CHL Update: Locker Room Thief Discovered in Milwaukee

There’s been a thief at Harley-Davidson Arena.  This season, several Milwaukee Hogs players have reported items going missing from their lockers: deodorant, combs, sunglasses, stick tape.  None of the items were particularly large or valuable, but the disappearances sent an understandable wave of unease through the team.

“It’s one of those things you take for granted,” said Hogs G Hobie Sanford.  “You leave stuff in your locker, and you expect it’s still going to be there when you get back.  You don’t even think twice about it, and it’s uncomfortable to have to start wondering.”

Naturally, the clubhouse managers took immediate steps to identify the perpetrators.  Initial suspicion fell on the arena cleaning crew, but players reported items going missing during games, when the cleaning crew was not present.  The clubhouse managers tracked the comings and goings in the locker room, but did not notice anyone unusual, while items continued to disappear.

For the first couple weeks of the season, the low-level mystery persisted.  When players began reporting watches and wallets missing, however, the situation became impossible to ignore.  So the managers installed cameras throughout the locker room.  Eventually, they were able to identify the thief: a cat.

“Turns out that we have a felonious feline among us,” said Hogs GM Carlton Neilson.


The cat, who apparently lives within the arena, accessed the locker room by way of an HVAC duct.  He snuck into the players’ lockers and made off with whatever he could carry in his mouth.

“Thanks to the cameras we had installed, we were able to catch the perpetrator red-handed – or red-pawed, I should say,” said Neilson.

By tracing the cat’s path back through the ductwork, the clubhouse managers were able to locate his stash, which included virtually all of the items reported missing over the last several weeks.  Some of them were a bit worse for wear, but most were intact.

“We’re happy to discover that no one associated with our organization was involved in the thefts,” said Neilson.

Once the offender was identified and the missing items returned, the Hogs planned to turn the cat in to a nearby shelter.  But the players demanded clemency for the thief.

“We wanted to show there were no hard feelings,” said C Greg Enrath.  “Besides, he’s a cute little guy.”

The cat now has a name – Oliver (as in Twist) – and he has a new home inside the clubhouse.  He has a bed and an ample supply of cat toys to keep him from being tempted to resume his old disreputable ways.

The players enjoy spending time with him before and after practices and games.  He’s even appeared in videos on the Jumbotron during games.

“Playing in the minors isn’t the easiest life,” said Sanford.  “That’s why we love Oliver: because we’ve all felt like him at some time or another.  He gets us.”

There is one Milwaukee figure who’s not as entranced by the story: coach Geoff Matson, who is allergic to cats.  “I just keep my door shut,” he said.

2020 SHL Week 4 Transactions

  • On Wednesday, the Hershey Bliss‘ CHL affiliate in Milwaukee activated G Hobie Sanford from the injured list.  Sanford suffered a bruised collarbone in the first week of the season, and had been on the IL ever since.  In order to make room for Sanford on the roster, the organization released G Toby Kemper.  Kemper, who had served as Milwaukee’s reserve netminder during Sanford’s injury, went 1-2-0 with a 4.66 GAA and an .869 save percentage during his time with the club.
  • On Friday, the Quebec Tigres activated D Kevin Buchanan from the injured list.  Buchanan went down with an upper-body injury two and a half weeks ago.  In order to allow Buchanan to return, the Tigres demoted D Hampus Olsson to their CHL affiliate in Halifax.  This season, Olsson appeared in 15 games with Quebec, recording 3 assists and a -2 rating.  To make room for Olsson on the Halifax roster, the team did not renew D Gustaf Bergstrom’s 10-game contract.
  • On Saturday, the Tigres placed LW Stellan Fisker on the injured list.  Fisker exited Saturday’s 4-2 loss to Portland after suffering an upper-body injury late in the second period.  The team described him as “week-to-week” with the injury.  To replace Fisker on the roster, the Tigres called up LW Carl Bleyer from their affiliate in Halifax.  This is the 21-year-old Bleyer’s second stint with Quebec; he was called up for 10 games last season.
  • Also on Saturday, the Hamilton Pistols recalled F Michael Jennings from their farm club in Oshawa and reassigned C Hilliard Macy to Oshawa.  The team called Macy up last week when C Calvin Frye went down with an injury and appeared in five game, recording a goal and two assists  Frye returned to the lineup in mid-week, but LW Steven Alexander was injured in Saturday’s 6-4 loss to Kansas City, and is expected to miss up to a week.  With Frye back and Alexander out, the Pistols needed a winger instead of a center, so they brought Jennings back to the SHL.
  • Finally, in another Saturday night move, the Kansas City Smoke demoted F David Facinelli to their affiliate in Omaha and called C Edz Zalmanis.  Like Hamilton’s move, the transaction was driven be an injury.  C Mike Rivera was hurt in Saturday’s tussle with Hamilton, and is expected to miss multiple games.  With an opening at center, the Smoke took the opportunity to give a look to Zalmanis, who has been brilliant with Omaha (17 points and a +5 rating in 16 games).  The 29-year-old Facinelli has appeared in 7 games with KC this second, registering a single point.

