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ECHL Today

Johnstown Chiefs (10-10-2) at Cincinnati Cyclones (10-10-1) 7:30 p.m. ET
* Cory Urquhart had two goals, including the game winner, in Cincinnati's 3-1 win at Johnstown on Oct. 28.
* Johnstown defenseman Doug Andress has nine points (3g-6a) in his last eight games.
* Defenseman Rory Rawlyk has eight points (1g-7a) in his first seven games with the Cyclones.
* Johnstown rookie Maxime Boisclair has seven-game assist streak (9a), longest streak in ECHL this season.

Phoenix RoadRunners (13-10-0) at Texas Wildcatters (15-4-2) 7:05 p.m. CT
* Phoenix is 2-1-0 in its last three road games and 9-4-0 in its last 13 games.
* Wildcatters' Brandin Cote has three-game goal streak (3g) and four-game point streak (3g-1a).
* RoadRunners' Justin Aikins has two game-winning goals and three points (3g-0a) in his last two games.
* Texas rookie defenseman Mike Madill has 16 points, including his first professional goal on Saturday.


Premier 'AA' Hockey League Fast Facts
* Affiliations with 25 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League marking 10th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
* 310 former ECHL players have played in NHL.
* 164 have made NHL debut in the last five seasons, including goaltenders Barry Brust, Martin Houle, Joey MacDonald, Mike Smith and Mike Wall, center Drew Larman and right wing Jesse Schultz this season, and a record 47 in 2005-06.
* ECHL has been represented on last six Stanley Cup champions.
* Two NHL head coaches (Peter Laviolette & Jim Playfair) and 9 assistant coaches have ECHL experience.
* Affiliations with 24 of the 27 teams in the American Hockey League.
* ECHL has been represented on last 17 Calder Cup champions.
* For each of the past four seasons, ECHL has had more players called up to AHL than all other professional leagues combined. From 2002-06 the ECHL had 1,646 call ups, involving almost 1,000 players, including 416 call ups involving 263 players last season.
* Idaho Steelheads and City of Boise will host the 15th Annual ECHL All-Star Game presented by Rbk Hockey on Jan. 17 and the 10th Annual ECHL All-Star Skills Competition presented by Rbk Hockey on Jan. 16 at Qwest Arena.
* ECHL and its member teams contributed more than $2.3 million for charity and relief funds in 2005-06.
 

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Florida's Kowalski Suspended One Game, Fined

PRINCETON, N.J. - The ECHL announced on Thursday that it suspended Florida goaltender Craig Kowalski for one game and fined him an undisclosed amount as a result of his actions in ECHL Game #257 at Pensacola on Dec. 9.

Kowalski was assessed a minor penalty for leaving the crease and a Match penalty under Rule 28.6 - Leaving the Goal Crease.

Kowalski is suspended under Rule 21.1 - Match Penalty and fined under Rule 28.6 - Leaving the Goal Crease.

Kowalski missed Florida's game at Gwinnett (Dec. 10).
 

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Victoria's Lloyd Suspended One Game

PRINCETON, N.J. - The ECHL announced on Thursday that it has suspended Victoria center Darryl Lloyd for one game as a result of his actions in ECHL Game #250 against Long Beach on Dec. 8.

Lloyd was assessed a major penalty and a Game Misconduct under Rule 44 - Checking From Behind at 9:56 of the second period.

Lloyd is suspended under Rule 29 - Supplementary Discipline.

Lloyd missed Victoria's game against Long Beach (Dec. 9).
 

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Johnstown's Henrich Suspended One Game, Fined

PRINCETON, N.J. - The ECHL announced on Thursday that it has suspended Johnstown defenseman Adam Henrich for one game and fined him an undisclosed amount as a result of his actions in ECHL Game #256 against Reading and that it has fined him an undisclosed amount as a result of his actions in ECHL Game #265 against Bakersfield on Dec. 10.

Henrich was assessed a minor penalty for cross checking at 2:13 of overtime in the game on Dec. 9.

He is suspended and fined under Rule 29 - Supplementary Discipline.

