Saturday, January 28, 2006

IceDiggers fall to U.S. Under-17 Team

The U.S. National Under-17 Team dropped the Alpena Ice Diggers, 6-2 in NAHL action Friday afternoon at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube.

Alpena jumped out to a 1-0 lead 2:44 into the game when Todd Rudasill buried a loose puck in front of USA netminder Josh Unice. USA defenseman Ian Cole notched his third goal of the season on a blast from the left point to knot the game at one at the end of the first frame.

USA turned on the offense in the second period with a jump-start from a power-play goal by James vanRiemsdyk 1:49 into the second period. Defenseman A.J. Sturges scored 4:20 later to give USA the two goal advantage at 4-2. USA forward Mike Cieslak got a gift when Alpena goaltender Peter O'Hara skated towards the bench on what he thought was a delayed penalty, but he was wrong and Cieslak deposited the puck in the empty net to give USA the 5-1 lead.

Midway through the third period Colin Wilson stretched the USA lead to 6-1 with a power-play goal from Colby Cohen and Sturges. Chris Hendrickson scored a late power-play goal with 3:18 remaining for Alpena's second tally of the night to make the score 6-2.

Unice was strong in goal stopping 38 of 40 IceDiggers attempts to earn his seventh win of the season. O'Hara and Johnny Morrow combined for 37 saves in the Alpena net.

USA and Alpena face-off Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Ice Cube as part of the inagural Hockey Day in Michigan.

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