Saturday, September 29, 2007


Fri. Sept. 28

at Kitchener 1, Plymouth 0 (OT)
at Sault Ste. Marie 5, Saginaw 4 (OT)

at Alpena 4, Traverse City 3 (OT)
U.S. Under-17 Team 5 at Marquette 3

Sat. Sept. 29

Windsor 6 at Plymouth 4
at Saginaw 5, Owen Sound 3

at Traverse City 3, Alpena 2 (OT)
at Marquette 6, U.S. Under-17 Team 4

Friday, September 28, 2007

IceDiggers make roster moves

The Alpena IceDiggers have made a couple of roster changes heading into their home opener tonight.

Joining the club are defensemen Anthony Leone and Mike Dokho. Leone spent last season with the Honeybaked midget AAA team and Dokho played with the Belle Tire midget AAA squad.

To make room for Leone and Dokho, the IceDiggers released defensemen Cameron Small and Tom Murphy.

Meet the IceDiggers on Oct. 4

On Thursday, October 4, the Alpena IceDiggers will host a meet the team dinner at the Thunder Bay Recreation Center in conjunction with the Alpena Youth Center at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are on sale inside the IceDiggers' main office and at various locations around Alpena. Prices are $30.00 for a family (two adults and up to four children 0 to 18), $20.00 for couples and $12.00 for an individual tickets.

The event will include a VIP table auction at 6:00 p.m. with dinner being served at 6:30 p.m. The IceDiggers and the Youth Center will auction off an IceDiggers jersey and tickets to future home games. All profits go to the Youth Center.

"We are very excited about this event," Alpena coach-GM Kenny Miller said. "Fans will get a chance to meet the new players and sit with them for a night of food and fun. The kids at the Youth Center will also be auctioning off art they have made for the event."

The meet the team dinner will have a cash bar that begins at 5:30 p.m.

For more information on this event, please contact the IceDiggers main office at (989) 356-9812 or call the Alpena Youth Center at (989) 354-3213 and ask for Charleen Dubie.

Businesses in Alpena that are selling the tickets are The Market Place, LaFave Pharmacy, The Bank of Alpena, 19th Hole, Northern Foot & Ankle and Glitz & Glamor Bridal.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Spirit trade Berard, acquire VanBuskirk

The Saginaw Spirit today picked up 19-year-old goaltender Parker VanBuskirk from the Sarnia Sting for overage forward Ryan Berard.

“The Saginaw Spirit organization is proud to welcome Parker to our family,” stated Spirit GM Don Edwards. “He has played more than 70 games in the Ontario Hockey League. With that kind of experience, he adds depth to our goaltending corps.”

VanBuskirk is a native of Windsor, Ontario and spent two seasons with the Sarnia Sting. During the 2005-06 season he posted a record of 6-16-1-1 in 30 games, with a .887 save percentage. He tallied a .900 save percentage last season with a record of 25-13-3-3 in 48 games and also had two shutouts.

Whalers deal Whitely to Sarnia for pick

The Plymouth Whalers announced the trade of 20-year-old defenseman Steven Whitely to the Sarnia Sting today in exchange for a conditional 10th-round draft choice in the 2009 OHL Priority Selection.

Two weeks ago, the Whalers sent the same draft pick to Sarnia for 18-year-old defenseman Christian Steingraber.

Plymouth acquired Whitely from Belleville last January at the trade deadline. Whitely scored a goal with six assists for seven points and 33 penalty minutes and was +10 over 25 regular season games last season. He then added five assists with 23 PIMs and was +10 in 20 playoff games during the Whalers’ championship run last spring.

Whitely’s trade leaves Plymouth with five overage players – captain Andrew Fournier, fellow forwards Sean O’Connor and Joe McCann and defensemen Wes Cunningham and Zack Shepley.

Photo by Walt Dmoch/Plymouth Whalers

Monday, September 24, 2007

IceDiggers ready for home opener Friday

After starting the season last week at the NAHL Showcase with a 2-2 record in Blaine, Minn., the Alpena IceDiggers open their home schedule this Friday at 7:00 p.m. versus the Traverse City North Stars.

Alpena is currently six points behind first place St. Louis and the Bandits have played two more games than Alpena.

"At times at the Showcase, we looked very good and at other times we looked like the young team we are," said Alpena head coach Kenny Miller. "The guys worked very hard and we were able to get two wins and stay in the hunt after one week of the regular season."

