Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Alpena heads to Ann Arbor to battle NTDP

The Alpena IceDiggers hit the road for two mid-week games to take on the USA Under-18 National Team tonight and the USA Under-17 National Team tomorrow night.

Both games will be played at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube and the puck will drop at 7:00 p.m. for both contests.

With the North Division standings tight, Alpena knows that these two games are very important for the first-place club.

"We have to go into these games and give a great effort in order to be successful," IceDiggers' coach-GM Kenny Miller said. "We will give it everything we got."

Alpena will need to get a balanced scoring attack like they have had the past four games.

"When we get scoring from all four lines and our defensemen, we have more success," noted Miller. "I am happy with how we are playing right now."

The IceDiggers are coming off a weekend where they played host to the Mahoning Valley Phantoms and lost 5-2 on Friday and 5-4 Saturday in a shootout. Saturday's shootout was a first for Alpena this season.

"On Friday we were not good and didn't deserve to win," Miller said. "On Saturday, I thought we outplayed them and had a few breakdowns and that cost us the extra point."

The IceDiggers are led by Nolan Craner and Todd Rudasill, who are still 1-2 in scoring in the NAHL. Veterans Ricardo Yesue and Erik Peterson are starting to heat up offensively. Peterson has scored six points in his last five games, while Yesue has added a goal and four assists in the last five contests.

The goaltending tandem of Shawn Hunwick and Mike Jarboe has played well for the 'Diggers so far this season in combing for 10 wins in 14 games.

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