December 23, 2014 · 0 Comments
With the Orangeville Americans currently in a bit of a slump, the new coach on the squad is working to turn the team around.
The American have lost eight of their last nine games. This comes after a good run in the early season that saw the squad end October with a 4-7 record.
A change in ownership and coaching staff might be the formula needed for turning the team around after their record nosedived in November and December with a series of losses.
New on the bench is head coach and general manager C.J. Schneider and assistant coach Ryan Zeng.
Schneider and Zeng took over in October as part of the transition on the bench and in ownership of the club.
“It was a good transition, everything was smooth, everything was 100 percent,” Schneider said of the change.
Plans for the short term include “Getting out of this losing streak we are in right now. We brought in a bunch of new guys, we acquired a couple of guys in trades, things like that,” Schneider said. “We have a two week break – the Christmas break. We’re looking to get through the Christmas break and re-set, and come full charge for the second half.”
The team has acquired ‘seven to ten new players’ over the last month, and released a few as well.
“The players we have now fits our mold of what we are looking for.”
Schneider said that his options are currently limited due to League rules once the season is underway, but once the new season starts, he’s got a lot more options when putting a team together.
“With some of the rules in the League I can’t do some things with certain guys, I have them for the whole year. It’s not like the NHL where a new coach can come in and literally ship out the whole team if he wanted to. Here it’s kind of hard for me to do that.”
Schneider is a transplanted American originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with an impressive record as a player.
He played at the Junior A level with the Toronto Rattlers that were based out of the World Hockey Centre in Shelburne, college level hockey in Division 3 NCAA, and in the East Coast Hockey League with the Toledo Walleye.
Assistant coach Ryan Zeng is a born and raised Orangeville resident who also played Junior hockey and brings a lot of experience to the bench.
The Americans are currently in the number nine spot in the 12 team South Division of the Greater Metro Hockey League.
Their last outing on home ice on Wednesday, December 17, resulted in a 10-3 loss to the Grey Highlands Bravehearts of the North Division.
There’s still a month and a-half of hockey left on the regular season schedule, so there is still time for the O-ville squad to get back into the game and move up the standings before the start of the playoffs.
The Americans will return for the new year with their opening home game on January 7, when they will host the Bradford Rattlers.
That game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Alder Street arena.