The Quad City Storm took to the ice for training camp this week ahead of the home opener on October 25.
The Storm are coming off of an 18-33-1 campaign in their inaugural season, but the confidence is high amongst the group as they get ready for year two.
“A lot of the guys were talking about it and saying ‘wow, we got actually a pretty good team here’, so we’re excited to see what’s gonna happen,” said returning forward Shane Bennett. “We’re gonna be bringing back a good core. I mean we already got some chemistry going there, so just gonna keep it rolling and see how it goes.”
Returning goaltender Peter Di Salvo agrees. “Despite not making the playoffs last year we’re still probably one of the toughest teams to play against with our physicality out there. So we just got to keep that up and make sure we’re making the smart plays out there every night.”
With an even mix of returners and offseason acquisitions, head coach Dave Pszenyczny says this team has the pieces for a turnaround this season.
“I actually have 15 returners now from last season,” Pszenyczny said. “For them to come back with some familiarity to our fans I think that’s huge, but also with the additions that we’ve brought in over the summer that’s the pieces that we were missing last season to kind of get us over the hump.” 15
One of those additions is forward John Schiavo. He says he’s looking forward to helping lead the Storm to the SPHL mountaintop after winning a title with Huntsville last year.
“At the end of the season they were playing their best hockey, so it took a little bit of working out in the beginning with the kinks, because I played [the Storm] a lot last season,” said Schiavo. “But at the end they were flying and getting together as a group, so i think half those guys come back and bring in some new guys. I think that’s the best way for success.”
After dropping a staggering 17 games by just one goal, the Storm say they’ll be ready for those situations this season.
“This year I think everyone’s mentally and physically prepared for that,” said Di Salvo. “So we’re not going to give up those easy chances that cost us goals last year.”
“Guys in the room are jumping up and down getting ready for this one, but the practices have been really high-paced,” added Schiavo. “And I think that’s what you want to start and then when you get into the games it gets a little bit easier, so it’s gonna be exciting for the home opener.”