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Tuma recalled to AHL

ESTERO, FL - Florida Everblades President and General Manager Craig Brush along with Head Coach Gerry Fleming announced today that defenseman Martin Tuma has been recalled to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.

Tuma heads to the AHL having picked up two assists and 48 penalty minutes in 19 games with the Everblades this season. The 21-year-old is making his third trip to the AHL in his three-year career having played in 12 games with Rochester last season collecting two assists, and playing in five games with San Antonio in 2004-05 where he tallied one assist. Overall in his three-year career the native of the Czech Republic has 11 points (0g, 11a) and 161 PIM in 84 games.

The former 5th round draft pick by the Florida Panthers in 2003 joins forwards Mike Angelidis and Kevin Estrada along with defensemen Brett Carson and Jeremy Swanson as Everblades players currently on recall to the AHL.

The Florida Everblades, proud affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes and the Florida Panthers, return to the ice on Thursday, December 28 when they travel to Beaumont, TX to take on the Texas Wildcatters at 8:05 p.m. from Ford Arena. Florida Everblades individual & group tickets are now available! Reserve your seat for all the exciting action today by calling (239) 948-7825. Visit Florida Everblades - ECHL and Germain Arena for more information on group ticket packages, pricing and upcoming Germain Arena events.
 

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Ice Pilots return to action Wednesday

PENSACOLA, FL - After the Christmas break, it's back to work for the Pensacola Ice Pilots tomorrow night.

The Ice Pilots look to make it three wins in their last four games when they travel to Augusta to face the Lynx at 6:35 pm central, 7:35 pm eastern. Pensacola is coming off a .500 weekend prior to the break where they beat the first place Texas Wildcatters 7-4 before falling 7-3 the next night.

The Ice Pilots are 2-3-0-1 versus the Lynx this season and 1-1 at the James Brown Arena where Augusta has struggled this season.

Fans can tune into the action on Classic Country AM1620 beginning with Ice Pilots Countdown to Face-off at 6:15 pm. The play-by-play follows at 6:30 pm with Denis J. Puska providing all of the heart-stopping action. The game is also available at Pensacola Ice Pilots :: Home of your Pensacola Ice Pilots by clicking on the Sportsjuice logo and also the B2 Networks.

Hockey returns to The Hangar this Friday when the Ice Pilots host the Gwinnett Gladiators for the first time this season at 7:05 pm. The world famous Zooperstars will be performing during both intermissions. The Zooperstars have performed at a variety minor league and major league events across North America. Fans can learn more about the Zooperstars by clicking on ZOOperstars! Entertainment Shows Louisville, Kentucky.
 

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Grizzlies Home Saturday: Continue Road Trip Thursday, Friday

News and Notes

More Scoring From Ryan
Over the weekend, Ryan Kinasewich tallied five goals and one assist in two games for the Grizzlies. He currently leads Utah with 15 goals and 11 assists in 22 games. Last year, the 23-year-old finished tied atop the ECHL with 39 goals scored.

Third Kinasewich Hat Trick
With three goals Friday night in Bakersfield, Kinasewich scored the third hat trick of his Grizzlies career. The previous two, came last December on the road. (December 17, at Idaho, December 30, at Las Vegas.)

Another Four-Point Night
With three goals and one assist Friday, Kinasewich became the second Grizzlies player this year to have a four-point night. Brad Herauf had four goals November 4 at Idaho.

More On Kinasewich
Kinasewich set a new Utah season-high Friday and tied it Saturday. The third-year pro had ten shots on net each night for the Grizzlies. Kinasewich set the all-time Grizzlies record last year with 13 shots on net in a game February 25 at San Diego.

Getting The Power-Play Going
With two power-play goals each evening this past weekend, the Grizzlies posted back-to-back games with multiple power-play goals for the first time since the second and third games of the season. (October 21-22 at Phoenix.)

Coming Back In The Third
With three straight third period goals in Friday night's 5-4 win over Bakersfield, the Grizzlies managed their second win of the season when trailing entering the third period.

Rookie All-Star
University of Minnesota product Andy Sertich was named to the ECHL's National Conference All-Star team Friday. The game will be played January 17 in Boise, Idaho.

Ringing In The New Year With Las Vegas... AGAIN
With three-games-in-three-nights this weekend with the Las Vegas Wranglers, the Grizzlies will hope to wrap up the 2006 calendar year with the same success that they ended 2005 with. Last year, the Grizzlies took two of three from Las Vegas from December 30-January 1.

