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Season Preview - "A" Division

SURREY GIANTS

    As reigning Fall season champs, the Giants are still considered the team to beat in the division. They return much of the same team that went 13-3-2 in the 2012/13 season. In his first full season in the league, Harp Kalkat lived up to some lofty expectations, leading the league with some astounding numbers (15-21-26-47), posted as a defensemen, no less. Simran Bhatti was also tearing up the league last year with 26 points in 10 games before an injury sidelined him for the second half of the season. The team has many other offensive weapons up front including Justin Matai, James Mowat and Vish Singh, to name a few. Other than Harp, the Giants have some other notable talent on the back end as well with Alex Bosma and Nathan Pangalia, the latter being one of the few new additions to the team. There have been some rumours of a few former Wolfpac players joining the club, but none showed up for the team's first game, at least. The team is very capable in net, returning the duo of Dave Lewis and Jas Basra, both of which are veteran keepers that put up strong numbers with the Giants last season. During their short time in the Northwest League, few have been able to down the Giants and they will go into this season as the top contenders again. Predicted Finish: 1st
 
Last 2 Regular Season Records Last 2 Playoffs
 Spring 2013: NA  NA
 2012/13: 13-3-2, 97 GF, 71 GA, +26 (1st)  Won Championship

PACIFIC JAGUARS

   The Jaguars have been quickly and successfully building a winner the past couple of seasons and were able to lay claim to the most recent "A" Division championship in the spring. This year they have added even more firepower with the addition of Marcel Lafortune to the lineup. His speed and talent are second to none and he will be another weapon on the powerplay. The Jags already boasted the deadly duo of Brenden Ham and Stan McClellan, both of whom tore it up during the team's playoff run. The club also boasts some solid secondary scoring in Mike Farrington, Mont Saran, and Graeme Spence, plus a few other talented individuals. Andy Hundhal has been hampered by injury recently, but at some point he will return and make the Jaguars offense that much more formidable. Mitch Miller will be offering his big shot from the point and Nameet Kumar is a valuable defensemen that can fit a variety of roles. Dean Salsnek and Mike Ireland are expected to handle the bulk of the goaltending duties, but look for young Harvy Takhar to be an emerging goaltending prospect. This team has some of the most skilled forwards ever assembled in the league, but there has been much discussion about the volatility of this particular collection of players. If this team can manage to keep its members on the same page, they will be tough to beat. Predicted Finish: 2nd
 
Last 2 Regular Season Records Last 2 Playoffs
 Spring 2013: 7-3-0, 64 GF, 52 GF, +12 (2nd)  Won Championship
 2012/13: 13-5-0, 87 GF, 53 GA, +34 ("B"- 2nd)  Lost "B" Final to Crooks

SURREY THRASHERS

   The Surrey Thrashers have been in need of a little roster rejuvenation for the last few seasons, and that's exactly what they have received with the surprise addition of four Slovakian all-stars to the lineup this season. Three of them are skilled forwards (Peter Findura, Marek Skosnik, and Michal Sellong), and the towering Peter Gajdos joins the already impressive defense corps that already has Jeff Heer and Jay Dove as annual N-dub Top Defensemen nominees. In addition to the Slovaks, the Thrashers have added Danny Vero (who was originally rumoured to be heading to the Jags) and Ryan Simonsen, another pair of skilled forwards. Including the usual offensive mainstays like Dave Fisher, Roy Cabrita, and Steve Mulholland, this is a pretty loaded team. Not to mention the fact that we have yet to see the season debuts of Sanjeev Haer and Zach Kelm yet. You get the point. Between the pipes the Thrashers have a pair of real veterans in Tony Ferreira and Bill Lundholm. Both are still capable of getting the job done, though they are definitely not spring chickens any more. After being just above the .500 mark in 2012/13, look for a big year from this Thrashers team that should at least challenge the Jags and Giants for one of the top two spots. Predicted Finish: 3rd
 
Last 2 Regular Season Records Last 2 Playoffs
 Spring 2013: 7-3-0, 61 GF, 42 GA, +19, (1st)  Lost in Final to Jaguars
 2012/13: 9-8-1, 86 GF, 80 GA, +6, (3rd)  Lost in Final to Giants

WEST COAST BULLIES

   While not as meteoric as the Jags' rise, the Bullies managed to get to .500 last fall in just their second year in a super stacked "A" division, which is an impressive feat. This team is built around arguably the best young goalie in the league in Cristian Campeanu. With the amount of talent spread throughout the various teams, he will face plenty of high quality chances this season and will need to give his team an opportunity to win. The team picked up the explosive Rajan Boparai last season and managed to get him back for another year along with the speedy Herman Sunner. The issue with both of these players is how much they will play, as their attendance record has been spotty throughout their Ndub careers, but when in the lineup they make for a dangerous duo. The team has actually lost some firepower this year as last season's club scoring leader, Mont Saran, has signed on with the Jags and, Jeremy Skinner, the Bullies heart and soul player, has been sidelined by injury. Bronson Cooper also finds himself on the shelf with back problems. It's not all bad news though as there is still a core group of young, talented players like Brad Crawford, Matt Lisson and now Matt's brother Brad. Daniel Barrett impressed in his first game and the team still has capable veterans like Nick McNicol and Blake Creamer to rely on. The back end looks solid with hard shooting Mike Antoniali and Kyle Wallace as well as a pair of real workhorses in Larry Mey and MJ Brown. This team is going to have to be successful with their trademark style of running teams into the ground with a vicious forecheck powered by three hard working lines. Predicted Finish: 4th
 
Last 2 Regular Season Records Last 2 Playoffs
 Spring 2013: NA  NA
 2012/13: 8-8-2, 87 GF, 77GA, +10 (4th)  Lost in Semifinal to Giants

MAINLAND EXECUTIONERS

   The Executioners definitely have the talent to succeed in this division, but the big question is whether they will be able to get a good enough turnout on a weekly basis. That has been their achilles heal for the past few seasons and the team has started 2013/14 with a couple of lean lineups as well. The Exec's have started to successfully work a pipeline with the Premier League's Valley Stars which has netted them a few decent prospects so far. Shane Khan is off to a great start with 5 points already, and will be looked upon to drive the offence all year. The Churchwell brothers, Dylan and Jesse add that killer speed element to the team, and Dylan's booming shot makes him a solid candidate to move back to defense when necessary. Players like Mike Bhayana, Ben Saggu, and Andy Saran must provide solid secondary scoring for the Executioners this year as we can once again look forward to a high scoring season in the "A" division. Lee Bryant and Craig Houle have yet to play in the first two weeks, but are presumably the main powerplay triggerman for this team on the point. Rick and Steve Tung continue their yeoman like service for this franchise on the blueline as well. Brad Anderson started the season for the team in goal, with Adam Butler possibly to see time in the Executioners net as well this year. Sean Kobierski also played well in a call-up, earning the win last week vs the Bullies. Of all the teams in the div this season, the Exec's have the most question marks at this point, hence their lower ranking, but if they can answer some of those questions the right way, they can definitely be a big factor in this season. Predicted Finish: 5th
 
Last 2 Regular Season Records Last 2 Playoffs
 Spring 2013: 7-3-0, 53 GF, 37 GA, +16 (3rd)  Lost in Semifinal to Jaguars
 2012/13: 7-10-1, 69 GF, 90 GF, -21 (5th)  Did Not Qualify







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