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Condors Acquire Tyler Liebel from Utah

Bakersfield, Calif - The Bakersfield Condors Professional Hockey Club today announced they have acquired forward Tyler Liebel from Utah in a trade that sent Joel Irving and Shawn Thompson to the Grizzlies.

Liebel, a 5-foot-10, 195-pound, left wing from Osoyoos, BC, had two goals, seven assists and 23 penalty minutes in 16 games with the Grizzlies. Prior to his stint with Utah, the 24-year-old also played with the Pensacola Ice Pilots, recording two goals, five assists and 57 penalty minutes in 10 games this season.

In 2004-05 and 2005-06, Liebel totaled 26 goals, 54 assists and 323 penalty minutes in 103 games with the Wichita Thunder in the Central Hockey League.

"We're looking for some toughness and Tyler brings us that," said Condors head coach Marty Raymond. "He's a gritty player with good speed and a willingness to mix it up that will help our team.

Irving, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound right wing, had seven goals, 18 assists and 62 penalty minutes in 29 games this year, while Thompson, a 6-foot-2, 190- pound defenseman, had a goal, two assists and 16 penalty minutes in 21 games with Bakersfield.

On Friday, January 5th, the Condors are in Las Vegas to take on the Wranglers for a 7:05 p.m. game. They return home on Saturday, January 6th, for a 7 p.m. tilt against the Victoria Salmon Kings. It's Backpack Giveaway, with the first 2,000 kids, 12 and under, receiving a Condors backpack, courtesy of Telemundo-11 and Goodwill Industries.

You can catch all Condors games live on KGEO Hot Talk AM1230 with Jake Stevens calling all the action. Most games are also available to view courtesy of B2 Networks. Just click the "Watch the Game Live" link on the Condors home page. Live streaming for all Condors games is also available via their web site, Official Website of the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL. For more information or to reserve ticket packages, contact the Condors office at 324-PUCK (7825).
 

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Falcons announce Girl Scout cookie rally

The Fresno Falcons have announced that in "Celebration of the 95th Anniversary of the Girl Scouts", the Falcons will host a Girl Scouts-Golden Valley Council Cookie Rally at the Save Mart Center on Friday, January 26th at 7:30pm when the Falcons battle the Phoenix Roadrunners during an ECHL All Star Celebration with Falcons All Stars Luke Curtin and Tom Walsh. The first 5000 fans at this game will receive Falcons All Star Posters featuring Curtin and Walsh and several photos of local Girl Scouts. Luke Curtin and Tom Walsh will sign autographs after the game. The January 26th event will serve as the official kickoff of the 2007 (and always popular) Girl Scout Cookie Sales Campaign. The Girl Scouts will have several concourse booths set up at this game and will allow fans to place their annual orders for the always delicious Girl Scout Cookies. The First Intermission will feature the World's Largest Girl Scout Parade on Ice as Girl Scouts from across the Central Valley will be marching around the ice in celebration of the Cookie Rally.

Carolyn Kovalski, Executive Director of Heald College and Girl Scout Alum, is serving as the Honorary Chairperson for this Inaugural Falcons Girl Scout Cookie Rally and will serve as the Grand Marshal of the Girl Scout Parade on Ice! All Central Valley Girl Scouts may purchase a special "Falcons Cookie Rally Ticket Package" for only $ 14.00. The package includes: a $ 17.00 ticket, Falcons Cookie Rally Patch, Free All Star Poster, Falcons merchandise discount, Participation in the World's Largest Girl Scout Parade on Ice, and an entry in to the drawing to win an Autographed Falcons Jersey.

Former Girl Scouts and "Friends of the Girl Scouts" may purchase fundraiser tickets for $ 14.00 at the Girl Scouts-Golden Valley Council Offices located 4910 E. Ashlan Avenue, Suite 105, Fresno (168 and Ashlan). $ 4.00 of each of these tickets will be donated back to the Girl Scouts. For more information on the Fresno Falcons/Girl Scout Cookie Rally please call the Girl Scouts-Golden Valley Council at 559-291-5078, or contact John Tull with the Fresno Falcons at 559-347-3601.