The North Stars recorded a record of 2-0-2 at the Showcase.

"They played good hockey all week," added Miller. "The North Division is going to be very tough."

Leading Alpena in points after four games is rookie forward Jon Puskar, who has recorded one goal and six assists. Alpena native Erik Peterson is second in points with a goal and five assists. Goaltenders Dan Pason and Nate Pellegrino both earned a victory at the Showcase.

Neuvirth returned to Whalers by Capitals

The Plymouth Whalers announced that the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals have returned goaltender Michal Neuvirth to the Whalers.

Neuvirth (pronounced “NOY-vair”) now rejoins Brownstown native Jeremy Smith in goal for Plymouth. Neuvirth, taken by Washington in the second round (34th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, played in one game for Washington in the preseason, a 4-3 overtime loss to Carolina on Sept. 16.

Smith was selected in the second round and 54th overall by the Nashville Predators in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Neuvirth and Smith teamed up last season to contribute to Plymouth’s run to the Ontario Hockley League title as the Whalers won the OHL’s Dave Pinkney Award for the fewest goals allowed (173 over 68 games). Neuvirth won the OHL’s F.W. “Dinty” Moore Trophy last season after posting a league-best 2.32 goals-against average and .932 save percentage while going 26-8-2-2 in 41 regular season games. Neuvirth played most of the way in the 2007 playoffs and Memorial Cup, going 16-5-2 with a 2.54 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in 23 games.

Neuvirth and Smith give the Whalers a unique situation – two talented NHL-drafted goaltenders playing for the same team.

Photo by Walt Dmoch/Plymouth Whalers

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Plymouth and Saginaw weekend roundup

Weds. Sept. 19
Sault Ste. Marie 7 at Saginaw 5

Sat. Sept. 22
Erie 6 at Plymouth 4
at Saginaw 5, Sarnia 4

Michigan teams fare well at NAHL Showcase

Weds. Sept. 19
Wichita Falls 6, Alpena 3
Marquette 4, North Iowa 3 (SO)
Traverse City 4, Bismarck 2

Thurs. Sept. 20
Alpena 7, Southern Minnesota 2
North Iowa 1, Traverse City 0 (OT)
Marquette 2, Wichita Falls 1 (SO)

Fri. Sept. 21
St. Louis 3, Marquette 2
Traverse City 6, Alaska 1
Fargo-Moorhead 6, Alpena 4

Sat. Sept. 22
Marquette 7, Kenai River 4
Alpena 3, North Iowa 2
Alexandria 3, Traverse City 2 (SO)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Whalers open at home Saturday night

There will be plenty happening when the Ontario Hockey League champion Plymouth Whalers host the Erie Otters in the season opener this Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Compuware Arena.

Before the game, the AM-910 Radio Disney D-Tour will be on hand to greet the fans as they come into Compuware Arena.

The Whalers will raise their 2007 championship banner to the rafters of Compuware Arena in a pre-game ceremony. Plymouth coach-GM Mike Vellucci and OHL commissioner David Branch will be on hand to participate in the ceremony.

The J. Ross Robertson trophy and the Wayne Gretzky Western Conference championship trophy will be available for photographs with fans during and after the game. Plymouth photographers will be available to assist for a nominal fee.

Erie has been a frequent guest at Compuware Arena for the Whalers’ home opener, having played in 2000, 2002 and last season. Plymouth is 9-7-1-0 in home openers since 1990:

Sept. 23, 2006 – Plymouth 7, Erie 6 (shootout)
Sept. 24, 2005 – Sarnia 2, Plymouth 1 (overtime)
Sept. 25, 2004 – Plymouth 5, Saginaw 1
Sept. 20, 2003 – Oshawa 5, Plymouth 2
Sept. 21, 2002 – Erie 2, Plymouth 0
Sept. 22, 2001 – Owen Sound 6, Plymouth 4
Sept. 23, 2000 – Erie 4, Plymouth 0
Sept. 25, 1999 – Oshawa 4, Plymouth 2
Oct. 3, 1998 – Plymouth 6, Sudbury 3
Sept. 20, 1997 – London 6, Plymouth 4
Oct. 5, 1996 – Detroit 2, Kingston 0
Sept. 30, 1995 – Detroit 11, Oshawa 5
Sept. 30, 1994 – Detroit 7, Belleville 3
Sept. 29, 1993 – Detroit 4, Windsor 1
Oct. 3, 1992 – Detroit 8, Belleville 4
Sept. 27, 1991 – Oshawa 8, Detroit 3
Sept. 20, 1990 – London 4, Detroit 0

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rangers, RE/MAX form Junior Rangers

The Marquette Rangers have teamed up with Cheryl Jackson of RE/MAX 1st Realty to form an exciting opportunity for area youth hockey players.

