Laredo Bucks

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Laredo Bucks
LaredoBucks.JPG
City Laredo, Texas
League Central Hockey League
Conference Berry
Founded 2002
Home arena Laredo Energy Arena
Colors Navy, Gold
Head coach Serge Dube
Franchise history
2002–2012 Laredo Bucks
2013– St. Charles Chill
Championships
Regular season titles One (2003-04)
Division Championships Five (2004-2008)
Conference Championships Four (2004-2007)
Ray Miron President's Cup Two (2004, 2006)

The Laredo Bucks were an ice hockey team in the Central Hockey League. The Bucks played in Laredo, Texas, USA at the Laredo Energy Arena, formerly known as the Laredo Entertainment Center. On May 1, 2012, the management, citing declining attendance and revenue reversals, announced that the team will suspend operations for next year, in hopes of returning or relocation the team.[1] On August 1, 2012 it was announced that the Laredo Bucks were sold and transferred to St. Charles, Missouri and will be renamed the St. Charles Chill.

History[edit]

Arena Ventures, made up of six businessmen, teamed up with the City of Laredo to build a state-of-the-art facility for the Laredo area and South Texas. On August 12, 2002, Laredo voters approved a tax increase to pay for the new arena, which cost $36.5 million. The arena is currently managed by SMG Management.

After the success the Central Hockey League has had in South Texas in the past years, Laredo was encouraged to bring the first professional sports franchise into the city. The Bucks have proven successful, averaging attendance over 6,200 (78% capacity) in the regular season and nearly 6,500 (81% capacity) in the playoffs. The LEC Arena held 8,002 fans from 2002–2007, but was lowered to 6,500 starting with the 2007–08 season. The Bucks claimed the Ray Miron President's Cup (CHL Championship) for the 2003–2004 and 2005–2006 seasons and the Governor's Cup (regular season Championship) in the 2003–2004 season. The Bucks won four straight Southern Conference Championships from 2004–2007, and have Southeast Division Championship for the last five years (2004–2008).

Until August 2007 the Laredo Bucks' AHL affiliate have always been the San Antonio Rampage. From 2002–2005 (three seasons), the Bucks were affiliated with the Florida Panthers (NHL). The Bucks' NHL affiliate changed to the Phoenix Coyotes for the 2005–2006 season.

All-Star games[edit]

The Bucks also hosted the CHL All-Star game in the 2004–2005 season. The Laredo Bucks have sent many players to the Annual Central Hockey League All-Star game. In the 2002–2003 season, Laredo sent forwards Chris Grenville, Eric Schneider, and defenceman Michel Periard to Oklahoma City to compete in the CHL All-Star game. Chris Grenville captured the hardest shot award at the skills competition. The following season (03–04), Laredo sent players Patrik Nilson, Serge Dube, Jeff Bes and Brent Cullaton. Cullaton captained the Southern Conference team and captured the fastest skater award, while Nilson won the accuracy shooting award. Coach Terry Ruskowski and his staff coached the Southern Conference because the Bucks had the best winning percentage at the break. In 2005, Laredo sent another three players: Adam Paiment, Jeremy Symington and Brent Cullaton. The North went on to beat the South 14–13 in a shootout. Brent Cullaton won Fastest Skater title for the second time in a row. In 2006, Coach Ruskowski, forward Jeff Bes, right wing James Hiebert, and defensemen Serge Dube all earned a spot on the all-star team. Jeff Bes won the CHL Southern Conference All-Star MVP in that year for his four goal effort. The 2006–07 Bucks All-Stars were Ruskowski, Bobby Chaumont, Chris Korchinski, and Adam Rivet. In the 2007–08 season the Bucks had three players voted as starters in the all-star game. Jeff Bes (3rd), Serge Dube (3rd), and Dustin Traylen (1st) represented the Bucks. In the 2008-09 season in a strange CHL All-Star game the Bucks had two players called to the All-Star game Darryl Smith and Sebastien Centomo, Darryl Smith won the All-Star MVP.

The Bucks will host the CHL All-Star game in the 2009-10 season this will be the second time that Laredo will host the All-Star game and the 1st time a CHL team will host the event in the same arena twice (LEC). On June 2, 2009 The Laredo Bucks unveiled the format and logo for the 2010 CHL All Star game. The format will be South Texas (Laredo Bucks, Corpus Christi IceRays, & Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees) vs. THE CHL ALL STARS which will be held on January 13, 2010.

Rosco era[edit]

Coach Terry "Rosco" Ruskowski coached the Laredo Bucks in all of its franchise history except for the last season, 2011-2012, when the team disbanded. In 2007, Ruskowski entered the final year of a four-year contract extension with the Bucks. Ruskowski told the Laredo Morning Times that his tenure was in the hands of Bucks chairman Glenn Hart, owner Julian "Kiki" DeAyala, and team president John Beckelhymer and that he had "full faith" that he will obtain his third contract with the club. Ruskowski's optimism paid off, for he was shortly thereafter given a "lifetime contract" as the Bucks' coach. He resigned four years later amid declining revenues for the team.

Championships[edit]

Year League Trophy
2005–2006 CHL Ray Miron President's Cup
2003–2004 CHL Ray Miron President's Cup

Folding[edit]

On May 1, 2012 Minority owner Glenn Hart announced that the Laredo Bucks "will go dormant from this point forward while still maintaining a license in the Central Hockey League." The team folded due to declining attendance.