At 19:20 of the third period on Dec. 10, Henrich was assessed a minor penalty for cross checking, a Misconduct under Rule 40.4 and a Game Misconduct under Rule 40.5.

Henrich is fined under Rule 29 - Supplementary Discipline.

Henrich will miss Johnstown's game at Cincinnati (Dec. 14).
 

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Pensacola Owner Forgione Fined

PRINCETON, N.J. - The ECHL announced on Thursday that it has fined Pensacola owner Mario Forgione an undisclosed amount as a result of his actions at the conclusion of ECHL Game #257 against Florida on Dec. 9.
 

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Reading's Hiebert Suspended Three Games, Fined

PRINCETON, N.J. - The ECHL announced on Thursday that it has suspended Reading forward James Hiebert for three games and fined him an undisclosed amount for his actions in ECHL Game #256 at Johnstown on Dec. 9.

Hiebert was assessed a Match penalty under Rule 61 - Slashing at 2:13 of overtime.

Hiebert is suspended and fined under Rule 29 - Supplementary Discipline.

Hiebert missed Reading's games against Trenton (Dec. 10) and Wheeling (Dec. 13) and will miss the game at Wheeling (Dec. 15).
 

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ECHL Mourns Loss Of Victoria Times Colonist Sports Editor Fletcher

PRINCETON, N.J. - The ECHL and its member teams mourn the loss and express their condolences to the family and friends of Victoria Times Colonist sports editor Gavin Fletcher, who was killed Monday in a single-vehicle accident.

"Gavin interviewed me many times and I recognized and respected his professionalism, but we also appreciated his efforts and the support that he gave to the ECHL and the Victoria Salmon Kings," said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this most difficult time."

Fletcher is survived by wife Natalie and daughters Claudia, 6, and Sophia, five months.

A memorial service will be held Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Brechin United Church, 1998 Estevan Rd. in Nanaimo, British Columbia. The service will be followed by a reception from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Nanaimo Golf Club, 2800 Highland Blvd.
 

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Center Scott May Loaned To AHL Iowa

PHOENIX, Ariz. - The Phoenix RoadRunners of the ECHL, a proud affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes and the San Antonio Rampage, have announced that center Scott May has been loaned to the Iowa Stars of the American Hockey League.

May, 24, currently leads the RoadRunners and is tied for sixth overall in the ECHL scoring race with 13 goals and 31 points through 23 games. The White Rock, British Columbia and third-year pro has produced a team-high 10 multiple-point games this season and has already enjoyed three scoring streaks of four games or longer.

A former seventh round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, May has tallied four goals and five assists in 55 career AHL games between St. John's and Milwaukee from 2003-06.

The RoadRunners open a three-game series with the Texas Wildcatters at 6:05 p.m. Thursday at Ford Arena in Beaumont. Catch all the action live at phxroadrunners.com: Home beginning with "RoadRunners Countdown" at 5:45 p.m.

Phoenix returns to US Airways Center at 7:11 p.m. Thursday, December 21 as they welcome back the Victoria Salmon Kings. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Individual game tickets for the 2006-07 regular season start as low $7 in the lower section and can be purchased at the US Airways Center Box Office and at all Ticketmaster outlets including Ticketmaster.com. Information on season tickets, half-season packages, and flex plans are available by calling (602) 462-GOAL.
 

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Steelheads Blow Early Lead As Grizzlies Win 3-2

Boise, ID - Steelheads' defensemen Darrell Hay and Kyle Peto each recorded two points, and the Steelheads gained an early 2-0 lead, before eventually falling 3-2 to the Utah Grizzlies at the E-Center in West Valley City, Utah on Wednesday night.

The Steelheads (12-9-1-1) have now lost six of their last seven games after starting the season 7-1-1-1. Furthermore, the Steelheads drop to 7-4-0-0 on the road, while the Grizzlies snap a two-game losing streak, improving to 6-14-1-2.

At 11:51 of the first period, the Steelheads used their first power play to open the game's scoring. Rookie winger Taggart Desmet skated into the top of the right circles and snapped the puck over the glove of Grizzlies' goaltender Rob McVicar (34 saves) for his third goal of the season. Peto and Hay picked up the helpers.

Less than three minutes later the Steelheads made the score 2-0 on defenseman Peto's man advantage marker, his second in as many nights. Peto took a feed from Derek Nesbitt and wristed a shot off a body in front and into the top right corner at 14:26. Again Hay got the second assist, while Nesbitt's assist extended his road scoring streak to eight games.

The Grizzlies answered with 1:53 left in the opening stanza on Andy Sertich's first of the campaign. Sertich fired a shot along the ice through a screen that beat Steelheads' goaltender John Daigneau (10 saves) five-hole. Danny Stewart and Travis Rycroft registered the helpers.

The second period saw the Grizzlies score twice in 32 seconds to tie the game and subsequently take their first lead. At the 16:51 mark, Grizzlies' forward Jake Riddle, who was playing in his first home game and third overall with the team, banked a shot from behind the goal line off Daigneau and just over the goal line to make it 2-2. Blake Robson and Gordon Burnett drew the assists. On an offensive face-off just moments later, Stewart won the puck to the Grizzlies' leading scorer Ryan Kinasewich, who ripped a shot past Daigneau for the 3-2 lead.

Through two periods, the Steelheads had 24 shots, while the Grizzlies had managed 11.

There was no scoring in the third period, as the Steelheads couldn't find a way to tie the game on any of their 12 shots. With Daigneau pulled in the final two minutes, McVicar was stellar robbing Greg Rallo and Nesbitt to preserve the win, his sixth of the season. The loss drops Daigneau to 1-2-0-0. The Grizzlies got off just two shots in the third period, as the final shots were 36-13 in favor of the Steelheads. The two, third period shots against and the Grizzlies shot total for the contest both set a season record for the Steelheads' stingiest performances.

The Steelheads take a week off before battling the Alaska Aces in Anchorage, beginning on Wednesday, December 20. The puck drops at 9:05 p.m. MST. Don't forget, Steelheads' single-game tickets can be purchased via www.idahosteelheads.com (using the all-new, print-at-home feature), by calling 331-TIXS or from the Qwest Arena box office.
 

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Grizzlies Defeat Idaho 3-2

West Valley City, Utah - The Utah Grizzlies (6-14-3) scored three unanswered goals after trailing 2-0 in the first period defeating the Idaho Steelheads 3-2 Wednesday night at the E-Center.

Idaho scored the games first two goals on the power-play with Taggart Desmet at 11:51 of the first and Kyle Peto at 14:26 of the second to take a 2-0 lead.

The Grizzlies responded at 18:07 of the first period with Andy Sertich scoring his first professional goal assisted by Danny Stewart and Travis Rycroft, making the score 2-1.

Utah tied the game at 2 at 16:51 of the second with Jake Riddle scoring his first Utah goal in his E-Center debut (rights acquired from Phoenix on December 2) assisted by Gordon Burnett and Blake Robson.

32 seconds later, at 17:23 of the second, the Grizzlies got the game-winner with Ryan Kinasewich (9) firing a shot from the slot right off of a face-off won by Danny Stewart.

Utah was outshot 36-13 in the game. Rob McVicar earned his sixth win of the season, stopping 34 of 36 shots.

The Grizzlies continue their three-game home stand Friday hosting Alaska. Face-off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
 

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Royals Third Period Slip Results In 5-3 Wheeling Win

Reading, PA - The Reading Royals (10 - 10 - 4 = 24; 2nd North Division) held two leads, but could not hold off the Wheeling Nailers, who scored two third period goals to win 5-3 and snap the Royals' win streak at three. Although Reading gave up the game's first goal, the Royals bounced back and led at 2-1 (in the first period) and 3-2 (in the second). However, Wheeling was able to tie it up at three before entering the third and went on to score two goals down the stretch to pull away and win, as the Nailers controlled the flow of the play in the third, despite having only 13 skaters at that stage of the game.

The Nailers struck first 5:46 into the game, when a defensive zone miscue near the Royals' goal resulted in a multiple shot opportunity for Wheeling right in front of the Royals' net, and Joe Guenther buried his second attempt against goaltender Jeff Pietrasiak (3 - 3 - 0; 22/27) for his twelfth of the season. Reading bounced back to tie things at one 12:37 into the first when Dany Roussin fed John Snowden in the right circle, and Snowden ripped a snap shot that beat the Nailers' goaltender, Andy Franck (10 - 11 - 1; 37/39), high to the short side. For Snowden that was his fifth goal of the season. The Royals took their first lead of the game while on the power play 3:08 later when Ned Lukacevic one-timed a puck from the right point that seemed to knuckle on net and beat Franck low to the glove side for his first goal as a member of the Royals. However, with just 13.7 seconds remaining in the period, the Nailers tied the game again at two when Joe Guenther carried deep on the right wing side and slipped a back hander towards the front of the net that went off the leg of a Royals defender, between the legs of Pietrasiak and into the net.

In the second, the Royals took their second lead at 3-2 when Chris Bala scored his ninth of the season-again while Reading was on the power play. Greg Hogeboom slid a pass across the top of the crease to Bala who was planted on the back door at the left side of the net and was able to force it through Franck 11:27 into the period. However, the Nailers tied things again (this time at three) when they bagged a five-on-three power play goal 2:04 later, after a brilliant perimeter passing sequence that involved all five skaters on the ice and resulted in a back door goal for Jordan Cameron.

In the third, the Nailers carried the play and scored the game winner just 2:41 into the period when defenseman Ryan Moren took a shot from the right point that Jon Foster re-directed out of mid-air into the upper reaches of the Reading net on the short side. The Nailers added some insurance at the 9:46 mark of the third when Moren finished a rush up ice with a virutally uncontested tap in from the top of the crease after receiving a feed from Jon Smyth. The Royals simply did not have the gas in the tank to muster a comeback at that point despite having a late power play and pulling the goaltender with almost two minutes remaining in the game.

The Royals now head out on a five game road trip starting in Wheeling on Friday (7:30 pm). Royals' game night broadcasts can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1240 am (and on the internet through the Royals' website, www.royalshockey.com), beginning thirty minutes before the opening face-off. Streaming video is also available for $6.00 per game through the B2 Networks, which can be accessed through the Royals' website.
 

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Nailers Overpower Royals in Third

READING, PA- Before the game, Ryan Moren was unsure how much ice-time he would be able to give coach Glenn Patrick. In the third period, it was Moren's goal and assist that powered the Wheeling Nailers (10-12-0-1) to a 5-3 win over the Reading Royals (10-10-0-4)Wednesday night at the Sovereign Center.

With Moren feeling under-the-weather in the afternoon leading up to the midweek contest, he managed to assist on the game winning goal by John Foster and add some insurance later in the third.

In the first period it was Joe Guenther with a pair of goals that had the teams tied at two after one. Ryan Smyth recorded assists on both goals to increase his assist streak to eight games. Smyth's eight-game streak is the longest in the ECHL this season, one ahead fellow rookie Maxime Boisclair of Johnstown.

Guenther opened the scoring 5:46 into the game converting the rebound of Smyth's turnaround shot. Just under seven minutes later, John Snowden's wrist shot avoided a traffic jam in front and snuck under the crossbar to even the game at one.

Reading converted on their first power-play opportiunity at the 15:45 mark of the opening period with Ned Lukacevic's first goal of the season.

After the goal, Paul Bissonnette and Doug Christiansen wound up in a scrum in front of the net. Bissonnette knocked over Christiansen but only after Christiansen was able to pull the jersey of Bissonnette over his head and completely off.

Under rule 47.13 a player must have his jersey fastened to his protective pants. Bissonnette was assessed a game misconduct after the referee noticed the buttons on his pants still connected showing there was no way the jersey could have been ripped loose.

The Nailers, who were already playing with five defenseman, were forced to play with just four for the final 45 minutes of the game.

Guenther's second goal of the period came with just 13.8 seconds remaining on the clock. It was the fourth multi-goal game of the season for Guenther and the third time he scored twice in the same period. He now has 13 on the year.

Reading and Wheeling traded power-play goals in the second period as Chris Bala got his ninth for the Royals and Jordan Cameron recorded his 13th. Cameron upped his goal streak to three games with assists from Collins and Cody Blanshan on a 5-on-3 advantage. It was Blanshan's first point as a Nailer since being traded from Idaho two weeks ago.

Foster tipped in the game winner just 2:41 into the third period as Moren unleashed a wrist shot from along the boards. Foster knocked the puck from waist level up and over the shoulder of Jeff Pietrasiak.

With just over 10 minutes remaining in the game, Moren added his name to the goal column putting a pass from Smyth into the back of the net. Moren brought the puck into the Reading zone and dropped it for Collins. Collins fed it across to Smyth who found Moren just outside the crease.

Andy Franck earned his 10th win of the year by stopping 36 of the 39 shots sent his way. He turned away 17 in the second and another 13 in the third.

The Nailers managed just 7 shots in each of the last two periods after registering 13 in the first.

Wheeling has now taken the last three games from Reading and have now won three of four this year. The series continues on Friday night in Wheeling when the two meet for a 7:30pm start.

Individual and group tickets for all Nailers home games, as well as special ticket pacakages, are on sale now. For ticket information, contact the Nailers at 304-234-GOAL.
 

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Cyclones To Appear at Fountain Square Rink Sunday

CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL, will be skating and meeting fans on Sunday (Dec. 17) from noon until 2pm at the Fountain Square rink-located in downtown Cincinnati. The public is invited to attend and participate. The rink has been renovated by the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporations (www.3cdc.org). This will be the first appearance by the Cyclones at the facility this season.

The Cyclones team will be taking turns skating with the fans and signing autographs throughout the session. Fans are able to attend the event-a cost of $2 per person will allow them to skate and an additional $2 charge will be added for patrons needing skates.

The event kicks off a busy three day period for the Cyclones, that sees the team stopping by two different hospitals, delivering Christmas gifts to a charity that the players have selected (Shriners Burns Institute) and a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis.

"It's great to have our team working together with the community at this time of year," Cyclones Head Coach Chuck Weber said. "We are all very fortunate to be able to call Cincinnati home and we want to share that feeling with others who live here."

The most up-to-date information on the Cincinnati Cyclones and broadcast of the games can be found on our website Cincinnati Cyclones : Cyclones-Hockey.com.
 

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Grizzlies all-team hospital visit rescheduled for Tuesday

West Valley City, Utah - The Utah Grizzlies have announced that today's all-team visit to Primary Children's Medical Center has been rescheduled for Tuesday, December 19.

"We have had a bad flu bug passing rapidly through our dressing room," said Grizzlies Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Jason Christie. "Obviously we don't want to take a chance of spreading the flu in a hospital."

The visit on Tuesday will start at 2 p.m., with the team delivering Grizzlies tote bags and teddy bears to the patients.

For more information, contact Adrian Denny in the Grizzlies public relations department at (801) 835-8989.
 

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Bombers Acquire More Offense

Dayton, OH- Dayton Bombers Head Coach and General Manager Don MacAdam announced today that the Bombers have acquired center Mike Berry from the Toledo Storm in exchange for financial considerations. As per club policy, terms and conditions of the deal were not disclosed.

Berry, a 5'10", 180-pound native of Kanata, Ontario, has played in 20 games with Toledo this season, scoring nine points on three goals and six assists. He spent last season in the United Hockey League with the Adirondack Frostbite, appearing in 75 games (including playoffs) and scoring 54 points on 27 goals and 27 assists. Berry was also called up from Adirondack to the Binghamton Senators for two games, one of which he scored a goal in.

The Bombers return to the Nutter Center on Friday, December 15, at 7:00 p.m. to take on the Toledo Storm. Great season ticket locations and sponsorship opportunities are still available! Individual game tickets are on sale now. For more information contact the Bombers office at 775-4747 or log on to Dayton Bombers : Miami Valley's Only Professional "AA" Hockey Franchise. The Dayton Bombers are the proud affiliate to the "AAA" Syracuse Crunch of the AHL and the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL.
 

