Crowder, Davis Sign With ECHL's Stockton Thunder
Sept. 8, 2009
STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Thunder, the proud ECHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League and Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League, has agreed to contract terms with rookie free agent right wings Scott Crowder and Chris Davis, Thunder head coach Matt Thomas announced today. Per club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Crowder and Davis, who were teammates in college at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (NCAA), increase the Thunder roster total to 15 players (ten forwards and five defensemen).
"Scott earned a reputation in college as a relentless forechecker and a good character guy for the dressing room," said Thomas. "The one thing I love about him is I'll never have to ask him to work hard. That role helps set an important tone for team chemistry."
Said Thomas of Davis, "Chris gives our hockey club another element of speed up front. Our goal in the offseason was to vastly improve our team speed and he helps strengthen our depth in that area. His quickness will help create scoring chances and our up-tempo style of play presents a terrific opportunity for him to develop as a professional."
Crowder, 24, makes the jump to the professional level after spending all four years (2005-09) of his college hockey at UMass, suiting up in 134 games while scoring 20 points (6g-14a) and adding 99 penalty minutes.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound forward appeared in a career-high 39 games as a 2006-07 sophomore and notched career-highs in points (6) and penalty minutes (31) the following season. Developing his game as a member of a prestigious hockey family, his father, Bruce played four seasons (1981-85) as a forward in the NHL with the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins and is currently an assistant coach at the AHL level with the Portland Pirates.
"I've heard many great things about Coach Thomas from a number of people in the hockey world, the most prominent statement made was that he is a 'players coach'," said Crowder. "I look forward to playing for Coach Thomas and proving myself at the next level in Stockton. I've also heard much about how Stockton has a ton of community support and coming from a university whose student body supported our program, it's exciting to play for a large, passionate fan base and playing for Stockton seems like it will be no different."
Davis, who turns 23 on September 10, was a teammate of Crowder for all four years with the Minutemen and suited up in 139 career games while notching 77 points (33g-44a) and 162 penalty minutes.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound native of Simsbury, Conn. achieved a career-high 23 points (6g-17a) and 17 assists as a 2007-08 junior. In his 2005-06 freshman campaign, Davis' nine goals placed third in the program and was a co-recipient of the program's Rookie of the Year award.
"I've been looking forward to playing for a successful team after enjoying a couple of winning seasons in college which made my decision to go to Stockton an easy one," said Davis. "I'm looking forward to coming to training camp in a city that has a huge amount of fan support, professionalism in the organization and a winning track record. It makes me excited to start the season as a member of the Thunder."
The Thunder returns to the ice for preseason play on Thursday, Oct. 8 against the Bakersfield Condors, starting at 7:00 p.m. at Stockton Arena. The 2009-10 season, the fifth-year anniversary for the team, launches on Friday, Oct. 16 at Qwest Arena against the Idaho Steelheads at 6:10 p.m. and the Thunder home opener is Friday, Oct. 23 against the Ontario Reign at 7:30 p.m. at Stockton Arena.
The Thunder was voted "Best Local Sports Team" by readers of the San Joaquin Magazine, has led the ECHL in attendance for four consecutive seasons and drew 223,854 fans to Stockton Arena in 2008-09. Season Tickets for 2009-10 are on sale now. For more information about tickets, merchandise, or other inquiries contact the Stockton Thunder offices at (209) 373-1500 or visit http://www.stocktonthunder.com/.
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