Thursday, September 28, 2006

Alpena's captains epitomize leadership

When Alpena IceDiggers' head coach Kenny Miller named Nolan Craner co-captain for the second consecutive season, he knew Craner would lead his team on and off the ice.

So it's no surprise to see that Craner (pictured) is atop the league leaders in points in the early stages of the 2006-07 NAHL season.

This season marks the Plainwell native's third that he has sported the IceDiggers jersey. Craner, along with co-captain Ricardo Yesue (Allen Park) and Miller are the only three left from the group of players and staff that made the move north prior to last season when the team called Toledo home.

In six games this season, Craner has four goals to go along with seven assists for 11 points. Three goals have also come on the power play and Craner has recorded at least one point in every game so far.

"Nolan leads by example and gets his point across to the team by what he does on the ice," Miller said. "Every guy on the team looks up to him and he deserves the season he is having so far. He has given a lot to this organization in the three years he has been with us."

Ben Kitzmiller (Lambertville) and Todd Rudasill act as alternate captains.

"All four lead by example both on and off the ice," added Miller. "Each of them are great kids who will make a difference in whatever they choose to do after their playing days in Alpena are over."

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