Thunder 1st ECHL Team on Shnarped
The time…December 2013…the team…Stockton Thunder…the player…Corey Trivino.
The Toronto, Ontario native is in his best form all season, having now picked up 12 points in seven straight games with the Thunder. This stretch of play for the former second round selection by the New York Islanders in 2008 earned himself his first AHL call-up to the Portland Pirates.
Now you are a fan of the Thunder, and a fan of Trivino, and you want to tell him how proud you are of him getting his first call to the A! That is exactly where Shnarped comes in.
Not only does this app, which is currently available on iOS and Android devices, allow fans to do just that, congratulate their favorite players and teams by sending them fist bumps or, “pounds” along with messages of praise and support; but it also allows fans to follow their favorite players and teams and see the latest news or stats all at the touch of a button.
It’s like having Twitter, StocktonThunder.com, ECHL.com, and HockeyDB wrapped all into one pretty little app!
If Shnarped wasn’t already uniquely cool, throw in the fact that two Princeton grads, and ECHL alums, are behind this great new community (who happened to both play for former Thunder Head Coach Matt Thomas…and the Thunder connections don’t stop there).
Former Reading Royal, Fresno Falcon, and Cincinnati Cyclone (where he won a Kelly Cup Championship) Dustin Sproat alongside teammate Kyle Hagel have spearheaded the development of Shnarped. While Sprout last played in 2011 for Cincinnati, Hagel is still in the midst of his career as he finds himself in the AHL.
Hagel also developed in the ECHL as a former member of the Fresno Falcons, Reading Royals and Las Vegas Wranglers, and this year, became a teammate of Trivino’s with the Portland Pirates in the AHL.
“Shnarped actually started with a charity we formed back in 2008 called Hockey Players for Kids (HP4K),” begins Hagel. “It was all about getting players into the community and spending quality face time with kids. From there, we realized that fans badly wanted to connect with players, but Facebook and Twitter weren’t great options. We built a sweet stats database that players love because they can keep track of their buddies as they bounce around the hockey world. Then we added the interactive component so that fans can congratulate guys on a job well done.”
The name Sharped derives from the card game played on many hockey road trips called Shnarps. It’s a name that symbolizes what this app is all about. It was built for and by hockey players while also giving fans the opportunity to look behind the scenes and communicate with their favorite players and teams!
With over 150 NHL players as “verified users” along with over 1000 prospects (including many ECHL prospects), Sprout and Hagel believe this app is here to stay, and could become the staple app that fans use for stats, video, and connecting with their favorite players and teams.
“We’re totally pumped about it,” exclaims Hagel. “The coolest part is watching the community take on a life of its own. Everyone always boasts about how hockey players are the most personable professional athletes, and we think Shnarped shows off that side of their personalities.”
And while the goal is to get as many verified NHL super stars using this app, the duo recognizes just how vital minor league, college and junior hockey are.
Currently the app follows the NHL, AHL, ECHL, Central League, NCAA, OHL, WHL, QMJHL and USHL, but as former ECHL alums, the pair are very excited about the prospect of more ECHL teams and players adding to the growing community.
“We’re really excited to break into the ECHL,” says Hagel. “It’s the league where we both came from. I remember playing against Stockton in 2008 and having 8,000 fans booing and cursing at me after fighting Garet Hunt at centre ice. It may sound crazy but that’s actually a cool feeling. We know that the ECHL definitely has a passionate fan base and we’re excited to help players and teams connect with their fans.”
As of now, there are a few verified Thunder players and alums on Shnarped with team Marketing Manager Brandon Kisker looking for that number to grow next year.
“I’m very excited and am proud that the Thunder are the first verified team in the ECHL,” says Kisker. “I’ve used Shnarped as a fan myself throughout this year and love the premise of the community. This is the future of interacting with your favorite hockey players and teams, and our organization and our players look forward to utilizing Shnarped next season.”
Some Thunder Verified Players and Alums include:
Mark Arcobello, Edmonton Oilers
Troy Bodie, Toronto Maple Leafs
Tyler Bunz, Bakersfield Condors
J.P. Burkemper, Toledo Walleye
Philippe Cornet, Charlotte Chekckers
Mathieu Gagnon, Stockton Thunder
Mike Dalhuisen, Cincinnati Cyclones
Sean Escobedo, Stockton Thunder
Matt Mangene, Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Ian O’Connor, Manchester Monarchs
Cody Reichard, Orlando Solar Bears
Ben Rosen, Stockton Thunder
Corey Trivino, Stockton Thunder
Teigan Zahn, Utah Grizzlies