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Maunu Returns to Toledo; Berry Off to Dayton

ackhawks, announced today that they have traded rookie forward Mike Berry to the Dayton Bombers for financial considerations. In a separate move, defenseman Mitch Maunu was reassigned to Toledo from the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League.

Maunu, the Thunder Bay, Ontario native, has appeared in 9 games with the Admirals this season and has not collected a point, with 8 penalty minutes. While in Toledo, meanwhile, Maunu has played in 10 games registering 2 assists and has accumulated 22 penalty minutes.

Berry, the native of Kanata, Ontario, appeared in 20 games for the Storm this season, scoring 3 goals and adding 6 assists. The rookie forward also recorded 16 PIM during his time with Toledo. A year ago, Berry played in 72 games with the Adirondack Frostbite of the United Hockey League where he collected 53 points (27 G, 26 A).

The Storm will be back on the home ice THIS Saturday, December 16th at 7:35pm when they will welcome the Reading Royals back to One Main Street. Great tickets are still available for the game by calling (419) 691-0200, at all Ticketmaster outlets, or at the all-new ToledoStorm.com. Fans can listen to every Toledo Storm Hockey game on 1520 AM Jams or watch the game LIVE online via the B2 Network. Toledo Storm Hockey...Great Team...Great Time!
 

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New leadership for Qwest Arena, sports teams

BOISE, Idaho - The owners of Qwest Arena, Idaho Steelheads Hockey Club and the Boise Burn announced today that John Cunningham has been named President of Block22, LLC and Eric Trapp as President of Idaho Sports Properties.

With an extensive background in sports and arena management, Cunningham brings 15 years of experience to oversee the business operations of Qwest Arena and Idaho Sports Properties, which manages the Idaho Steelheads (ECHL) and Boise Burn (arenafootball2). Cunningham assumes his position after serving as president of PGE Park, the Portland Beavers and Portland Timbers in Portland, Oregon. He replaces former president Glenn Stanford who recently left to take over as President and Governor of the American Hockey League's Hamilton Bull Dogs.

Under Cunningham, who assumed his duties with PGE Park and its teams in February 2005, the Beavers and Timbers realized unprecedented growth in his two seasons of leadership, including a substantial increase in ticket sales, attendance, corporate partnerships and the number of large-scale events held at the 20,000-seat stadium located in downtown Portland.

Cunningham returns to Qwest Arena, where he previously served as the general manager of the 5,000-seat arena that is the home venue of the Idaho Steelheads, the Boise Burn and the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League, among other attractions. Prior to joining the Beavers and Timbers, Cunningham also served as the general manager and vice president of operations for the Steelheads.

"Though I thoroughly enjoyed working in Portland and will miss the city, staff and great relationships I established, I'm excited and greatly appreciative of the opportunity to return to Boise and Qwest Arena," said Cunningham. "I look forward to becoming a part of the community again, and having called Boise home for many years, my family and I feel like we're coming home."

Cunningham and his wife Jamie have three children, Jack 7, Bailey 5 and Claire 2. He will assume his new duties on January 2nd.

Trapp, most recently took over as general manager of the Idaho Steelheads in February 2005, but has held several positions under Idaho Sports Properties with Diamond Sports Management in sales and marketing since 1991. He was promoted to vice president in 1996 and oversaw the operations of the Boise Hawks, Sioux City Explorers and El Paso Diablos baseball teams. In addition to overseeing the business side of the Idaho Steelheads, Trapp will be responsible for the start up and operations of the Boise Burn who will take to the field for their inaugural season in Spring of 2007.

Trapp was instrumental in negotiating the 2005 Qwest Arena naming rights agreement as well as brought several feature partners to the building.

"John and I have a great working relationship dating back to 1991 with the Boise Hawks, and it's exciting to have him back," said Trapp. "As for me, I look forward to continuing our success with the Steelheads and building the Burn to become as successful a minor league team as we've built the Steelheads to be. We're grateful for support we've already received from the community."

Trapp assumes his responsibilities immediately.
 
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