New faces on men’s roster
Eight new recruits as team defends last year’s ACAC title
by Kelsey Hipkin
Last season ended amid controversy.
One thing remains clear though, the men’s Cougars hockey team were ACAC champions.
Now they are back to reclaim their championship.
If the preseason is any indication, so far things are looking very good for the Cougars to repeat.
Since kicking the preseason off Sept. 7, the team has gone 4-1, including games against CIS competition.
With 13 lucky Alberta College Athletic Conference championships under their belts, the team has bolstered the lineup by bringing in eight new recruits this season.
Included in that bunch is defenceman Justin Daigle from the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Alaska Fairbanks of the NCAA.
“I think he’ll end up being the quarterback on special teams,” head coach Jean Laforest said in a release. “We’re losing our top scoring defencemen (Joe Vetere) and I believe Justin can come in and do a great job in a similar role, he’s got excellent vision from the back end.”
Two of the Cougars men’s new forwards already have something in common with the team — they have a brother already in the lineup.
Sam Muchalla who played with Northern Michigan University in the CCHA, will be joining the squad with brother Vinnie, as is the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Mitch Galbraith who will be hitting the ice with brother Eric.
The team has also recruited defencemen Matt Strong of the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Okotoks Oilers, Dillon Scholten of the British Columbia Hockey League’s Langley Chiefs and Brad Haber of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Winkler Flyers.
“(Haber) is really going to help us out offensively,” Laforest said. “Not only up-front but Brad is a great two-way defencemen, he’s very similar to Jesse Perrin, who is graduating, so we are looking for him to fill that role and replace some of that production.”
After being traded from the Langley Chiefs last season, Haber scored five goals and added 18 assists with the Flyers in only 18 games.
Other additions to the front end include Erik Slemp of the CCHA Alaska Fairbanks and Logan Herauf of the MJHL La Ronge Ice Wolves. Playing for the SJHL before his stint in the MJHL, Herauf collected 105 assists in 166 regular season games, numbers that will come in handy for the Cougars’ offensive successes.
The Cougars men’s team starts the season off at home at the Flames Community Arenas Oct. 7 against Briercrest College.