2009-10 Amarillo Gorillas Feature 4 OHL Grads

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amarillo gorillas chl hockey logoI’m not sure how many Gorillas there are in Amarillo, Texas but, for sure, there was an Otter, IceDog and Bull on the ice in North Texas this past hockey season.

There were four Ontario Hockey League Alumni on the Central Hockey League’s Amarillo Gorillas in 2009-10. Unfortunately, they couldn’t help the team out of last place in CHL’s Southern Division.

Click on the names below to view each players profile page on the Amarillo Gorillas website.

Joe Guenther played two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, 2000-01 and 2001-02. In his first season, Joe played all 68 games for the Erie Otters, contributing 66 points. In his second season, he was traded after 5 games to the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors where he added 44 points in 44 games.

Guenther’s professional hockey career has taken him to nine different teams over eight season, all in either the CHL or ECHL. Stability has found Joe in Amarillo. He has just finished his second consecutive season with the team. He had played for the Gorillas for a portion of the 2005-06 season, as well.

Andrew Smale played just one season in the OHL, 2001-02 with the Mississauga IceDogs. That season, he played on the blueline for all the team’s 68 regular season games. After junior, Smale had a four year stint in the Canadian university system with University of Toronto. This is his fourth season in the CHL, his first with Amarillo after three with the New Mexico Scorpions.

Neil Smith played two partial seasons in the OHL with the Belleville Bulls, 2001-02 and 2002-03. He went on to play two seasons in the QMJHL with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles before a three year university career with Dalhousie. 2009-10 was Neil’s second season with the Gorillas.

Mike Brown tended goal in the OHL for three seasons from 2002-03 to 2004-05. His first two and a half seasons were with the Saginaw Spirit before being trading midway through his final season to the Owen Sound Attack. Brown is the only one of the four OHL grads on the Gorillas to have been drafted by an NHL club. Mike was taken in the 5th round, 153rd overall, by the Boston Bruins in the 2003 draft. Brown has guarded between the pipes for eight different teams over his five year professional career, including teams in the ECHL, AHL, Germany’s Bundesliga and the CHL.

Check out these previous posts on OHL grads playing in the Central Hockey League:

Jeff Bes of the Laredo Bucks

Colt King of the Rapid City Rush

Ryan Held of the Mississippi RiverKings

Don’t forget to try out your OHL Trivia skills at OHL Alumni Central before May 31, 2010


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