Tuesday, December 12, 2006

IceDiggers finally come back home

After playing the last 10 games away from Northern Lights Arena, the Alpena IceDiggers finally get to come home Wednesday and play in front of the hometown crowd versus the Traverse City North Stars.

Faceoff is set for 7:00 p.m.

The IceDiggers finished their longest road trip of the season with a record of 7-3 and, although it gave the team not only a measuring stick within the North Division, it gave the players a chance to spend quality time together as a group.

But now they are happy to be back and ready to play in front of their fans and housing families.

"It was a successful road trip in terms of wins and losses, but for the guys it is going to be nice to play at NLA," stated head coach Kenny Miller.

Alpena will play Traverse City four straight times before the New Year. Aside from the exhibition game against the Under-17 Swedish National Team on Dec. 27, the North Stars will be the only opponent until the 2007 calendar year.

The IceDiggers currently sit four points behind first place Mahoning Valley, but Alpena has one game in hand on the Phantoms.


Center Todd Rudasill continues to lead the NAHL in scoring with 49 points in 29 games. He is currently eight points better than Fairbanks' Kyle Schmidt, who has 41 points.

The IceDiggers also announced today they have acquired forward Jonathan Juliano from Fairbanks. The Clinton Township native appeared in nine games with the IceDogs recording three assists. Juliano spent all of last season and the beginning of this season with Traverse City, where we played 72 games and scored 13 goals and added 27 assists. Last season, Juliano led Traverse City in scoring in the playoffs with seven points in five games.

The IceDiggers will be without the services of captain Nolan Craner, assistant captain Ricardo Yesue and veteran defensemen Korey O'Brien, who are out with various injuries.

"With these guys banged up other players will need to step in and make an impact," said Miller. "We have guys on the team able to do that."

All three players should be ready after the Christmas break.

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