Head Coach: The dean of all SPHL coaches, Jerome Bechard begins his 13th year as the Snakes Head Coach and General Manager. This year also marks his 21st consecutive season with the Cottonmouths organization, going back to the team’s Central Hockey League days.

Captain: Kyle Johnson is back for his second year as Captain, and his 4th year playing.

Last Season: Columbus went 19-29-8 last season, finishing last in the SPHL, and missed the postseason for the first time in the franchise’s SPHL history.

2015-16 Season Summary – The Snakes had a dismal year. Injuries and ECHL call-ups were factors, including the lengthy suspension of Craig Simchuk. “We couldn’t get any
traction. We were a very easy team to play against,” Coach Bechard stated. “We
didn’t play Cottonmouth style, which is aggressive and physical.”

Hot or Not?

NOT. With missed passes, almost no communication on the ice, the Snakes couldn’t connect. Everyone that was on the team last year knows it was a bad year, why beat a dead horse…isn’t that the saying? The Snakes will lean on their goaltending again with returning rookie sensation Brandon Jaeger and new netminder Alex Larson.

Who’s Back?

  • D Kyle Johnson – The big defenseman went from a +23 to a -25 over the past two seasons.
  • F Andy Bathgate – Led all Snakes scorers with 39 points (7G/32A).
  • G Brandon Jaeger – Named to the SPHL All-Rookie team last season, Jaeger was one of the lone bright spots of last season. Compiled a 14-16-3 record with a 2.78 GAA and a .920 SV%.

Who’s Through?

  • F Shawn Bates – The speedy forward landed an ECHL gig with the Tulsa Oilers.
  • D Louis Belisle – Signed with the Pensacola Ice Flyers over the summer.
  • G Shannon Szabados – The league’s highest-profile player signed with the Peoria Rivermen, and survived a competitive five-man training camp battle.

Who’s New?

  • LW Jonathan Turk – Played four seasons of NCAA Division 1 hockey at the University of Vermont.
  • LW Keegan Bruce – Scored 15 goals and 19 assists in 26 games during his senior year at D3 St. Scholastica (MN).
  • D Cody Castro – The 6’3″, 215 lb. blueliner looks to be a big, physical prospect for the Snakes.

Movin’ On Up

Jaeger. The netminder had a brief call-up to the ECHL Orlando Solar Bears last season and could wind up in AA hockey before the end of the season.

Sin Bin Swami Says…  I’m going to say that the Snakes come out ready to strike! You like what I did there? Anyway, I think coming from the bottom…there is only one way to go… UP!

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