The Marquette Junior Rangers will be open to both boys and girls who will be ages 8, 9 and 10 during the 2007-2008 hockey season and who are currently playing in a youth hockey organization. The Marquette Junior Rangers will serve as an opportunity for young players to learn more about the game, while keeping their interest in the game at a high level.

“When we first met with Cheryl Jackson, her love of hockey in this area was pretty easy to see,” said Mark Evans, public relations and marketing for the Rangers. “She wanted to sponsor an event that got young kids excited not only about the Rangers, but excited about the game in general and hopefully keep them playing hockey for years to come. This will be a lot of fun, and it’s something I know our players and coaches are really looking forward to this year.”

The Junior Rangers will skate with the Rangers players and coaches one Sunday a month throughout the season and will receive age appropriate instruction from the coaching staff and players in a fun relaxed atmosphere. Each player will receive a practice jersey for them to keep, and Junior Rangers players will also be featured at Marquette Rangers home games during the 2007-2008 season.

The Junior Rangers program is free and open to the first 40 kids who apply and who are willing to represent themselves and the Ranger organization is a positive manner. Interested players should have a parent or guardian stop in the Rangers office in Lakeview Arena as this will be first come, first serve and is not a hockey competition. Players will be required to have a permission form on file in the Rangers office, signed by a parent or guardian before they can participate.

North Stars ready for NAHL Showcase

From an existential standpoint, this week’s North American Hockey League Showcase in suburban Minneapolis will be a journey of self-discovery for the Traverse City North Stars.

After a pair of exhibition contests against North Division foe Alpena, the North Stars have learned a few things about the quality and character of the club, but when the bright lights go up on Wednesday at the Schwan’s Super Rink, first year head coach-GM Anthony Palumbo will get his first real look at the roster under the microscope of actual game conditions.

“I learned that we’re a hard-working team and that our work ethic is excellent,” said Palumbo, after a preseason split with the IceDiggers. “I think we’re still learning to trust each other, to play within the system, but like most teams, we’re trying to bring 20 or 25 different mindsets in line. Most of these guys are coming from different systems, different backgrounds. The cohesion can only come with time and experience.”

The 18-team annual event - which attracts hundreds of college hockey scouts - will also be Palumbo’s initial peek at a quartet of interdivisional foes in Bismarck, North Iowa, Alaska and Alexandria (Mn.). While the Stars did face Bismarck at last year’s Showcase - dropping a 4-3 decision to the Bobcats – Palumbo says he will have to fine-tune on the fly.

“I have to admit, I know nothing about the teams we’re playing other than having a roster, but I think most of the teams here are in the same situation in that respect. You kind of have to focus on what you do, not what you think the other team is going to do, especially a team from outside your region, your division. You make your adjustments as the game goes on, but try to play your one system.”

The Stars are healthy for the most part, with veteran forwards Harrison Niemann and Zach Hitch – along with returning defenseman Jameson Raymond – nursing minor lower body injuries. Additionally, Palumbo says he was pleasantly surprised with the exhibition season performances of a few of the new arrivals, including forward Jarrod LaBelle.

“We knew Jarrod had the speed and the skill,” Palumbo said of the Midland native’s showing. “But I guess we weren’t prepared for just how hard he plays. I think the people of Traverse City – the fans of the North Stars – are really going to come to love this kid and how hard he works.”

Traverse City opens the NAHL Showcase on Wednesday against Bismarck (8:30 p.m. ET), faces North Iowa in a Thursday matinee (2:15 p.m. ET), takes on Alaska (0-1-0 after a 6-2 loss to expansion Kenai River on Sept. 14) on Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET, and closes out the event against Alexandria on Saturday evening (7:45 p.m. ET). The Showcase also marks the beginning of the NAHL’s partnership with B2 Networks, who will provide pay-per-view video webcasting of all league games this season. Fans wishing to watch the games can find a link to the B2 feed from the team’s Web site,, or the event site,

“I’d imagine that all the teams feel like we do – those that haven’t had a game or two already, anyway,” Palumbo surmised. “We’ve spent a spring and summer getting ready, and we’re just eager to get to it.”


: Sept. 19-22
WHERE: Schwan’s Super Rink – Blaine, Minn.

WEDNESDAY: TC vs. Bismarck (20-36-6 in 2006-07), 8:30 p.m. ET
THURSDAY: TC vs. North Iowa (27-29-6), 2:15 p.m. ET
FRIDAY: TC vs. Alaska (16-39-7), 5:30 p.m. ET
SATURDAY: TC vs. Alexandria (28-29-5), 7:45 p.m. ET

WATCH LIVE: Link to the pay-per-view B2 video feed at or

Sunday, September 16, 2007

IceDiggers off to NAHL Showcase

With the exhibition season coming to a close last weekend and the Alpena IceDiggers finishing with a 2-0-1 record, the team will now turn their attention to the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minn., as the regular season schedule begins Wednesday for the IceDiggers.

The IceDiggers are looking to make an impression at this year's Showcase.

"We played good at times during the preseason and we know in order to have success at the showcase, we will have to compete every shift for 60 minutes in all four games," said third-year head coach Kenny Miller.

Alpena will play one member of the South Division and three members of the Central Division. All games will count in the NAHL standings.

All four IceDigger games at the NAHL Showcase can be seen live on B2 TV for only $6 per game.


Wednesday vs. Wichita Falls Wildcats, 2:00 p.m.
Thursday vs. Southern Minnesota Express, 1:00 p.m.
Friday vs. Fargo-Moorhead Jets, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday vs. North Iowa Outlaws, 7:30 p.m.

Saginaw beats London again Sunday

The Saginaw Spirit beat the London Knights, 3-2, Sunday afternoon in Woodstock, Ont.

Scoring for the Spirit were T.J. Brodie, Kain Allicock and Mitch Fillman.

Saginaw wraps up the exhibition season with a record of 2-2-0-0, losing to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in two games and beating the Knights in two games.

Saginaw tops London Saturday night

The Saginaw Spirit beat the London Knights, 5-4, in exhibition action Saturday night in London.

Jack Combs tallied two goals and Tom Craig, Tyler Murovich and Patrick Asselin had a goal apiece.

Scoring for the Knights were Greg Zavitz, Kevin Montgomery, Tony DeHart and Vladimir Roth.

The Spirit tallied 33 shots on net; the Knights 22.

The Spirit play the Knights this afternoon in Woodstock, Ontario for the second of two exhibition games.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Marysville's Rogers verbals to Notre Dame

From the Western College Hockey blog...

The Port Huron Times Herald is reporting that Notre Dame has received a verbal commitment from Marysville goalie Joe Rogers.

Rogers has to be one of the most interesting stories in junior hockey. He was born with a birth defect in his glove hand, which makes it nearly impossible to catch pucks in his glove, but he has worked to become one of the best goalies in his age group.

He'll be playing Junior B hockey for the Petrolia Jets in the Western Ontario Hockey League.

UPDATE: The Times Herald ran a full article on Rogers this week. He'll join the Irish in 2009.

Whalers finish 1-5 in preseason action

The Plymouth Whalers lost Friday night in Erie against the Otters, 5-2. Kaine Geldart and Joe McCann scored the Whalers goals.

Plymouth lost Thursday in St. Catharines, Ont., against the Niagara IceDogs, 10-1. Josh Bemis scored the lone Whalers goal and The Standard out of St. Catharines had the game story.

For the weekend, the Whalers were without regulars Michal Neuvirth, Jeremy Smith and Chris Terry (all away at NHL camps), as well as Brett Bellemore, Leo Jenner, Sean O'Connor, R.J. Mahalak and Zack Shepley (all injured).

The Whalers open the regular season next Saturday at home with their 2007 championship banner raising night against Erie. Game time is 7:05 p.m.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Plymouth gets D-man Steingraber from Sting

The Plymouth Whalers acquired defenseman Christian Steingraber from the Sarnia Sting today for a conditional 10th-round draft pick in 2009.

Steingraber hails from Oregon, Ohio and is expected to be in the line-up tonight in Erie. He played minor hockey with Honeybaked and was originally the first pick of the Alpena IceDiggers in the 2006 NAHL Draft, but instead went to Sarnia.

The Sting drafted Steingraber, 18, in the seventh round (134th overall) in the 2005 OHL Priority Selection.

Spirit acquire rights to goalie Hoyle

The Saginaw Spirit acquired the rights of goaltender Matt Hoyle from the Kingston Frontenacs today.

“We look upon this move as a unique opportunity, one where we have acquired the rights to one of the top goaltenders in the 1990 age group who definitely has the talent to one day be an elite NHL goaltender," Saginaw GM Don Edwards said. "Matt is a big, strong and athletic goaltender as well as a fierce competitor. Having coached him last year, he is an individual with great moral fiber. Should we land him, he will be a tremendous asset to our organization. The challenge for the Spirit management will be to intrigue Matt to join the OHL, knowing that he has already accepted an offer to attend Harvard University nest season.”

The 1990-born native of Toronto was selected by the Frontenacs in the fifth round of the 2006 OHL Priority Selection. Hoyle played last season in the OPJHL with the Oakville Blades where he posted a record of 27-7-1-1, a 2.59 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage. He also recorded four shutouts, was voted the West Division Rookie of the Year and was named to the All-Star team as an underage rookie.

“The solid relationships that our GM Don Edwards has built through the years are paying off for the Saginaw Spirit,” stated Spirit president and managing partner Craig Goslin. “Matt Hoyle is a highly-touted goaltender that played for Don last season in Oakville. We are hopeful that Matt will find Saginaw a great fit to develop his immense skills into a NHL goalie as he is tutored by a Vezina Award-winning goaltender such as Spirit GM Don Edwards.”

Whalers throttled in St. Catharines

The Plymouth Whalers lost Thursday in St. Catharines against the Niagara IceDogs, 10-1.

Josh Bemis scored the lone Whalers goal from Tyler J. Brown and Joey Gaynor.

The Standard out of St. Catharines has the game story.

The Whalers finish up the preseason Friday in Erie against the Otters.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Saginaw inks free agent Ogilvie

The Saginaw Spirit announced the signing of free agent Jordan Ogilvie yesterday.

The Ancaster, Ontario native played the 2006-07 season with the OPJHL's Oakville Blades, notching two goals and 10 assists in 45 games.

“He is a gritty competitor who brings great character to the Spirit organization,” stated Spirit GM Don Edwards. “He is a no-nonsense player who may become one of the hardest hitting players in the league.”

The signing reunites Ogilvie and Edwards, the former vice-president, GM and head coach of the Blades, in Saginaw.

Spirit head coach Todd Watson expressed similar thoughts on Ogilvie in saying “Jordan is a hard-nosed kid that's going to battle and compete every night.”

Monday, September 10, 2007

Whalers arena undergoes name change

Effective today, Compuware Sports Arena will now be known simply as Compuware Arena.

"Compuware Arena has always hosted a wide range of events: drive-in movies, tradeshows, concerts, graduation ceremonies, and corporate meetings,” said Compuware Arena president and Plymouth Whalers GM Michael Vellucci. “Even though the Whalers, youth hockey, figure skating and professional indoor soccer are very important to our business, we feel that the new name more accurately reflects what we bring to our community and the over 1.2 million guests we serve each year.”

Compuware Arena, located on Beck Road just north of M-14 in Plymouth Township, was originally built in 1996 as a venue for the Ontario Hockey League’s Whalers and the Compuware youth hockey program.

Along with the name change, Compuware Arena is adopting a new logo (see above), updated signage around the arena and a new website that can be found at The changes are effective immediately, with all future business to be undertaken with the new name.

Sunday, September 09, 2007



Fri. Sept. 7

at Sarnia 6, Plymouth 2
at Sault Ste. Marie 4, Saginaw 1

Sat. Sept. 8

Sarnia 6 at Plymouth 3
Sault Ste. Marie 4 at Saginaw 2

at Alpena 5, Traverse City 3

Saginaw adds another McDonough

The Saginaw Spirit announced the addition of Jason McDonough to the roster via a trade with the Peterborough Petes this past weekend. The Spirit sent a seventh-round pick in the 2008 OHL Priority Selection to the Petes.

“Jason is a hard-nosed left winger who can also play on the right,” stated Spirit GM Don Edwards. “He has a high skill level and also brings additional grit and toughness to the team.”

“We are excited to bring him on board and working with him to develop as a hockey player,” said Spirit head coach Todd Watson.

