Former ’Cats excel in first pro contests

Trevor Pellerite

Three former NMU Wildcat hockey players made their professional debuts last week with great success. Defenseman Erik Gustafsson signed an Amateur Tryout contract with the Philadelphia Flyers American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate team, the Adirondack Phantoms. Gustafsson played his first game in a Phantom uniform on Friday, April 2 against the Syracuse Crunch. The Phantoms lost 3-2, but Gustafsson notched two assists and earned himself the honor of being named the second star of the game. He followed up the next night with another two-point performance, adding another assist and his first professional goal in a 4-2 loss to the Albany River Rats. The Flyers have negotiated a contract with Gustafsson that will take effect at the beginning of the 2010-11 regular season.

The Saturday, April 3 game marked the debut of another Wildcat as well, as former NMU goaltender Brian Stewart donned the Phantom uniform. Stewart made 22 saves and had three goals against in the effort. Stewart earned his first professional victory on Wednesday, April 7 in a 31 save, 3-2 overtime win against the Binghamton Senators. Gustafsson added another assist in the match.

Mark Olver has played four games for the Lake Erie Monsters, AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche. Olver has one goal so far for the Monsters.