-20: Ty Ronning

Unsung Hero
2018-19: Dillan Fox
2019-20: Dillan Fox

Rookie of the Year
2018-19: Michael McNicholas
2019-20: Ted Hart

Most Valuable Player
2018-19: Greg Chase
2019-20: Terrence Wallin/Ryan Culkin

The Mariners are supporting local COVID-19 relief efforts in a number of ways. “HOME” t-shirts are on sale through Friday, April 24th at the online merchandise store, with net proceeds benefitting the United Way of Greater Portland and other local COVID-19 relief funds. Local school districts and other non-profits are also being supported by the Mariners by way of an exclusive specialty jersey auction through Handbid, which runs through May 1st. Additionally, the Mariners have partnered with Evergreen Credit Union, the Portland Sea Dogs, and the Maine Red Claws to support the Good Shepherd Food Bank in a virtual food drive at Fans4Food.com.

SEASON REFLECTIONS: MIKAEL ROBIDOUX

Q: Overall how do you feel the season went?

A: I arrived at the start of January, so for the time I was with the team, I think we had a good  yeaafter Christmas. We were battling for a playoff spot. I think we could have gone into the playoffs and maybe won a round or two. We could have made a run, but we had a good year overall.

Q: What was your favorite moment during this season?

A: The trip to Newfoundland was really good for everyone to become closer. We won three out of four over there. It was an amazing trip and Newfoundland is really a nice place. We enjoyed our time there and took that time to get close and I got to know everyone much better. I think the trip to Newfoundland was definitely my favorite part of the year.

Q: What was your favorite community engagement?

A: I went to the South Portland Food Cupboard and I really enjoyed my time there. It was really nice helping people in need. That was my favorite one, just to be there and for it to be involved in such a great cause and to be a part of it.

Q: Which of your teammates were you most impressed with?

A: There is a lot of guys that I’m impressed with! I’ll go with Dillan Fox. Just a hard-working guy, every night showing up. I’ve heard a little about his story, not being a regular player in the league until last year, then coming in this year and being nearly a 30-goal scorer. That’s pretty impressive. He put a lot work in.

Q: Did you meet any of your personal goals? If yes, what were they?

A: Yeah! Playing pro hockey was one of my personal goals for sure! I wasn’t expecting to play pro hockey this year at 20 years old. I don’t want to say I reached a lot of goals, because I want go higher and get a little more, but I did reach one by playing pro at 20 years old.

Q: Is there anything you would like to say to the fan base?

A: OH YEAH! Thank you for your support! Honestly, I was in Portland for just a couple months and I already saw how the fans are supporting the team. They’re incredible! The one thing that’s sad right now is that we couldn’t give them playoff hockey! I think the city of Portland is a hockey city. They love hockey and they deserve playoff hockey. Hopefully we will give it to them next year!

MARINERS SUPPORT COMMUNITY WITH JERSEY AUCTION

PORTLAND, ME – April 16, 2020 – The Mariners are continuing their support of COVID-19 relief efforts with the launch of a jersey auction that will raise funds for local schools and non-profits. Starting on Monday, April 20th, an exclusive set of specialty jerseys will go up for auction, each one representing a local school district or non-profit organization.

Like the #CommunityAtTheCore t-shirt which is currently for sale at the Mariners online store, the jersey depicts the word “HOME”, using the outline of the state of Maine and the Mariners logo, which is also the postal abbreviation for the state. Staying at home has been the hallmark of “flattening the curve” in order to contain the spread COVID-19. The design also serves as a reminder that Maine is our home and that everyone is in this fight together.

“We had many jersey auctions throughout the season, but this one is the most important,” said Danny Briere, Mariners Vice President of Operations. “Maine is our home and we want to be there for the communities in this tough time as they’ve always been there for us.”

Only a limited amount of these exclusive jerseys will be available, each one representing a different school district or non-profit organization. The auction, which will run on Handbid, will begin on Monday, April 20th, and end on Friday, May 1st. Bidding on each jersey will begin at $200.

Portland Public Schools have a number of COVID-19 related funds in need of support. The “Extended Learning Fund” supports disproportionately affected economically disadvantaged students. The “PPS Food Fund” is specifically targeted at reducing food insecurity for families beyond school-time meals. “Families in Crisis” allows staff from the Portland Multilingual & Multicultural Center to provide urgent, critical supports to vulnerable families in order to keep them housed, employed, and connected to their school distance learning program. Finally, the “Where It’s Needed Most” fund provides general support to grow capacity, fund daily operations, and have flexible funding to use as needed.

“We are grateful to the Mariners for their creative efforts to support community organizations,” said Xavier Botana, Superintendent of Portland Public Schools. “These are unprecedented times, so it’s great to see the Mariners continue their efforts to reach out to schools and the community.”

The Gorham School district plans to use the funds raised to support “Operation Feed Gorham,” which is currently providing daily meals to over 360 community members in Gorham. The program supports some of the most in-need families and community members and is essential in making sure students and families in the Gorham community do not experience food insecurity while staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The Gorham community has always come together to support one another during difficult times,” said Heather Perry, Superintendent of the Gorham School District. “Operation Feed Gorham is just one more example of how awesome our community is!”

