After a successful 2011/2012 season the Niagara IceDogs returned to the ice at the Jack Gatecliffe Arena for the home opener with the new roster! Returning favourites include Ryan Strome, the superstar forward who made waves in the NHL with his impressive stick handling, as well as Dougie Hamilton, Steven Shipley, Brett Richie and more. (The full roster is listed below this article.) But to kick off the season, four of the star players from last season’s team were brought out to celebrate the Bobby Orr Trophy won by the team with their Eastern Conference Championship and reveal the banners that celebrate the most successful year for the franchise since their move to Niagara.
Freddie Hamilton, Mark Visentin, Alex Friesen and the Captain, Andrew Aggozino were met with standing ovations and an overwhelmingly warm welcome. The torch was passed to Steven Shipley who is among the three players sporting an A on the jersey to indicate Assistant Captain. The new Captain is yet to be determined by the coaching staff and faithful IceDogs fans are waiting with great anticipation.
The team took the first game with the new goalie in net, and Festarini did not disappoint, stopping an impressive 27 shots. The final tally was 4-2 for the IceDogs with goals from Shipley, Sysala, DiFruscia and Wigle. With the season kicking off on a high note, fans will surely be flocking to the Jack for what is anticipated to be a big season for the team.
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Niagara IceDogs 2012/2013 Roster: