Sunday, October 28, 2007


Weds. Oct. 24

Sarnia 3 at Plymouth 2

Thurs. Oct. 25

Alpena 3 at Marquette 2

Fri. Oct. 26

at London 3, Plymouth 2
at Sarnia 7, Saginaw 5

Marquette 6 at Alpena 4
Mahoning Valley 6 at Traverse City 2

Sat. Oct. 27

at Plymouth 4, Niagara 1
at Saginaw 6, Mississauga 1

at Traverse City 6, Mahoning Valley 5

Sun. Oct. 28

Niagara 5 at Saginaw 3

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Alpena ready for Marquette this week

The Alpena IceDiggers return to Northern Lights Arena on Friday at 7:00 p.m. versus the Marquette Rangers.

Kids are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes. The IceDiggers will host a trick or treat after the game inside the lobby. Members of the team will be on hand to sign autographs and pass out candy.

Fans that dress up will get to have a picture taken with their favorite player.

The IceDiggers split last weekends two game series with the Mahoning Valley Phantoms, winning on Saturday, 4-2.

Alpena travels to Marquette on Thursday before returning home for Friday's game at NLA.

Marquette comes into the home-and-home series with a three-game winning streak. The Rangers took on the Alexandria Blizzard last weekend and came away with two wins.

"They are playing real well right now," Alpena coach Kenny Miller said of the Rangers. "We will have to go into this weekend with the same attitude as last weekend and that is we need to pick up points."

Forward Russell Anderson was nominated for North Division player of the week for last week.

"I thought that was the best weekend Russ has had for us since the Showcase," said Miller. "He was very good in every department."

Anderson scored two goals over the weekend and was involved in a fight on Friday night.

Newcomer Bryan Ross recorded an assist in his first game as an IceDigger on Saturday.

Defensemen Mike Dokho has left the team due to personal reasons.

"Mike has told us he no longer wants to play hockey and we respect his decision," noted Miller.

North Stars get back to work

The Traverse City North Stars’ idle weekend was a case of ‘good news, bad news’ as the club heads into a weekend homestand against Mahoning Valley on Friday and Saturday at Centre ICE arena.

The good news? The Stars got a chance to heal up physically, enjoy a respite from the requisite intensity of junior hockey and visit family and friends. The bad news? The rest of the North American Hockey League’s North Division was busy leapfrogging Traverse City in the standings. Still more good news? The North Stars, presently in the sixth slot are just four points out of second place.

“It was a great help to us at this point in the season to get a week off,” said TC head coach-GM Anthony Palumbo. “We had some guys banged up who got a chance to heal, guys got to go home, and for some of the kids who are new to junior hockey, a break from the intense strain that it can be both physically and mentally.”

The North Stars (5-3-3) will have to hit the ground running to regain positioning in the North Division, as Marquette – by virtue of a two-game sweep of Alexandria – jumped from sixth to third, and the Mahoning-Alpena split earned both teams a pair of points. Mahoning Valley comes into Centre ICE with two of the league’s top scoring forwards in Derek Graham and Chad Boeckman. Graham has seven goals and assists on 10 others through 12 games, while Boeckman has dished out a team-high 12 helpers. Phantoms netkeep Garrett Bartus owns the second-best goals-against average (2.16) and save percentage (.939) in the NAHL.

“Mahoning has a very talented team again, with one of the better offenses in the league,” Palumbo assessed. “We’re going to have to play a very strong defensive game in order to compete. We’d like to play the game in their end as much as possible.”

Through 11 games, Matt Hughes and Harrison Niemann lead Traverse City with 10 points, while Nate Urbaniak has nine and Joe Greener and defenseman Ben Plocar have seven each. Hughes has a team-best six goals, while Niemann’s eight assists are tops in TC. Brandon Stephenson is eighth in the NAHL in goals-against average (2.36) and tied for seventh with a .920 save percentage.

“We’re ready to get back to work,” Palumbo said. “It’s good to get some time away, but we need to be able to re-focus and jump right back in the mix.”

The Stars welcome Mahoning in for games on Friday and Saturday. Both contests face-off at 7:05 p.m.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Thurs. Oct. 18

at Peterborough 4, Saginaw 3
Plymouth 2 at Windsor 1 (SO)

Fri. Oct. 19

Saginaw 7 at Kingston 1
Windsor 4 at Plymouth 1

Mahoning Valley 6 at Alpena 1
Marquette 5 at Alexandria 4

Sat. Oct. 20

at Plymouth 6, Owen Sound 3

at Alpena 4, Mahoning Valley 2
Marquette 5 at Alexandria 1

Sun. Oct. 21

Saginaw 7 at Ottawa 2

Friday, October 19, 2007

IceDiggers get Livonia's Ross from Bandits

The Alpena IceDiggers announced today the team has acquired forward Bryan Ross from the St. Louis Bandits.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Ross is a native of Livonia and has spent the first nine games with the defending champion Bandits. In those nine games, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound winger scored three goals while assisting on five others for a total of eight points.

Ross split the 2006-07 season with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and the Penticton Vees in the British Columbia Hockey League.

"Brian is the type of player we feel can step in and add scoring to our lineup," said Alpena coach-GM Kenny Miller. "We are expecting good things from him. We are very happy to have him on board."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Otters add Troy native Messier to back end

The Erie Otters announced today that they have added defenseman Lyon Messier to their roster.

The 20 year-old Troy native started the 2007-08 season with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League where he played four games without registering a point.

The previous two seasons, Messier, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 205 pounds, played for the Texas Tornado of the North American Hockey League. In 112 games with the Tornado, he collected five goals and 32 assists for 37 points to go along with 86 penalty minutes.

Messier is scheduled to make his Otters debut tonight when Erie travels to Sarnia to face the Sting.

FLASHBACK (Nov. 10, 2005): Tornado's Messier carving a name for himself

Spirit to join breast cancer fight on Oct. 27

The Saginaw Spirit will partner with National City Bank and the St. Mary's of Michigan Seton Cancer Institute to host a Breast Cancer Awareness game on Oct. 27 when the Spirit take on the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors at 7:11 p.m.

The game will feature the first ever Spirit "Pink Out." Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game. The first 5,000 fans will also receive pink pom-pons.

The night starts out with a special pre-game ceremony recognizing several local breast cancer survivors. National City Bank will be hosting the survivors and their families for a special reception prior to the game at their Tittabawassee Road location.

“There are two million breast cancer survivors in America – enough to fill the arena many times over,” stated Angela Hine, National City's Community President in Saginaw. “The survivors we're honoring are a small handful of those who command our respect and admiration."

Spirit captains Patrick Asselin and Ryan McDonough are chipping in on the fight against breast cancer by wearing a limited edition pink jersey during warm-ups. The jerseys will be signed and auctioned off following the game. There will also be two pink jerseys signed by the team up for grabs. The proceeds from the jersey auction go to support the Seton Cancer Institute and their battle against Breast Cancer.

The Spirit merchandise booths will be selling a pink Spirit hat during the game for a special reduced price and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Breast Cancer Awareness cause.

The Bud Light Blue Line will also feature music from Cherry Red. The Saginaw Spirit Dance Team and the Saginaw Spirit Junior Dance Team will be performing during the game and the Citadel Broadcasting Family will be in attendance.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Americans faring well in NOJHL

By Randy Russon

With 23 Americans on the roster, the Soo Indians won the 2006-07 NOJHL regular season and playoff titles. The Indians are now on hiatus from the NOJHL, but American kids continue to have a major impact on the league.

Blind River leads all NOJHL teams with six Americans: goalies Jake Rosenthal and Mike Wuthrich, defensemen Matt Bell and Brett LaValley and forwards Bryan Cooper and Alex Falardeau.

North Bay has four from south of the border on board including goalie Ian Wilson, defensemen David Ciminelli and Mike Lawler and forward A.J. Shiverdecker.

The Soo Thunderbirds also have four: rookie defensemen Ian Cosgrove, Drew Otto and Warren Webster and veteran forward Rob Johnson.

And Manitoulin has a pair: backup goalie Ben Caneba and defenseman Michael Barrett.

Alpena moving in right direction

From -

It’s only October, but with just six points separating the first- and sixth-place teams in the NAHL’s North Division, the Alpena IceDiggers aren’t discounting the importance of their two wins over the Traverse City North Stars last weekend.

“For us to be able to pick up four points was huge because our division is so tight right now,” said IceDiggers coach-GM Kenny Miller, whose team improved to 6-4-1. “You can’t afford to give away points or you’ll find yourself playing catch-up.”

On Friday, goaltender Nate Pellegrino turned aside all 30 shots as the IceDiggers blanked the North Stars, 1-0. Jimmy McCusker scored the only goal of the game in the second period, with assists going to Erik Peterson and Isaac Viau.

The next night, four different IceDiggers struck for goals in a 4-1 win over Traverse City. Defenseman Ryan Sell netted the game-winner, while Jon Puskar and Viau each added a goal and an assist. Between the pipes, Pellegrino made 33 saves.

“For being a young team, I’m happy with the way we’ve started,” said Miller, whose team has 13 points after 11 games, tied with Mahoning Valley and Traverse City. “We compete every night and, as a coach, that’s all you can ask for.”

The IceDiggers couldn’t ask much more of Pellegrino. With five straight periods of shutout hockey last weekend – Traverse City’s only goal came in the third period on Saturday – the 19-year-old from Woodlyn, Pa., has fueled Alpena’s recent success.

“When we picked him up, this is the type of play we thought we would get from him,” said Miller, who acquired Pellegrino in a trade with Alaska in the offseason. “Nate was the difference last weekend. When we needed the save, we got it, and that allowed us to win both nights.”

On the offensive end, veterans Peterson, who leads team in scoring with 16 points (five goals) after 11 games, and McCusker (four goals for 11 points) have also lived up to early expectations.

“Erik and Jimmy put up numbers last year for us, too, and we knew we’d need scoring from them this year in order to have success and they’ve come through so far,” said Miller. “They need to continue to be a force for us every time they go out on the ice.”

One pleasant surprise has been the offensive production from the first-year Puskar, an 18-year-old who ranks second on the IceDiggers’ scoring chart with 13 points (five goals).

“I knew he was a hard-working kid, but I didn't realize the skill set that he has,” said Miller. “He’s a threat to score every time he’s out there.”

Viau is also seeing results through his strong work ethic (“He just plays at full speed all the time,” said Miller), as has Tyler Pilmore, whose efforts should translate onto the scoresheet in short time, according to his coach.

“For a first-year guy, he’s playing like a veteran,” said Miller.

On the blue line, veterans Evan West, Carl Nielsen and Tim Olson are doing their part in helping lead a relatively inexperience defensive corps.

“Our defense is starting to play the way I thought it would,” said Miller. “They’re moving the puck and getting us going on the offense end. We feel we have guys that can score, we just need to continue to get better in our on end.”

Up next for the IceDiggers is a two-game set against Mahoning Valley. The teams split a pair of games in Alpena earlier this month.

“They’re a strong team with a lot of veterans so they know how to win,” said Miller. “With our division so tight, we have to come ready to play both nights to give our team a chance.”

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Thurs. Oct. 11

Plymouth 4 at Barrie 1

Fri. Oct. 12

at Sault Ste. Marie 5, Saginaw 1

at Alpena 1, Traverse City 0
Fargo-Moorhead 5 at Marquette 4

Sat. Oct. 13

Plymouth 6 at Sudbury 5
at Saginaw 5, Barrie 4 (OT)

Alpena 4 at Traverse City 1
at Marquette 6, Fargo-Moorhead 5

Thursday, October 11, 2007

IceDiggers ready for North Stars Friday

The Alpena IceDiggers return to action on Friday night versus in-state rival Traverse City at 7:00 p.m.

Alpena is coming off a three-game weekend where they only recorded two out of possible six points. The IceDiggers know they have to be better than last weekend in order to secure points this weekend.

"We have to play more consistent," Alpena coach Kenny Miller said. "At times last weekend, we played good, but then we showed at times how young we really are. Our players need to understand we have to play a full 60 minutes every night in this league to win."

Alpena currently sits in the sixth spot in the North Division standings with a record of 4-4-1. With four points on the line this weekend, if the IceDiggers can pull out a couple of wins they can jump ahead a few spots in the standings.

"With us playing so many games at home the first few weeks of the season, it is important for us to win these home games," added Miller

Third-year veteran and Alpena native Erik Peterson leads the team in scoring with 14 points and is only two points out of the league scoring race.

Goaltender Nate Pellegrino, who went 1-2 last weekend, will get the start in goal for Alpena on Friday.

