After limited ice time since the end of August, the Prince Rupert Rampage will begin focusing on the 2011/2012 season without some players and personnel fans that played a role in the team’s western conference-leading season in 2010/2011.
Captain Colt Stava, who has filled that position since the team began three years ago, says he won’t be returning this year due to other commitments while Rob Millar, who led both the team and the league in scoring last year, has moved out of town. Also gone from the team this year are head coach Frank Pyde, who has coached the team from the start, and assistant coach Jerry Kurka.
Despite the changes, German said preparations have been going well so far this year.
“We have our first real practice tonight and we have a head coach, Tom Jackson, in place. We’re getting ready to go to Kitimat on September 23 and 24 to defend our Northern Challenge Cup title,” he said, adding that a new team captain hasn’t been named and Rob McDonald will be back helping behind the bench.
“We don’t know exactly who the new players are going to be. There’s a couple of guys that have come out so far this year, like Jacob Santurbano and Jean-Luc Fournier who were both playing junior, and possibly some other players though we’re not 100 per cent…Tonight we start fresh.”
The Ramapge will kick off the 2011/2012 season on October 1 in Kitimat against the Ice Demons, with the home opener planned for October 15 against the Terrace River Kings.