McDonough was selected by Peterborough in the second round of the 2005 OHL Priority Selection. In two seasons with the Petes, he tallied two goals, six assists and 72 penalty minutes in 74 regular-season games.

The left winger is a native of Etobicoke, Ont., and will join his older brother, Ryan, in Saginaw.

“We are pleased to have another member of the McDonough family in our organization,” stated Spirit president and managing partner Craig Goslin. “We look forward to contributions to the team both on and off the ice.”

This is the fourth set of brothers the Spirit have had play for the team: Jesse (2003-06) and Tyson (2004-06) Gimblett, Jean-Michel (2002-05) and Marc-Andre (2002-04) Rizk and Scott (2002-03) and Andrew (2007) Hotham.

Former IceDigger joins team staff

The Alpena IceDiggers of the North American Hockey League announced Friday that former player Chris Lanciano will broadcast home games for the club on the B2 Network.

Lanciano played for the IceDiggers during their first season in Alpena (2005-2006). The Philadelphia native has lived in Alpena ever since his playing career ended.

"Chris was an important part of our team both on and off the ice our first year up here," said Alpena coach-GM Kenny Miller. "With him now as our broadcaster, I couldn't be happier."

This will be the 21-year-old's first season as a broadcaster and during home games, players that are out of the lineup will fill in as color commentators.

All 25 home games can be viewed on the Internet at for a fee of $6 per game.

Lanciano resides in Ossineke with his girlfriend, Jillian, 20.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Livonia's Barczuk commits to LSSU

According to the Lake Superior State hockey blog, the Lakers have received a verbal commitment from forward Daniel Barczuk of the USHL's Ohio Junior Blue Jackets.

Last season, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Livonia native posted nine goals and 22 points in 56 games after having posted two goals in four games for the Lincoln Stars earlier in the season. Barczuk was fourth on the team in scoring, finishing behind current Laker, and fellow Livonia native, Zac MacVoy.

In 2005-06, Barczuk posted a goal and 10 penalty minutes in 10 games for the USHL champion Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.

Whalers sign Belle Tire forward Brown

The Plymouth Whalers today announced the signing of 16-year-old left wing Tyler J. Brown, who was selected by the Whalers in the eighth round (159th overall) of the 2007 OHL Priority Selection.

Brown, from Westland, scored 27 goals with 44 assists for 71 points in 72 games last season for the Belle Tire Under-16 Team - a team that won state and national championships.

Earlier this summer, the Whalers signed Brown’s teammate R.J. Mahalak (Monroe). Both players are skating with Plymouth in training camp and are expected to make the Whalers’ roster.

Brown is no relation to Tyler G. Brown, who was taken by the Whalers in the 11th round (219th overall) of May's draft.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Alpena opens preseason against TC

The Alpena IceDiggers will open their exhibition season this Saturday night at Northern Lights Arena when they play host to in-state rival Traverse City. Face-off is set for 7:00 p.m. This will be the only exhibition game the IceDiggers will play at NLA.

Season ticket holders will be admitted for free. General admission tickets will be on sale one hour prior to the game and can be purchased for only $5.

The IceDiggers opened with their first practice on Tuesday and head coach Kenny Miller was impressed with his guys.

"I was really glad to see the boys come to training camp in good shape and ready to go," said Miller. "The game on Saturday will give me a chance to see them in a game situation and I am looking forward to it."

The players will continue their on- and off-ice training the rest of the week as they prepare for the upcoming game this weekend.

"By the end of the week they will be ready to play against someone other than their teammates," added Miller. "We still have a few decisions to make before we head off to the Showcase and this game will be a good test for some of the guys that have not played at the NAHL level."

Monday, September 03, 2007

Plymouth doubles Windsor on Labor Day

Goaltender Jeremy Smith stopped 43 shots and Joe McCann scored twice as the Plymouth Whalers defeated the Windsor Spitfires, 6-3, in an OHL preseason game Monday afternoon at Windsor Arena.

Plymouth and Windsor are both 1-1-0-0 in preseason.

Besides McCann, Chris Terry, Taylor Carnevale, AJ Jenks (Wolverine Lake) and Brett Valliquette all scored single goals for the Whalers.

Matthew Bragg, Brad Snetsinger and Josh Bailey replied for Windsor.