GIRL SCOUTS, COURAGE, CONFIDENCE, CHARACTER!

2007 GIRL SCOUT COOKIE RALLY AT THE SAVE MART CENTER JANUARY 26, 7:30PM FRESNO FALCONS VS PHOENIX ROADRUNNERS PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO ALL GIRL SCOUT FAMILIES! ARE YOU A GIRL SCOUT ALUM? JOIN US FOR THE COOKIE RALLY!

FRESNO FALCONS HOCKEY THE COOLEST GAME IN TOWN! 559-485-PUCK
 

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Backpack Giveaway This Saturday, January 6th

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Bakersfield Condors return to home ice this Saturday night, January 6th, beginning their 2007 home schedule against the Victoria Salmon Kings for Backpack Giveaway. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., puck drops at 7:00 p.m. The game will also feature a special appearance by former American Idol contestant Jon Peter Lewis.

On Saturday the first 2,000 children, 12 and under, will receive a Condors Backpack, courtesy of Telemundo 11 and Goodwill Industries. The large, black backpacks are equipped with a zip-up section large enough to hold books and notebooks and a small section for pens and pencils. The backpacks are desirable for kids of all ages ready to start the New Year Condors Style.

In addition, Jon Peter Lewis, American Idol Contestant from its third season, will sing the American and Canadian anthem prior to the start of the game. Lewis, a former resident of Taft, starred on American Idol in 2004. He released his first single later that year and completed his debut album in 2006.

The ever-popular Super Fan "Cameron" will return to the Condors stands with a special appearance from Cam Jr. You won't want to miss this A-list performance.

After the game, stop by the Holiday Inn Select Autograph Booth located on the concourse behind section 108 and get your Nightly Notes signed by Jamie Hodson and Reagan Leslie.

On Thursday, January 4th, join Voice of the Condors Jake Stevens and Head Coach Marty Raymond for a special 5:00 p.m. start time at the Condors Coach's Show at the Q Street Lounge inside the Holiday Inn Select. Guests include players Brett Lutes and Todd Griffith. The Coach's show can also be heard live on KGEO Hot Talk AM 1230. The Holiday Inn Select is located at 801 Truxtun Ave.

The Condors will travel this Friday, January 5th to Las Vegas, NV to play against the Wranglers at 7:00 p.m. at the Orleans Arena.

Most games, home and away, can be seen online through B2 Networks, accessible via Official Website of the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL, and can be heard live on KGEO Hot Talk AM 1230 with "Condors Countdown" starting 15 minutes prior to face off. Saturday's game will be televised live on Bright House Ch. 21 and re-aired Sunday at 7:00 p.m. All games can also be heard online at Official Website of the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL.

Individual game tickets are on sale and may be purchased through Rabobank Arena Box Office, which is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday with extended hours on game days. Tickets may also be purchased by phone at 322- 2525, online at Official Website of the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL, or at any Ticketmaster location.

Season tickets, mini plans and group outings are available at the Condors office located at 1001 Truxtun Avenue or by calling 324-PUCK (7825).
 

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Falcons stay busy in community as new year opens

Fresno, Calif. - The Fresno Falcons are keeping a busy schedule throughout the Fresno community as 2007 gets underway.

On Thursday, January 4, P.O. Beaulieu; Dave Borrelli; Riley Day; Brett Hammond; Ryan MacDonald; and Jonathan Tremblay will appear at Hooters in River Park from 7:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. to play trivia with fans.

On Wednesday, January 10, Dave Borrelli and Brady Leisenring will be at Jackson Elementary School in Selma to speak at a fifth grade assembly. They will speak to the students about playing professional hockey, as well as attending college.

Cory Murphy and Brian McConnell will be speaking to fifth grade students at Manchester Gate on Thursday, January 11. They will speak about being a professional athlete as well as participate in a question-and-answer session with the students.

