For 2015-16, the Manchester Storm replace the Hull Stingrays in the U.K.’s EIHL. The Storm are making it easy for their fans by only choosing players named Matt. Well, maybe not the whole roster but so far there are four Matts on the squad, three of them are Ontario Hockey League grads. All three are signed just for the 2015-16 season.
Caria played four years in the OHL from 2005-06 to 2008-09 with the Majors, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Plymouth Whalers. Matt was a sixth round pick by the Majors at the 2004 OHL Priority Selection, 118th overall.
Matt quietly put up better than point per game numbers over his four years, finishing his OHL career with 257 points in 239 regular season games on 99 goals and 158 assists. In the playoffs, he continued the trend with 32 points in 29 games.
Undrafted to the National Hockey League, Caria spent four years at Lakehead University before turning pro. His past two years have been spent with the Kalamazoo Wings in the ECHL. He was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team in 2013-14 and put up seasons of 24 and 25 goals.
Paton played in the Ontario Hockey League for four years from 2007-08 to 2010-11, all with the Erie Otters. Matt was a seventh round pick by the Otters at the 2007 OHL Priority Selection, 121st overall.
Also undrafted to the NHL, Paton went the route of higher education as well, playing four years with Nipissing University. His first taste of pro hockey came at the end of the 2014-15 season when he joined up with the Knoxville Ice Bears in the SPHL.
Matt played ten regular season games with the Ice Bears, scoring five and assisting on two. In the playoffs, he played seven games and added three points as Knoxville won the President’s Cup championship with a win over the Mississippi RiverKings in the finals.
Sisca played four years in the OHL, the same four as Matthew Paton. Over his junior career, Sisca played for the Niagara IceDogs, Guelph Storm and Saginaw Spirit. Originally, he was an eighth round pick by the Mississauga IceDogs at the 2006 OHL Priority Selection, 143rd overall. Mathew put up decent numbers over his career with 71 goals and 101 assists for 172 points over 241 regular season games. He added 22 points over 34 playoff games.
Undrafted to the NHL, Sisca has played pro hockey since 2011-12 in the ECHL and Austria’s EBEL. Like Caria, he was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team. For Mathew, it was in 2011-12. This past season, he played for HC Bolzano in the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga, appearing in 34 games and totalling eight points.
For the Storm, 2015-16 will be their first year in the EIHL. The team joined the league after the Hull Stingrays withdrew following the 2014-15 campaign. Manchester will play home games at the Altrincham Ice Dome in Altrincham, England, a 2,200 seat venue that opened in 2007.
Altrincham has a population around 45,000 and is part of Trafford. Trafford, in turn, is located on the southern edge of the Greater Manchester Area. Greater Manchester has some 2.7 million souls within its borders.