Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Winger Sides gets call-up to AHL St. Johnís

Local hockey player moves east, again


Joey Sides

From his pre-teen days skating on his father’s backyard hockey rink in Hailey, Joey Sides always wanted to skate at the highest level of professional hockey in North America.

With the National Hockey League lockout hitting Day 81 and over 430 scheduled games lost so far this season, the 30-team American Hockey League with its 26 U.S.-based teams and four Canadian clubs qualifies as the highest level of pro hockey in North America.

And Sun Valley Youth Hockey product Sides, 26, was promoted last week to the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps from Newfoundland, Canada.

Thursday, Sides was called up from the ECHL Colorado Eagles to become one of 10 forwards for the AHL IceCaps, tied for first place in the AHL Eastern Conference Atlantic Division with a 11-10-0-1 mark. ECHL Eagles and AHL IceCaps are minor-league affiliates of the NHL Winnipeg Jets.

Sides tasted his first AHL action Friday in a 1-0 IceCaps victory over the host Albany (N.Y.) Devils.

A 5-11, 185-pound left shot and native of Tucson, Az., Sides was called up from Colorado and was officially on the IceCaps roster for last spring’s Calder Cup playoffs, but did not play. He was signed to an AHL contract in the off-season and attended camp with the IceCaps before being reassigned to the Eagles for the 2012-13 season.

With Colorado in 18 games this fall, Sides (9 goals, 9 assists) was tied for fourth place in scoring on the Eagles and tied for first place in the entire 23-team Premier “AA” ECHL in plus/minus ranking. Since joining the Eagles midway through last season, Sides had played in a total 48 ECHL games with 24 goals, 23 assists and 81 penalty minutes.

Just five days before his recent AHL call-up, Sides thrilled Colorado Eagles home fans at Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo. by scoring a highlight-reel game-winning goal in a 6-5 shootout victory over defending champion Florida Everblades.

A product of Avon (Ct.) Old Farms, Sides played four years and 90 games for Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Mass., amassing 32 goals and 85 points in 90 collegiate games. He then skated for two seasons with the Central Hockey League Arizona Sundogs, with 44 goals and 54 assists plus 219 penalty minutes in his 123 games there.

Follow the IceCaps at stjohnsicecaps.com.

 




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