Saturday, August 07, 2010

Lumberjacks to play at "The Joe"

The United States Hockey League and organizers of the Motor City Cup Midget Festival hockey tournament have entered into a partnership for the 2010 event, scheduled to take place in rinks throughout Detroit from September 10-12.

Highlighting this year’s event will be a USHL exhibition game, featuring the USHL’s new Michigan entry, the Muskegon Lumberjacks, facing off against the perennially strong Chicago Steel. The game will take place in the soul of Hockeytown, USA – Joe Louis Arena – on Friday, September 10.

The Motor City Cup, now in its eighth year, has grown into the largest tournament in North America for teams at the midget major and midget minor levels. The event’s organizers are anticipating record participation for the 2010 event, as more than 100 top-ranked teams from across the United States and Canada are scheduled to compete in rinks throughout the Detroit area.

“We began working with the good people at this event last year,” said USHL commissioner Skip Prince. “It’s carefully and professionally run, features the best players in North America at the midget age level, and just offers a great on-ice and off-ice experience for the players and their parents. The USHL is the next step for these young players, many of whom we’re going to see playing NCAA and NHL hockey in the coming years, and it’s a privilege to participate.”

The USHL game will be played at historic Joe Louis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings (who boast USHL alumni Brian Rafalski, Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller in their lineup). Though final rosters have not been set, the Steel and Lumberjacks feature players from 13 states – including 14 players from the state of Michigan.

“It will be the first time that the Muskegon Lumberjacks take the ice for a game and we look forward to representing the USHL and the state of Michigan,” said Josh Mervis, owner of the Lumberjacks. “We want to be a Michigan team for Michigan players and taking part in this game is the perfect opportunity to showcase the League to players from this state and across the continent.”

Coaches and scouts from all sixteen USHL member clubs will be in attendance throughout the event, and CCM and the league will present most valuable player awards to individuals throughout every game of the tournament.

“We are excited to have the USHL as part of the 2010 tournament,” said Bill Ciraulo, director of amateur sports for the Detroit Red Wings, as well as lead organizer for the Little Caesars AAA hockey organization. “The USHL is the premier league in the United States, so we are thrilled to have their involvement and have their representatives come to see these players.”

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