Prescott Valley, AZ – The Arizona Sundogs announced today, hard-hitting veteran defenseman, Mario Larocque has signed with the team for the 2012-2013 Central Hockey League Season. “Larocque is a huge signing for us”, Chris Presson, General Manager said of the 34-year-old, 220-pound, Montreal Quebec native.
Larocque began his pro career in 1998 and has played in 844 games and amassed an impressive 381 points (128 goals and 253 assists) and 2,667 penalty minutes over the course of his career.
Larocque was selected by Tampa Bay in the 1st Round (16th) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. He managed to play five games while with Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League (NHL) and accrued 16 penalty minutes. Following his short stint in the NHL he spent the rest of his 1998-1999 season playing in the International Hockey League (IHL) with the Cleveland Lumberjacks where he put up 12 points (5 goals and 7 assists) and 202 penalty minutes.
From 1999-2001 he played with the Detroit Vipers of the IHL before being assigned to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League (AHL) where he tallied 15 points (8 goals and 7 assists) and 219 penalty minutes in 75 games. Over the next five seasons he split his time between the ECHL and United Hockey League (UHL) playing for the Wheeling Nailers from 2002-2004 totaling 79 points (31 goals and 48 assists) and then the Danbury Trashers from 2004-2006 scoring 47 points (11 goals and 36 assists).
Before heading overseas to Austria and Italy for three seasons he played for the Fort Wayne Komets of the now defunct UHL. Larocque saw his career high come while with the Komets putting up 67 points (27 goals and 40 assists) and 231 penalty minutes and was also awarded the UHL Most Goals by Defenseman. Returning to the states halfway through the 2009-2010 season he joined the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the IHL and played 31 games.
During 2010-2011 Larocque played for the Evansville Icemen of the Central Hockey League (CHL) where he was their assistant captain and scored 44 points (17 goals and 27 assists). Last season he played in 69 games with the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL and racked up 140 penalty minutes while scoring 45 points (7 goals and 38 assists).
“This will by my 15th season playing hockey and I’m looking forward to playing it in Arizona”, said Larocque. He continued by saying, “I like the way Chris and Dave are putting the pieces together of the team. I know guys that have played with Arizona before and they’ve all said that this organization treats their players good and that’s important to me”.
The Arizona Sundogs are the Central Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes. Their seventh season is set to begin in October 2012. Season tickets, mini-plans, and single-game ticket information is now available by calling (928) 759-6600 or visiting arizonasundogs.com.