On Tuesday, January 16, Brett Hammond and J.F. Plourde will speak to students at Powers-Ginsburg Elementary School. They will speak about playing professional hockey, as well as demonstrate how to use hockey equipment properly.

The Falcons return home on Friday, hosting the Victoria Salmon Kings at 7:30 p.m. The first 3,000 fans in attendance receive a 2007 Falcons Poster Calendar courtesy of Community Medical Center, Dumont Printing, and B95. Tickets for all Falcons home games can be purchased at the Save Mart Center Box Office, by phone at (559) 485-8497, on-line at Official Ticketmaster site. Tickets for Concerts, Sports, Arts, Theater, Family, Events, more, or at any TicketMaster outlet. All Falcons games can be heard on 1550 Sporting News Radio and on-line at fresnofalcons.com: Home starting with the Port of Subs Pre-Game Show 15 minutes prior to game time.
 

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Galbraith's Shootout Goal Lifts Steelheads Past RoadRunners 2-1

Phoenix, AZ - Veteran winger Lance Galbraith scored the only goal in the shootout and Steve Silverthorn made 25 saves through overtime plus five stops in the shootout to lead the Steelheads over the Phoenix RoadRunners 2-1 at US Airways Center on Tuesday night.

The victory is the fourth straight for the Steelheads (17-11-1-1), while Silverthorn now leads the ECHL with 15 wins. The win puts the Steelheads just two points behind the Alaska Aces for the top spot in the West Division, while Phoenix (16-13-1-1) suffers its first shootout loss of the season.

After the game went scoreless for the first fifty-five minutes, Steelheads' rookie Charlie Johnson got his sixth of the season to break the deadlock at 15:53 of the third. Defenseman Kory Scoran skated into the bottom of the left circles before firing the puck to the top of the crease where Johnson redirected it past Mike Morrison (37 saves). Colin Shields got the other assist, his sixth in four games with the Steelheads.

However, the RoadRunners would answer less than two minutes later when defenseman Dusty Demaniuk took a pass from Todd Jackson and ripped a shot from the high slot just inside the left post. Justin Aikins was also credited with an assist on Demaniuk's second of the campaign.

The Steelheads out-shot the RoadRunners 18-0 in a scoreless first period. The zero shots on goal marks the first time this season that an ECHL team has been held without a shot in any period this season.

With no scoring for either team at the second intermission, it was the first time this year that the Steelheads and their opposition have failed to score through 40 minutes of play. Through two periods the shots favored the Steelheads 27-13.

In overtime, the Steelheads held a 3-1 shot advantage. Neither team scored a power play goal in the contest, with the Steelheads getting five chances and the RoadRunners three.

The Steelheads play the RoadRunners again on Thursday, January 4. Face-off is at 7:11 p.m. MST. Don't forget, Steelheads' single-game tickets and all-star 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. The 2007 RBK ECHL All-Star Game at Qwest Arena is a two-night event beginning on Tuesday, January 16. Tickets to both events start at just $25.
 

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Ice Dogs guarantee win on Wednesday

LONG BEACH, Calif. - The Long Beach Ice Dogs of the ECHL, a proud affiliate of the Boston Bruins, guarantee a victory vs. the Victoria Salmon Kings on Wednesday, January 3rd vs. the Victoria Salmon Kings. If the Ice Dogs do NOT win on Wednesday night, all fans in attendance will be able to use their ticket stub for admission to a game this weekend on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

This is not the first time this season the Ice Dogs have guaranteed a victory at home. The Ice Dogs guaranteed a victory on November 8th vs. the Phoenix RoadRunners and they delivered with a 4-3 victory. (The Ice Dogs still gave away a free ticket to an upcoming game even though they won)

The Ice Dogs have a CRAZY weekend of promotions planned at the Long Beach Arena during the Ice Dogs four game home stand.

The Ice Dogs will be celebrating "Bachelor Party Night" on Friday night's game vs. the Phoenix RoadRunners at 7:30pm. The first 1500 fans will receive an Ice Dogs' bottle opener and the Ice Dogs will be hosting their first ever "Jello Wrestling Olympics" and a FROZEN T-Shirt Contest. As per every Friday night home game, $2 beers and $2 hot dogs will be available. The Ice Dogs will also give-away a PlayStation 3 to one lucky Chuck-a-Puck winner.

Former American Idol reject, William Hung, will make his Long Beach Arena debut on Saturday night at 7pm when the Ice Dogs host the Fresno Falcons on "Idol Karaoke Night." William will be performing during intermissions and will sign autographs at the conclusion of the hockey game. The Ice Dogs will be holding a Karaoke Contest with prizes to the winner. The Chuck-a-Puck will again feature a PS3 to one lucky fan.

On Sunday, the Ice Dogs will host "Viva Las Vegas Night" at 5pm. The Ice Dogs will be holding a "Charity Casino" to benefit the Long Beach Police Officers Association's Widow and Orphan Fund to help the families of the injured Officers in the December 22nd, 2006 police shooting. The Ice Dogs will be hosting an Elvis Presley Look-a-Like Contest with the winner receiving a free trip to watch the Ice Dogs play in Las Vegas.

Wednesday night's game vs. the Victoria Salmon Kings starts at 7:00 pm, with doors opening at 6:00pm. Season tickets and group sales for the 2006-07 season are on sale now. Fans can click on the TEAMLINE logo on The Official Site of the Long Beach Ice Dogs : for a free AUDIO feed or pay $6 for the VIDEO portion of the game. Call (562) ICE-DOGS for visit The Official Site of the Long Beach Ice Dogs : for more information.
 

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Ice Pilots beat South Carolina 7-4

PENSACOLA, FL - It's two wins in a row at The Hangar for the Pensacola Ice Pilots, following a 7-4 victory over the South Carolina Stingrays on Tuesday night.

The win snapped a short two-game losing slide for the Ice Pilots and was their third victory in their last four tries at home.

Mike Wirll and Travis Lisabeth led the Ice Pilots offensive attack with four points apiece. Wirll had three goals and an assist, while Lisabeth notched a goal and three helpers.

The Ice Pilots had an offensive explosion in the opening 20 minutes with three goals in the first seven minutes of the period. Wirll picked up his first, John Hecimovic with his first as a Pilot, and Travis Lisabeth. South Carolina added a short-handed goal late in the first period to cut the deficit to 3-1.

In the second period, the Ice Pilots saw two two-goal leads (4-2 and 5-3) evaporate. Rob Rankin notched a goal on a blast from just over the blue line and then Serge Ogorodnikov scored to make it 5-3.

The Stingrays came on in the third period and made it 5-4 on a power play goal, but the Ice Pilots sealed the victory late when Wirll added his second and third of the game. The final goal went into an empty net.

Nate Metcalf chipped in two assists, while Dwayne Hay, David Wrigley, Nikita Korovkin, and Dallas Steward added singles. The line of Wirll, Lisabeth and Ogorodnikov were a combined plus 13 in the contest and had 20 shots.

The Ice Pilots improved their record to 9-20-1-1 for 20 points and trail the seventh place Columbia Inferno by just four points. Pensacola also saw its home record move to 5-9-1-1. The Singrays are now 16-14-0-2 for 36 points, while 8-6-0-2 on the road.

NOTES: With a scheduling change, the Pensacola Ice Pilots and the South Carolina Stingrays will meet for the third straight time on Thursday at 6 pm central, 7 pm eastern in Charleston South Carolina. The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 9 and changed due to a concert.

Fans can tune into the game on Classic Country AM1620 beginning with Ice Pilots Countdown to Face-off at 5:45 pm. The play-by-play follows at 6pm with Denis J. Puska bringing you all of the heart-stopping action. The game can also be heard live at Pensacola Ice Pilots :: Home of your Pensacola Ice Pilots by clicking on the sportsjuice logo and viewed for a nominal fee on the B2 Networks.
 

