Ice Flyers add rookies Johnstone, Campanale, and Johnson

The Ice Flyers announced three additions to their preseason roster today in rookie forwards Jacob Johnstone, Nick Campanale, and Jake Johnson. All three finished up their collegiate careers playing for NCAA Division I institutions last season.

Johnstone is a 5' 11", 190 lbs. native of Grand Ledge, Michigan. During his four-year career at Michigan Tech in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, Johnstone appeared in 136 games putting up 20 goals, 30 assists, 32 penalty minutes, and a -25. His plus/minus is a little worrisome but the Huskies peaked as an average squad while he was there and were in the bottom half of the league for three of his four years, including dead last his freshman year. He'll attend training camp with the ECHL's Elmira Jackals prior to coming to Pensacola.

Campanale comes from American International College in the Atlantic Hockey Association. He stand's 6' 1", weighs 185 lbs., and is a native of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. He was an assistant captain for the Yellow Jackets as a senior. During his four-year stint with AIC, he appeared in 122 games and had 2 goals, 8 assists, 67 penalty minutes, and a -53. Campanale is the brother of former Ice Flyer Chris Campanale.

Johnson's signing means yet another Duluth, Minnesota native is joining the Ice Flyers. He's on the small side at 5' 8" and 170 lbs. but he prides himself on being a blue-collar, defensive type of player. In four years with the WCHA's Northern Michigan University Wildcats, he played in 86 games and had 7 goals, 3 assists, just 9 penalty minutes, and was a -6.

I expect that Ice Flyers head coach Rod Aldoff will look for these guys to battle it out and fight for roles on a tenacious third line. It's entirely possible that none of these guys will make the team as players are cut and make their way down from ECHL and Central Hockey League training camps.

Geoff Nichols | October 1, 2014

Malcolm Lyles Back with Ice Flyers

PENSACOLA, FL. (September 26, 2014) - Former Ice Flyer, Malcolm Lyles, is set to return to Pensacola for the 2014-15 season. 

"It's going to be great returning to Pensacola for another season," Lyles commented. "The fans and the organization make it such a great place to be and the atmosphere there is so fun to play in." 

A native to the sunshine state, the 5'10, 181 lbs defenseman spent the end of last season on the injured reserve list with a wrist injury. This included sitting out for the team's championship run. During his 31 regular season games he tallied 7 goals and 7 assists for 14 points and had an impressive +11 plus/minus rating. He is now fully recovered and ready to hit the ice.

"Malcolm is a tremendous person and an exciting player. He came in last season and earned a spot on our team," Head Coach Rod Aldoff stated. "With his work ethic and attitude toward the game of hockey, he was a delight to have wearing an Ice Flyers jersey."

Lyles is no stranger to being a part of a championship organization. His resume includes a variety of seven different titles ranging from the NCAA, BCHL, CJHL and of course his most recent SPHL title with the Ice Flyers. He is hoping to push for the team's third consecutive title and be healthy come playoff time. 

"It was very tough not being on the ice during last year's playoff run. I'm very eager to work towards another playoff appearance and get another chance to play for the cup," Lyles added. 

Corey Banfield Returns to Ice Flyers

PENSACOLA, FL. (September 23, 2014) - Corey Banfield is set to return to Pensacola for the 2014-15 season. 
 
"I am more than thrilled to be coming back for another season in Pensacola," Banfield commented. "The organization and support from the community are first rate."
 
At the beginning of the 2013-14 season, the 5'11, 185 lbs Canadian forward started his rookie season in Southaven, Miss. with the Riverkings of the SPHL. Upon being waived, the Ice Flyers acquired Banfield on December 7th of 2013. Pensacola was definitely the right fit for him as he scored 19 goals and added 26 assists for 45 points in 39 games with a +9 plus/minus rating.
 
"Corey came in last season and fully took advantage of an opportunity. That says a lot about him as a person and competitor," Head Coach Rod Aldoff stated. "He was a big part of our success last season and I expect him to carry on this season from where he left off."
 
On top of a very productive regular season, he was a key component in the Ice Flyers' championship playoff run. In the 7 games it took to win the President's Cup, Banfield contributed 4 goals and 1 assist for 5 points with a +5 plus/minus rating including two goals in the cup-clinching game. He's very eager to come back and go for the team's third consecutive SPHL title. 
 
"I couldn't have asked for a better experience last season. I'm really looking forward to getting back and trying to win another championship," Banfield added. 

Ice Flyers add defenseman Phil Tesoriero

The Pensacola Ice Flyers have announced the signing of defenseman Phil Tesoriero. Tesoriero makes the fourth announced defenseman for the Ice Flyers' 2014 training camp roster.

The 5' 9", 161 lbs. native of Boulder, Colorado split his college career NCAA Division III University of Minnesota-Crookston and ACHA Davenport University, where he was a teammate of former Ice Flyers Adam Kuhn and Kevin Brojek during the 2010-11 season. Tesoriero spent the last two seasons playing for the Central Hockey League's Denver Cutthroats, including last season's run to the Ray Miron Cup final with former Ice Flyer goalie John Griggs. He appeared in 59 regular season games last year and had 7 assists, 34 penalty minutes, and an even plus/minus. In 16 playoff contests, he added 1 assist, 8 penalty minutes, and was a -3.

Given his size, I'd expect Tesoriero to posses fine defense skill and instincts as well as positioning since he lacks size to overpower opposing forwards. All the video I've found on him is of fights and he seems to have a bit of scrappiness to him but it is not his primary weapon (only 34 PIM). He doesn't bring much offense with him but head coach Rod Aldoff's scheme doesn't really call for it and there's already a decent amount of offensive presence on the back-end with the likes of Jeremy Gates and Drew Baker.

Tesoriero makes it 12 announced signees along with Drew Akins, Joe Bueltel, Keegan Flaherty, Mitchell Good, Brett Lutes, Adam Pawlick, Max Tardy, Baker, Gates, Cooper Rush, and Max Strang.

By Geoff Nichols

Drew Akins and Cooper Rush Sign with Ice Flyers

PENSACOLA, FL. (September 16, 2014) - The Pensacola Ice Flyers bring experienced forward Drew Akins and rookie defenseman Cooper Rush into their lineup for the 2014-15 season. 

At 5'11, 185 lbs, Minnesota native Akins is also a University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs hockey alumni along with Ice Flyers forwards Keegan Flaherty, Max Tardy and Head Coach Rod Aldoff. He was a member of the 2008-09 WCHA Conference Championship team, 2009-10 All-Academic team and was captain for the Bulldogs his senior year. Following NCAA Division I college hockey, Akins has played in the ECHL, CHL and is coming off a remarkable season in the Polish Elite League (19 goals, 17 assists with a +9 plus/minus rating in 37 games). 

"Drew is an experienced player who can bring not only work ethic to every shift, but skill as well," Aldoff stated. "He had a great season in the Polish Elite League where I believe he gained a tremendous amount of confidence in his game. He is a great person off the ice and I believe he will fit into our organization real well."

Standing at 6'6 and weighing 220 lbs, Rush is a big-bodied, Canadian defenseman originally from Burlington, Ontario. He has spent his past five seasons playing Junior "A" hockey between the CCHL, OJHL and BCHL where he had the most experience playing 90 games with 13 goals, 30 assists and 92 penalty minutes. He and coach Aldoff have previously crossed paths. 

"I was very impressed with Cooper when I coached him for a prospect game in junior," Aldoff commented. "He skates very well and plays all aspects of the game. He's a young guy starting his pro career, but I believe he will be a force out there as he grows with experience."