Spiders promoted to B3 level

Impressed by another regular season division title and C1 tier runner up finish, the AHA has announced the Spiders will be promoted to the B3 tier for the 2013-14 season. While unexpected, the move is understandable as the Spiders have been a frontrunner for five consecutive seasons, compiling a winning percentage near 75%.

Joining the Spiders in the trip from C1 to B3 will be the Fighting Piranhas and Yellow Jackets while the Saints are moving up all the way from C2. The Fighting Piranhas beat the Spiders in the championship game in April so the move is not surprising. This will lead to two Fighting Piranhas teams at the B3 level. The Yellow Jackets have had several skilled players but were limited by mediocre goaltending. Their new goalie was evaluated at the B3 level and the Jackets decided they would elect to move the whole team up to secure his services. The Saints move up two levels after combining the best of the C2 Saints with the best of the C1 Thunder Chickens.

The AHA has completed the overhaul of the B3 level by moving the Ligers, Barons, Kodiaks, Taz Devils, and Venom to the B2 level.

While the B3 level will largely be uncharted waters for the Spiders there are a few teams that will be familiar to the most dedicated Spider historians. The Mutiny are actually the bulk of the Zephyrs team that played a pair of intense games against the Spiders in the 2010 playoffs. Over the following offseason a group of players broke off from the Zephyrs and were promoted up a level, choosing the appropriate team name “Mutiny.” The Spiders also played against the Lakers and Rack Attack during the inaugural C2 season back in 2007-08. The Lakers were promoted to C1 following that season after taking second in the division. The Rack Attack squad was promoted a level following the 2008-09 season. Confusing matters is the C1 Rack Attack squad which is part of the same franchise but largely different than the team from 2008. So it’s been several years but the Spiders have finally caught up to the Mutiny, Lakers, and Rack Attack.

With the increased level of competition, the Spiders have made tough choices on the roster. Parting ways with the now-B3 Spiders are Bruce Gustafson, Greg Lindsley, Bob Harnett, Brad Butalla, Tim Forcelle, Jack Delsing, Cody Buckalew, and Cody Yard. Gustafson exits as the franchise leader in games played at 215 stretching back to the 2005-06 season. Lindsley, Harnett, Butalla, Forcelle, and Delsing have all been Spiders since the birth of the C2 team in 2007. Yard started with the C3 Spiders in 2009 before joining up with the C2 squad in 2010. Buckalew joined the C1 team in 2013. These guys deserve a big hand for all their efforts and accomplishments!

New to the Spider squad are Tom Prausa, Mike Townsend, Bob Maietta, Geoff Kuppe, Mike Murray, and Derk Jacobson. Prausa comes to the Spiders at the recommendation of Josh Cagle. Townsend, Maietta, and Kuppe had all previously eval’ed to play with the Spiders but were placed in what is now the B3 level. Bob Maietta, older brother of Jim, is thus nicknamed “Betta” Maietta when compared to his bother. Mike Murray has taken a couple years off from the AHA but is looking forward to contributing as a sub. Derk Jacobson has been the go-to sub goalie for the Spiders over the past couple years due to his friendship with Brian Dow (as well as great performances in net). Jacobson will be rostered as a sub skater this season. Prausa, Townsend, Maietta, and Jacobson are all initially slotted on defense, replenishing a blue line that was decimated with injuries, absences, and position switches late last season. Welcome guys!

Returning to the Spiders after a three season absence is Shaun Tromiczak. Tromiczak skated with the C2 Spiders from the 2007/08 season through the 2009/10 season. Despite skating most games as a defenseman Shaun tallied 60 points in 48 games. Tromiczak also has the dubious distinction of having the smelliest equipment in Spiders history. Good to have you back Shaun!

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