By Matt Stefano
It was announced today that goaltender Mario Culina has been reassigned to the Soo Thunderbirds from his current Ontario Hockey League team, the Windsor Spitfires.
“As an organization we are excited to welcome Mario back,” said T-Birds general manager Jamie Henderson. “Obviously our goal is to see players move on to the next level and our job will be to help him get back to Windsor next year and be prepared to play at the OHL level.”
“Having been part of our championship team last season, his experience both at the Dudley Hewiit Cup and RBC Cup will be something that we hope will serve us well as games become more intense,” concluded Henderson.
Culina, who signed with the Spitfires as a free agent this September, injured his knee during a team practice in that month and has recently made it back to the Spitfires lineup, but has not seen action.
Last season, the 1997 birth year goalie was the recipient of the Joey Mancuso Award as the T-Birds rookie of the year and was named the NOJHL’s Gongshow Gear player of the month for last December. He also won last season’s Wayne Chase Memorial Award, posting the NOJHL’s best goals against average of 2.24 and shared the NOJHL’s team goaltending award with Brian Kment.