Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Rangers host Alpena for three this week

The welcome mat at Lakeview Arena will be busy this weekend for the Marquette Rangers as the team will entertain the Alpena IceDiggers for three games Thursday, Friday and Saturday and will also introduce some newly-acquired players.

Along with defenseman Reed Rushing and the rights to forward Andy Inderieden, acquired in a trade with the Motor City Machine, the Rangers also obtained the rights to goaltender Dan Sullivan from the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League for future considerations.

Both Rushing and Sullivan are expected to be in the lineup this weekend against Alpena.

“Sullivan has been a junior player for a couple of years," said Marquette head coach Kenny Miller. "He has experience in the Eastern Junior Hockey League and the United States Hockey League and his numbers speak for themselves.”

The Rangers are hoping for continued success on home ice this weekend, as the team is 3-0 at Lakeview this season, including a 4-3 win over NAHL North Division leader Traverse City on September 26.

Marquette will be looking for some separation from Alpena in the standings as the Rangers lead the IceDiggers by a single point for fourth place in the North. So far this season, the IceDiggers hold a 2-1 advantage over the Rangers in head-to-head competition, with one of those wins coming in a shootout on October 11.

Something else the Rangers will try and change this weekend will be Alpena success above the bridge. Since joining the league in 2006-07, the Rangers have struggled at home against the IceDiggers with Alpena winning 11 games at Lakeview Arena; Marquette has won only three.

Marquette continues to be lead in scoring by Jimmy Gallagher (5g 10a, 15pts.) and Chad Pietila (4g 9a, 13pts.) with Aaron Pietila a close third on the team with 12 points (6g 6a.) Three Rangers players have nine points heading into the weekend.

Alpena has only one player with double-digit scoring so far this season in Erik Peterson, who has totaled 11 points on four goals and seven assists. The big addition to the IceDiggers' lineup has been the re-acquisition of goaltender Nick Graves from the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. So far Graves is 2-1 in his second tour with Alpena, and boasts a goals-against average of 2.77 to go along with a .922 save percentage.

No comments: