Monday, February 14, 2011

Fighting Falcons to return for 2011-2012

The Port Huron Fighting Falcons of the North American Hockey League today announced that they will return to McMorran Arena for the 2011-12 season. The expansion team is currently in their first season in the NAHL.

This month, the team began to offer its current season ticket holders a drastically reduced rate for next season’s tickets. At $135, current ticket holders who renew their tickets in February could save over $80 per ticket over this year’s rate.

“As a member of this community, I know that people have been wondering if we would be returning for a second season,” said general manager Marty Haddad. “We want to make it as clear as possible that we absolutely will be back and that owner Maribeth Hayes is committed to Port Huron.

“Ms. Hayes made that commitment clear to [Fighting Falcons head coach] Bill [Warren] and me in a conference we had with her several weeks ago, the culmination of which was signing Bill to a new contract."

“We’re already taking ticket orders for next season, and with a full off-season to prepare for next year, we are extremely confident about the on-ice product we will be able to present to our fans,” added Haddad.

Warren has signed a contract extension that will keep him calling the shots through next season. Per team policies, details of the deal will not be released. The Fighting Falcons have become a much more competitive team under Warren, who became the team’s second head coach in early January.

Ernie Hicke, the team’s original head coach and general manager, was fired in late December, after the team won just one of their first 26 games.

“I am completely committed to this team and I’m excited about the future here,” said Warren. “With that being said, in no way are any of us overlooking the rest of this season. We still have a lot of goals that we feel we are capable of achieving by the end of the year.

“With an all-local front office staff, we know that we can and must do a better job of staying active in our community. We see the same potential in Port Huron as Ernie did when he fought to bring this team here last summer and we’re thankful for the hard work he and Shane (Hicke) put into making this team a reality. Now it’s up to us to give the Blue Water Area the team they deserve night in and night out.”

The Fighting Falcons have been very active in the community since Warren took over, making several appearances at local schools. The Blue Water Council of Boy Scouts of America sold roughly 500 tickets to last Friday’s game as part of the team’s fund raising program. The team is also a sponsor of Mercy Hospital’s Vineyards of the World event on February 25 to benefit the People’s Clinic.

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