Green Bay Gamblers

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Green Bay Gamblers
Green Bay Gamblers Logo.svg
City Green Bay, Wisconsin
League USHL
Division East
Founded 1994
Home arena Resch Center
Colors

Black, Gold, White

              
Owner(s) PMI Entertainment Group
General manager Pat Mikesch (2014-15)
Head coach Pat Mikesch (2014-15)
Franchise history
1994–present Green Bay Gamblers

The Green Bay Gamblers are a Tier 1 junior ice hockey team in the East Division of the United States Hockey League. They play in Green Bay, Wisconsin, at the Resch Center.

History[edit]

Early History of Hockey in Green Bay[edit]

The history of organized hockey in Green Bay has been dated as far back as 1916 when the first regular amateur hockey team in Green Bay started playing games on the Fox River against a similar team from De Pere.[1] The team only ever palyed games against the team from De Pere and in 1917 the team broke up when the First World War broke out. Organized hockey resumed in 1919 when the Green Bay Skating Club was formed and six team hockey league was created. All six teams were based in Green Bay and all games were played outdoors at Legion Park. Five of the teams were named after local business including The Northern Paper Mills and The Press Gazette Seven.[1] The one exception was The Overlands, who were named after the Overland Automobile. The league lasted for two years with the Northern Paper Mills dominating both years and only losing once to the Press Gazette Seven.[1] The Press Gazette Seven were also notable for once playing a game that ened after six overtimes in a 0-0 draw.[1] Another notable moment in Green Bay hockey history is when a local club challanged the University of Wisconsin varsity hockey team to a two game set in Green Bay. The Badgers won the first game, which was played in temperatures as low as 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, with of score of 3-2. The also won the second game, which was played in thawing conditions, with a score of 1-0.[1] Conditions like these were normal and up until 1958, all hockey games in Green Bay were played outdoors. The first notable team to play in Green Bay was the Green Bay Hornets, an amateur team founded in 1947.[1]

Green Bay Bobcats[edit]

The first professional hockey team to be based in Green Bay was the Green Bay Bobcats who started playing in 1958 when the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena was built. There is some confusion over what league the team played in during its early years or if the team played in multiple leagues. Some sources cite that the Bobcats played in the U.S. Central Hockey League, a predecessor to the current United States Hockey League (USHL). Other sources claim that the Bobcats did not start playing in the USCHL until 1961. Still other sources have claimed that the team was an independent team during its early years and therefore not formally part of any league. However, there are multiple clippings from Green Bay newspapers and Bobcat game programs from 1958 and 1959 claiming that the Bobcats played the 1958-1959 hockey season primarily in the Mid-America Hockey League, a Midwestern based semi-professional hockey league, however the team played multiple games against teams that were outside of this league as well.[1] Little is known about the Mid-America Hockey League except that the 1958-1959 season was contested by five teams, the Green Bay Bobcats, the Marquette Sentinels, the Portage Lake Pioneers, and two other teams from Sault St. Marie and Calumet and each team played 24 games over the course of the season. [1]

The first Green Bay Bobcats practice ever held was on November 1st, 1958. The first game played by the team was on November 29th 1958, at the Brown County Arena against Calumet. The final game played by the team that season was an away game against the Michigan Soo on March 1st, 1959.[1]

During the season the Bobcats had posted an overall record of 27 wins, 14 losses, and 1 tie and a 16-7-1 record in Mid-America Hockey League play, which was good enough for second in the standings behind the Marquette Sentinels. However, the Bobcats swept the Sentinels in 3 games in the playoff finals to win the Gibson Cup in their very first year of play.[1][2]

The Bobcats or “The Cats”, as they were affectionately called, played the 1959-1960 season in the United States Central Hockey League (which would become the USHL one year later) posting an overall record of 40 wins and 8 losses[1] on their way to winning the USCHL Championship[3] in their first year of play in the league and giving the club two championships in their first two years of play.

