The Elmira Sugar Kings have made some roster changes, meeting the junior hockey trade deadline on Jan. 10.
Former Kings goalie Jonathan Reinhart is back after heading out to British Columbia earlier this season to play for the Nanaimo Clippers in the British Columbia Hockey League.
While in Nanaimo, he managed a .909 save percentage in 15 games before moving to the Brooks Bandits in Alberta for three games.
Now, he is back playing at Dan Snyder Arena starting this weekend. Kings head coach Ty Canal says he is going to be an asset to the team heading into the final stretch of the regular season.
“Any time you can add a player like him, it is a bonus,” he said. “We have two good goalies and when you look at how much hockey is going to be played down this next stretch and into the playoffs, you need two good goalies and you need them to be on top of their game. When you look at it and you break down the time on the ice, it is a lot.”
Canal says having strong net minders behind the rest of the team gives the guys confidence on the ice.
“It makes a team better,” he said. “They are helping each other out. It makes our shooters better and makes our guys better.”
Another addition to the Kings’ roster is defenseman Kevin Fitzpatrick, fresh from playing with the Guelph Hurricanes. This season so far, the d-man has 10 points in 15 games and Canal says he is going to be a valuable addition to the team.“It is about beefing up our back end. When you look at that much hockey in a short timeframe, the more bodies the better,” he said. “When you look at the scores in the playoffs, they are typically low and we definitely have to make sure that our d-side of the puck is strong. We are going to focus on that from here on out – limiting shots and executing. Everything starts in the defensive zone. (Management) has done a great job bringing in the guys, and now we are set.”
Along with some new and returning faces to the team, there are some injured players on the mend, filling out the Kings’ roster.
Elmira forward Mackenzie MacSorley was noticeably absent from play this past weekend against Waterloo, but Canal says he will be back this coming game against Brampton after a hard hit a couple of weeks ago.
“He will be back at practice this week,” he said. “It was just one of those things where we wanted to make sure everything was alright. He has been cleared and everything is fine.”
Klayton Hoelscher has been on the injured list since the beginning of October, breaking his ankle against Brantford and requiring surgery. He has recently made it back to the ice, skating and making huge improvements, says Canal.
“He is coming along. He is off his crutches and he is skating,” he said. “Everything is going as the doctors planned and he is taking small steps and completing small goals – moving along. He is getting ice time and just waiting for the full clearance. He is moving in the right direction.”