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Steelheads Edge Past RoadRunners 2-1 In A Shootout

PHOENIX, Ariz. - Lance Galbraith scored the lone goal in the five-round shootout to lift the Idaho Steelheads to a 2-1 shootout victory over the Phoenix RoadRunners before 2,762 at US Airways Center in ECHL action Tuesday.

After a scoreless 55 minutes of hockey, Charlie Johnson gave Idaho a 1-0 lead at 15:53 of the third period as he deflected Kory Scoran's centering pass by RoadRunners' goalie Mike Morrison. But the RoadRunners would come back to net the equalizer 1:40 seconds later as Justin Aikins' pass across the ice deflected off Todd Jackson's stick right to Dusty Demianiuk in the slot, and Demianiuk buried the puck behind Idaho goaltender Steve Silverthorn to tie the contest at 1-1.

Neither team scored in the five minute overtime as the Steelheads out-shot the RoadRunners 3-1

Idaho out-shot Phoenix 39-26 for the game. Morrison stopped a season-high 37 shots but fell to 4-2-1 on the season. The RoadRunners went 0-3 on the power play while Idaho was 0-5.

Notes: The shootout loss was the first for the RoadRunners this season, who are now 4-5-0 lifetime in shootouts...Center Cam Paddock was returned on loan from AHL San Antonio prior to the game. Paddock had one assist in three games with the Rampage and was a plus-one...Phoenix was out-shot 18-0 in the first period, and consequently became the first team in the ECHL this season that failed to record at least one shot on goal in a period. Bakersfield, Wheeling, and Reading all had the previous season-low as each team recorded one shot on goal.

Phoenix returns to US Airways Center at 7:11 p.m. Thursday as they conclude a two-game series with the Idaho Steelheads. 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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Round and Round She Goes, And Where She Stops...

Understanding that the teams in the North Division have played a widely varying number of games, it still borders on the kooky that only two points separate first from sixth place. But to anyone who watches North Division hockey on a regular basis, it's probably not that much of a surprise. Simply put, the old adage that anyone can beat anyone on any given day is alive and well in the North. Well, except that the Royals have not yet beaten the Dayton Bombers, despite playing them to one-goal nail biters in both of the games that those teams have played so far. And, I suppose therein lies a bit of the rub for the Royals, who, if they're actually biting their nails, have probably reached skin right about now, as the team has compiled a record of 2-9-4 in games decided by one goal. It's certainly true that you'd rather be in those tight games than those of the runaway variety the Royals experienced in Columbia a couple of weeks ago. It says a considerable amount about the team when in thirteen of the eighteen games they haven't won, they had a legitimate chance right down to the final breath. But, at the same time, none of the tie breakers I've seen that could be invoked at the conclusion of this season refer to games that a team had a chance to win. And you do get the feeling deep of the pit of your stomach that tie breakers may play an unusually large role in ultimately separating the sticky mess that is the North Division right now......

TOP TEN NOTES OF THE WEEK

1. After going 8 - 2 - 1 in a span of eleven games from November 29 through December 21, the Royals have gone 1 - 4 - 0 in the team's last five games.

2. After going unbeaten in five consecutive road games (4 - 0 - 1) from December 2 through December 21, the Royals have lost their last two road games, and embark on a four game road swing starting this Friday in Cincinnati with the team's firs t trip to US Bank Arena this season.

3. Two of the games that Reading lost this week were decided by one goal (2-3 v. Wheeling and 3-4 v. Dayton). The Royals have compiled a record of 2 - 9 - 4 in games decided by one goal this season.

4. In three of the four games played this week, the Royals and their opponent were tied as they entered the third period. The Royals won one of those games (against Trenton on Saturday night, when they outscored the Titans 3-1 in the third period) and lost the other two-to the Titans on Wednesday and to Dayton on New Year's Day (collectively in those two games the Royals were outscored in the third, 4 - 1). Over the course of the season, Reading has compiled a record of 3 - 6 - 1 when they've entered the third period tied with the opposition. With respect to total goals scored in the third period, however, the Royals have still outscored the opposition 45 to 36 (+9)-and 33 to 18 (+15) at home.

