CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The Corpus Christi IceRays have named the man who will wear the “C” for the rest of the 2013-14 season as head coach John Becanic appointed Eric Purcell team captain with Grant Hutton, Kyle Froese, and Jesse Shelton as alternates this week before the team heads up to Amarillo for a weekend set.
“I am excited about this leadership group,” said head coach John Becanic. “As we move forward in becoming an elite tier II program, I believe these four gentlemen epitomize what we are all about. Hard working, high character players who are committed to excellence.”
The third year veteran of the IceRays began his career in 2011-12 and will be joined by an all defense group of alternate captains (D) Grant Hutton, who is in his second season with Corpus Christi. (D) Kyle Froese will also wear an “A” along with (D) Jesse Shelton, both of whom, came to the IceRays in trades.
In his three years with the ‘Rays, Purcell has scored 44 goals, 35 assists, and accumulated 156 penalty minutes and has dressed so far for 125 games.
“It’s a huge honor to be named captain of the IceRays,” said Purcell. “There are a lot of responsibilities that come with this privilege, and I am ready to step up and fill this role.”
In 2011 against Odessa, Purcell tallied the game winning penalty shot goal in overtime for a memorable home opener inside the American Bank Center. And after making the playoffs for the first time last season, this year should be a big step forward.
“With the help of the assistant captains, coaches, and the rest of the team, we feel like we have a great group of guys to make a big step forward for the organization,” Purcell added. “Our goal as a team is to play as hard as we possibly can every night and if we do that, we will be a team nobody wants to play against.”
Hutton, who saw time in the USHL last year, gas three goals and three assists in 12 games. Froese picked up his first goal of the year in the home opener against the Brahmas while Shelton has appeared in 10 games since coming to the IceRays in a trade with Topeka at the beginning of the year.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)