As the start of the 2011-12 AIHL season draws near, the Buffalo Fusion begin to prepare to take to the rink. In their sophomore year, both the Elite and Minor Fusion teams look to improve upon their inaugural season. Lofty goals considering both teams took the Great Lakes Division titles before each fell in three games in the first round of the playoffs. But with a new season brings new changes to the Fusion organization.
The Elite squad has familiar faces, chief among them Tyler Walser, AIHL scoring champ and FIRS Team USA standout and Denny Schlegel who took home the goal scoring title last season. Next to these veterans, some new faces appear. Last year’s Fusion minor MVP, Mike Knavel, makes the jump to the big league. Another a huge addition to the defensive corps with Chris Kendal. Goaltender Alexx Chirstie’s season was cut short with an injury last year, but after a full recovery looks to backstop the Fusion all the way to Anaheim.
Fusion’s Minor squads biggest addition comes in the form of a full time coach. Last year Joe Castle tended the net for the Elite team but now lends to efforts to Fusion’s up and comers. “I’ve always had a passion for developing talent, and these players and very eager to learn” Castle said. “I look forward to shaping each of their talents.”.
The organization itself has dedicated a large investment into these two AIHL teams. A private training facility, with full gym and video review capabilities will play a roll in preparing Fusion players to succeed on the floor.