5. Chris Bala scored at least one goal in three of the four games played this week for the Royals-and picked up two assists (including one on the game winner) in the other game. Bala's two goal game on Monday against the Bombers marked his ninth multi-point performance of the season.

6. Joe Zappala scored the Royals' lone game winning goal this week (the Royals' fifth goal in the 6-4 win over the Trenton Titans on Saturday night). For Zappala, that was his team leading fourth game winner of the season, tying him for second in the league in that category.

7. Greg Hogeboom scored his second penalty shot goal of the season at the 3:09 mark of the second period against the Dayton Bombers on Monday afternoon. Hogeboom became the first player in Royals' team history to score on a penalty shot against the Johnstown Chiefs on November 12. Hogeboom also racked up his third multi-goal game (and team leading twelfth multi-point performance) when he scored two goals in the Royals 6-4 win over Trenton on Saturday. Hogeboom is currently fourth in overall league scoring with 42 points (17g - 25a = 42pts).

8. Goaltender Ryan Munce picked up his fifth win of the season-his first since December 1-in the Royals' 6-4 win over Trenton on Saturday. Munce's 38 stops that night tied a season high for the Royals. (Munce also stopped 38 shots in a 3-2 shoot out loss in Toledo on October 27). Munce's start on Saturday snapped a string of ten consecutive games played by goaltender Jeff Pietrasiak, who picked up his first AHL win that same night, as he made 45 saves for the Hershey Bears in their 7-4 win over the Norfolk Admirals.

9. After going fourteen consecutive games without getting out-shot by the opponent, the Royals have had less shots than the opposition in three of the last five games. Overall this season, Reading has been out-shot eight times in the 32 games played, and the team has a 3 - 4 - 1 record in those games. The Royals average 34.00 shots on goal per game (seventh in the league), while they average giving up 28.81 shots per game (fourth in the league).

10. The Royals power play has only scored twice in the team's last 33 chances with the man advantage (6.1% scoring ratio). After going 18 consecutive games (from 11/05 - 12/15) in which the team scored at least one power play goal, Reading's power play has been blanked in five of the last seven games. Overall, the Royals are scoring power play goals at a 16.2% scoring ratio (eleventh in the league). The Royals penalty kill has given up at least one power play goal in five consecutive games, allowing a total of seven ppga in twenty eight chances in those games-a 75.0% kill ratio. Over the course of the season, Reading has killed power plays at a 82.4% ratio, which is seventeenth in the league.

UNSUNG HERO OF WEEK: Ryan Munce

From a distance, the greatest job in pro sports would appear to be the back-up goaltender-gel up the 'do, sit back, relax, check out the fans, not a worry in the world. Yet, you'll never hear a pro goalie say that. They want to play. That's what they do. And this week, Ryan Munce got a shot after sitting for ten consecutive games (except for a period long stint as a substitute in Columbia) to start for the Royals. After a first period where he battled a bit to find his sea legs, Munce found the form that one would expect from a goaltender who won 30 games in the ECHL last season. The end numbers were good-he tied a team season high with 38 stops on 42 shots. But as we've come to learn over time in this game, it's really not the number of shots that is significant-it's making THE stop at THAT moment that really matters. And that's exactly what Ryan did on Saturday. After the Royals battled back to take a 5-3 lead over the Titans in the third, Ryan helped fight off a late game Trenton charge, not only to secure the win but also to build a degree of the one thing that ultimately does make a difference in this game-the trust of your compatriots....

CLOSING NOTES

1. Shawn Germain got his first shot at playing in the AHL on Saturday night, playing for the Hershey Bears in their 7-4 win over the Norfolk Admirals. Not surprisingly to Royals' fans, Germain played to a plus-2 in that game. Germain currently leads the Royals, playing to a plus-17 over 29 games with Reading.

