Chad Collins is the winningest and most highly decorated goaltender in Fayetteville FireAntz history. He is playing in his fifth season with the club and has accumulated quite an impressive 83-48-14 record. In addition to the wins and losses, Collins has racked up quite a list of accomplishments while wearing a FireAntz jesey.
    The 2004-05 campaign — Collins’ rookie season and first with the FireAntz — was a productive one for the young netminder. He ended the season with a 25-13-0 record, a 2.48 goals against average and a .922 save percentage. Collins also collected some league hardware during his rookie year. He won Goaltender of the Year, Rookie of the Year, First Team All-SPHL and two Player of the Week awards, as well as a Player of the Month Award.
    {mosimage}After a highly-decorated rookie campaign, Collins spent the majority of the 2005-06 season in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), splitting time with three teams. He returned late in the season to the FireAntz and was superb down the stretch for the club. Though he posted an 8-5-3 record, he had a miniscule 2.06 goals against average with a whopping .941 save percentage.
    Collins entered the 2006-07 season with his mind set on one goal: the SPHL President’s Cup. The goaltender played in an astonishing 45 of the team’s 56 regular season games and broke his own franchise record for wins in a season with 27. He ended the regular season with a stellar 27-12-5 record, an .897 save percentage and a 3.34 goals against average. But it wasn’t in the regular season where Collins would shine the most, it was in the President’s Cup Playoffs. He was an “iron man” in between the pipes for the club, going 7-1 with a 2.60 goals against average and a .924 save percentage en route to leading his team to the championship and earning the Most Valuable Player award.
    Collins’ impact on the FireAntz extends well beyond the confines of the ice rink of the Crown Coliseum. He has served as the spokesman for the Cape Fear Valley Blood Donor Center’s blood drive campaign for the past two years; making several appearances throughout the community urging people to donate. Children in the community have always been high on Collins’ priority list, and he has made dozens of appearances at local schools and youth functions during his tenure with the club.
    Collins returns to the FireAntz with renewed vigor this season to continue to be a star on the ice and a role model off of it. Expect to see a lot of  Collins with the FireAntz this season and, hopefully, many seasons to come.

Contact Jason Fleming at editor@upandcomingweekly.com 

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