Battle Creek Set to Return Home After 4-Week Absence
THE STATE OF THE STANDINGS: Coming up this weekend, after an extended four weeks’ absence, the Battle Creek Rumble Bees of the FPHL (federal Prospects Hockey League), at long last, return to home ice and the amiable climes and environs of The Rink Battle Creek where they will broach a two-games’ home-and-home series against the Port Huron Prowlers. The Rumble Bees pro hockey franchise has attained the halfway juncture of their fledgling season with 28-games down and 28-more to go to complete the 56-games’ slate. Through their initial 28-outings, Battle Creek has compiled an overall season composite record slate of 28(1-27-0) totaling 3-points and fifth place position in the FPHL Western Division alliance. After extracting a 2-1 triumph on January 3rd in Elmira to celebrate their historic first-ever victory, the Rumble Bees, subsequently, have sustained three successive setbacks including a pair of defeats the past weekend in Danville. The Battle Creek sextet is winless on home ice thus far this maiden voyage campaign at 13(0-13-0) and 15(1-14-0) abroad in the hostile territories of FPHL league foreign ice warfare. Updating the league-wide standings at this hour of the season; Western Division: 1- Carolina 26(22-3-1)66; 2- Danville 28(16-10-2)49; Dashers have won 3-consecutively and 6(5-1-0) in their last half-dozen dates; 3- Port Huron 25(16-9-0)45; following an impressive 9-games’ win streak, the Prowlers have trembled in 3 of their last 4-starts; 4- Columbus 27(11-15-1)31; the River Dragons have won 2-in a row. In the Eastern Division: 1- Danbury 27(19-6-2)58; the Hat Tricks are 19(17-2-0) through their last 19-decisions; 2- Watertown 27(15-10-2)46; 3- Mentor 28(13-13-2)41; the Ice Breakers are 7(1-4-2) in the last 7-games and 10(2-6-2) in the last 10; 4- Elmira 27(13-12-2)39; the Enforcers are 8(2-6-0) in the last 8-chapters; 5- Delaware 25 (8-17-0)24; Thunder are 8(5-3-0) in the last 8-dates.
THE WEEK’S WORK: For this week, “The Bees of Rumble” confront an ambitious agenda comprised of three games in four days with more considerable travel arrangements. Battle Creek’s pro hockey entry will launch the week’s work with a Friday night home date opposing Port Huron before they journey to the east side of the State of Michigan for an encore encounter with the Prowlers at McMorran Place Arena on Saturday night. Then on Monday, January 20th, on Martin Luther King Day, the hometown locals will sojourn to Mentor, Ohio for a 2:00 pm matinee affair against the Ice Breakers. General Manager/Coach Adam Stio’s aggregation nation has posted a 1(0-1-0) log when tangling with the Prowlers while they are winless in 6-clashes against the Ice Breakers; 6((0-6-0); at home: 4(0-4-0); road; 2(0-2-0). Monday’s matinee in Mentor will represent the seventh and final meeting of the two inter-divisional adversaries.
LONE HOME: When the Rumble Bees guest Port Huron on Friday night at 7:35 pm at their home of The Rink Battle Creek, it will mark their first home appearance in four weeks, since December 21st when they climaxed a two-games’ homestand series against the Elmira Enforcers. Moreover, Friday’s home date represents Battle Creek’s lone home performance for their 10-games’ docket in January. The Prowlers will be making their first-ever appearance in the City of Battle Creek.
LET’S GO TO THE SHOW!: “The Rumble Bees Buzz,” the live show is set to present another new edition this Monday night at 7:00 pm, upstairs on the second floor of The Cricket Club, downtown in our town. The “Voice” of the Rumble Bees,” Terry Ficorelli will host the hockey show in front of a live studio audience and his Rumble Bees special guests. The program is open to everyone with lots of fun, prizes and surprises.
WEEKEND WRAP-UP: The past weekend saw “The BC Boys” journey to Danville, IL where they were swept in a two-games in two-nights series by their fellow fractious foes of the FPHL Western Division, the Dashers. In both unfounded contests, the second period, yet once again, was the visitors’ demise. In game #1 Friday night, the home standing Dashers struck for a trio of middle stanza strikes 5:40 apart to shatter a 1-1 saw-off in capturing a 5-2 conquest. Jakub Volf (GTG) and debuting center Nate Pelligra connected for “The Cereal City Six” while rookie goalkeeper Trevor Babin, in his pro premiere appearance, left a positive indelible impression with a stellar 53-saves effort. On Saturday night, it was a 4-goals’ second period outburst that ultimately resulted in a 7-3 Danville defeat of the Rumble Bees. The Dashers spiced their zesty assault with 2-SHG and 1-PPG while Adam Howey, Jakub Volf and Marco Luciani each registered for the Battle Creek club.
VOLF THE VIPER SNIPER: First-year left wing Jakub Volf has been a pleasant discovery in the overall recovery of the Rumble Bees. Recently procured as a free agent from the Czech Republic, the 6-0, 175lb hard-working forward delivered a key, touch-in-the-clutch goal in each of his club’s games the past weekend in Danville. His first-ever pro goal was sniped in acapella fashion, without accompaniment, and otherwise unassisted on a puck-poaching from the Dashers defense in the opening period on Friday night, forging a 1-1 deadlock. For the weekend, Volf was 2(2-0-2). In his first 4-games, Volf sports a solid +2 rating.