2. Yutaka Fukufuji picked up his first AHL win of the season on Saturday night, stopping 21 shots as he led the Manchester Monarchs to a 5-2 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack.
 

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Ice Pilots Defeat Stingrays 7-4

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Mike Wirll netted a hat trick to propel the Pensacola Ice Pilots past the South Carolina Stingrays 7-4 at the Pensacola Civic Center.

"That showed our players that any team can win on any given night in the ECHL," South Carolina coach Jason Fitzsimmons said. "We can't give up huge early leads to the opposition and expect to claw our way back. We have a long 10-hour bus ride facing us. It will give the guys plenty of time to think about the home games coming up on Thursday, Friday and Sunday."

Pensacola (9-20-2, 20 points) jumped in front at the 1:55 mark of the first period. Travis Lisabeth fed Wirll, who beat goaltender Davis Parley to make it 1-0 for the Ice Pilots.

Former Stingrays forward John Hecimovic, who was playing his third game for Pensacola, came back to haunt his former team by tallying his first goal of the season at 3:30 set up by Dwayne Hay and David Wrigley.

Lisabeth netted his 11th of the season at 6:53 of the first to give the Ice Pilots a 3-0 lead. Assists went to Sergei Ogorodnikov and Wirll.

South Carolina (16-14-2, 34 points) got on the board with a shorthand goal from Ryan Bennett, who snapped a shot from the left circle past netminder Ben Gray. Cam McCaffrey picked up a helper.

Evan Schwabe closed the gap to within one at 3:15 of the second period by taking a breakaway pass from Matt Reid and burying his ninth goal of the campaign.

Pensacola's ECHL All-Star Game representative Rob Rankin regained the Ice Pilots two-goal lead to make it 4-2 at 5:51 by potting his 10th marker of the season from Dallas Steward.

Donny Grover cut the margin to 4-3 on the power play, netting a backhand shot for his fifth tally of the year at 13:13 from Schwabe.

However the Ice Pilots' Ogorodnikov counted his third goal of the season at 15:45 of the middle stanza to give Pensacola a 5-3 lead through 40 minutes of action. Wirll and Lisabeth collected the helpers.

Scott Romfo got the Stingrays within one for the third time in the game converting a pass from Peter Szabo to count his third goal of the year at 4:46 of the third. Chris Chaput also garnered an assist.

Stingrays pressed for the equalizer, but the Ice Pilots countered and Wirll notched his second of the game with 1:45 remaining in regulation from Lisabeth and then completed the hat trick by scoring into an empty-net with nine seconds left in the game.

South Carolina converted on 1-of-4 power play chances, while Pensacola went 0-for-4 with the man advantage. Ice Pilots outshot the Stingrays 40-37.

The Stingrays return home for a 7:05 p.m. game on Thursday against Pensacola at the North Charleston Coliseum for a game that was originally scheduled on January 9. It's Frozen Gopher Night, which features representatives from professional golf associations and the Dunkin' Donuts Million Dollar Chuck-A-Puck.

Catch live play-by-play action with Mike Kelly, "Voice of the Stingrays" on ESPN Radio 910 The Team and online at stingrayshockey.com: Home beginning at 6:50 p.m. with the Benito's Pregame Show. Watch the game live on the web telecast for $6 each at stingrayshockey.com: Home, courtesy of B2 Networks.

Don't miss the fast-paced, action-packed, family affordable fun! Purchase your flex package today. You pick the games; you pocket the savings! Call 744-2248 to talk to a ticket sales manager for more information.

Individual tickets can be purchased at the North Charleston Coliseum box office, by calling Ticketmaster at 554-6060 and online at Official Ticketmaster site. Tickets for Concerts, Sports, Arts, Theater, Family, Events, more.

Discounted groups tickets, birthday packages, Kids Club information and fundraiser opportunities are available by calling 744-2248 or by visiting online at stingrayshockey.com: Home. Stingrays Hockey - A Whole Lot Cooler!
 

