Tornado alumni making news in hockey world
The Texas Tornado are one of the more storied franchises in the North American Hockey League. In addition to winning three straight Robertson Cups from 2002-2004, the team has also advanced about 120 players to a higher level of hockey. Three of those former players have been in the headlines recently.
Stephane Da Costa played 50 games for the Tornado in 2006-2007, scoring 23 goals and 17 assists in his only season with the team. After two seasons with Sioux City in the USHL and another two with Merrimack College, the then-21 year old signed with Ottawa as an undrafted free agent and made his NHL Debut with the Senators on April 2, 2011. Da Costa made the Senators roster at the start of this season and scored his first career NHL goal on October 8 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Al Montoya’s hockey career has taken the goaltender all over North America, but it started with the Tornado in 2000-2001. Montoya played in 15 games that season, posting a 10-3-2 record while putting up 2.91 GAA. After his one season with the team, he attended the University of Michigan for three seasons before being drafted 6th overall by the by the New York Rangers in 2004. After bouncing around the AHL for a few years, he finally landed with another Tri-State Area team, the New York Islanders. After filling in for the injured Rick DiPietro and Kevin Poulin last season, Montoya appears to have the starting job in 2011-2012. He’s allowed three goals in the two games the Islanders have played this season.
Jason Guerriero was Montoya’s teammate with the Tornado in 2000-2001, but was also a member of the team in its inaugural season a year before that. Guerriero was one of the first Tornado stars, compiling 52 goals and 92 assists in his two seasons with the team. After a four-year college career with Northeastern, he played minor league in both the United States and Europe for six seasons. Now, he’ll look to make a name for himself as a coach. On October 7, it was announced Guerriero has been named an assistant coach for Holy Cross. He’ll make his debut tonight, when the Crusaders play their first game of the season against Quinnipiac University.