Tag Archives: Federal Hockey League

My Last Hockey Broadcasts of 2013-2014

 

Greetings readers,

 

For the first time in a long time, let’s talk sports.

 

As you might know, I’m the Play-by-Play Voice of the Dayton Demonz on both internet audio and video. The Demonz play in the four-team Federal Hockey League. Currently, we’re in the Commissioners’ Cup Championship round versus the Danbury Whalers from Connecticut. The series is tied up 2-2 in the Best of Five round, where Saturday (April 19th) will determine who will hoist the cup this year. Danbury is looking for their second cup in a row in their third trip to the Finals, whereas Dayton is looking for their first in their second trip. Last year, the Whalers swept Dayton 3-0 (2-0 at Hara Arena) for their first trophy.

Danbury won the first two games at the Danbury Ice Arena with a 3-2 OT decision and a 6-5 win to put the pressure on the Demonz. Before that, Dayton recently dispatched the Watertown Privateers in three games while the Whalers had a bye because of their regular season title. That set up two great games in Dayton, with the Demonz winning both and pushing a win-all Game 5 back in Connecticut. Here’s my broadcasts on those two Dayton wins:

Link to Game Three (Demonz won 3-2 in Overtime)

Link to Game Four (Demonz won 3-1)

I tell you, those were great hockey games. A battle of goalies and a battle of wits. As a play-by-play broadcaster still looking to make his mark on the field, this team has been a treat to call for the past two seasons. You might be thinking, sure it’s easy when your team is good and has went to two championships. No, I’m not talking about that. I’m more talking about the people that I dealt with the past two years. From the fans I got to talk with to the team themselves, these people have been fantastic to me and I couldn’t ask for much more. It’s fantastic to be a voice of a professional team.

Thank you all for listening/watching the Demonz this season. I appreciate all of you that tuned in!

Writing this post was fun. Let’s try it again sooner than six months, yes?

Until next time,

-Lee

A Fiery Pit of Ice – Dayton Demonz Hockey returns!

Greetings readers,

It’s hockey time again in Dayton! The Dayton Demonz are back on the ice for their second season in the Federal Hockey League. After falling just short of the FHL Commissioner’s Cup last year, the Demonz look to Hoist the Cup in 2013-2014.

As the play-by-play announcer, I’m excited for the season to continue on. I say continue, as the Demonz have played in two games already (with the third game tonight on Nov. 8th.) Dayton is 2-0 on the season, having won 9-2 in Danville, Illinois and 11-2 at home versus the Dashers. Tonight, we have the defending champion Danbury Whalers coming into town.

The Demonz are now lead by Head Coach Trevor Karasiewicz, a former Dayton Demon from last season, in his first ever coaching job. Assistant Coach Jack Collins also returns to the Demonz.

There are five returning players from the 2012-13 squad, including Jesse Felten, Ahmed Mahfouz (or FOOOOOOOOOOOUZ if you’re in Hara Arena), Tim Recio, Brian Marks, and goalie Tony Tabisz (a Kettering, Ohio native.)

Some of the newcomers include Dayton-native Lee McClure, who was a member of the Danville Dashers before making a jump into the Southern Professional Hockey League. Also new to this squad is Wehebe Darge, an Australian native, playing his first season in professional hockey. We also have “The Amazing Race (season 22)” winner in Anthony Battaglia as the Captain, ECHL journeyman Shaun Fisher, and many more additions to the team.

The entire roster can be viewed here.

With only three other teams in the Federal Hockey League this year, the whole goal is stability. We need these four franchises to stay together. I personally think it will, although the task at hand is not easy. What makes these teams special is the fanbases. I know people here in Dayton love them some hockey (seeing as I am a Daytonian, I can say that with some authority.) The Danbury Whalers have the most passionate fanbase in the league,and the Danville Dasher fans packed the house in their only home game of the season thusfar. I also see the Watertown Privateer fans/boosters sharing a lot of information on various FHL groups as well.

This year, the Demonz are doing more for the fans. There’s more events, more give-aways. I think we’ll see more people through those Hara gates this season.

As the broadcaster, I feel like this season is going to be special. I’d love for you, the reader, to join me on the trip. While I’m only back for the home games (because of my job and the need to continue to receive income), I’ll have the call of all the games at Hara Arena.

If you’d like to watch the action, come down to Hara Arena (where tickets are between $7.50-$12.50) or watch the game live on LiveSportsVideo (the fee is $6.00.) If you’re more the radio type, we have an audio feed for free on the Gem City Sports Network (and the games are archived there, too.)

This 2013-2014 season already feels special. We still got a lot of hockey to play, though!

Let’s play catch-up soon, readers.

Until next time,

-Lee

 

Wranglin’ Up Outlaws

Greetings readers,

The Williamsport Outlaws are no more.

Sitting in second place in the Federal Hockey League behind the Dayton Demonz, the Outlaws shut it down after cancelling their final home game.

If you didn’t know, this Williamsport team played outdoors at Airmen Pond at Bowman Field. The temporary rink was built on the first base line of the baseball field, which the Williamsport Crosscutters call home.

If you read the article in the Williamsport Sun-Times, you’ll see the mayor wanted hockey to work here. It did in the beginning, but once the cold weather hit Middle Pennsylvania, the numbers started to dwindle down.

When the team folded, the Outlaws still owed money and Bowman Field still needs restoring for the baseball team.

After the dust has settled somewhat, the league has decided to fix the schedules, so whoever faced Williamsport would not be out of a home game. The new Outlaws squad, which is a travel team now, will play three games at Danbury, CT. The Outlaws, now named Pennsylvania, lost 7-1 on January 16th at Danville, IL. The Dayton Demonz were supposed to play this Outlaws squad, but the league flip-flopped it around in the 1st Place team’s favor.

This is the second team a team has called it quits. The Cape Cod Bluefins struggled before becoming the New York Bluefins. So far, New York has played one home game after finding a place to skate and play. The only difference is after the Outlaws play these final three road games, that’s it.

Some of the former Williamsport Outlaws have found homes in other leagues or have decided to stay put in the FHL. Trevor Karasiewicz and Tim Recio are the newest members of the Dayton Demonz, for example.

It’s a shame any team folds and when the players truly lose. When the players try to follow their dreams, having a team shutter down can be nerve-wrecking. Hopefully, all these former Outlaws can continue to play hockey.

For the Demonz, there was only one more game at home against Williamsport (not counting the 1/26 game.) That game has now been replaced with the New York Bluefins.

If you look in the Facebook groups for the Federal Hockey League (there’s two that I’m a part of), people are furious and sad about the Outlaw demise. People throw into question about the future of the hockey league.

My personal thoughts are that while while the league is hurting and the act of losing teams mid-season/after the season is nothing new (I spy the Vermont Wild, the Broome County Barons, and the Akwesasne Warriors), I think with the right business plans in place, you can have solid teams play hockey. I believe the Danbury Whalers have been in the league since the inception and the Connecticut town still has hockey. With the right plan in place, this league can be very successful.

Just remember, if the fans and the players lose, the league loses too.

Sources of information the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, News Times (owned by Hearst), and the Federal Hockey League. Picture from the Federal Hockey League.

Until next time,

-Lee