by Scott Montesano, Des Moines Buccaneers
Over the course of 34 seasons, hundreds of players have donned a Des Moines Buccaneers uniform with some becoming forgotten names on a roster insert but many being remembered to a certain degree. However, there are those limited few whose mere mention of their name draws out the widest of involuntary grins from Buccaneers’ fans and it’s these individuals who proudly represent the team’s Hall of Fame.
On Saturday March 15th, the Des Moines Buccaneers were proud to induct five new members into the team’s Hall of Fame, with each inductee having been selected by a volunteer committee of fans. 2005-2006 Clark Cup champion teammates Kyle Okposo and Jeff Petry headlined a group that also included high scoring forward Chad Rau, standout goaltender Matt Carney, and original Buccaneer Myles Hart. Each player left a permanent mark among the grand history of the team and will now have their names forever passed on for generations to come.
This class joins the previous 25 inductees in representing the gold standard in team history.
Matt Carney was a standout goaltender in his only season with the Buccaneers in 1998-1999 and helped the team claim both the Anderson Cup and Clark Cup. He went an amazing 31-5-1 with four shutouts and .921 save percentage. His 31 wins that season are still the most in a single-season by any goaltender in team history and his four shutouts are tied for the second most. Following his time with the Buccaneers, Matt went onto to a career at the University of New Hampshire.
An original Buccaneer who played from 1980 until 1982, Myles Hart was an offensive standout even in an era of high scoring in junior hockey. He was among the top point getters in the USHL for both his seasons and his 70 assists in 1980-1981 remain a franchise record more than three decades later. Myles played on the first two Buccaneers’ teams, earning him another special distinction as being part of a group that resurrected hockey as a spectator sport in Central Iowa.
Kyle Okposo came to the Buccaneers preceded by hype and lived up to it during his only season in the USHL by playing a key role on a Clark Cup Championship team in 2005-2006. Not only did he score 27 goals during the regular season but contributed 16 points, including five goals, in 11 playoff games. In June 2006, he became one of the highest NHL Draft picks in USHL history when the New York Islanders selected him with the seventh overall selection. After spending two seasons at the University of Minnesota, Kyle has turned into one of the better American-born NHL players as a member of the New York Islanders.
Jeff Petry was a stalwart defenseman who developed one of the best shots from the blue line the USHL has ever seen. He played in 122 career games registering 73 points, including 21 goals, and earned many awards including a Clark Cup Championship in 2006. In 2006-2007, he was named the USA Hockey Junior Player of the Year, the USHL Defenseman of the Year, and placed on the All-USHL First Team. Following three seasons at Michigan State, Jeff has continued his career in the NHL, playing with the Edmonton Oilers since 2010.
In one season in Des Moines, Chad Rau became one of the highest scoring players in the franchise’s Tier I era when he registered 71 points, including 31 goals, in 2004-2005 and was honored as the USHL Rookie of the Year. After four seasons with Colorado College, Chad has played professionally since 2009 and made his NHL debut during the 2011-2012 season. He is currently playing in the American Hockey League with the Worcester Sharks.
The Buccaneers Hall of Fame started in the mid-1990’s but no inductions were made following the 2002 season until current management reinstituted the program in the summer of 2012. A volunteer committee that is open to all fans has been established to review criteria regularly, nominate, and select each year’s class.
Previous Members of the Des Moines Buccaneers Hall of Fame:
Jamie Adams - player
Reggie Berg - player
Beau Bilek - player
John Blue - player
Scott Clemmensen - player
Dave Cooper - player
Paul Erickson - player
Bob Ferguson - coach
Brad Frattaroli - player
Peter Fregoe - player
Don Geiger - board member
Curt Hammer - board member
Nick Krueger - player
Scott Krueger - player
Trevor Lewis - player
Marc Magliarditi - player
Bob Nardella - player
Scott Owens - coach
Ivan Prediger - coach
Scott Purpur - player
Mike Real - player
Eric Rud - player
Kelly Sanner - fan
Peter Sejna - player
Daryl Seltenrich - player
Video - Kyle Okposo Hall of Fame message
Video - Jeff Petry Hall of Fame message
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 12th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2013-14. A record 32 players were chosen in the 2013 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season have committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive). Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).
It’s not just hockey. It’s the USHL.
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