Courchaine played in 31 games for the RiverKings in his rookie season, and put up excellent numbers (2.49 GAA, .911 SV%) despite a record of 14-13-2. Courchaine's win/loss record is misleading, however, as the majority of those losses came in his first nine starts (0-7-2) while the RiverKings were still figuring out their offense. Once the RKs got on track, the wins piled up for Courchaine, finishing up the season going 14-6-0.
The signing gives coach Drew Omicioli a quality goaltender who is capable of handling the starting goaltender role, which was tops on our pre-season checklist. In the team's official announcement, Omicioli says, "My goal this off season was to find a definitive number one goal tender that could come in and lead us to a championship. Adam is a guy that I feel possesses that and is going to bring experience and leadership between the pipes to help our organization attain our first President Cup Championship. His size, stature in the net and ability to play the puck make him one of the top goal tenders in the SPHL."
The acquisition of Courchaine was costly, however, as top-line LW Benji Rubin was the price to be paid for the big 6'2", 26 year old tendy. Rubin played well last season with the IceGators, scoring 12 goals and 18 assists in his 42 games. RiverKings coach Derek Landsmesser describes his new forward as a "Big power forward who is not afraid to get in the dirty areas to score goals."
The trade makes sense for both clubs. The IceGators have a lot of big play-making forwards, which is an area that the defensively focused RiverKings needed to improve. The 6'2" Rubin should make an immediate impact in Mississippi. Likewise, the RiverKings will want to give Peter Di Salvo the bulk of the work, and Courchaine will have the opportunity to fill a similar role with Louisiana.
The most fascinating part of this trade... Courchaine and Di Salvo will face each other on opening night in Southaven. Until then, here are a couple of highlights of the IceGators' newest goalie.