Monday, October 19, 2009

Chicago Wolves Fire Coach Granato and Christie!

It has been a long season of losses for Chicago Wolves fans and the rumors of a coaching change have been flying thick and fast. Today at 12:37 the Wolves front office announced that Head Coach Don Granato and Assistant Coach Jason Christie services were no longer required by the club. In the brief association Powderhornhockey had with Don Granato he was accessible and open. We wish him and his family well in where ever life takes him.

Tonight there is a swirl of activity and speculation regarding the men or women that will replace these coaches. Many names are being mentioned from several leagues and states. For now the Wolves are remaining quiet and are sticking to their plans to announce the new personnel before Fridays game. Oh, it is going to be a busy week on the fan boards until game time Friday!

Davy Phillips Update, A Giant Still Walks Among Us...

Last July a contact in Northern Ireland wrote me with the news that “a Giant was going to walk among ye.” Davy Phillips was going to have a try out at the Black Hawks prospect camp. To say the least there was excitement in Belfast among Giants fans. A few days later I found myself watching David Phillips, as the roster listed him show of his skills at camp. He impressed me as a solid stay at home defense man who, bless him could be counted on to stick with a goalie. Phillips looked like the product of good coaching, ready for the AHL and a good fit for Rockford.

After his last scrimmage with the Blackhawks Patrick Kissane and I did a brief interview with him where he was noncommittal but confident considering his future in hockey. The major difference between the European game and what he had experienced in Chicago was size of ice and difference in training of the players. He seemed a young man living on the cusp of his dreams.

Since those moments in the United Center “Phily “ as he is called by his fellow IceHogs has signed an American Hockey League contract, moved into his flat and is adjusting to life in the US. He seems well matched with Rockford, an arena where they dance for every goal and sing chants to the opposing goalie. Much like Davy's previous home with the Belfast Giants. Last Saturday I had a chance to meet with him again after a game. When asked what is the major adjustment he has had to make, again it is the size of the ice. The small ice we play on in North America compared with the larger European ice makes for a faster game. It also demands a quicker mental and physical response time from players. Philips stated he now has to “think faster” on the ice specifically due to this.

There have also been alterations in his conditioning, a core muscle regimen has been added as part of post game cool downs and individual electrolyte drinks. A chance from the single flavor and brand he had in Belfast.

Apparently it hasn't all been training and nutrition. When asked what is his favorite American food he thought a minute and answered “ I don't know if you can call them food, but Reeses Peanut Butter Cups” Good choice Davy!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Belfast Giant Among Us!

Davy Phillips late of Belfast and of the Belfast Giants looking good in a Rockford IceHogs uniform. Here are a few photos there will be lots more, very soon...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chicago Wolves Lose Home Opener to Milwaukee 3:2

Sad but true the Wolves lost their home opener to old rivals the Milwaukee Admirals 3:2 at the Allstate arena on October 3rd. The home crowd left the arena hoping for better things from what looks to be one of the most gifted line ups the Wolves have ever seen but one that simply played 20 minutes of hockey on opening night. Coach Granato has presented fans this year with a tasty mix heavy with vets and as light on youngsters as possible. Returnees include Jason Krog, Kevin Doell, Brett Sterling, Spencer Machaeck,Grant Lewis, Nathan Oystrick , Yes NATHAN OYSTRICK sent down from a blueline heavy Atlanta and Joey Crabb.

The current hot gossip is that veteran Chris Chelios is set to sign with the Wolves. Indeed he is going to skate with the team on Monday and that. is all the Wolves office is willing to confirm. Like Atlanta the Wolves are blueline heavy if Chelios does join the team as a player they will have to show one on the roster the door. To my eyes the one most likely to see the gate is Brian Sipotz.

As always here are some images of opening night!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wolves-a new blog Belfast Giants Struggle.

There have been big changes happening behind the scenes at Powderhornhockey, it is a great pleasure to announce that a new sister blog has been created at The blog is entitled "Call of the Wild " a nod to it's primary subject the Chicago Wolves. You can reach it easily by it's link This new challenging assignment is going to ask the most of me as a artist and as a photographer, I'm looking forward to it!

The Belfast Giants are having some difficult days. They are below 500 and are struggling with a near nonexistent PP and are simply unable to stay out of the sin bin. The one bright spot seems to be Sean McMorrows dance card which seems to be filling up. In last Saturdays game it was reported that not only did he have a fight but he impressed Panther fans by standing in the tunnel and flexing his muscles for the fans amusement gaining him a game misconduct. That's the Sean McMorrow we know and love!