"This team is going to be OK," Pellegrino said. "We just need to make sure we all play for 60 minutes."

Alpena travels to Traverse City on Saturday night for a 7:05 p.m. faceoff.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Weds. Oct. 3

Plymouth 6 at Owen Sound 4

Thurs. Oct. 4

at Windsor 4, Saginaw 3 (SO)

Fri. Oct. 5

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

Sat. Oct. 6

at Plymouth 5, Oshawa 2
at Belleville 3, Saginaw 2 (OT)

at Traverse City 4, Marquette 1
at Alpena 3, Mahoning Valley 2

Sun. Oct. 7

at Niagara 4, Saginaw 3

at Traverse City 6, Marquette 4
Mahoning Valley 6, Alpena 4

Friday, October 05, 2007

Smith-Barney Challenge Cup introduced

When the Marquette Rangers visit the Traverse City North Stars Centre ICE arena this Saturday night, it will mark the first round in a season-long quest for the Cup between the North American Hockey League North Division rivals.

Yes, the Robertson Cup is each NAHL club’s ultimate goal, but the Stars and Rangers will be playing for another shiny chalice over the course of their 12-game season series: the Smith-Barney Challenge Cup.

The Smith-Barney Challenge Cup, donated by the company’s offices in both Marquette and Traverse City, will be displayed at each game between the clubs, and will be decided on the same point system used in the NAHL standings: two points for a win, one point for an overtime appearance, zero points for a loss. The winning team will retain the trophy in the off-season. In the event of a series tie, the trophy will go with the winner of the final game, slated for March 29 in Marquette.

“It adds a little spice to the rivalry, no question,” said North Stars head coach-GM Anthony Palumbo. “But it’s also illustrative of a collaboration between the clubs. We may go at it on the ice, but we have a great working relationship with their organization. That’s important given our clubs’ geographic proximity within the league footprint.”

“This will greatly enhance what’s already become terrific rivalry” said Rangers president and GM David Saint-Onge. “A challenge series like this gives one team bragging rights at the end of the year, which we believe will make our games against one another even more enjoyable for the fans and players of both organizations. Since we play one other 12 times during the season, it will also keep the games fresh for all involved, due to the added incentive of winning the trophy.”

When the Stars and Rangers lace ’em up on Saturday, both teams will have played road contests the night before, with Traverse City (3-0-3) visiting the U.S. National Team Development Program’s Under-17 (6-3-1) squad and Marquette (4-2-0) playing a Friday contest in Alpena (3-2-1).

“It doesn’t matter who has bus legs in this division,” Palumbo said. “Every night is going to be a dogfight. I think we saw at the showcase that it’s possible that the North Division has six of the top 10 teams in the league. We also saw Marquette in Blaine (Minn.) and came away very impressed. They’re a very solid club.”

The Rangers are led by forward Josh Bussell (4 G-5 A) - who scored a pair of goals and assisted on a third in a 6-4 win over the U-17s last weekend – along with Nic Weight (25 goals in 2006-07), while Nick Condon (7 pts./+3) and Derek Grogan (2 G -3 A) anchor the Marquette blue line. Saturday will also mark the return of former North Stars forward Aaron Pietila. The Brighton product was traded to the Rangers this spring so he could play juniors with his cousin, winger Chad Pietila. Beau Christian (2-0-0, 2.40 GAA) and Matt Brooker (2-2-0, 3.67) return in net this season for Marquette.

“They’re a balanced team that can do a lot of things well,” Palumbo assessed. “And we all know what the U.S. team’s all about. I’d expect nothing less from this weekend than three very tough, very physical games.”


The Marquette Rangers and Traverse City North Stars have agreed to terms for a challenge series between the two North American Hockey League North Division teams. The Smith-Barney Challenge Cup will be an annual event, and will begin this year at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City when the Rangers come to town this Saturday.

“This will greatly enhance what’s already become terrific rivalry,” said Rangers president and GM David Saint-Onge. “A challenge series like this gives one team bragging rights at the end of the year, which we believe will make our games against one another even more enjoyable for the fans and players of both organizations. Since we play one other 12 times during the season, it will also keep the games fresh for all involved, due to the added incentive of winning the trophy.”

NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld hailed the decision as a real positive for the league and the Challenge Cup will be something the North American Hockey League supports completely.

