Hartford FireAnts 2012/2013 Season PreviewNovember 2th 2012, Hartford, CT
Hartford Fireants scrimmage the New England Insanity in the team's first scrimmage in the 2012-2013 season at Teamworks in Warwick, RI. The team looks to unveil a new look full of new and old players, as they try to reverse the curse of last year's dismal season. For our coaches, this is the second full year that they have been part of the Hartford Fireants. "This weekend's scrimmage kicks off the 2012-2013 new look Fireants", said head coach Roger Levesque. "As the head coach, I am definitely looking forward to the damage that we can do this season."
The team had a rocky start to the season, with news that the ZRINK was closing in November. ZRINK has been the home of the Fireants for the past 10 plus years. The owners of the team entertained many different options. "We worked with other organizations, thinking we may play all of our home games away. We talked with other possible investment options, and the Plainville Indoor Sports Arena", said owner Jim Miller. The team ultimately went with playing in Plainville, which has welcomed them with open arms.
Once the location was determined, the team started firming up what the team would be for the 2012-2013 season. There were a few players that were not coming back, including long-time goaltender Jason Kalish, who for personal and work reasons, could not continue with the team. "For the past 6 years, I have been fortunate enough to be a Fireant and have enjoyed every moment of it. I want to thank every person involved with the team [players, coaches, fans] who has helped make the Fireants a top notch organization" Kalish said in a goodbye speach to the team.
One thing that became extremely clear from the beginning - the interest in the team has grown, numbers were rising. With the league changing the rule back, allowing organizations to have up to 2 minor teams, the Fireants began exploring the option of having a second minor team, and giving as many people a chance to play hockey and compete in the AIHL. As time progressed, players began coming out of the woodwork, and the team began filling up. What stars did the Fireants sign? Oh, there are a few, and they will named and announced in future news. Owner Matt Zuba has a great feeling about the season. "Looking forward to a chance to play with old friends and fielding the deepest team in the New England division".
The goal of the team is to make playoffs, and make some noise. With the Finals in Las Vegas in May 2012, the team has a lot of work to do, new players playing new systems, and over 35 players being matched and mixed into 3 different teams. While fun, coach Mark St. Jean understands it will be a challenge. "I have to listen to Madonna after each practice to clear my head. With the amount of new players we have, and bright future for this team, Vogue puts it all together".
The team opens the season up Saturday December 9th against the New England Insanity in Rhode Island. The first home game is Saturday January 5th, 2013, opening the New Year with a BANG!
Stay tuned for more information.....