The St. Charles Chill wrapped up their tryout camp this past weekend by inviting four players to their main training camp this October. Forwards Max Mobley and Phil Bushbacher, defensemen Sean Fitzpatrick, and goalie Tate Maris.
When the tryout camp started, the intentions were to bring a minimum of one player to training camp, and as the weekend came to an end, four faces have the opportunity to make the Chills roster. Head Coach and General Manager, Jamie Rivers, spoke about inviting four players to training camp. "I used the term, minimum of one guy, because you can always be surprised by the players and I think that's what happened here this weekend. We came into this weekend with the intention of one guy coming to training camp, now we have the possibility of having four guys coming to camp to compete against our other guys to try and earn a real job."
Tate Maris, 23, attended The University of North Dakota and played as the third string goalie for the Fighting Souix for four years, has a chance to come into the Chill's training camp and compete for a back up position. The 5-foot-9 goaltender joined tryouts on the last day and was dominate in net. Rivers spoke on Maris and his joining the team during tryouts, "Maris came in on the last day and absolutely stood on his head, to the point in which we couldn't turn him away. He showed us enough in one day that he had the ability to play."
Maris truly was the best goalie on the ice during the scrimmage on Sunday, making countless highlight reel saves. Maris described his style of play, "I'm more of a hybrid style goalie. I'll do whatever it takes to stop the puck in the most controlled way, but sometimes desperation is needed. I worked a lot with Karl Goehring at North Dakota on improving my puck tracking skills and my lateral movement and it really helped improve my game." Maris also talked about what it takes to make the team out of training camp. "I have to do whatever it takes. The only thing that can hold me back is myself, so there is no excuse for not giving it my all. The game plan is to head back to Grand Forks, ND and bust my butt for a few weeks, come back here in October and play my best."
Sean Fitzpatrick, 25, is a 6-foot-5 defensemen, native of St. Charles also made the final cut on Sunday. Fitzpatrick caught the eyes of the evaluation staff with his puck moving ability, physicality, and willingness to stand up for himself. He dropped the gloves on the second day of the tryout camp after being checked into the boards from behind, and he was the decisive winner of the bout. Fitzpatrick knows what he has to do to get ready for training camp and his opportunity to make the roster. "I need to work on my foot-speed and get a little faster. It's a different speed than what i played last year, so getting faster is needed. I also have to keep up my intensity, everyday, to be effective."
Max Mobley, a 26 year old forward from St. Lawrence University, has impressed all week. He isn't the biggest player on the ice, but he uses his 5-foot-7, 170-pound frame well. He is the kind of player who can impress his stick skills, but isn't afraid to do the dirty work in the corners, in front of the net, and defending his own net. Mobely has four games of minor-professional experience, playing in four games with Fayetteville of the Southern Professional Hockey League last season after wrapping up a four year career at college. He is an offensive player who could add to the fire-power offense that the Chill is putting together.
The final player who made the cut, was a relatively unknown headed into tryouts. Phil Bushbacher, 23, is a big man who plays the power-forward game. Standing at 6-foot-3 and 235-pounds, he's a guy who's not easily knocked off the puck. After playing four seasons in the Midewest Collegiate Hockey Association with Lake Forest College and Lawrence University, Bushbacher has proved to be an offensive force on the ice. Rivers was impressed with Bushbacher, "He pretty much came into camp, and just dominated the camp. He was physical, he put a lot of shots on goal, and he scored a lot of goals. He came in as an unknown, and he earned his spot in training camp."