Thursday, February 28, 2008

IceDiggers on the road this weekend

The Alpena IceDiggers will head out of town for three very tough road games this weekend.

Friday and Saturday, the IceDiggers will invade the Ice Zone in Boardman, Ohio, to take on the Mahoning Valley Phantoms. Both games start at 7:15 p.m. On Sunday, Alpena will travel to Ann Arbor to take on the U.S. National Under-18 Team for the first time this year. The puck drops at 3:00 p.m. for Sunday's contest.

The IceDiggers are coming off a disappointing weekend where they dropped three straight in picking up only one out of a possible six points. Traverse City defeated Alpena on Friday, 4-2, in Traverse City. On Saturday, the IceDiggers came from two down late in the third to send the game to overtime before falling in a ten-round shootout. On Sunday, the USA Under-17 Team took a 2-0 road win home with them.

"Last week was one of those weeks a coach likes to forget about, not much good came out of those three games," said Alpena head coach Kenny Miller. "As a team, we need to find a way to fight through the little things it takes to win at this level."

Mahoning Valley didn't fair much better dropping two straight in St. Louis last weekend. The Phantoms are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games. Alpena has only made one trip to Mahoning Valley back in November when the two teams split the weekend series. The Phantoms have a record of 14-6-1 at the Ice Zone.

"That is a tough building to play in," added Miller. "They are a team that plays well at home, so we will have our hands full."

The USA Under-18 Team is coming off a 5-2 win over Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh on Saturday night. The Under-18 team has defeated several teams at the D-I college level. Yale, Harvard, Minnesota Duluth and Northern Michigan have all fallen to the Americans.

The IceDiggers will return to Northern Lights Arena next Friday and Saturday when they play host to the USA Under-17 Team. The weekend series will wrap up the IceDiggers' regular season home schedule.

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