03/24/2014 6:08 PM
The Phoenix Coyotes made news late last week when it was announced they had signed college free agent Greg Carey to an entry-level contract. The Hamilton, Ontario native has been one of the best college players in recent years and will now join the Pirates for the remainder of the season.
Carey was a four-year player at St. Lawrence University, founded in 1856 and located in Canton, New York. A small liberal arts college with roughly 2,400 undergraduates, it provided a nice atmosphere for Carey to play collegiate hockey.
“It was a ton of fun,” Carey said adamantly. “We’re in a little village of about 3,000 people, we pack house every night.”
Another great aspect for Carey was the opportunity to play alongside his little brother, Matt, this season.
“He’s a fast, fast player and he likes to talk a lot on the bench,” Carey said. “It was fun to help him get adjusted to the college game and it was great for my family. Every night, just skating out there, starting and playing on the same line, it was a ton of fun all year and I’m glad I was able to experience it.”
In his four year career with the Saints, Carey played in 152 games, scoring 84 goals and 101 assists for 185 points. In his junior season, he led the nation in goals with 28 and finished with 51 points while being nominated for the Hobey Baker award, given annually to the top NCAA men’s ice hockey player. Carey followed up with a tremendous senior season in 2013-14, topping college hockey in assists with 39 and finishing second in the nation in points with 57, earning his second nomination as a Hobey Baker finalist.
“Coming from St. Lawrence, it’s big for a small school to have a guy repeat for a Hobey Baker, it’s great for the program,” Carey said. “We’re getting some more higher end recruits in. I’m proud of the accomplishment, it’s just great for St. Lawrence and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to come back for my senior year and repeat.”
With the completion of his senior season, Carey came to terms with the Phoenix Coyotes on a one-year deal. A few teams showed interest, but in the end, Carey saw the opportunity with Phoenix as his best choice.
“It was kind of down to the last minute and Phoenix just kind of came after me pretty hard. I had good conversations with my agent, with the staff and I felt like it was the right place for me.”
Playing in the ECAC for four years makes Carey feel confident that he is prepared for the jump up to the AHL.
“We don’t get a lot of the top end recruits like the Hockey East and CCHA, but every game is battle,” Carey said. “Knowing you’re going to have to grind, knowing that you’re going to have to battle, games are one goal games, you have to go out and compete.”
Obviously, with his impressive point totals at St. Lawrence, Carey could provide even more offense for a Pirates team that already has seven players with ten goals, three of whom (Andy Miele, Tobias Rieder and Lucas Lessio) have eclipsed 20 goals.
“I pride myself on my offensive ability and I hope I can bring that to the Pirates here throughout the end of the season,” he said. “I like to shoot the puck and if I don’t have the opportunity to shoot, I like to try and create plays, make plays happen, get chances.”
After getting his first AHL action Sunday in Bridgeport, Pirates fans will get to see their first glimpse of the newest player this week, something the 23-year-old is excited about.
“I’m excited to settle in and see a little more of the town and get a little better feel for it. But I’m happy I chose Portland and Phoenix I’m excited to be here for the end of the year.”
The Pirates will play at home three times this week, starting with a Wednesday matchup against the Worcester Sharks at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. The Pirates will host Providence on Friday night for the 2nd annual Purple Night presented by Central Maine Medical Center, and induct Tom Caron into the Portland Pirates Hall of Fame during Saturday’s VIP Cup Game, presented by VIP Tires & Service, against the Manchester Monarchs. Visit portlandpirates.com for all the details and call the Androscoggin Bank Colisee Box Office at (207) 783-2009 ext. 525 for tickets. Tickets are also available by visiting thecolisee.com.
The Pirates have announced eight guaranteed dates for the 2014-15 season as the Pirates return to the Cumberland County Civic Center! Group tickets are available for all eight of the announced dates and flex and season tickets for the 2014-15 season are now on sale! For more information on the guaranteed dates, click here and for more information on ticket plans, call 207-828-4665.