Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Woollard is back!

CHL's leading goal-scorer re-signs for 2011-12 campaign

The Texas Brahmas have announced the re-signing of veteran sniper Chad Woollard for the 2011-12 campaign.

Last season, the prodigal Woollard, 31, tallied 92 points (46 G, 46 A, +2) and 89 penalty minutes, including nine power play goals, 15 power play assists and eight game-winning goals in 65 games played. He led all players in the league with his 46 goals and was fifth in scoring with his 92 points. He was also the league's top 3 Star Leader with 83 Star points.

Woollard was named the first star of ‘Oakley’s Three Stars’ for the month of February, during which he put up 26 points (13 G, 13 A). From February 1st thru March 11th, Woollard had an impressive 17-game point streak in which he scored 35 points (18 G, 17 A).

“Bringing Woolley back was key in our efforts to have a strong offensive team, Head Coach Dan Wildfong said. "It is a certain level of comfort we receive with Chad on the ice; he is a special player who can get things done.”

Woollard's leadership skills were recently lauded by defenseman Ross Rouleau in an interview for the Texas Brahmas Examiner. Asked if he could sign one player from last year's team, without hesitation Rouleau chose Woollard.

"Not only because he scored 46 goals, but he’s been around the league and he’s a smart player," Rouleau said. "He lets you know when you’re doing wrong and helps you out with what you need and he’s a good leader."

Last season, Woollard marked two career milestones, scoring his 700th career point and playing in his 700th career game. In addition, he scored his 10th CHL (fifth as a Brahma) on the road against the Odessa Jackalopes (November 23rd), in an 8-6 victory.

The 6' 3", 210 pound native of Durham, Ontario spent his Junior career in the Ontario Hockey League, playing with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Owen Sound Platers and the Toronto St. Michael's Majors. His Junior totals were 101 points (48 G, 53 A) and 255 PIM in 153 regular season games and 15 points (3 G, 12 A) in 26 post-season contests.

Woollard began his professional career in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) in 1999-00 skating for the Jackson Bandits and Greensboro Generals. In 32 games, he had 14 points (6 G, 8 A) and 25 PIM.

The following season, he joined the Fort Worth Brahmas, where he would spend the next five seasons, accumulating 264 points (132 G, 132 A) and 686 PIM in 290 games. During the 2001-02 season he was called up to the Utah Grizzlies, the Dallas Stars' American Hockey League affiliate at the time, for two games after attending their training camp. Woollard was also called up by the AHL's St. John’s Maple Leafs for four games during the 2003-04 season.

Woollard led the Brahmas in points in 2002-03 and 2004-05 but unfortunately played under four different head coaches during some of the Brahmas' toughest times. He only saw post-season play following the 2001-02 season and tallied three points (2 G, 1 A) and 4 PIM in four games.

Seeking a change, Woollard signed with the Quad City Mallards (UHL) in 2005-06 and played there for two seasons. In 145 regular season games, he registered 158 points (79 G, 79 A) and 231 PIM. During the 2006-07 season, he was called up the the San Antonio Rampage (AHL) for two games. The Mallards made the playoffs both seasons, but lost in the first round each time. Woollard would contribute 18 points (11 G, 7 A) and 30 PIM in 12 post-season contests.

In 2007-08, Woollard returned to the CHL, signing with the Mississippi RiverKings. On the team's top line, he tallied 68 points (37 G, 31 A) and 84 PIM. He added two goals in the first round of the 2008 playoffs, in which the RiverKings were knocked out by the Texas Brahmas.

The following season, Woollard signed with the Muskegon Lumberjacks (IHL) where he registered 57 points (33 G, 24 A) and 69 PIM in 50 games during the regular season and six points (2 G, 4 A) and 8 PIM in 10 playoff games.

Woollard was a member of the Corpus Christi IceRays' final roster in 2009-10 where he tallied 64 points (40 G, 24 A, +10) and 72 PIM in 57 games played. He added three points (1 G, 2 A) in two post-season contests against the Brahmas. He also reached 30 goals in 40 games, the second-fastest pace in franchise history.

Maybe the most spectacular goal of his season (and the most painful) came on December 18th at home against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. Just 8:34 into the contest, teammate Jason Tessier sent in a slap shot that unfortunately hit Woollard right in the mouth. But the puck deflected past an out-of-position Andy Franck and into the net for the score. Woollard was credited with the goal and Tessier with the assist. Woollard returned later in the game wearing a full shield and with three teeth lost, managed to score another goal in the final minute of the middle frame. Talk about moxie!

Woollard holds franchise records in: regular season games played (355), points (356), goals (178), shots (1,287), game-winning goals (23) and power play goals (50). The 2011-12 campaign will mark his 13th pro season and his seventh with the Brahmas.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

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