The Bobcats would repeat as the USHL Champions in 1963 and again in 1972. Other notable moments in Bobcats history includes the team winning the 1965 Senior National Crown,[1] playing an exhibition game in 1966 against the Chicago Blackhawks in Green Bay (a game the Bobcats lost 11-1),[1] and representing the United States at the 1969 World Ice Hockey Championships in Stockholm Sweden.[1]

The Green Bay Bobcats franchise folded after the 1980-1981 season and 23 years of play. However, since the 2008-2009 season the Green Bay Gamblers have used a yellow bobcat prominently in the teams logo as well as having a bobcat by the name of “Ace” as the teams mascot. Between the two franchises, Green Bay has 7 USHL Championships (1960, 1963, 1972, 1996, 2000, 2010, and 2012), at least 3 National titles (1965, 1996, and 1997), and 1 Mid-America Hockey League Championship (1959).

Green Bay Gamblers[edit]

Since their inception into the United States Hockey League in 1994 the Green Bay Gamblers have been one of the premiere junior "A" hockey franchises in all of North America. To their credit the Gamblers have won two Junior A, Tier 2 National Championships (Gold Cups in 1996 and 1997), five Anderson Cups (1996, 1997, 2009, 2010, and 2012), four Clark Cups (1996, 2000, 2010, and 2012), four USHL Eastern Division titles, and one USHL Northern Division title. Since the USHL became Tier 1 in 2002, the Clark Cup also represents that level's national championship.

Accomplishments[edit]

20 players selected in the NHL Entry Draft

100 future, current, and former NCAA Division I players

19 alumni playing professional hockey

Along with the team championships, the Gamblers have also had a great deal of success in moving their players onto the next level. At the collegiate level, over 100 players whom the Gamblers logo has adorned have received collegiate scholarships. Professionally, the Gamblers are also a household name, as 20 of their players have been selected in the annual National Hockey League Entry Draft.

In 2002, no other junior hockey team in North America had more players selected in the NHL Entry Draft. In that draft Green Bay had six players selected, five of whom played together on the 2001-02 squad. The Gamblers duplicated their success at the draft in 2005, when six players were selected, including Blake Wheeler who was taken with the 5th overall pick by the Phoenix Coyotes.

Another entity that makes the Gamblers one of the premiere junior programs is their facility, the Resch Center. Arguably the best junior hockey facility in North America, the Resch Center opened its doors in 2002 and seats 8,800 for hockey.

With the team championships, players movement to the next level, and a grade “A” facility, the Green Bay Gamblers are a glowing example of why the USHL is the top Tier 1 hockey league in the United States.

Alumni[edit]

Professionals[edit]

Source[4]