2020 SHL Week 1 Transactions

  • The Hershey Bliss placed minor-league G Hobie Sanford on the disabled list.  Sanford was off to an undefeated start for Hershey’s CHL affiliate in Milwaukee when he suffered an upper-body injury during Thursday’s 3-2 overtime win over Omaha.  It is believed that Sanford suffered a bruised collarbone after taking a high slapshot.  He is expected to miss 2 to 3 weeks.  To fill Sanford’s roster spot, the Bliss signed G Toby Kemper to a minor-league 10-game deal.  The 23-year-old Kemper split last season between CHL clubs Omaha and Cleveland, posting a combined record of 10-13-1.

2019 CHL All-Star Rosters

The day after the SHL’s All-Star Game, their minor league will be holding its second annual All-Star contest.  The game will take place at Wasatch Arena, home of the Utah Owls. The rosters for the game, along with each player’s current stats, are below.


Coach: Patrick Chillingham (Minnesota)


First Line

LW: Veikko Sikanen, Omaha (16 G, 19 A, 35 Pts, 42 PIM, +16)

D: Rodney Black, Idaho (19 G, 10 A, 29 Pts, 10 PIM, +6)

C: Dale Wilcox, Idaho (13 G, 25 A, 38 Pts, 16 PIM, +16)

D: Brady Prussian, Idaho (15 G, 13 A, 28 Pts, 16 PIM, +6)

RW: Adriaen van der Veen, Omaha (16 G, 23 A, 39 Pts, 6 PIM, +16)


Second Line

LW: Terry Cresson, Idaho (11 G, 22 A, 33 Pts, 16 PIM, +16)

D: Laszlo Cierny, Minnesota (6 G, 19 A, 25 Pts, 46 PIM, +2)

C: Foster Culp, Colorado Springs (16 G, 16 A, 32 Pts, 12 PIM, Even)

D: Lowell Sharkey, Omaha (4 G, 19 A, 23 Pts, 12 PIM, +8)

RW: Harris Wondolowski, Utah (15 G, 24 A, 39 Pts, 18 PIM, +2)


Third Line

LW: Gabriel Swindonburg, Milwaukee (19 G, 10 A, 29 Pts, 34 PIM, -4)

D: Trevor Lockwood, Omaha (12G, 14 A, 26 Pts, 29 PIM, +11)

C: Lloyd “Goofy” Banjax, Utah (13 G, 19 A, 32 Pts, 10 PIM, -6)

D: Craig Werner, Utah (7 G, 17 A, 24 Pts, 12 PIM, +2)

RW: Joel Hagendosh, Colorado Springs (13 G, 20 A, 33 Pts, 63 PIM, -13)



Hobie Sanford, Milwaukee (7-8-3, 2.02 GAA, .931 save %)

Curt Freeze, Minnesota (12-8-1, 2.07 GAA, .924 save %)



Coach: Jeffrey “Swampy” Marsh (Virginia)


First Line

LW: Alan Youngman, Baltimore (18 G, 22 A, 40 Pts, 22 PIM, +17)

D: Ambroz Melicar, Baltimore (11 G, 25 A, 36 Pts, 10 PIM, +2)

C: Tucker Barnhill, Baltimore (17 G, 30 A, 47 Pts, 24 PIM, +17)

D: Elvis Bodett, Oshawa (14 G, 8 A, 22 Pts, 19 PIM, +12)

RW: Steve Brandon, Cleveland (19 G, 12 A, 31 Pts, 24 PIM, +2)


Second Line

LW: Yuri Laronov, Virginia (16 G, 15 A, 31 Pts, 16 PIM, -5)

D: Teddy Morrison, Maine (8 G, 13 A, 21 Pts, 14 PIM, Even)

C: Hilliard Macy, Oshawa (15 G, 18 A, 33 Pts, 12 PIM, +15)

D: Casimir Druzek, Virginia (2 G, 20 A, 22 Pts, 27 PIM, -4)

RW: Sidney Archer, Baltimore (15 G, 16 A, 31 Pts, 2 PIM, +17)


Third Line

LW: Marty “Fish” Pescatelli, Hartford (12 G, 16 A, 28 Pts, 39 PIM, -9)

D: Roscoe “Ruckus” Corbetta, Virginia (6 G, 12 A, 18 Pts, 70 PIM, -5)

C: Tanner Brooks, Virginia (19 G, 12 A, 31 Pts, 10 PIM, -5)

D: Burton Cullidge, Cleveland (1 G, 15 A, 15 Pts, 42 PIM, -4)

RW: Felix Delorme, Hartford (15 G, 13 A, 28 Pts, 14 PIM, -9)



Eugene Looney, Cleveland (8-7-0, 1.79 GAA, .925 save %)

Jonathan Crane, Maine (9-9-2, 2.06 GAA, .917 save %)