Fayetteville, NC: Coach Jeff Bes was not happy after the Fayetteville FireAntz lost three straight including two at home, especially after opening up the season with three straight wins. A team sitting at .500 this early in the season is not a cause for alarm necessarily but Bes knew that changes needed to be made, particularly to the offensive side of the puck. So as the old saying goes, some FireAntz players were quickly placed on the “chopping block”, and Bes has made multiple moves this week to try to improve the FireAntz team and get them back to their winning ways. Below are the moves made by the FireAntz this week after the three-game slide.
This Week’s Transactions
11/7/16: FireAntz acquire forward Daniel Vernace from the Evansville Thunderbolts for future considerations. Vernace had scored four points in eight games so far this season for the Thunderbolts before being traded away.
11/8/16: FireAntz sign forward Justin Hussar and waive forwards Anton Lennartsson & Brett Mackie. Hussar played collegiate hockey at Division I Merrimack College from 2012-2016 and scored 30 points in 102 games played. Hussar started off this season with the Indy Fuel in the ECHL. Before being waived, Lennartsson had scored two points in four games played while Mackie had scored two points in six games with the Antz.
11/9/16: FireAntz acquire forward Chase Nieuwendyk from the Huntsville Havoc for future considerations. FireAntz waive forward Ryan Salkeld, who only had one point in six games played for Fayetteville so far this season. Nieuwendyk just came off IR and had only played in two games for the Havoc this season with no points. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because it is. He is the nephew of ex-NHL player Joe Nieuwendyk.
With all these moves, this means the FireAntz are going to look like a different team when they arrive in Southaven, Mississippi this weekend for two games against the Mississippi RiverKings. This could mean a newly motivated Antz team that comes out firing on all cylinders ready to bounce back and get a couple of wins on the road or this could end up with the Antz suffering from a lack of team chemistry and continued struggles.
This Weekend’s Games
11/11/16 Fayetteville FireAntz @ Mississippi RiverKings 7:30 CST
11/12/16 Fayetteville FireAntz @ Mississippi RiverKings 7:30 CST
- The FireAntz have a 1-1 record against the RiverKings this season having split back to back games at the Crown Coliseum two weeks ago.
- Forward Tayler Thompson leads the FireAntz in scoring with six points on the season and is tied for the lead with forward Chris Porter with three points in games versus the RiverKings this season.
- Goaltender Sean Bonar has played in all of Fayetteville’s games this season and has a 2.53 GAA and .902 saves percentage against the RiverKings this season.
- The FireAntz and the RiverKings both enter the weekend with records of 3-3 on the season.
- The RiverKings spread the scoring out in the first two games against the FireAntz this season as 11 different players registered at least a point.
Sin Bin FireAntz Predictions
11/11/16 – FireAntz 3 RiverKings 1: Antz come out highly motivated to get back in the win column and the new forwards provide a spark as they take the first game of the weekend.
11/12/16 – FireAntz 5 RiverKings 4: A more offensive game by both teams leads to a lot of goals scored and the FireAntz scoring a goal in OT to secure 4 points on the road for the weekend. The RiverKings salvage a point at home with the OT loss.