Year-by-year record[edit]

Championship Series Championship Series

2010–2011 66 24 34 8 194 228 56 8th,Berry Conference
2009–2010 64 32 20 12 218 215 3rd,Southeast Lost First Series
2008–09 64 36 23 5 214 187 77 2nd, Southeast Lost in Quarter Finals
2007–08 64 42 19 3 233 161 87 1st, Southeast Lost in Conference Championship Series
2006–07 64 42 17 5 219 170 89 1st, Southeast Lost in CHL Championship Series
2005–06 64 43 15 6 237 156 92 1st, Southeast CHL Champions
2004–05 60 35 22 3 196 148 73 1st, Southeast Lost in CHL Championship Series
2003–04 64 48 8 8 262 145 104 1st, Southeast CHL Champions
2002–03 64 41 17 6 253 184 88 2nd, Southeast Lost in Conference Championship Series

Year-by-year summary[edit]

2002–2003 The Laredo Bucks did extremely well in their inaugural season, making their way to the Conference Finals in the CHL playoffs.
2003–2004 Led by head coach Terry Ruskowski, the Bucks won the CHL Championship in 2004, by defeating the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs in overtime of the seventh game. Defenceman Dion Hyman scored a controversial overtime goal to win the championship. The Bucks averaged the highest playoff attendance in minor league hockey throughout the 2004 CHL Playoffs.
2004–2005 The Bucks battled from a .500 record at the all-star break to the CHL finals, which they lost to the Colorado Eagles.
2005–2006 The Bucks enjoyed yet another successful season, finishing with 92 points (second in CHL) and defeating the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, Odessa Jackalopes and the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs en route to their second CHL championship in three years.
2006–2007 The Bucks once again won the Southeast Division Title with a 42–17–5 mark. The Bucks won playoff series' against division foes Rio Grande Valley, and Corpus Christi, while winning their fourth straight Southern Conference Title against New Mexico. The Bucks fell in the President's Cup Finals in six games to Colorado.
2007–2008 The Bucks won their fifth straight Southeast Division title, going 42-19-3 (87 points). Laredo would then sweep the Southern Conference semi-finals against Odessa Jackalopes four games to none, to advance to their sixth straight Southern Conference Finals series, only to lose to the eventual CHL Champion Arizona Sundogs in a seven game series.
2008–2009 The Bucks battled through a tough season going through injuries and trades, going 36-23-5 (77 points). Laredo managed to grap the 3rd seed in the Southern Conference without Jeff Bes and face the Odessa Jackalopes in the Quarter Finals, only to lose in game six.

Team records[edit]

Records are as of the conclusion of the 2008–2009 season.

Goals: 45 Chris Grenville (2002–03)
Assists: 78 Jeff Bes (2003–04)
Points: 117 Jeff Bes (2003–04)
Penalty Minutes: 300 Mike Amodeo (2003–04)
GAA: 2.03 Dov Grumet-Morris (2005–06)
SV%: .932 David Guerrera (2003–04)
Career Goals: 180 Jeff Bes
Career Assists: 330 Jeff Bes
Career Points: 510 Jeff Bes
Career Penalty Minutes: 948 James Hiebert
Career Goaltending Wins: 43 David Guerrera
Career Shutouts: 6 David Guerrera
Career Games: 381 Serge Dube
Playoff Goals: 16 Jeff Bes, 2007 Playoffs
Playoff Assists: 20 Brent Cullaton, Jeff Bes 2006 Playoffs
Playoff Points: 31 Jeff Bes, 2006 Playoffs
Career Playoff Goals: 42 Jeff Bes
Career Playoff Assists: 57 Jeff Bes
Career Playoff Points: 99 Jeff Bes
Career Playoff Games: 96 Steve Weidlich

Franchise records[edit]

  • Most Goals in a season: 262 (2003–04)
  • Least Goals Against in a season: 145 (2003–04)
  • Most Points in a season: 104 (2003–04)
  • Most Penalty Minutes in a season: 1,883 (2003–04)
  • Most Wins in a season: 48 (2003–04)
  • Consecutive victories in a season: 21 (2003–04)
  • All Time Regular Season Wins: 287
  • All Time Regular Season Losses: 121
  • All Time Regular Seasons Overtime Losses: 36
  • Games Played: 444

Individual achievements[edit]

Particular players and personnel that have been recognized numerous times by the CHL

2002–03

CHL Franchise of the Year: Laredo Bucks
Most Outstanding Defenceman: Michel Periard

2003–04

Regular season MVP: Jeff Bes
Rookie of the Year: David Guerrera
Playoff MVP: David Guerrera
Ticket Executive of the Year: Kit Preston

2004–05

Leadership Award: Glenn Hart
Merchandise Franchise of the Year: Michelle Sanchez, Jennifer Beckelhymer, Cindy Cisneros
Soul of Service: Nicole Thompson

2005–06

CHL Most Outstanding Defenceman::Serge Dube
CHL Coach of the Year:: Terry Ruskowski
CHL Playoff MVP:: Jeff Bes
CHL All-Rookie Team:: Adam Rivet
CHL All-Rookie Team:: Dov Grumet-Morris
CHL Certified Athletic Trainer of the Year:: Bobby Moore
Rick Kozuback Award:: Glenn Hart
CHL Broadcaster of the Year:: Joe Dominey

2006–07

CHL Game Operations Franchise of the Year:: Mario Mecaroni, Danny Gutierrez

2007-08

CHL Corporate Sponsorhip Franchise of the Year:

2008-09

CHL Rookie of the Year::Darryl Smith
CHL All-Rookie Team::Darryl Smith
CHL All-Star MVP::Darryl Smith

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Kenny Ryan, "Goodbye, Laredo Bucks: Bucks out after 10 years in city; finances, attendance at issue", Laredo Morning Times, May 2, 2012, pp. 1, 10A