“The rivalries that have developed in our league over the years have helped establish the NAHL as one of the top junior leagues in the country,” Franfenfeld said. “The Challenge Cup Series between Marquette and Traverse City is extra special because of the long, storied roots the North American Hockey League has in Michigan.”

The Smith-Barney Challenge Cup will be displayed at each game between the two teams, and will be decided on the same point system used by The North American Hockey League: two points for a win, one point for an overtime appearance, zero points for a loss. The winning team will retain the trophy for the off-season. In the event of a tie, the trophy will go with the winner of the final game.

Rangers head coach Randy Enders agrees that having Challenge Cup to play for is something his players will take seriously.

“Any time you have a trophy or a piece of hardware involved it makes a difference,” Enders said. "Take a look at games like the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe (Wisconsin vs. Minnesota) or the Little Brown Jug in college football and how much pride the players of those teams take in winning those things. This may not be to that level because it’s new, but it’s something our team will be proud to fight for, as it’s a benefit not only to our club, but to our city as well.”

The Smith-Barney Challenge Cup was donated by Smith-Barney offices in both Marquette and Traverse City and will be engraved with the winning team at the end of each season.

Plymouth claims Lee off waivers from Erie

The Plymouth Whalers announced that the Whalers have acquired 19-year-old right wing Patrick Lee off waivers from the Erie Otters today.

Lee, from Sharon, Ont., was originally selected by Erie in the sixth round (109th overall) of the 2004 OHL Priority Selection.

He played two seasons in Erie, scoring 10 goals with 20 assists for 30 points and 106 penalty minutes over 119 games. Lee's best offensive season was last year when he scored five goals with 12 assists for 17 points and 59 penalty minutes in 57 games.

Lee did not play this season in Erie.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

IceDiggers back home this weekend

After two weeks of the regular season in the books, there is a logjam in the North Division standings and the Alpena IceDiggers hold a record of 3-2-1 with three important games this weekend, all on home ice.

On Friday, Alpena will play host to the Marquette Rangers before last season's conference champion Mahoning Valley Phantoms come calling for contests on Saturday and Sunday. Friday and Saturday's games start at 7:00 p.m. with a 5:00 p.m. face-off on Sunday.

The IceDiggers know in order to keep pace with the rest of the division, they will have to be ready to play this weekend.

"With three games on the schedule, we will have to be better than we were last week in order to have success," said head coach Kenny Miller.

Last week, the IceDiggers picked up three out of a possible four points against Traverse City and with six points on the line this weekend, it is important for the IceDiggers to earn as many points as possible.

"This division is going to be a dogfight all year long," added Miller

Veterans Erik Peterson and Russ Anderson continue to lead the Diggers in points with rookie Jon Puskar right behind them.

Whalers send Beal to Knights for pick

The London Knights announced today that the team has acquired 18-year-old center Chad Beal from the Plymouth Whalers in exchange for a conditional draft pick in the 2008 OHL Priority Selection.

The 6-foot-3, 213-pound Beal was the Whalers' third-round choice in 2005. He was a member of the Pickering Panthers Junior A team last season after starting the year in Plymouth, but had not been with the Whalers at all this season.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Saginaw deals Clouthier, gets Pleckaitis

The Saginaw Spirit have acquired winger Joe Pleckaitis and a 12th round pick in the 2009 OHL Priority Selection from the Barrie Colts for winger Andrew Clouthier and a 11th round pick in the same 2009 draft.

“Joe is a good fit for the team and is the type of player that fits Todd Watson’s style,” stated Spirit GM Don Edwards. “He is a hard-working grinder that gives 110 percent on every shift.”

The Markham, Ontario native enters his third season in the OHL. Pleckaitis was selected by the Ottawa 67’s in the second round of the 2005 OHL Priority Selection and tallied seven assists in 48 games with the 67’s that season. He notched a goal and six assists in 14 games with the 67’s during the 2006-07 season before being traded to the Barrie Colts, where he scored two goals and two assists in 30 games. He also tallied a goal for the Colts in the 2007 post-season. Pleckaitis comes to the Spirit having played 4 games with the Colts this season and tallied a goal against the Oshawa Generals on September 27.

Clouthier was selected by the Spirit in the 2006 OHL Priority Selection. During the 2006-07 season, Clouthier tallied two goals and three assists in 53 games.

