2008-09 Season


68 GP- 26 W- 31 L - 5 OTL - 6 SOL

4th in the Central Division - Won Conference Quarterfinals vs Ottawa (4-3) - Lost Conference Semifinals vs Belleville (4-1)

Back Row: Andrew Agozzino, Thomas Middup, Patrick Lee, David McMullan, Pete Dobbin (Athletic Therapist), Michael Hasson, Mathew Maione, Alex Friesen, Andrew Shaw

 

Middle Row: Dave Frizzell (Executive Vice President), Johnson Andrews, Dylan MacEachern, Zac Jones, Marc Insam, Mike Schwindt, Jay Gilbert, Freddie Hamilton, Kyle Steckley, Reggie Traccitto, Garry Buxton (Equipment Manager)

 

Front Row: Jeremy Smith, Mario Cicchillo (Head Coach), Dave Brown (GM), Mathew Sisca, Alex Pietrangelo, Bill Burke (Governor), Denise Burke (President), Drew Schiestel, Chris DeSousa, Paul Simpson (CFO), Mike McCourt (Assistant Coach), Mark Visentin

 

Year In Review:

The IceDogs began the 2008–09 season considerably younger than they ended the previous season. Veteran defensemen Josh Day and Scott Fletcher began the year at AHL training camps, but quickly were released and rejoined the IceDogs for the start of the season, overager Jason Bergeron was cut in training camp, and overager Mike MacIsaac was released a few games into the season. The core of the roster was made up of 16, 17, and 18 year olds.

On November 13 (21 games into the season) it was announced the St. Louis Blues were returning 4th overall selection Alex Pietrangelo to the Niagara IceDogs for an additional year of development at the junior level.He had played a total of eight games with St. Louis prior to being reassigned. On April 10, 2009, he was assigned to the Blues' top minor-league affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen in the American Hockey League.

The IceDogs hosted one of two Ontario games in the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge on November 22nd. The Challenge is a six-game series featuring top Canadian and Russian prospects that is televised nationally on SportsNet and seen as an important evaluation for the final selection of rosters for the World Junior (Under-20) tournament.The IceDogs were represented by draft-eligible forward Andrew Agozzino and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, while Coach Mario Cichillo was selected to serve as the team's assistant coach. The OHL squad won the game 3-2 in front of a sellout crowd. The winning goal was scored by Andrew Agozzino.

In December, forward Marco Insam represented Italy at the World Junior Championships ('B' Pool), while Pietrangelo was named to Canada's World Junior team, which won a fifth straight gold medal. The IceDogs were once again active at the trade deadline, acquiring Patrick Lee and former World Junior goalie and Nashville draft pick Jeremy Smith from Plymouth for three draft picks. The Dogs had previously traded defenseman Scott Fletcher to Plymouth for a draft pick, which was sent back to Plymouth as a part of the Smith trade. After acquiring Smith, the Dogs shipped goalie John Cullen to the Kingston for a draft pick. In two separate trades with divisional rivals Brampton, Niagara acquired Mike Hasson and two draft picks for Andrew Merrett, Josh Day, and a draft pick.

The IceDogs started the 2009 playoffs facing the Ottawa 67's in the Conference Quarterfinals. The Dogs came out strong winning the first game 5-3 thanks to outstanding goaltending by Jeremy Smith (GAA- 3.73, SP - 0.915). They battled through the back and forth series. They were finally rewarded with a game 7 win in OT, the winning goal was scored by Andrew Agozzino. In the Conference Semifinals the IceDogs faced the Belleville Bulls. After losing game 1 and 2 in OT the Dogs battled back to win game 3. They eventually lost to the Bulls in 5 games.

 

Leaders

Goals - Chris DeSousa (33)

Assists - Drew Schiestel (38)

PointsAndrew Agozzino (56)

Shutouts - Jeremy Smith & John Cullen (1)

GAA - John Cullen (3.61)