Extra Time With The Wranglers
The Grizzlies and Wranglers have met nine times since Utah joined the ECHL at the beginning of last season. Four of the nine games played between the two teams have gone into overtime or a shootout. The Grizzlies hold a record of 3-0-1 in those extra sessions.

This Year
The Grizzlies and Wranglers went to shootouts in both games played between the two teams this year. Las Vegas defeated Utah 3-2 October 27 at the E-Center, with the Grizzlies returning the favor 3-2 the following night.

This Week

Thursday: Utah @ Las Vegas, 8:05 p.m.
Friday: Utah @ Las Vegas, 8:05 p.m.
Saturday: Las Vegas @ Utah, 7:05 p.m.

Last Week
The Grizzlies split a weekend series at Bakersfield; winning 5-4 Friday and losing 6-3 Saturday
 

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Pull Straight And Miss

Some things you love to remember, and some things you'd prefer to forget-and the truth often lies somewhere in between. I guess that's the kind of the week the Royals experienced as they made the team's first trip in history to Charlotte Bobcats Arena-where the memories are somewhat idyllic: a solid road performance that resulted in the team's first shutout of the year and where the Royals' scored what proved to be the game winner just 1:10 into the contest. All of which stands in stark contrast to the bleak visions that will be called to mind when we hark back to the first trip in team history to Columbia, South Carolina, where, after arriving in the early morning haze, the team got a relatively rude wake up call as the 'host' hotel was shaken to its very foundation by some guys with hard hats and jack hammers slamming into the roof while the sun-well, at least the gloom and rain-was coming up over the horizon. Problem was, despite shaking off the construction site blues, the team really never did wake up; and it was the Royals who were shaken to the core with a 7-1 loss to the Inferno. Which just goes to prove that, although it's nice to collect memories for the scrap book, there are those things on the road that are best left right there.....

TOP TEN NOTES OF THE WEEK

1. The Royals extended the team's season high road winning streak to four games (and road unbeaten streak to five, 4 - 0 - 1) with the 3-0 win in Charlotte last Wednesday. Those streaks were snapped with the 7-1 loss in Columbia on Friday night.

2. The 3-0 win in Charlotte on Thursday marked the team's first trip in history to Charlotte Bobcats Arena, as well as the first shutout of the season for the Royals. The 7-1 loss to the Inferno was not only the first trip to Carolina Coliseum, but also the first game ever for Reading against Columbia.

3. Goaltender Jeff Pietrasiak registered his first pro shutout by stopping all 18 shots he faced in Charlotte last Thursday. Pietrasiak has played eight consecutive games for the Royals, going 6 - 2 - 0 in that stretch with a 2.75 goals against average and a .905 save percentage.

4. Joe Zappala scored 1:10 seconds into last Thursday's game, marking the quickest score into a game for the Royals this year. It also marked the third consecutive game in which Reading scored first. (That streak was snapped in Friday's 7-1 loss in Columbia). Over the course of the season, the Royals have compiled a record of 7 - 1 - 2 when scoring first. For Zappala, that marked his second 'first goal' of the season-and it also proved to be his third game winner, a category in which he's tied with Greg Hogeboom for the team lead.

5. In Thursday's 3-0 win in Charlotte, the Royals held the Checkers to just 18 shots on goal-a team season best. In Friday's 7-1 loss in Columbia, the Royals were outshot 40 - 23 by the Inferno, marking the first time Reading has been outshot in a game since a 3-2 loss to the Dayton Bombers on November 22-a span of 14 games. The Royals have only been outshot in six of the 28 games the team has played so far. Reading averages 34.43 shots on goal per game (sixth in the league) and averages giving up 28.50 shots per game (fourth).

6. Greg Hogeboom picked up an assist in each of the two games played by the Royals this season, extending his personal point streak to a team high ten games (5g - 12a = 17pts). Hogeboom is also currently riding a team season high nine game road point streak (5g - 8a = 13pts).

7. With his two assists against Charlotte on Thursday, Dany Roussin extended his personal assist streak to five games (0g - 8a = 8pts); and in three of those games he racked up multiple assist performances. Roussin's streak was snapped in Columbia on Friday.

8. The seven goals scored by the Columbia Inferno last Friday tied the season high against the Royals this year. (The team also gave up seven to the Johnstown Chiefs on November 25, 5 - 7 loss; but the six goal differential in Columbia was the greatest margin of loss of the season for Reading). Over the course of the season the Royals have allowed 94 goals in 28 games for a team goals against average of 3.36, which is thirteenth in the league. Reading has scored 102 goals in those games for a 'goals for average' of 3.64, which is sixth in the league.

9. Friday's loss in Columbia marked the fifth time this season that the Royals have made an in-game goaltender substitution-whether for injury or some other reason. In Columbia, goaltender Jeff Pietrasiak allowed five goals on 26 shots in 39:07 before goaltender Ryan Munce came on in substitution 53 seconds into the third period. In his 19:07 of game time, Munce allowed two goals on 14 shots.

10. The Royals have gone three consecutive games (and fourteen consecutive chances with man advantage) without scoring a power play goal. (This is after going 18 consecutive games in which they scored at least one PPG). Over the course of the season, Reading has scored 34 power play goals in 203 chances (a 16.7% scoring ratio-which is twelfth in the league). After blanking the opposition for two straight games, the Columbia Inferno scored a PPG on their ninth and final chance with the man advantage on Friday night. The Royals have allowed 30 PPGA in 185 chances for the opposition, an 83.8% kill ratio, which ranks eleventh amongst the twenty-five teams in the league.

UNSUNG HERO OF WEEK: Doug Christiansen

We all know it's good to be king, but the converse is often not quite so easy to stomach-particularly when you've been the guy wearing the crown. And last season, Doug Christiansen was that guy for the Royals scoring a career high 35 goals and being selected as the team's Most Valuable Player at the conclusion of the year. This season has not quite been as productive for Doug, who didn't score until his eleventh game of the season and didn't score his second until his seventeenth game. But in order to help the team in recent times, Doug has taken a step back-literally-to the blue line and played a regular shift on defense, where he has kept it simple, yet physical. This was the case last Thursday, when Doug returned to the city where he had begun his pro career-and had made a difficult decision to pursue a role as a power forward and not a defenseman several years earlier-and, low and behold, Doug not only played a solid and smart defensive game, but went 'Bobby Orr' on a coast-to-coast rush that was finished when he, the puck and just about everything else in the building crossed the goal line for a game clincher late in the third.

CLOSING NOTES

1. Malcolm MacMillan scored the Royals' second goal in the 3-0 win in Charlotte. For Malcolm, that was his fourth goal of the season.

2. Shawn Collymore scored the Royals' lone goal in the 7-1 loss to Columbia on Friday night. For Shawn, that was his ninth goal of the season-and his second goal in his last fourteen games.

3. Shawn Germain played to a plus two in Thursday's 3-0 win in Columbia to climb to a team season high (+15) on the year. Shawn was one of only four players on the Royals to avoid playing to a 'minus' on Friday in Columbia.

4. Former Royal Eric Werner scored his first goal of the season for the Manchester Monarchs last Wednesday. It proved to be the game winner in the Monarchs' 3-2 win over Lowell.
 

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Seventh Annual Florida College Hockey Classic begins this Friday

ESTERO, FL - The Florida College Hockey Classic returns to Germain Arena for the 7th year on December 29 & 30! The 2006 College Classic will feature three of the top 15 teams in NCAA Division I men's ice hockey. The defending College Classic Champion Cornell Big Red will make their 7th appearance and are joined this year by the University of New Hampshire, The University of Maine and Western Michigan University.

The tournament will feature the four teams playing over two days. The first day of the tournament will see Maine take on Western Michigan at 4:35 p.m. on December 29, and they will be followed by Cornell and New Hampshire at 7:30 p.m. The winners of each game will play at 7:30 p.m. on December 30, while the other two teams will skate at 4:35 p.m. on the 30th. Tickets are available at the Germain Arena box office or through TicketMaster at (239) 334-3309.

Cornell and Maine have each played in the College Classic since its creation in 2000. Both teams have skated to 6-6 records in the previous six years of the tournament. Cornell, who is currently ranked 12th in the country with an 8-3-1 record, scored tournament championships in 2005 and 2003, while Maine, who is ranked 5th in the country with a 10-3-1 record, has captured the tournament championship in 2000 and 2002.

Both New Hampshire and Western Michigan make their first appearance in the College Classic. New Hampshire is ranked 2nd overall in the country, and first in the Hockey East Conference standings with a 13-2-1 record. Western Michigan ranks 8th in their conference (CCHA) with a 5-7-1 mark.

Current Florida Everblades players that have skated in the College Classic Tournament are Steve Czech, University of Minnesota Duluth ('05), Derek Damon, University of Maine ('02, '03, '04, '05), Craig Kowalski, Northern Michigan University ('01) and Brett Peterson, Boston College ('04).

The following is a list of the past College Classic Champions, and the all-time records of teams participating in the College Classic.

PAST TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS: TEAM RECORDS 2005 - Cornell Maine: 6-6

2004 - Boston College Cornell: 6-6

2003 - Cornell Ohio State: 3-5

2002 - Maine Northern Michigan: 2-0

2001 - Northern Michigan Boston College: 2-0

2000 - Maine Clarkson: 1-1

Notre Dame: 1-1

U. of Massachusetts: 1-1

Minnesota Duluth: 1-1

St. Cloud State: 1-1

Northeastern: 0-2
 

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Everblades Weekly

ESTERO, FL - The Florida finished this past week with a 1-1-0 record. The Everblades head into this week's action with a record of 19-8-0 (38 pts, T-1st South Div.).

THIS WEEK (All Times Eastern)

Thursday, Friday & Saturday, Dec. 28, 29 & 30 at Texas Wildcatters 8:05 p.m. (Thurs. & Sat.) 8:30 p.m. (Fri.)

GAME NOTES: The Everblades travel to Beaumont, TX for the first time this season when they meet the Wildcatters for three games this week. The Everblades and Wildcatters have met five time this season, all at Germain Arena. Texas leads the season series 3-2-0. The Wildcatters won the most recent meeting 3-0 on Dec. 2. The games will be the 6th, 7th and 8th of 10 between the South Division rivals. The Wildcatters enter this week's action in a first place tie with the Everblades in the South Division with a record of 18-6-2 (38 pts.) The Everblades hold an all-time record of 5-4-0 vs. Texas and are 2-0-0 all-time at Texas.

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS

Friday, December 22 vs. South Carolina Stingrays 2-0 L

The Everblades saw their six-game winning streak come to an end with a 2-0 loss to South Carolina on Friday night at Germain Arena. After a scoreless first period, the Stingrays tallied a power play goal late in the second period. The 'Rays then added an even strength goal midway through the third period to add some insurance. South Carolina goaltender Davis Parley made 29 saves first his first shutout of the season. In goal for Florida, David Shantz stopped 27 of 29 shots but suffered the loss to fall to 9-3-0. Florida special teams: PP: 0-for-7, PK: 3-for-4.

Saturday, December 23 vs. South Carolina Stingrays 4-0 W

The Everblades bounced back with their first shutout of the season on Saturday night at Germain Arena with a 4-0 victory over the Stingrays. Vince Bellissimo tallied two goals and added an assist and Reggie Berg collected a goal and an assist in the victory. In goal Craig Kowalski picked up the shutout by stopping all 40 shots he faced to win his fourth straight game. David Brine added the other Florida goal, a short-handed tally that was the teams ninth this season. Florida special teams: PP: 1-for-6, PK: 10-for-10.

2006-07 EVERBLADES REGULAR SEASON NUMBERS

Quick Stats
Overall Record 19-8-0
Home Record 8-6-0
Road Record 11-2-0
Overtime Record 0-0
Shootout Record 1-0
Power Play 34-200 (11th)
Penalty Kill 166-199 (14th)

Leading Scorers
Vince Bellissimo 12-17-29
Reggie Berg 11-17-28
Brent McDonald 11-17-28
Dustin Johner 12-15-27
Mike Angelidis 10-8-18
Chris Lee 3-14-17

Leading Goaltenders
Craig Kowalski 2.34 GAA, 9-5-0
David Shantz 2.89 GAA, 9-3-0

Plus/Minus Leaders
Brent McDonald +15
Steve Czech +12
Brett Peterson +10
Brad Zancanaro +9
Dustin Johner +9

Player of the Week Nominee: This week's Everblades nominee for ECHL player of the week is Vince Bellissimo who tallied three points (2g, 1a) in Florida's two games this past week. The Everblades goaltender of the week nominee is Craig Kowalski who finished the week 1--0 with a shutout in his one game played.

Special Teams Breakdown: Here's a look at the special teams of the Everblades and how it breaks down home and away: Power play: 34-for-200 (17.0%) which ranks the Everblades 11th in ECHL. At home the Everblades are 13-for-98 (13.3%) which ranks 21st . On the road the Everblades are 21-for-102 (20.6%) which ranks 3rd . Penalty Kill: 166-for-199 (83.4%) which ranked the Everblades 14th in the ECHL. At home the 'Blades are 88-for-106 (83.0%) which is 15th in the league. On the road, Florida is 78-for-93 (83.9%) which is 13th best in the league.

