Friday, August 04, 2006

IceDiggers release schedules, preseason roster

The Alpena IceDiggers have released their 2006-2007 schedule and the NAHL team has expanded the regular season to 29 home games and 33 games away from Northern Lights Arena.

The IceDiggers will compete in the North Division against Traverse City, Marquette, USA National Development Program and Mahoning Valley.

"This season will be a test because of the added number of games and I look forward to the challenge of preparing the guys for the entire season," said Alpena head coach Kenny Miller.

All 17 teams will kick off the regular season at the four day NAHL Showcase Sept. 13-16 at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota. The IceDiggers will take on the North Iowa Outlaws, Alexandria Blizzard, Texas Tornado (three-time defending national champions) and the St. Louis Bandits (formerly the Texarkana Bandits). All of the Showcase games count in the league standings.

The IceDiggers' home season will begin on Friday, Sept. 22 versus the newest NAHL team, the Marquette Rangers at 7:00 p.m. The following night, Alpena will invade Marquette for the Rangers' home opener.

The IceDiggers also have several special dates for the season including a home game versus Traverse City on New Year's Eve and also St. Patrick's Day. The IceDiggers will endure a long road trip when after they host Traverse City on Friday, November 10, they will not return to Northern Lights Arena until Wednesday, December 13, playing ten games on the road during that stretch.

This year's schedule includes four Sunday afternoon games and four Wednesday night games.

"We are very pleased with the schedule and we hope the fans of Alpena will continue their strong support for our team on the Wednesday night games which were necessary due to the increase in the number of games that the league has added," stated Miller.

The IceDiggers last regular season home game will take place on Saturday, March 17, 2007 versus Traverse City.

"Coach Miller has worked extremely hard to select a team with some good players and more importantly good young men who I am sure will represent the community well and will be very competitive throughout the season," said IceDiggers' VP and GM Bob Krafft.

The IceDiggers plan to wear several special event jerseys this season. The IceDiggers are scheduled to wear camouflage jerseys on Friday, November 10, 2006 versus their cross state rival North Stars. And the popular NASCAR jerseys will be worn on Saturday February 3, 2007 when they play host to the Rangers. They will also wear their annual St. Patrick's Day jerseys on Friday, March 17, 2007. All three sets will be auctioned off immediately following each game in the main bleachers.

But before the season starts, the IceDiggers have a preseason slate beginning with a pair of home games at Northern Lights Arena on Friday, Sept. 1 at 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 12:30 p.m. versus the Rangers.

On Wednesday Sept. 6 at 7:00 p.m. Alpena will travel to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to take on the Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL). On Friday, Sept. 8 the same two teams will tangle in Alpena. Face off is set for 7:00 p.m.

Season ticket holders will be admitted to all home preseason games free of charge. Admission for non-season ticket holders will be $3.00 per person per game.

Alpena also announced the 26 players selected to participate in training camp that starts Monday, August 21.

The level of play was very high during camp and it made for some tough decisions for the coaching staff.

"This was probably the most competitive camp we have had in a few years and we are very happy with the guys we have coming in," Miller said.

Training camp roster
(with last year's team)

Zach Barron, Alpena
Nolan Craner, Alpena
Taylor Doorlag, Alpena
Artur Kret, Alpena
Erik Peterson, Alpena
Drew Pierson, Alpena
Todd Rudasill, Alpena
Justin Stadler, Alpena
Ricardo Yesue, Alpena
Tyler Coe, Belle Tire AAA
Ryan King, Philadelphia Flyers AAA
Jimmy McCusker, Compuware AAA
Mike Paglino, Little Caesars AAA
Marco Ruggeri, Belle Tire AAA
Austin Seiple, Toledo Cherokee Jr. B

Chad Billins, Alpena
Chris Hendrickson, Alpena
Ben Kitzmiller, Alpena
Korey O'Brien, Alpena
Eric Roman, Alpena
Brett Kaneshiro, Capital Centre AAA
Logan Toohey, Belle Tire AAA
Evan West, Belle Tire AAA

Shawn Hunwick, Petrolia Jets Jr. B
Brandon Stephenson, Saline High
Justin Marzean, Alpena High

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