STOCKTON, Calif. – The Stockton Thunder’s head coach Rich Kromm announced before a group of fans that Forward Garet Hunt will don the C for opening night, Saturday, October 19. Fans were invited for a Chalk Talk in which Kromm shared his philosophy and hopes for the season.
“I liked the way we stayed with it and battled back on those pre-season games,” Kromm said while talking about how the Thunder’s two pre-season games went.
The Thunder faced the Bakersfield Condors, and won 4-3 in an overtime duel with less than two minutes remaining in the only home pre-season match last week. Last Saturday, they traveled to San Francisco to face the Bulls, winning 4-3 in a shootout.
Garet Hunt commented on being named Captain. “It’s a big honor. I’m an extension of (Kromm) to the players. He can’t always be there, but I’m always there in the room. I’m there to enforce his system. There is lots of depth of leadership on our team.”
Hunt also talked about last year’s opening day loss to the Colorado Eagles, and the opportunity the team has to turn the tables to take a win against them in this seasons’ opener. He’s also looking forward to hoisting the Conference Championship Banner on opening night.
“It’s definitely a special thing,” Hunt shared when asked on his thoughts about the banner and what he will say in the locker to the guys before the game as the captain. “There’s a combination of guys; those that won the banner last year, those that have won a banner in their past on another team, and those that don’t know and want to win one.” Hunt knows it will be a great memory.
Hunt has a history of being selected as the fan favorite in nearly every season since joining the team in 2009. The intense style of play and no nonsense ability to go toe-to-toe with anyone that dares is one of the aspects the fans love about Hunt, not to mention the fact he is so friendly to anyone he meets off the ice. Fans wanted to know his take on some of the new game rules, particularly surrounding removal of the helmet during altercations.
It’s clear that Hunt has considered the rule changes. Hunt did not seem too worried about the new rules impact on his ability to be an enforcer.
“Leaving the helmet on can lead to more guys getting braver and want to fight. But, since I’m smaller, I might have an advantage since I have to hit upwards.”
Kromm commented on current development of special teams.
“It’s a process, but something you have to work on all the time. If your special teams are good, you will win lots of games.” Kromm told the group.
It’s obvious that the new management of the team this year, from the new general manager Brian Sandy to the coach to the press box, is as excited about getting the season under way as the fans are to get back in their seats.