Fresno’s Stefanishion Attracting Attention

By Brian Compton
NHL.com Staff Writer

One year ago, Matt Stefanishion was getting ready for a breakout season with the Reading Royals.

Fifteen games into the season, things just weren’t clicking for the power forward, as he notched just 1 goal and 1 assist. He needed a change of scenery — one that would provide him an opportunity to really showcase his abilities.

On Nov. 28, 2007, Stefanishion received that fresh start. In a three-team deal that also involved the Columbia Inferno, Stefanishion became a member of the Fresno Falcons.

Under coach Matt Thomas, Stefanishion was given every chance to succeed, and the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder excelled. In 54 games, the Daysland, Alberta, native had 19 goals, 18 assists and a whopping 243 penalty minutes. His play in Fresno earned him an invitation to the Anaheim Ducks’ training camp. While a numbers game forced him to return to Fresno, a quick start could quickly land him in the American Hockey League.

Imagine the type of numbers Stefanishion would have put up if not for the bad fit in Reading.

“With the start of the year that I had in Reading, it was unfortunate,” Stefanishion told NHL.com. “I had to try and find just a way to get back into hockey and enjoying things. Coming out to Fresno and getting a chance to play and proving that I could be a big factor really got me back into it. I’m excited about this year.”

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