Toiling away with the NAHL North Division’s Motor City Machine, he was “rescued” when he was traded to the RoadRunners, reviving his junior career. Now, former captain Kurtis Anton steps back onto Landon Arena ice as a member of the RoadRunner Alumni Team.
The native of Rochester Hills, MI played 17 games for the expansion Motor City Machine, and was dealt to Topeka just before the trade deadline in February 2009. He appeared in 10 games for Topeka down the stretch, and though he didn’t register any points, his presence on the ice gave the ‘Runners a bit of an edge they had been looking for. “Anton came in looking to do whatever he could to help this team win”, said head coach Scott Langer. “He put the needs of the team ahead of everything else. It was that combined with his overall attitude and work ethic that made him the obvious choice to lead this team as captain the following year.”
Wearing the “C” was something Anton took very seriously. “It was an honor to be given that responsibility and I knew that there was an impressive history of captains in this franchise to live up to so that made me work that much harder”, Anton said. Fans nicknamed him "Kaptain Krunch" for his thunderous body checks and overall tough guy reputation. In his second season he played 53 games and lit the lamp 5 times, dishing out 9 assists. Impressively, for a player whose role was typically on a checking / energy line, he finished the year with a +7 rating. He also spent a fair amount of time (137 minutes) in the penalty box. “Goes with the territory”, he said laughing. “Everyone on a team has their role. I knew mine, and I took pride in it.”
Anton and the rest of the Alumni face off against the 2010-11 RoadRunners on Sunday Sept.5 at 12:00 noon. Tickets are available through the Expocentre Box Office or by calling 785-297-1000.