Smith, a second-round pick of the Nashville Predators from Brownstown, was sharp in his first action of the preseason as Plymouth built a 3-0 lead after one period and never looked back. Terry started the scoring during a two-man advantage at 7:02 of the first period with a hard shot from the left faceoff dot that pinged off both goal posts and then beat Windsor goaltender Andrew Engelage. McCann made it 2-0 just 23 seconds later when he batted home Jordon O’Neill’s shot past Engelage. McCann chased Engelage at 16:57 of the period when he scored a shorthanded goal from the top of the right circle.

Bragg (12:13) and Snetsinger (15:27) cut the Plymouth lead to 3-2 with shorthanded goals in the second period for Windsor.

But Plymouth put the game away with third-period goals by Carnevale (4:15) and Jenks (4:28) 13 seconds apart and added some insurance on Valliquette’s goal at 6:55. Bailey closed the scoring with a minute left in the game.

Windsor outshot Plymouth, 46-27.

Plymouth scratches included Michal Neuvirth, Brett Bellemore, Tyler J. Brown, Leo Jenner, Steve Lock, RJ Mahalak, Steve McDonald, Sean O’Connor and Zack Shepley.

Plymouth continues in the preseason in Sarnia on Friday and then will host Sarnia on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Compuware Arena.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

White tops Blue in Saginaw Blue/White Game

The Saginaw Spirit held their annual Blue/White Game today at TheDow Event Center in Saginaw and Team White came from behind to beat Team Blue, 6-4.

Scoring for Team White were Tomas Zaborsky, with two goals, and Chris Chappell, Patrick Asselin, Mitch Fillman and Sloan Stewart.

Team Blue saw scoring from Daniel Pachis, Kain Allicock and back-to-back goals from Ryan Berard. Cody Sol also notched two assists.

The Spirit resume action next Friday night against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds for an away exhibition game at 7:30 p.m.

Spits down Plymouth in preseason, 6-2

Jordan Nolan scored twice and Mickey Renaud added a goal and three assists as the Windsor Spitfires led from start to finish to defeat the Plymouth Whalers, 6-2, in an OHL preseason game played Saturday afternoon at Compuware Arena.

Windsor is 1-0-0-0 in the preseason; Plymouth is 0-1-0-0.

Eric Wellwood, Greg Nemisz and James Woodcroft also scored for Windsor.

AJ Jenks (Wolverine Lake) scored both Plymouth goals.

Windsor built a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes on Wellwood’s shorthanded goal at 18:16 of the first period, Renaud’s goal at 8:17 of the second period and Nemisz’s marker at 16:25 of the second frame. After Woodcroft scored a shorthanded goal at 2:41 of the third period and Nolan gave Windsor a 5-0 lead at 5:57 of the third period, Jenks replied with a pair – the first, a deflection of Jordon O’Neill’s shot from the right point at 5:57 and the second, a hard shot from the left wing at 18:31. Nolan – the son of New York Islanders head coach Ted Nolan, who was watching from the stands – finished the scoring on a power play with 54 seconds remaining.

Windsor outshot Plymouth, 49-23.

Michal Neuvirth started in goal for Plymouth and Matt Hackett for Windsor. Both were relieved 11 minutes into the second period by Kyle Jendra and Ryan Ludzik, respectively. Ludzik's father, former Detroit Vipers head coach Steve Ludzik, was also in attendance.

Plymouth and Windsor play again on Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Windsor Arena.

Plymouth finishes scrimmages, Spits next

After two days of training camp scrimmages, the OHL champion Plymouth Whalers kick off the preseason today, hosting the Windsor Spitfires at 4 p.m. at Compuware Arena.

Plymouth then plays in Windsor on Labor Day at 2 p.m. at Windsor Arena.

The Whalers completed training camp scrimmages Friday morning when the Blues defeated the Whites, 7-5.

Seven different players scored for the Blues - veterans Kaine Geldart, Andrew Fournier and Joe Gaynor, newcomer Steve Lock, rookie free agents Micki Mihailovich (Westland) and Zack Rourke (Oxford) and draft choice Anthony Donati (sixth round, 2007). Fournier and Rourke added two assists apiece for a three-point scrimmage.

Five different players scored for the Whites - veterans Joe McCann and Vern Cooper, rookie free agents Nick Bazzy (Dearborn) and Doug Clifford (Brownstown) and draft choice Myles McCauley (Sterling Heights, 14th round, 2007).