Monday, November 19, 2007

Alpena travels to Traverse City Wednesday

The Alpena IceDiggers will travel to Traverse City to play in the traditional Wednesday-before-Thanksgiving contest against the North Stars for the third straight year. Faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m.

The IceDiggers are coming off a split with the Marquette Rangers last weekend in Marquette. Traverse City hosted Mahoning Valley for three in a row coming out on top in only one game.

Prior to Saturday's win, the IceDiggers were in the midst of a three-game losing streak - their longest dating back to February of last season.

"We played well enough early in the game to get the win," Alpena coach-GM Kenny Miller said. "Credit (goalie) Nate (Pellegrino) as he was the difference on Saturday."

Alpena is currently 10-9-1 good for 21 points, while Traverse City sits at 8-6-4 with 20 points.

The IceDiggers wrap up the weekend with a road game in Ann Arbor on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. against the National Team Development Program.


The IceDigger players and coaching staff will be able to enjoy Thanksgiving with family members as the team will be giving the holiday off to travel home and return for Sunday's game in Ann Arbor. "We all know how much these guys sacrifice to play hockey at this level, so to be able to let them go home and enjoy some time with their families will mean a lot to them," said Miller. Players that are unable to travel home for the holiday will travel with their teammates or enjoy the holiday with their billet families.

Pellegrino is ranked tenth in the NAHL among goaltenders with a 8-4-1 record, one shutout and a .906 save percentage.

Assistant captain Erik Peterson has a point in 16 of Alpena's 20 games so far this season for a total of 28 points.

Carl Nielsen is ranked 16th in scoring among defensemen with four goals and six assists for 10 points.

Jerrod Hartman was recruited this summer to add scoring to the IceDiggers lineup, but now the first-year player is going to be counted on to help stop the other team from scoring as Miller has moved Hartman to defense. "Jerrod is one of our best skaters," Miller said. "He can make a difference back there with his skill." Hartman played defense in both games last week in Marquette.

The IceDiggers are ranked third overall on the power-play with a 19.69%. Alpena has scored 25 of their 62 goals with the man advantage. However, the team has allowed five shorthanded goals.

The penalty kill is a different story. Alpena has allowed 23 power-play goals against and has a rating of 79.46%. Alpena has one shorthanded goal to their credit.

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