Last Name, First Name USHL Team(s) Professional Team (Professional League)
Anderson, Rob North Iowa/Green Bay Pee Dee (ECHL)
Babin, Noah Green Bay Albany (AHL)
Baby, Stephen Green Bay Springfield (AHL)
Baraniuk, Jesse Thunder Bay/Green Bay Pensacola (ECHL)
Blair, Scott Green Bay Mississippi (ECHL)
Boeser, Dan Green Bay Milwaukee (AHL)
Braun, Justin Green Bay San Jose (NHL)
Brooks, Alex Green Bay New Jersey (NHL)
Burish, Adam Green Bay San Jose (NHL)
Canzanello, Andy Green Bay Syracuse (AHL)
Carter, Ryan Green Bay New Jersey(NHL)
Cermak, Peter Dubuque/Green Bay Hershey (AHL)
Christiansen, Doug Green Bay Manchester (AHL)
Conklin, Ty Green Bay St. Louis (NHL)
Contois, Andy Green Bay Stockton (ECHL)
Crabb, Joey Green Bay Toronto (NHL)
Cummings, Brian Green Bay Lowell (AHL)
Dehner, Jeremy Green Bay Jokerit (Finland) (Europe)
Dejdar, Marian Green Bay Bremerhaven (Germany) (Europe)
Eichelberger, John Green Bay South Carolina (ECHL)
Engel, Josh Green Bay Toronto (AHL)
Engelhardt, Brett Green Bay Grand Rapids (AHL)
Finger, Jeff Green Bay Toronto (AHL)
Fox, Aaron Green Bay Richmond (ECHL)
Golden, Matt Green Bay Peoria (ECHL)
Gordon, Heath Green Bay Wheeling (ECHL)
Granato, Kevin Green Bay Peoria (ECHL)
Greene, Matt Green Bay Los Angeles Kings (NHL)
Gruden, Luke Green Bay Peoria (ECHL)
Guenin, Nate Green Bay Springfield (AHL)
Hammond, Brett Green Bay Fresno (ECHL)
Harper, Mike Green Bay Port Huron (UHL)
Hartman, John Green Bay Motor City (UHL)
Higgins, Nate Green Bay Port Huron (IHL)
Hill, Ed Green Bay Peoria (AHL)
Johnson, Josh Green Bay South Carolina (ECHL)
Johnson, Matt Green Bay Augusta (ECHL)
Jones, Matt Green Bay Phoenix (NHL)
Lee, Anders Green Bay New York Islanders (NHL)
Lush, Tristan Green Bay Mississippi (ECHL)
Lynch, Chris Green Bay Bridgeport (AHL)
Mason, Bob Green Bay (Bobcats) Vancouver (NHL)
Miskovich, Aaron Green Bay Hershey (AHL)
Notermann, Jason Green Bay Milwaukee (AHL)
O'Neill, Wes Green Bay Bridgeport (AHL)
Penko, Jure Green Bay Cincinnati (ECHL)
Pfligler, Eric Green Bay/Chicago Odessa (CHL)
Preissing, Tom Green Bay Karpat (SM-Liga)
Pugliese, Billy Green Bay Muskegon (UHL)
Seidel, Eric Green Bay Elmira (UHL)
Sevela, Peter Green Bay Zvolen (Slovakia) (Europe)
Sinisalo, Tomas Green Bay Blues (Finland) (Europe)
Smith, Aaron Green Bay Wheeling (ECHL)
Stapleton, Tim Green Bay Atlanta (NHL)
Stauffacher, Chad Green Bay Peoria (ECHL)
Stauffacher, Luke Green Bay Fresno (ECHL)
Steward, Dallas Green Bay Pensacola (ECHL)
Syroczynski, Matt Green Bay Cincinnati (ECHL)
Taylor, Jake Green Bay Oklahoma City (AHL)
Thorp, Ernie Green Bay/Sioux City Rockford (UHL)
Vanderboom, Scott Green Bay Springfield (All American Hockey League)
Welch, Kevin Green Bay Dayton (ECHL)
Wheeler, Blake Green Bay Winnipeg (NHL)
Wilson, Avery Green Bay Cincinnati (ECHL)
Zasowski, Tony Green Bay/Omaha Dayton (ECHL)
Ziedins, Maris Green Bay Stockton (ECHL)
Zwiers, Scott Green Bay Fayetteville (SPHL)

NHL[edit]

21 Gamblers alumni have appeared in the NHL: Ty Conklin, Matt Jones, Matt Greene, Jeff Finger, Alex Brooks, Nate Guenin, Adam Burish, Joey Crabb, Blake Wheeler, Ryan Carter, Tim Stapleton, Wes O'Neill, Michael Forney, Victor Oreskovich, Tom Preissing, Sean Backman, Eric Gryba, Mike Sislo, Stu Bickel, Justin Braun, and Anders Lee. (Note: Bob Mason played for the Green Bay Bobcats, not the Gamblers.)

Three alums have won the Stanley Cup a total of four times: Carter with the Anaheim Ducks (2007) and Burish with the Chicago Blackhawks (2010) and Matt Greene with Los Angeles in 2012 and 2014.

On March 25, 2013, former Gamblers head coach Jon Cooper was named the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning.[5] He is the first USHL coaching alum to lead an NHL team.

Olympians[edit]

Maris Ziedens appeared in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, played in Turin, Italy, for his native Latvia. Latvia finished 12th.

