"Slap Shot" meets "A Season on the Brink" in this twisted tale of minor league hockey in the place with more pro teams than any place in North America: TEXAS!

1997-98 Austin Ice Bats WPHL

Clicking on a player's name will take you to the Hockey DB site.  

Tim Findlay
played two seasons in Arkansas for Jim Burton and the Glacier Cats. He split 2000-2001 between Port Huron of the UHL and Louisville of the AHL, registering 3 goals and 11 assists in 27 games at the higher level. He played for Flint last year, and recently married Jen Theriault. Ryan Pawluk played on season in Arkansas, then struggled the following year in the ECHL. Partially reunited with Findlay in 2000-2001, he was a point-per-game player for the Border Cats. He now helps to run a landscaping business in the Windsor area. Rob Hartnell left the Moccasins when Brian Curran returned to Monroe in the fall of 1999, this time as head coach. Rob has since played for Idaho of the WCHL but continued to be bothered by the injury he suffered at the 1999 All-Star game. Now married and a full-time Boise resident, he works for one of Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller's Subaru dealers. After taking San Angelo to the 1998-99 President's Cup finals, Chad Erickson
played two more seasons for Tulsa of the CHL. Ironically, he lost his Oilers gig to former Stampede and future Ice Bats goalie Matt Barnes. He has since returned to Warroad. Chris Morque got the last laugh, winning the President's Cup with the El Paso Buzzards. He was then traded to Odessa, where he played two season before retiring. Jeff Kungle spent the '98-99 season playing in Germany. He returned to the Ice Bats the following year, reclaiming the "C" for two more seasons. When he's not working for a living and being a father, he's the team's part-time assistant coach. Todd Harris was left unprotected in the 1998 WPHL expansion draft and chose to retire. He is now a firefighter in Victoria, B.C. Joe Van Volsen was left unprotected in the expansion draft and subsequently played three season for the Tupelo T-Rex, who grabbed him before Burton did. He is now in his second season with the Fort Worth Brahmas. Richard Uniacke became Jim Burton's first pick in Arkansas. The center opted to play overseas, then joined the Glacier Cats for the 1999-2000 season, scoring 69 points in 70 games. A subsequent stint in the Central Hockey League fizzled out. Christian Soucy reunited with Jim Burton on the 1999-2000 Arkansas team, then played two seasons for ex-El Paso coach Todd Brost on the UHL Elmira Jackals. After leaving Austin, Brian Fairfield played just two games in the QJMHL.
He never returned to the professional level. Darrin MacKay once again reentered the workforce in Calgary, though he spent the first part of 1999-2000 playing in Amsterdam with Van Volsen. Keith Moran spent the summer of 1998 in Europe and has since worked for Fidelity Investments and current employer AT&T just like he planned it all along. Jeremy Thompson played a couple of more seasons in the ECHL and UHL, then worked as a linesman in those leagues. He and his wife, Jennifer, had a daughter, Faith, in May 2001. She wasn't born in Texas, but she wasn't born in Canada either. Troy Binnie's Oakville, Ontario business Touchwood Home Improvements has evolved from a decking company (because its owner was always busy in the winter) to a full-service renovations and construction firm. Binnie remains involved in hockey as a youth coach. The on-again, off-again career of Ken Ruddick remains just that. He was
with the Bats for training camp 2001 but didn't make the team; the same
thing happened with Orlando of the ACHL this season. Mike Jackson returned to Austin for the 1998-99 season, then retired because of a longering shoulder injury. He has filed a medical malpractice suit against the the Bats' previous ownership and doctor. Chris Haskett never bounced back from the trade to Waco. He played three games for Macon of the CHL in 1998-99, then returned to Canada for university. Dean Mando went on to become a pretty good player in the ECHL, though injuries limited him to just five games in 2000-01. He is apparently retired. Jim Mullin was on the roster of four different AHL and ECHL teams during 1998-99. He is now retired. Keith O'Brien "OB" has worn four five different numbers for five different Ice Bats teams. He skated in 51 games from 1998-2002. His former employer, PC Order, went out of business. He now works for a company called Meeting Maker. Kyle Haviland left Austin for Topeka of the CHL, serving as the team's player/assistant coach for a season-plus before losing his roster spot to another veteran player. He then skated for Lake Charles, and has managed a hockey shop in that city. Bobby Wallwork remains one of his best friends. Andy Ross returned to Austin for the next two seasons, but by the time the team's fortunes changed, he was no longer capable of top-line play. He finished his career with the Corpus Christi Ice Rays, chipping in four goals in seven playoff games after managing just five for the Bat and Rays combined in the regular season. Ross then went to work in the warehouse of Dell Computer, but took a buyout, and has since moved back to Philadelphia. Brett Seguin joined Haviland in Topeka for two seasons before returning to the Bat Cave. He is Austin's all-time leader in goals, assists and points (passing Ross in all those categories) and remains on of the best players in the CHL. Ryan Anderson was the only player in the history of the WPHL to play all five season with a single team. He stole one more year in Austin before the veteran's rule finally took away his job; he's currently with Orlando of the ACHL. Others: Corey Fletcher, Bruce Shoebottom, Derek Riley and Rob Schriner and Steve Jones retired. Jay Hutton is a policeman in Ontario. Curtis Fry returned to Austria. Jason Rose has played in Phoenix, Idaho, Muskego, El Paso (again) and Elmira (since '98-99), and is apparently retired. Kevin Hansen does not appear in "Zamboni Rodeo," but he was a late-season addition to the team, as a rookie defenseman out of Windsor. Hansen continued his hockey career at the university level, briefly reunited with Jim Burton in the ECHL and is now a prosperous Odessa Jackalope, playing forward. Rick Girhiny hung up his skates in the spring of 2000. His number 7 was recently retired by the Odessa Jackalopes. Paul Lawless suited up for another 40 minutes as an Ice Bats player in 1998-99. He is now an executive and briefly, the interim head coach for the Cincinnati Cyclones, which moved from the IHL to ECHL in 2001. Jim Burtonspent the first half of the 2000-01 season out of work whne the WPHL expansion team in Tucson, AZ went out of business before it ever played a game. He then became head coach of the ECHL Augusta Lynx, but
was recently kicked upstairs to GM
. Before that happened, he called on an
old friend and got the Lynx an affiliation with Wayne Gretzky's Phoenix Coyotoes.

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