“We feel that this is a good move for Andrew," added Edwards. "We expect that he will receive a lot of ice time and will continue to develop his skills with the Barrie Colts organization.”

“We wish Andrew the best of luck in Barrie and will miss his contributions to the team,” stated Watson. “He is a hard-working player that will find success wherever he plays.”

Rangers to 'Paint the Place Pink' for charity

The Marquette Rangers are partnering with Marquette General Hospital and the Marquette General Foundation on a fundraiser to benefit the Marquette General Cancer Center.

The effort will culminate on October 25 with a "Paint the Place Pink" home game at Lakeview Arena, when the Rangers will wear customized pink jerseys that will be auctioned off at the end of the game.

Unveiled at a press conference at Lakeview Arena on September 27, several of the jerseys will be on display at locations throughout Marquette County until the October 25 game and auction.

"We're very excited about partnering with the Rangers, not only to raise money for the Cancer Center, but also to raise awareness about the importance of mammograms and early detection of breast cancer," said Terry Reser, Marquette General Cancer Center program director. "October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we're building our annual awareness campaign and mammography discounts around the pink jerseys. It's a great way for the whole community to be involved."

"The Marquette General Foundation greatly appreciates the involvement of the Marquette Rangers and the Upper Mic¬higan community in the fight against cancer," said Dr. Daniel Arnold, president of the Board of the Marquette General Foundation. "The funds raised will help defray the costs of the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer for patients from the Upper Peninsula. We are excited to be part of this partnership."

Rangers representative Mark Evans said the idea grew from a game last year in Fargo, N.D., and it's already generating a buzz among the Rangers organization.

"We're aware of a couple of groups who are pooling their money and planning to bid on specific players' jerseys in honor of family members, friends and co-workers who are breast cancer survivors," said Evans. "The minimum bid for a jersey will be $100 and we think some of the bids may go pretty high."

Evans noted that the pink shirt concept has already taken on a life of its own.

"Thanks to Lorrie Hayes, who is a breast cancer survivor and a local T-shirt printer, we're also offering Paint the Place Pink T-shirts that anyone can purchase for $12," said Evans. "We'd like to see these pink shirts all over the U.P. during the next few weeks, so we can raise even more money for the Cancer Center and truly paint the whole region pink."

Paint the Place Pink T-shirts can be purchased from the Marquette General Hospital gift shop, at the Screened Image in Downtown Marquette, the Marquette General Foundation office, or online at the Marquette General Foundation website at For secure ordering online, click on the "Online Donation" form"and specify "Pink T-shirt, quantity, and size S, M, L, XL or XXL" in the comments section.

The T-shirts will also be available at the October 25 Rangers game at Lakeview Arena in Marquette.

Spirit announce 'Guns & Hoses' fundraiser

The Saginaw Spirit is pleased to announce the ‘Guns & Hoses’ hockey game, a fundraiser for the Meijer ‘Shop with a Hero’ program, that will be held on Saturday, November 10.

Local police officers and firefighters will be playing the game at 5:30 p.m, prior to the 7:11 p.m. Spirit game against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

Tickets are available for $9.50, with $2 from each ticket sold going to support the fundraiser. One ticket is good for both the ‘Guns & Hoses’ game and the Spirit game. Both events will take place at TheDow Event Center in Saginaw.

“The Saginaw Spirit has given local police and firemen a great opportunity to have some fun and do something great for the community. The ‘Shop with a Hero’ program is certainly a great benefit to local children, and we're elated to be able to raise money for them," said Team Guns co-captain Michael East, a 13-year veteran of the Saginaw Police Department. "The cops on my team can't believe they get to raise money for a charitable cause and kick around a bunch of firemen for an entire hockey game at the same time."

“The teams appreciate the generous support of the Saginaw Spirit and the sponsors for this event to benefit a great cause,” stated Saginaw Township Fire Department assistant chief Rick Humphreys. “The ‘Shop with a Hero’ program has been a huge success for many years and we are proud to assist the program. The game will give both sides a chance to take a long standing rivalry between fire and police to a new venue and provide an entertaining event for the community. And, despite our differences, this event provides an opportunity to unite and support the community.”

Promotional support for the ‘Guns & Hoses’ game will be provided by Gohm Insurance Restoration, 1-800 Board Up and Mike’s Wrecker Service.