Blake Wheeler was selected to the Team USA roster for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, in Sochi, Russia. [6]

NCAA champions[edit]

Gamblers alumni have played on multiple NCAA men's hockey national champions teams:

2014: Patrick McCadden and Tony Kujava with St. Norbert College (D3). Ryan Peterson, assistant coach

2013: Mitch Witek with Yale (D1)

2011: Aaron Crandall and Keegan Flaherty with Minnesota-Duluth (D1)

2011: Brandon Longley and Nick Tabisz with St. Norbert College (D3)

2009: Eric Gryba with Boston University (D1)

2008: Brandon Longley, Ryan Petersen, and Nick Tabisz with St. Norbert College (D3)

2006: Adam Burish, A.J. Degenhardt, Josh Engel, and Kyle Klubertanz with Wisconsin (D1)

2003: Judd Stevens with Minnesota (D1)

2002: Judd Stevens with Minnesota (D1)

2000: Jason Notermann with North Dakota (D1)

Hobey Baker Award candidates[edit]

While no Gamblers alumni have won Hobey Baker Award (presented annually to college hockey's best player), several have been one of ten finalists. They include: Adam Wilcox, Minnesota, 2014; Austin Czarnik, Miami, 2013; Zane Kalemba, Princeton, 2009; Eric Ehn, Air Force, 2008; Ty Conklin, New Hampshire, 2000 and 2001.

Roster[edit]

As of October 25, 2012.[7]

