Friday, September 23, 2011

Port Huron begins North play Saturday

The Port Huron Fighting Falcons will begin play in the NAHL’s newly realigned North Division this weekend, as they play road games against the Michigan Warriors and the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings.

This year, the North Division will be made up of the Fighting Falcons and four other teams: the Warriors, Traverse City North Stars, Jr. K-Wings and the Jamestown (NY) Ironmen.

The Fighting Falcons are looking to build off of their success at last week’s NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minn., where they skated to a 3-0-1 record, and left in a three-way tie atop the North Division.

Port Huron’s success was one of the biggest stories of the showcase, where each NAHL team played four regular-season games. Three of Port Huron’s four games took place against teams that won their division last season. A shootout loss to the reigning Robertson Cup champion Fairbanks Ice Dogs last Saturday kept the Fighting Falcons from a perfect record.

The Fighting Falcons will travel to Flint Saturday to take on the Michigan Warriors, with a Sunday matchup set in Kalamazoo against the Jr. K-Wings. The Warriors, who fell to the Ice Dogs in last year’s Robertson Cup finals, also left Blaine with a 3-0-1 record. Last season, the Warriors were the only team to lose twice to Port Huron.

The expansion Jr. K-Wings won two of their four showcase games. Forward Chad McDonald led the Jr. K-Wings with eight points in four games, with six coming in a five-goal effort in Kalamazoo’s 8-2 victory over the Dawson Creek Rage last Friday. McDonald was named the NAHL’s third star of the week for his efforts.

Rookies Kody Polin and Easton Powers tallied five points apiece at the showcase to lead the Fighting Falcons. Polin put up four goals in a 7-3 win over the New Mexico Mustangs last Friday, while Powers dished out four assists and netted one goal in last week’s action.

Fighting Falcons goalies Pete Megariotis and Max Milosek were strong in net last week, each starting two games, stopping over 90 percent of the shots they faced and earning goals against averages of less than 2.

The Fighting Falcons will travel to Traverse City next Wednesday to take on the North Stars, who went 12-0 against the Fighting Falcons last season. The North Stars, like the Fighting Falcons and the Warriors, left the NAHL Showcase without a loss in regulation. These teams faced off in a pre-season matchup September 8. Port Huron won that game, 5-2.

Port Huron’s home opener will take place Saturday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. at McMorran Arena against Jamestown. Port Huron native Jack Campbell, who was selected by the Dallas Stars with the 11th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, will be on hand to drop the ceremonial first puck and sign autographs.

If the team is able to continue their unbeaten streak, it is possible for them to match last season’s six wins before they even play in front of their home crowd. Port Huron’s next win will give them nine points, half of what they earned in 58 games in their inaugural season.

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