Other organizations that will benefit from the auction include South Portland School Department, Biddeford Schools, the United Way of Greater Portland, and Good Shepherd Food Bank. Local school districts and non-profit organizations interested in benefitting from the auction should contact the Mariners at 833-GO-MAINE or by emailing Linsey_MacDougall@comcastspectacor.com.

In addition to the jersey auction, the Mariners continue to raise money for COVID-19 relief funds through net proceeds of t-shirt sales at MarinersOfMaine.com/shop until April 24th. The Mariners, in partnership with Evergreen Credit Union, the Portland Sea Dogs, and the Maine Red Claws, are also asking fans to donate to Good Shepherd Food Bank in a virtual food drive at Fans4Food.com.

SEASON REFLECTIONS: RYAN CULKIN

Q: Overall how do you feel the season went?

A: Overall, I feel that we had a pretty successful season. I think we were really pushing hard to get into playoffs. I think we had a very successful season, way better than last year, but we can definitely improve as well.

Q: What was your favorite moment during this season?

A: I really enjoy all of those fancy promotional jersey nights! We wore [Hulk] one time and the Ninja Turtles. I enjoy those as a play because it’s different and you never get to do that in any other league, so those are pretty special! The road trips with the guys as well, it’s nice being on the road with them and hanging out with everybody. It was very fun for me. I think our team was a very close-knit group, very tight, no cliques, and everyone was friends with everyone, which you notice with the way we play. Everybody is a great teammate and great friend off the ice as well.

Q: What was your favorite promotional night?

A: The throwback Mariners jerseys, the orange and white one and then the Team USA ones. I wish I got to wear those because those were fire.

Q: Which of your teammates were you most impressed with?

A: There are two in particular: Terrence Wallin and Dillan Fox. Every night they were our best two players, best two forwards. Just where they came from, both of them spending some time in the SPHL, which to me is baffling because they never belonged in the SPHL. They are better than some American Hockey League players. Those two have impressed me for the past two years. 

Q: Did you meet any of your personal goals? If yes, what were they?

A: My goal with the Mariners was to make the playoffs and not to be the fourth seed, but to have home ice advantage in the first round. I think we were capable of obtaining that goal. Ultimately that was our biggest goal, and I think we were able to do that.

Q: Is there anything you would like to say to the fan base?

A: We appreciate all of the support. Every game that you guys came out, we really wanted to put on a show for them. It’s unfortunate the way the season ended. Ultimately, I do think it’s for the best, the health of the players, the health of the fans. I hope they’re home staying safe. We were giving a huge push this year and. Hopefully we’ll see them next year.

COMMUNITY AT THE CORE: MARINERS 2019-20 COMMUNITY RECAP

PORTLAND, ME – April 16, 2020 – The Mariners have believed in the importance of community since the inception of the franchise, embracing #CommunityAtTheCore as their official community slogan. As they continue to support local COVID-19 relief efforts in today’s uncertain times, the Mariners look back on a 2019-20 season full of giving back to the community that they would not be able to thrive without.

The Mariners 2019-20 season, the second in the history of the franchise, saw the birth of the “Community Collections” program, in which the Mariners held three different drives over the course of the season to benefit local non-profit organizations. In October and November, Mariners fans donated 1,500 pounds of non-perishable food items for the South Portland Food Cupboard. The collection effort changed to socks and underwear for December and January – including the first annual “Underwear Toss” game on February 9th, 2020. A total of 2,006 pairs of underwear and 587 pairs of socks were collected and donated to Preble Street Teen Services. For February and a shortened March schedule, 157 books were collected for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine.

The Mariners met 275 donation requests this past season, donating $24,200 in team merchandise, tickets, and other goods. Beacon The Puffin and Mariners players and staff gave 175 hours of their time in appearances over the course of the 2019-20 season. The inaugural summer reading program, “Read With ME,” encouraged 165 registered students to accumulate reading hours to earn Mariners prizes. The program is now open for the summer of 2020. Several Mariners players participated in “Movember,” and competed in a facial hair popularity contest, raising $3,870 for men’s health initiatives throughout the month of November.

“I think it’s awesome when we can find some time throughout the season to get out in the community,” said Mariners forward Dillan Fox. “I know it’s something every guy loves to do when they get the chance and it was awesome having the competition with Movember and seeing our fans rally around us during that was really special.”

A number of regular events during games at the Cross Insurance Arena also contributed to the community outreach. The “Stick Taps” program honored 18 non-profit organizations at home games in the 2019-20 season. Heroes Harbor – in partnership with Partners Bank, offers a complimentary suite to a local, nominated military veteran, police, fire or EMT member at each game. An additional 55 tickets were donated to military personnel in the “Sponsor a Service Member” program. “Goalies Who Give,” was started by Mariners goaltender Tom McCollum in November and provided four tickets for each home game to STRIVE – a local non-profit that serves people of all ages with intellectual disabilities.

“This is what minor league hockey is all about,” said Riley Armstrong, Mariners Head Coach and Assistant General Manager. “It’s about being a part of the community from the front office to the hockey staff. With the efforts made in the community, it helps build the player to fan relationship.”

“Wes McCauley Appreciation Night” on November 15th, 2019 raised $1,440 for the Portland Hockey Trust through the auction of two McCauley game worn NHL officiating jerseys. On December 7th, 2019, 1,523 stuffed animals were collected for four different local fire departments in the annual “Teddy Bear Toss.” In a partnership with Agren and Make-A-Wish Maine, the Mariners wore specialty jerseys designed by 11 year old ‘wish kid,’ Ellie LaBree on February 2nd, 2020, and raised $4,368 for Make-A-Wish Maine through the auction.

Twenty organizations took advantage of the Mariners ticket fundraising program, with the Mariners donating $3,849 to causes such as the Captain Joel Barnes Memorial Fund. The Mariners were also instrumental in the creation of the Captain Joel Barnes Community Service Award, which was awarded to Matt St. Pierre, of the Hampden Fire Department at the game on March 1st, 2020.

Through COVID-19, the Mariners continue to give back to the community. They’ve partnered with Evergreen Credit Union and fellow pro sports organizations, the Portland Sea Dogs and Maine Red Claws, to support Good Shepherd Food Bank with a virtual food drive at Fans4Food.com. The Mariners are also selling T-Shirts on preorder through April 24th at MarinersOfMaine.com/shop for $20, net proceeds benefitting the United Way of Greater Portland and other local COVID-19 relief funds. The Mariners plan to renew all of their community efforts entering the 2020-21 season, as well as actively seeking new ways to give back in the aftermath of COVID-19 and beyond.

SEASON REFLECTIONS: RILEY ARMSTRONG

Q: Overall how do you feel the season went?

A: I felt that it went pretty well. Obviously, a slow start, which is something that we need to fix. I felt that once we got rolling, we came into a groove through our busiest part, December, January, and February. Even though we lost five in a row at the beginning of January, I still felt that we put three really good months together. It set us up for a good playoff spot. Overall I think it was a pretty good year.

Q: What was your favorite moment during the season?

A: My favorite moment was early December. We were seven points behind Adirondack at the time, but we had five games in hand. At that time, leading into Christmas, we were starting to play Adirondack six times that month and we beat them every single game. That part of the season is my favorite because it got our team going on the right trend. We started picking up points. The guys started picking up confidence in themselves, but also in the team and the system. It was pretty cool to see guys start to develop and mature on the ice and away from the rink at the same time. It was a good turning point in the year.

Q: What was your favorite promotional night?

A: Miracle Night! The jerseys and everything like that was spot on. I think it’s awesome to go back in hockey history for the United States and do that night. I thought it was great! I also felt honoring Captain Joel Barnes was awesome too. To have so many firefighters in attendance, I thought was pretty cool honor the people that run into buildings when everybody is running out.

Q: Which of your players were you most impressed with?

A: There are a lot to be honest. You could go through the roster. From a standpoint of a guy getting his game back, coming along through the course of the year was Alex Kile. When you look at a player like Dillan Fox who kind of made his mark last year and that definitely carried over as he put up over 20 goals in the shortened season. Then when you look at Ted Hart, I think he has the potential of 20 to 30 goals in this league and to maybe play in the American Hockey League as well. I thought him going down to the SPHL and then coming up, he surprised a lot of people in the pro hockey world. I think I could touch on every single guy on who surprised me the most. I felt that there were times in the year where other guys really stood out. I think everybody had a special moment during the year.

Q: Did you meet any goals that you set for the team? If yes, what were they?

A: First, we wanted to win the season series against Worcester, Adirondack and all of our divisional teams. We had one or two more games against Reading in the year that if we won both of those it would have been close. Every other season series, we had a pretty good grasp on within our division. We wanted to be better defensively. Our goals against was down quite a bit from year one to year two. We were much better in our own zone, the way we defended and played defense. I think at the start of the year you could see it turn. We were almost right around 2 goals against per game, which is pretty good. Once the dog days of the year came on there, Connor [LaCouvee] and Francois [Brassard] were playing great for us at that time as well and that is when we started to get hot too and put up some pretty good win streaks.

Q: Is there anything that you want to say to the fanbase?

A: Thank you for the support! I know for myself since coming to Portland was wanting to bring playoff hockey back to the city and back into the Cross Insurance Arena. I think it’s the most exciting time of the year, in sports in general for a fan or even an athlete is to play or watch the game when it is coming down to the playoff race or in the playoffs. I wanted to bring that to the city of Portland and hopefully in year three, we can get off to a better start. We are looking to bring back a lot of the core guys to the team. I think it’s awesome for our fans to build those connections with the players to keep them coming back. I know it doesn’t go unnoticed with our fan support, but also the people of Portland and how welcoming they are to the guys and making them feel welcome when they’re out having a bite to eat or out on the town. It’s been an awesome experience so far in the first two years so I would just like to say thank you!