# S/P/C Player Pos Ht Wt DoB Hometown Previous team College commitment
4 California !California Kirk, BrandonBrandon Kirk 2.0 !D 74 !6' 2" 195 lb 8012 !1992-11-24 California !La Verne, California !La Verne, California Midget AAA !Colorado Rampage U18 (Midget AAA !Colorado Rampage U18 (Midget AAA !Midget AAA) Dartmouth !Dartmouth
5 Colorado !Colorado Olofsson, GustavGustav Olofsson 2.0 !D 74 !6' 2" 189 lb 7275 !1994-12-01 Colorado !Broomfield, Colorado !Broomfield, Colorado Midget AAA !Colorado Thunderbirds U18 (Midget AAA !Colorado Thunderbirds U18 (Midget AAA !Midget AAA) Colorado College !Colorado College
7 Michigan !Michigan Schilkey, NicholasNicholas Schilkey 3.0 !F 70 !5' 10" 175 lb 7478 !1994-05-12 Michigan !Smiths Creek, Michigan !Smiths Creek, Michigan Midget AAA !Honeybaked U18 (Midget AAA !Honeybaked U18 (Midget AAA !Midget AAA) Ohio State !Ohio State
8 Michigan !Michigan Dries, SheldonSheldon Dries 3.0 !F 70 !5' 10" 168 lb 7497 !1994-04-23 Michigan !Macomb, Michigan !Macomb, Michigan Midget AAA !Belle Tire U18 (Midget AAA !Belle Tire U18 (Midget AAA !Midget AAA) Western Michigan !Western Michigan
9 Wisconsin !Wisconsin Schmaltz, NickNick Schmaltz 3.0 !F 71 !5' 11" 170 lb 6826 !1996-02-23 Wisconsin !Verona, Wisconsin !Verona, Wisconsin Midget AAA !Chicago Mission U16 (Midget AAA !Chicago Mission U16 (Midget AAA !Midget AAA) North Dakota !North Dakota
11 Minnesota !Minnesota Olson, TrevorTrevor Olson 3.0 !F 74 !6' 2" 190 lb 7649 !1993-11-22 Minnesota !Duluth, Minnesota !Duluth, Minnesota USHS-MN !Duluth East (USHS-MN !Duluth East (USHS–MN !USHS–MN) ZZZZ !None
12 Illinois !Illinois Chatham, KyleKyle Chatham 2.0 !D 75 !6' 3" 205 lb 7927 !1993-02-17 Illinois !Belleville, Illinois !Belleville, Illinois Midget AAA !St. Louis Amateur Blues U18 (Midget AAA !St. Louis Amateur Blues U18 (Midget AAA !Midget AAA) ZZZZ !None
14 Ohio !Ohio Irwin, KevinKevin Irwin 3.0 !F 72 !6' 0" 175 lb 7785 !1993-07-09 Ohio !Hinckley, Ohio !Hinckley, Ohio USHL !Des Moines (USHL !Des Moines (United States Hockey League !USHL) Ohio State !Ohio State
16 New Jersey !New Jersey Weis, MatthewMatthew Weis 3.0 !F 71 !5' 11" 186 lb 7102 !1995-05-23 New Jersey !Madison, New Jersey !Madison, New Jersey NAHL !Corpus Christi (NAHL !Corpus Christi (North American Hockey League !NAHL) Ohio State !Ohio State
17 Minnesota !Minnesota Weberg, SebastianSebastian Weberg 3.0 !F 67 !5' 7" 150 lb 7633 !1993-12-08 Minnesota !Faribault, Minnesota !Faribault, Minnesota Midget AAA !Shattuck-St. Mary's (Midget AAA !Shattuck-St. Mary's (Midget AAA !Midget AAA) ZZZZ !None
20 Michigan !Michigan Wolanin, ChristianChristian Wolanin 2.0 !D 73 !6' 1" 175 lb 7169 !1995-03-17 Michigan !Rochester, Michigan !Rochester, Michigan Midget AAA !Little Caesars U18 (Midget AAA !Little Caesars U18 (Midget AAA !Midget AAA) ZZZZ !None
22 Arizona !Arizona Lemieux, BrendanBrendan Lemieux 3.0 !F 72 !6' 0" 190 lb 6805 !1996-03-15 Arizona !Phoenix, Arizona !Phoenix, Arizona Midget AAA !Toronto Red Wings (Midget AAA !Toronto Red Wings (Midget AAA !Midget AAA) North Dakota !North Dakota
23 Minnesota !Minnesota Gross, JordanJordan Gross 2.0 !D 71 !5' 11" 175 lb 7116 !1995-05-09 Minnesota !Maple Grove, Minnesota !Maple Grove, Minnesota USHS-MN !Maple Grove (USHS-MN !Maple Grove (USHS–MN !USHS–MN) Notre Dame !Notre Dame
24 California !California Siroky, RyanRyan Siroky 3.0 !F 72 !6' 0" 200 lb 7211 !1995-02-03 California !Manhattan Beach, California !Manhattan Beach, California Midget AAA !L.A. Jr. Kings U16 (Midget AAA !L.A. Jr. Kings U16 (Midget AAA !Midget AAA) Miami !Miami
25 Iowa !Iowa Nong-Lambert, WillemWillem Nong-Lambert 3.0 !F 72 !6' 0" 190 lb 7541 !1994-03-10 Iowa !Urbandale, Iowa !Urbandale, Iowa Midget AAA !Russell Stover U18 (Midget AAA !Russell Stover U18 (Midget AAA !Midget AAA) ZZZZ !None
36 Slovakia !Slovakia Sabol, RichardRichard Sabol 1.0 !G 70 !5' 10" 185 lb 7579 !1994-01-31 Slovakia !Prešov, Slovakia !Prešov, Slovakia Slovakia U20 !HC '05 Banská Bystrica U20 (Slovakia U20 !HC '05 Banská Bystrica U20 (Slovakia U20) ZZZZ !None
39 Missouri !Missouri Novak, KyleKyle Novak 3.0 !F 70 !5' 10" 178 lb 8054 !1992-10-13 Missouri !O'Fallon, Missouri !O'Fallon, Missouri Midget AAA !St. Louis Amateur Blues U18 (Midget AAA !St. Louis Amateur Blues U18 (Midget AAA !Midget AAA) Western Michigan !Western Michigan
41 New York !New York Rotolo, MichaelMichael Rotolo 1.0 !G 74 !6' 2" 240 lb 7701 !1993-10-01 New York !Rochester, New York !Rochester, New York Midget AAA !Buffalo Regals U18 (Midget AAA !Buffalo Regals U18 (Midget AAA !Midget AAA) St. Lawrence !St. Lawrence
42 Pennsylvania !Pennsylvania Kaib, BarrettBarrett Kaib 2.0 !D 70 !5' 10" 193 lb 7937 !1993-02-07 Pennsylvania !Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania !Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Hockey East !Providence (Hockey East !Providence (Hockey East Association !HEA) ZZZZ !None
65 Alberta !Alberta Gallacher, BenBen Gallacher 2.0 !D 71 !5' 11" 180 lb 8086 !1992-09-11 Alberta !Calgary, Alberta !Calgary, Alberta CCHA !Ohio State (CCHA !Ohio State (Central Collegiate Hockey Association !CCHA) Massachusetts !UMass
72 North Dakota !North Dakota Blair, SethSeth Blair 3.0 !F 74 !6' 2" 200 lb 7785 !1993-07-09 North Dakota !Bismarck, North Dakota !Bismarck, North Dakota NAHL !Minot (NAHL !Minot (North American Hockey League !NAHL) ZZZZ !None
81 Sweden !Sweden Winborg, AdamAdam Winborg 3.0 !F 73 !6' 1" 190 lb 7155 !1995-03-31 Sweden !Stockholm, Sweden !Stockholm, Sweden J20 SuperElit !AIK J20 (J20 SuperElit !AIK J20 (J20 SuperElit !J20 SuperElit) ZZZZ !None
88 Wisconsin !Wisconsin Linhart, JakeJake Linhart 2.0 !D 70 !5' 10" 160 lb 6863 !1996-01-17 Wisconsin !Brookfield, Wisconsin !Brookfield, Wisconsin Midget AAA !Chicago Mission U16 (Midget AAA !Chicago Mission U16 (Midget AAA !Midget AAA) Wisconsin !Wisconsin
91 Michigan !Michigan Kile, AlexAlex Kile 3.0 !F 72 !6' 0" 185 lb 7420 !1994-07-09 Michigan !Troy, Michigan !Troy, Michigan Midget AAA !Honeybaked U18 (Midget AAA !Honeybaked U18 (Midget AAA !Midget AAA) Michigan !Michigan
97 Russia !Russia Dikushin, GrigoryGrigory Dikushin 3.0 !F 68 !5' 8" 160 lb 7225 !1995-01-20 Russia !Moscow, Russia !Moscow, Russia MHL !CSKA (MHL !CSKA (Martime Junior Hockey League !MHL) ZZZZ !None

