KH Sanok of the nine team Polish Hockey League is looking to defend their playoff championship in 2014-15. Recently added to the roster for the upcoming season are two Ontario Hockey League grads. Bryan Pitton and Justin DaCosta have both signed with the Sanok for one year.
Pitton played goal for three years in the OHL from 2005-06 to 2007-08, all with the Brampton Battalion. The local Brampton boy was drafted by the Battalion in the sixth round of the 2004 OHL Priority Selection, 106th overall. Two years later, the Edmonton Oilers made Bryan a fifth round pick at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, 133rd overall.
Bryan played his first pro game in 2007-08 with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL. Pitton appeared in just a single game with Springfield that season. He has been a full-time pro since 2008-09, appearing in the AHL, ECHL, the United Kingdom’s EIHL and the CHL.
This past season, Pitton played net for the Allen Americans in the Central Hockey League. The Americans captured the Ray Miron President’s Cup championship, beating the Denver Cutthroats in the finals, four games to one. Bryan played the bulk of the team’s games. His brother Jason Pitton also played 2013-14 in the CHL, with the Brampton Beast.
DaCosta played defense for four years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2002-03 to 2005-06 with the Barrie Colts, Owen Sound Attack and Mississauga IceDogs. Justin was a lowly 15th round pick by the Colts at the 2001 OHL Priority Selection, 288th overall. He was traded to the Attack nine games into the 2003-04 season. The following year, he was sent to the IceDogs after 23 games.
Undrafted to the National Hockey League, DaCosta played three years with the University of New Brunswick in the AUA. His first pro action came at the end of the 2008-09 season when he appeared in ten games with the Colorado Eagles during the Central Hockey League playoffs.
Over his pro career, Justin has played in the ECHL, IHL, CHL, AHL, France’s Ligue Magnus, Austria’s EBEL, Finland’s Mestis and the EIHL. In 2013-14, DaCosta played 49 games for the Fife Flyers in the EIHL, scoring seven and assisting on 27 for 34 points from the point. He served as Fife’s team captain.
Going by the full name of Ciarko PBS Bank KH Sanok, the franchise was founded in 1958 and plays home games at the 3,100 seat Arena Sanok, a venue that opened for business in 2006. In 2013-14, Sanok placed second in the nine team Polish Hockey League over the 48 game regular season schedule. Sanok came up against first seed GKS Tychy in the finals and won the playoff championship.
They were also crowned playoff champs two years ago in 2011-12. During the 2012-13 NHL lockout, OHL grad Wojtek Wolski played nine games for KH Sanok.
Sanok is located in the southeast corner of Poland near the borders with Slovakia and the Ukraine. The city has a population of around 40,000 inhabitants.