Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hunt Brings Thunder to Worcester

Stockton Thunder players Chris D'Alvise and Matt Jones were released from the AHL's Worcester Sharks training camp, per a press release on Worcester's site. The only remaining Thunder player still on the roster is left-winger, Garet Hunt.

Anyone who has seen the Thunder play knows who Garet Hunt is. His role on the team is to be a fighter, an enforcer. He's been voted Stockton Thunder's "Fan Favorite" the last two seasons. People love to watch him fight. Most of his opponents have a height advantage on Hunt, but he is no joke. His fists pummel his rival so fast they become a blur. He does have a lot of female fans swooning over his good looks-but my god, he's also got a mean game face. I sit near the penalty box and have had the pleasure of seeing Hunt give the "death stare" several times.

I don't want to say his role as the team's enforcer is diminishing, but this past '09-'10 season, I noticed that Hunt wasn't just doing a lot of fighting, he was all over the ice-blocking pucks, taking more shots on goal, and trying to create more scoring chances for his team.

Garet Hunt's stats from the '08-'09 season and the '09-'10 don't vary much. According to the statistics on the ECHL's website, in '08-'09 he played a total of 76 regular and playoff games, had 8 goals, 11 assists, and had 270 penalty minutes. In '09-'10 he played a total of 65 regular and playoff games, scored 8 goals, 9 assists, and had 223 penalty minutes.

These stats don't tell me much, it's watching Hunt active on the ice that I sense and see a lot of improvement with his speed and shooting. He works hard off the ice too. I've bumped into him at the gym several times and have seen his intense workouts. Watching his interviews and fights via Worcester's site, I see he's bulked up a lot more since last season.

I was happy to hear that he had been invited to the Worcester Sharks' training camp. He's been making an impression there. Although the Sharks lost the exhibition opener on 9/29/10 4-0 to the Providence Bruins, Garet Hunt had a short but spirited fight with Jack Christian.

Exhibition game number two on 10/01/10, versus the Stockton Thunder's previous AHL affiliate Springfield Falcons, went much more favorably. The final score was 2-1. And again, Hunt fought. But he also scored the game winning goal.

It's a fact of life that in the ECHL we see a lot of players come and go on a regular basis. Garet Hunt will be greatly missed if Worcester decides to keep him. But it's pretty awesome that he is getting a chance to show the AHL what an impact player he can be, and we wish him luck. He's a guy that's been working hard to move up and he deserves this chance.

-Written by Lyndall Mae-

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