Head coaches[edit]

Don Granato (1994–97)
Mark Osiecki (1997-2004)
Mark Mazzoleni (2004-2008)
Dave Insalaco (2008) (interim)
Jon Cooper (2008-2010)
Eric Rud (2010–11)
Derek Lalonde (2011–2104) Lalonde quit June 2, 2014 to be head coach of the ECHL Toledo Walleye
Pat Mikesch (2014- )

10th anniversary team[edit]

The team's 10th anniversary was celebrated with the selection of first and second "all decade" squads.

First team: Goalie - Ty Conklin; Defense - Tom Preissing, Jeff Finger; Forwards - Tim Stapleton, Adam Burish, Stephen Baby

Second team: Goalie - Jure Penko; Defense - Matt Greene, Jake Taylor; Forwards - Joe Crabb, Luke Stauffacher, Aaron Smith

20th Anniversary team[edit]

The team's 20th anniversary marked the selection of another all-time team.

Home rinks[edit]

From when the Gamblers entered the league at the start of the 1994-1995 season through the 2001-2002 season the team's primary venue was at the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena. For the start of the 2002-2003 season the Gamblers moved into the Resch Center which was a state-of-the-art arena which was built on the opposite side of Shopko Hall. It seats 8,800 for hockey and is considered not only the best facility in the USHL but also the best junior hockey facility in the country.[citation needed] The team does still play at the Arena a few times each season due to scheduling conflicts however the Resch Center is now the team's primary venue.

During the years at the Arena other venues were sometimes used due to scheduling conflicts. These include, The De Pere Ice & Recreation Center, the Brown County Youth Hockey Arena, the Cornerstone Community Center, Fond du Lac's Blue Line Ice Center, Beaver Dam Ice Arena, Greenheck Ice Center in Schofield.

Since 1994 the average attendance of a Gamblers Game is 3,353 people,[8] which is a record that few teams in the USHL can top. For larger games, such as playoff games and the annual "Teddy Bear Toss", 7,000+ fans will show up to fill the 8,709 seat Resch Center. In 2010, the Green Bay Gamblers set a USHL record for the highest attendened playoff game when 8,487 fans showed up to see game five of the USHL Playoff championship, a game the Gamblers won resulting in franchises third Clark Cup. The record has since been broken multiple times.[9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]