STEADY “STAVIE”: Right wing Stavros Soilis continues to ply his craft in a steady, stable fashion for the home team. The Montreal, PQ product engineered a pair of masterfully adept and adroit assists in his club’s Saturday night setback absorbed in Danville. Since his acquisition from Danbury, Soilis is 14(2-5-7) with 15-PIM and 28-SOG.
THE MARK OF MARCO: Toronto, Ontario native Marco Luciani played an inspired brand of hockey against his erstwhile team the past weekend in Danville. The spirited left wing enjoyed a particularly strong performance Saturday night against the Dashers. Luciani essayed a pair of points on 1-goal, 1-assist. In the process, he hiked his season offensive outputs to 25(4-5-9) with 8-PIM and 50-SOG.
ADAM AUTHORING: The third member of the Stavros Soilis-Marco Luciani combination is center Adam Howey. The former Illinois State standout also authored two points in the Saturday night 7-3 setback incurred in Danville against the Dashers. Howey howitzered the game’s FG to stake his squad to a 1-0 advantage. It was the second time this season which the diminutive, dynamic pivot has fired the game’s FG with both snipes of this genre being brewed on alien ice. For the season, Howey is 26(5-4-9) with 11-PIM and 51-SOG.
ROSTER RUNDOWN: The past weekend, no fewer than five new players were introduced and unveiled for the Rumble Bees two-games’ series at Danville. Two new goaltenders both made their pro premieres; Trevor Babin, the 2018-19 GMHL Goaltender of the Year and Mike Deperrio, a 30-year-old rookie who had previously attended the Rumble Bees tryout camp last August. In addition, two new defensemen assumed their positions on the club’s blue line; namely Connor McNary, formerly of Danbury and Jason Stone who commenced the current campaign in Sweden. Up front, sleek center Nate Pelligra achieved a propitious premiere by delivering his first goal in his first
game for his new employer on Friday night in Danville. Pelligra was acquired in the earlier deal which sent defenseman Gino Mini to Elmira.
HIVE HITMEN: At the midway point of the 2019-20 FPHL schedule, the Rumble Bees top scoring sharpshooters: 1- Ryan Alves 28(7-7-14); 2- Ethan Busch-Anderson 26(3-7-10); 3- Adam Howey 26(5-4-9); 4- Marco Luciani 25(4-5-9); 5- Maxim Noskov 19(3-5-8); 6- Stavros Soilis 14(2-5-7); 7- Shea Carey 25(1-6-7); 8- Toni Lampo 9(3-2-5); 9- Vinnie Susi 23(2-3-5); 10- Dave Nicoletti 24(1-4-5); 11- Marc Steele 26(0-5-5); 12- Jake Mortley 7(2-2-4); 13- John Champlain 21(2-2-4).
SPECIAL TEAMS TONIC: While the Rumble Bees power play has been lacking recently in consistency and overall congruity the penalty killing cast continues to achieve solid, sound improvement. Regarding the power play, it is ranked 10th in the circuit, operating at 9.2% proficiency rating; 12-130. The extra man band is 0 for the last 10 and 2 for the last 33 for a conversion rating of 6.1%. The man advantage has allowed a league-high 14-SHGA at the midway point of the season. The shorthand band has seen its efficiency rating for the season constantly climbing, having ascended from 50% to 65.3% as of today with the opposition being 41-118. The opponents are 9 for the last 45 for an efficiency mark of a superb 80%.
FEW FUN FAST FACTS FROM “FIC”: When the Rumble Bees Adam Howey scored the game’s FG in the Saturday night duel in Danville, it marked the sixth time in 28-games they have accomplished the feat. BC has posted a 6(1-5-0) mark in that department. Rumble Bees have been outshot in all 28-games thus far this season. The Rumble Bees 3-GF Saturday equaled for the fifth time their second most GF in a single game this season. Danville’s 2-SHG in its Saturday win was the third time this season in which the Rumble Bees have surrendered 2-SHGA in one game. Maxim Noskov 3(2-1-3) had his 3-games’ point streak halted in Saturday’s setback in Danville. Ryan Alves is the last man standing as the only one to play in all 28-games. Ethan Busch-Anderson 26(3-7-10) is the team’s top scoring defenseman and ranked second overall. In his first two pro appearances rookie goaltender Trevor Babin fashioned a supreme .920 SPCT, making 69-saves on 75-shots.
RUMBLE BEES RADIO: All Rumble Bees games, home and away, play-by-play, all the way are broadcast live on the Rumble Bees exclusive radio flagship home of WFAT 102.7 FM and 930 AM right here in Battle Creek. Join the “Voice” of the Rumble Bees, Terry Ficorelli, for all the electrifying action. Moreover, fans can tune-up and tune-in on the world-wide internet as all games are streamed live at 1027WFAT.com and click “Listen Now.” In addition, fans can stay up to date everyday even when there is not a game. It is “The Rumble Bees Hockey Update,” Monday through Friday, afternoon prime-time, drive-time at 4:35 pm on WFAT 102.7 FM and 930 AM.
TICKETS FOR THE GAME: Rumble Bees Season Tickets for the rest of the current season as well as Single Game Tickets are available at the Rumble Bees office located at The Rink Battle Creek; by phone (269) 243-5027; or online at beehockey.com or any of the social media platforms @bcrumblebees.