By Dave Mable
The Des Moines Buccaneers’ first home
game is Saturday, Oct. 6. Puck drops at 7:05
p.m. in Urbandale.
Finally, a familiar phrase will be heard at
the chilled Bucs Arena as “Let’s get ready to
RUMBLE” blares through the loudspeakers to the
anxious crowd, whipping them into an excited
frenzy as they watch their beloved Des Moines
Buccaneers hit the ice for the first time at
home on Saturday, Oct. 6.
The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. on center ice as
the Bucs take on the Sioux City Musketeers.
The Bucs home opener is the team’s fourth regular
season game of the year, having opened in Ann
Arbor, Mich., on Friday, Sept. 28 against the
under-17 U.S. National Team. The following night,
a game against the Youngstown Phantoms gave
them a taste of divisional play.
The Bucs will be led this year by new head
coach and general manager, Jon Rogger. Rogger
was hired in May of 2012 and has had the summer
to plan for the season and prepare his young
“We’ve got a lot of young talent coming in,”
said Rogger prior to the season. “We’ve got
our three Swedish players who have been a great
surprise for us so far.”
The players Rogger is referring to are 20-year-old,
No. 21 Axel Wennenborn; 18-year-old, No. 24
Luke Shiplo; and No. 17 Eric Martinsson, who
will be 20 years old in a couple weeks.
The three Swedish players join 20 other 16-
to 20-year-old players who’ve come to Des Moines
to play from around the country and Canada.
Eighteen-year-old, No. 33 Nick Ellis, of Millersville,
Md., will be guarding the net for the Bucs.
Joining him at net will be No. 35 from Raleigh,
N.C., Billy Christopoulos, also 18.
The new coach and young team make any predictions
of the season a challenge, though the Bucs have
a strong tradition of making it hard for any
team to win in Des Moines.
“We’re going to play tough; we’re going to
play hard,” said Rogger. “Any time we’re at
home, it’s going to be tough for the visiting
teams to come in and play us.”
The Bucs won two out of five games in their
preseason, though those games serve more as
practice and are a chance to whittle the 29
players in training camp down to the 23-player
The Bucs play 64 games in a season that stretches
from September into mid-April. Of that, 32 games
are played on home ice at the Des Moines Bucs
Arena in Urbandale.
The preseason is over. Fall is here, and it’s
time to play some hockey.
“Everybody is antsy,” said Coach Rogger, “and
we’re ready to go!” CV
Tickets are available for individual games,
and group discounts are available throughout
the season. Special offers are available in
October and November. Skybox seating with catered
food is also available for groups. Call the
Bucs ticket office at 515-278-2827 or reserve
tickets online at www.bucshockey.com. For groups,
private parties and skybox rental, ask for Mike