Roster Changes: The Everblades today made a few changes to its roster. The team activated forward Bill Kinkel from the 7-day IR and moved defenseman Ryan Brindley to the 7-day IR. In addition the team placed defenseman Ryan Van Buskirk on the 3-day IR.

Love the Road!: The Everblades just completed their longest road trip of the season, a six-game trek, and polished it off by going a perfect 6-0-0. The Everblades earned wins over Pensacola (2), Gwinnett, Augusta, South Carolina and Columbia during the two week swing. Overall this year the Everblades improved their record to 11-2-0 away from Germain Arena. The 11 wins tied Las Vegas for the most road wins in the ECHL.

Who's Hot: Everblades F Brent McDonald has points in six of the last eight games (4g, 6a)...F Reggie Berg has points in seven of the last eight games (4g, 9a)...F Vince Bellissimo has tallied 15 points in the last eight games (6g, 9a)...F Dustin Johner has picked up points in six of the last eight games (5g, 6a)...D Ryan Van Buskirk has notched seven points in the last seven games (0g, 7a)...G Craig Kowalski has won his last four starts and five of his last six...G David Shantz has won four of his last five games.

Upcoming Milestones: Here are some milestones that Everblades players are approaching in their professional careers: F Brad Parsons is five assists shy of his 100th and is 11 goals away from his 50th ...F Brent McDonald is only seven goals away from reaching the 100 mark...D Ryan Brindley is just one assist away from his 200th and is 15 points shy of collecting his 300th ...D Chris Dyment is 18 games shy of his 200th in his career.

Seeing Stars: Everblades goaltender David Shantz was selected as the lone Florida representative for the 2007 ECHL All-Star Game on January 17 in Boise, ID. The rookie net-minder is 9-3-0 with a 2.89 goals against average and a .906 save percentage in 13 games this season. The 20-year-old has won three of his last four starts and is 6-2-0 in his last nine games. A second round draft pick by the Florida Panthers in 2004, Shantz won his first three starts as a pro, allowing just six goals in those games. The Hamilton, Ontario native earned his first professional win on October 21 vs. Texas.

Fleming on the IR!: Florida Everblades Head Coach Gerry Fleming is out of action for two weeks because of surgery on his back. The team has handed the coaching reigns to Associate Coach Jason Nobili until he can return. Fleming, 40, underwent the surgery, which was a success, on Friday morning and is expected to miss at least the next five Everblades games while recovering. In the meantime Nobili, in his third year as associate coach will lead the team from behind the bench.

Ticket Information: Everblades 2006-07 group tickets and individual game tickets are on sale now! Fans can purchase tickets at the Germain Arena box office, which is open from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets can also be purchased over the phone by calling TicketMaster at (239) 334-3309, or online at Official Ticketmaster site. Tickets for Concerts, Sports, Arts, Theater, Family, Events, more. For additional information, contact the Everblades office at (239) 948-7825.

Everblades On The Air: The Florida Everblades are broadcast on Sportsradio 770 AM and on the web at Florida Everblades - ECHL. Join the "Voice of the Everblades" Kevin Reiter for all the play-by-play action. The Everblades pre-game show begins 20 minutes before face-off.
 

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Fresno Falcons Weekly

LAST WEEK: Fresno extended its winning streak to three games, and its unbeaten streak to four games, with a 3-1 win over Stockton in its only game of the week. The Falcons are 15-9-1 for 31 points and in fourth place of the Pacific Division, four points behind division co-leaders Stockton and Las Vegas.

Friday, December 22 vs. Stockton FALCONS 3 Thunder 1

Despite being out-shot 39-14 in the contest, Fresno skated away with a 3-1 in its first meeting of the season against Stockton. Tomas Fojtik opened the scoring 10:10 into the first period, but the Thunder pulled even just over four minutes later. The Falcons' power-play went to work late in the second period, getting goals from John Wroblewski and Josh Prudden 1:35 apart in the final four minutes of the period. The two-goal lead was more than enough for the Falcons, as Ryan MacDonald stole the show in the third period, stopping all 18 Thunder shots. MacDonald stopped 38 shots overall on the night on his way to picking up his sixth win of the season.

THIS WEEK'S GAMES

Wednesday, December 27 @ Stockton 7:00 p.m.

Fresno makes its first trip of the year to Stockton Arena to face the Thunder for the second of four straight games between the Highway 99 rivals. The Falcons are 4-0-1 all-time in Stockton. The Thunder have lost back-to-back games for the first time all season, but are still tied with Las Vegas for first place in the Pacific Division.

Friday, December 29 vs. Stockton 7:30 p.m.

The Falcons and Thunder face-off for the third of eight times this season. Fresno is 6-0-0 against Stockton at Save Mart Center.

PROMOTIONS: The first 2,000 fans in attendance receive a Falcons Beanie courtesy of Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, KSEE 24, and New Rock 104.1.

Saturday, December 30 @ Stockton 7:30 p.m.

The Falcons return to Stockton to wrap-up their four-game stretch against the Thunder.

Sunday, December 31 @ Long Beach 6:00 p.m.

Fresno concludes the 2006 portion of the schedule at Long Beach Arena against the Ice Dogs. The Falcons are 2-0-0 against the Ice Dogs this season, including a 6-3 win at Long Beach on October 29. The Ice Dogs are in fifth place of the Pacific Division with a record of 8-15-2 for 18 points.

FALCONS NOTES

- Friday's win against Stockton was the 100th of Matt Thomas' coaching career. In two-plus seasons as a head coach, Thomas has a record of 100-46-23 for a winning percentage of .660.

- Luke Curtin has at least one assist in each of his last five games (9a), and has posted multiple assists in three consecutive games.

- In his last six appearances, Ryan MacDonald is 4-0-1 with a 1.66 goals-against average and a save percentage of .951.

- Fresno has scored first in each of its four games.

- John Morlang needs two games to reach the 300 games played mark in his pro career.

FALCONS LEADERS

Goals Morlang 14

Assists Curtin 24

Points Curtin 28

+/- Morlang +12

Penalty Minutes Day 66

Shots Curtin/Kindle 74

Power-Play Goals Murphy 5

Shorthanded Goals Four Tied 2

Game-Winning Goals VanBallegooie/Morlang 2

FALCONS TICKETS

Tickets for Falcons home games are available at the Save Mart Center Box Office (9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday) or charge by phone at (559) 485-TIXS. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at Official Ticketmaster site. Tickets for Concerts, Sports, Arts, Theater, Family, Events, more. Discounted group tickets for groups of 20 or more are available by calling the Falcons office at (559) 485-7825.

FALCONS ON THE AIR

All 72 Falcons' regular season games can be heard on Sporting News Radio 1550 and on-line at fresnofalcons.com: Home with the Voice of the Falcons, Joe Babik. Each broadcast begins 15 minutes prior to face-off with the Port of Subs Pre-Game Show. In addition, all Falcons games are available to watch on a pay-per-view basis in conjunction with B2 Networks. The B2 Networks feed can be accessed through the Falcons' website at fresnofalcons.com: Home.
 

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Thunder faces highway-99 rival Fresno three times this week

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT: (all times PT)

vs. FRESNO FALCONS

(home - Wednesday, 12/27 * 7:00 p.m.)

(@ Fre - Friday, 12/29 * 7:30 p.m.)

(home - Saturday, 12/30 * 7:30 p.m.)

Returning home to Stockton Arena for the first time in two-and-a-half weeks, the Thunder aims to snap the club's first two-game losing streak this season with a Wednesday matchup against the Fresno Falcons (ECHL San Jose Sharks affiliate), marking the first time this season both teams battle on the Thunder's home ice. Stockton and Fresno will play three times this week, marking four times in eight days the two teams have faced each other. Fresno previously handed the Thunder a 3-1 loss last Friday at Save Mart Center, while Stockton took the last game off Fremont Street in a 2-1 overtime win on April 2. The Thunder is still tied for first place in the Pacific Division, despite the fourth-place Falcons sitting only four points behind.

Thunder games can be heard live on the Internet (free-of-charge) and are available for viewing at a $6 "pay-per-view" charge at stocktonthunder.com: Home, courtesy of B2 Networks. Thunder broadcaster Mike Benton will provide play-by-play commentary, with the pre-game show beginning 6:45 on Wednesday, and 7:15 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS

WEDNESDAY, 12/27

o FRED FLINSTONE APPEARANCE (presented by Comcast and St. Joseph's Medical Center)

- All fans in attendance will be treated to special appearance by Fred Flinstone himself, all the way from Bedrock, U.S.A.!

SATURDAY, 12/30

o MIKE LALONDE BOBBLEHEAD NIGHT

- The first 1,000 children (ages 12 and under) in attendance will receive a commemorative Mike Lalonde bobblehead doll.

FRIDAY, 1/12

o THUNDER TRADING CARDS NIGHT - #2 (presented by TNT Quick Connect, KHOP 95.1, and In-Shape Health Clubs)

- The first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a commemorative set of five Thunder trading cards (2 of 5)

UPCOMING MILESTONES:

o Tim O'Connell is 8 points shy of 200 in his professional career

o Tim Verbeek is 1 assist shy of 100 in his professional career

o Mike Lalonde is 3 games shy of 100 in his professional career

o Nathan Martz is 8 assists shy of 100 in his professional career

TEAM NOTES:

o Four players, an ECHL-high, were selected from the Thunder roster to the National Conference roster for the 2007 RBK Hockey ECHL All-Star Game, including two starters: (G) Devan Dubnyk, (C) Nathan Martz (starter), (D) Beau Geisler (starter), and (RW) Troy Bodie

o ATTENDANCE UPDATE: The Thunder leads the ECHL in attendance with 6,462 fans per game (77,548 total) and drew 8,149 in a win against Las Vegas on December 9.

o The Thunder is 9-1-2 and has a .833 winning percentage at home (leads the ECHL)

o Stockton ranks second in the ECHL in power-play percentage at home with a 23.8% clip

o Goaltender Devan Dubnyk ranks 10th in the ECHL with a 2.71 goals-against-average

o Right wing Troy Bodie leads Stockton and is tied for third among ECHL rookies with 11 goals

o Goaltender Cam Ellsworth ranks second in the ECHL with a 2.20 goals-against-average

LAST WEEK IN REVIEW

Friday, December 22 FRESNO 3 - Stockton 1

A 17-shot flurry in the third period on Fresno goaltender Ryan MacDonald fell shy of a comeback attempt as the Thunder suffered a 3-1 road loss to the Fresno Falcons at Save Mart Center, which snapped Stockton's five-game road unbeaten streak with the team's first road loss in regulation since November 11. Stephane Goulet cashed in the only goal for the Thunder in the first period, while John Wroblewski and Josh Prudden scored two power-play goals in the second for the decider. MacDonald finished with 38 saves for Fresno in the game.

Saturday, December 23 LONG BEACH 4 - Stockton 1

The Thunder succumbed to a two-goal second period rally by the Long Beach Ice Dogs in a 4-1 loss last Saturday, marking the first time this season that the Thunder has lost two games in a row in regulation. Assistant captain and center Brendon Hodge scored a power-play goal in the first period which was followed by four unanswered goals by Long Beach, including a shorthanded goal by Stuart Kerr and Brandon Schwartz. The Thunder outshot Long Beach 38-27 and had a combined 25 shots turned aside in the last two periods by newly-acquired goaltender Brett Jaeger.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING (courtesy of The Record)

"I think the accolades stem from our team effort and unselfishness. There's not an individual star on this team, but there are many who contribute to our success."

- Thunder head coach Chris Cichocki, after an ECHL-high four Thunder were selected to the National Conference roster for the 2007 RBK Hockey ECHL All-Star Game

"I'll admit I'm a bit surprised, and it's quite an honor,"

- Thunder center Nathan Martz, after being named to a roster at the ECHL All-Star Game for the first time in his career

"This is a great opportunity for Devan, and we'll adjust. And it will be good for Cam, because he'll get plenty of time on the ice."

- Cichocki after Thunder rookie goaltender Devan Dubnyk was selected to the Team Canada roster for the 2006 Spengler Cup tournament in Switzerland
 

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Cincinnati Cyclones Weekly

COMING UP: The Cincinnati Cyclones (14-11-1-1) play a pair of games on the road this week, as the club heads to Wheeling on Wednesday (Dec. 27) for a 7pm contest. Thursday (Dec. 28), the Cyclones travel to Hobart Arena for an 8pm contest against Dayton.

VIEW FROM THE TOP: The Cyclones are tied for first place in the North Division--moving into the top spot on Saturday, Dec. 23. It is the first time since Nov. 3 that the club was in first place (20 games ago).

PROMOTIONS: Next weekend (Jan. 5 and 6)--the Cyclones have two of their biggest promotions of the season. That weekend, the Reading Royals are in for 7:30pm games both nights. Friday (Jan. 5)--it is Rich Franklin Night, when the UFC champion visits. Saturday (Jan. 6)--Denny Hamlin, NASCAR's Rookie of the Year, stops by. Fans will have the chance to be chosen to meet these celebrities. For fans who do not want to leave meeting the guests by chance--there is a special dinner that they can purchase tickets to and be assured of spending time with them.

DESJARDINS SELECTED TO ALL-STAR GAME: The Cincinnati Cyclones received word that goaltender Cedrick Desjardins has been named to the American Conference All-Star Team, from the ECHL office. The All-Star Game will be played at Qwest Arena in Boise, Idaho on Wednesday, January 17th at 9pm (ET). Desjardins will also participate in the skills challenge the night before. He is the first Cyclones goaltender to be selected to the ECHL All-Star Game. He is the third netminder in the history of this franchise to be selected. Sandy Allan went, representing the Louisville RiverFrogs to the 1997 event (allowing one goal and stopping 10 shots in half of a game). Alain Morissette was the other to go, also representing Louisville--getting the win in the 1996 event (allowing four goals and stopping 12 shots in half of the game).

ROLLIN', ROLLIN', ROLLIN'--KEEP THOSE CYCLONES ROLLIN'...: The victory Saturday night ran Cincinnati's unbeaten streak to nine games (8-0-1) on home ice. The club has not lost since a 3-0 defeat by Dayton on Nov. 16. It ties the franchise record for consecutive games unbeaten at home. From Nov. 20, 2002 through Dec. 21, 2002, the Cyclones went 8-0-1.

ABOUT LAST WEEK: The club went 2-1-0 for the week. The Cyclones recorded a 7-1 win over Wheeling on Saturday night (Dec. 22). Jean-Michel Daoust led the offensive assault with two goals and two assists. Jason Deitsch, Sam Ftorek and Rory Rawlyk all had multiple point games. Cedrick Desjardins won his fifth straight start--stopping 34 shots in the triumph. The club split game with Toledo earlier in the week, winning Friday at U.S. Bank Arena, 5-2, on Thursday--but dropping a 3-2 verdict Friday at the Toledo Sports Arena.

BEST OF TIMES, WORST OF TIMES: Since the Cyclones lost a season-worst five consecutive games from Nov. 4-16, the club has bounced back with a 10-4-2 record over the next 16 games (.688 winning percentage).

GET THE SUNGLASSES: The Cyclones lit the red light seven times in Saturday's game against Wheeling. The seven goals tied the season-high--which was set eight days earlier in a 7-2 pounding of Johnstown. Cincinnati has scored 23 goals in the last five games (4.6 per game) and 32 goals in six games (5.3 per game) at U.S. Bank Arena during December.

LOCKDOWN: While the Cincinnati offensive effort has been impressive in recent days--the defensive effort has been just as solid. Over the past seven games, Cincinnati has allowed 13 goals--a 1.85 goals against average. The Cyclones have outscored the opposition 52-37 during this stretch.

DEITSCH FINDS TOUCH: Cyclones forward Jason Deitsch has goals in seven of the last ten games and is second on the club in scoring with 25 points (13-12-25).

STARLING BRIGHT: Cyclones defenseman Chad Starling has moved into second place among ECHL defensemen with a +12 plus/minus rating. Starling has been in the right place at the right time in recent days. Chad is +11 over the last five games. Three of the games have seen Starling go +3 or better.

QUICK HITS: Rookie forward Scott Reynolds has a career best five-game point scoring streak (2-3-5)...The Cyclones lead the ECHL in penalty killing at 87.4 percent, six-tenths of a percentage point in front of Gwinnett...Cory Urquhart leads the league in shots on goal (1324...Barret Ehgoetz is second on the circuit in game winning goals (four)...Cedrick Desjardins is fourth on the league in goals against average at 2.30...Torry Gajda ranks seventh among rookies in scoring (8-13-21) and is second among first-year players in shots on goal (102).

NOT SO NICE TO SEE YOU...: Four weeks ago, the Cyclones battled Reading in back-to-back games (Dec. 6 & 8). Three weeks ago, Cincinnati finished a brief two-game series with Dayton. Next, the Cyclones ran into Johnstown three straight times (Dec. 14-16). Last week (Dec. 21 & 22), the club met Toledo in back-to-back affairs. Wheeling has a pair with the Cyclones (Dec. 23 & 27), before a single game with Dayton breaks the string Thursday.

DICKMANN'S MONDAY NIGHT!: On Mondays, Head Coach Chuck Weber and selected players will be at Dickmann's Sports Cafe (479 Orphanage Rd., Ft. Wright, KY) from 7-8pm. A two week respit is coming from the show during the holidays--but the entertaining program will resume on Monday, January 8.
 
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