upcoming season after playing last season in the ECHL. The Chelmsford, MA native finished with 73 points and was second leading scorer on the 2004-05 RiverKings team. The RiverKings open training camp at the DeSoto Civic Center on October 9.
|SOUTHAVEN — Memphis RiverKings Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Kevin McClelland announced today that the player that led the Central Hockey League in rookie scoring in 2004-05 is returning to the team for the 2006-07 season. Third-year forward Phil Aucoin has signed a contract for the
“I am excited about coming back to Memphis,” Aucoin said. “I enjoyed my rookie season there and hopefully we can win a championship this season. I plan to do whatever it takes to help the team win, whether it’s going out scoring on the power play or blocking a shot on the penalty kill.”
Last season, Aucoin (5-10, 183 lbs) played four games with the Charlotte Checkers (ECHL) before being traded to the Florida Everblades. In total, he played in 69 games, scoring 18 goals and collecting 28 assists.
Aucoin signs with the RiverKings after having signed in July to return to the Everblades.
“After signing early in the summer, the coach (Gerry Fleming) called and told me that there were going to be a lot of players coming down from the AHL and NHL affiliates and that there wasn’t going to be much room,” Aucoin said. “I talked to (RiverKings Head Coach) Kevin McClelland about coming back to Memphis and we were able to work it out.”
After concluding a banner four year career at NCAA Division III Norwich University that included a National Championship in 2003, Aucoin signed with the RiverKings prior to 2004-05 and had an immediate impact. In 58 games played, he scored 25 goals, notched 48 assists and finished the season with four 3-assist games, three 4-point games and one game with six points (3 goals/3 assists). He and fellow rookie Travis Banga were number one and two in rookie scoring, respectively, that season. Banga has also signed to return for 2006-07.
“I didn’t know if I would be able to play professional hockey coming out of Division Three,” Aucoin said about his rookie season in Memphis. “The veterans that we had that season took me under their wings and that really helped me get my pro career going.”
Following that rookie campaign, Aucoin had the opportunity to play with the Providence Bruins (AHL), picking up two assists in two games at the end of the 2004-05 season. He feels that the experience he gained in those two games, plus last season in the ECHL, has made him a better player.
“I think I am stronger on the puck and make better decisions after another season of pro hockey,” he said. “I think I am also more aware of defensive positioning and more familiar with the professional style of defense.”
Speaking of defense, the RiverKings also announced the signings of four defensemen; Chad McIver, Dan Rohanna, Mark Cole and Andrew Dwyer.
McIver returns to the team after arriving in a trade from the Corpus Christi Rayz on January 9. The 6-foot-1, 204 pound Thunder Bay, ONT native played in 32 games with the RiverKings, scoring two goals and collecting eight assists. The fifth year McIver has also played with Dayton, Charlotte and Cincinnati of the ECHL; Columbus of the UHL; and Indianapolis of the CHL in his career. He has totaled nine goals and 34 assists in 223 career games.
Rohanna (6-foot-3, 215 lbs) will be entering his second full pro season after not playing last season. The native of Waynesburg, PA played eight games with the Fort Worth Brahmas (CHL) at the end of the 2003-2004 season after the conclusion of his senior season at Division III Fredonia-SUNY (NCAA). He spent time with Peoria (ECHL) and Richmond (UHL) early in the 2004-05 season before landing with the Kansas City Outlaws (UHL). He scored five goals and assisted on another in 50 games with the Outlaws. Prior to the start of the 2005-06 season, Rohanna was set to play with the Fresno Falcons (ECHL), but had to leave the team and miss the season to attend to personal matters.
Cole (6-foot-1, 204 lbs) has played the last two seasons with the Huntsville Havoc (SPHL). His other pro experience has come with the Fort Wayne Komets (UHL), the Miami Manatees (WHA2) and the Huntsville Channel Cats (SEHL). Last season with the Havoc, the East Islip, NY native scored a pair of goals and had 16 assists in 56 games. His pro totals include 128 games, six goals and 32 assists. His amateur career included two seasons of collegiate hockey at Division III Plattsburg-SUNY (NCAA) and two seasons of junior hockey with the Great Falls Americans (AWHL).
Dwyer (6-foot-4, 205 lbs) is coming off a four year career of college hockey at Division I Western Michigan University. He played in 55 games, scored a goal and assisted on two others. Prior to his time with the Broncos, the Burlington, ONT native played two seasons of junior hockey for his hometown Burlington Cougars (OPJHL). He was the team’s second leading scoring defenseman, was the team captain and received the team’s Most Promising Player Award.
The RiverKings now have 26 players signed for training camp which opens on October 9 at the DeSoto Civic Center.