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Thunder begins '07 aiming to snap five-game skid with two at Idaho

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT: (all times PT)

at IDAHO STEELHEADS (Friday, Jan. 5 and Saturday, Jan. 6 * 6:10 p.m.)

The Thunder looks to snap its longest and only losing streak of the season with a two-game matchup against the Idaho Steelheads. Nine of the team's 15 wins have come against the West Division, where the Steelheads (ECHL Dallas Stars affiliate) currently sit in second place. The Thunder is unbeaten in four of five games this year against Idaho with a 3-1-1 head-to-head record, led by All-Star defenseman Beau Geisler's seven points (3g-4a) in the five-game series. In order to earn points this weekend, the Thunder will need to clamp down on the scoring duo of Marty Flichel and Derek Nesbitt, who have combined for 15 points (6g-9a) against the Thunder in the series. Additionally, returning from injury is Idaho's D'Arcy McConvey, last year's leading scorer for the Steelheads. Stockton is 2-1-0 in Boise this season.

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 5:50 on both Friday and Saturday.

In addition, Valley Brew Family Restaurant continues its first season as official host of the Thunder Watch Party (via B2 Networks' "Bar and Pub Network") for all road games, with prizes, broadcast-interactive contests, player appearances and more scheduled for all road games this week.

Located at 157 W. Adams Street in Stockton, Valley Brew Family Restaurant is placed in the heart of Stockton's "Miracle Mile" district and features an array of acclaimed burgers, beverages, appetizers, specialties and more, offering customers free wi-fi internet access inside the restaurant.

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS

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)

SATURDAY, 1/13

o TEDDY BEAR TOSS NIGHT (presented by News10, California Welding Supply, Jackson Rancheria, California Water Service Company & KAT Country)

- All fans are encouraged to bring stuffed teddy bears to the game and throw on the ice when the Thunder scores its first goal; teddy bears will be distributed by the United Way of San Joaquin County.

o DELTA BLOOD BANK REDEMPTION NIGHT

- Blood donors during December who received vouchers can redeem for free tickets for this game

UPCOMING MILESTONES:

o Tim O'Connell is 6 points shy of 200 in his professional career and 9 points shy of 100 in his ECHL career

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

o Nathan Martz is 7 assists shy of 100 in his professional career

TEAM NOTES:

o ATTENDANCE UPDATE: The Thunder leads the ECHL in attendance with 6,682 fans per game (93,548 total) * a 5.3% increase from last season, and drew a season-high 9,363 fans last Saturday (12/30) vs. Fresno.

o Stockton is 9-2-5 this season against West Division opponents

o Right wing Troy Bodie leads Stockton and is third among ECHL rookies with 12 goals

o Defenseman Beau Geisler leads Stockton with seven points (3g-4a) in five games vs. Idaho

o Goaltender Cam Ellsworth is fourth in the ECHL with a 2.39 goals-against-average

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

LAST WEEK IN REVIEW

Wednesday, December 27 FRESNO 3 - Stockton 2

The Fresno Falcons scored two goals in a span of 3:57 early in the third period as the Thunder suffered a 3-2 loss at Stockton Arena before 6,637 fans. Left wing Tim Sestito scored his seventh goal of the season in the second period on the first penalty shot goal in Thunder history, while All-Star rookie Troy Bodie added a two-man advantage marker to give the Thunder its only lead of the game. Goaltender Cam Ellsworth made 21 saves, countered by Fresno netminder Ryan MacDonald, who stopped 30 shots.

Friday, December 29 FRESNO 3 - Stockton 2

Fresno Falcons goaltender Ryan MacDonald stopped all seven Thunder shots in the third period to send Stockton to a 3-2 loss at Save Mart Center. Center Brendon Hodge scored his sixth goal of the year in the first period while rookie Tyler Spurgeon chipped in with a game-tying second period marker, while veteran Luke Curtin led Fresno with a goal and assist, aided by John Wroblewski's game-winning goal late in the second period.

Saturday, December 30 FRESNO 3 - Stockton 2

For the third game in a row, the Thunder dropped a 3-2 score to the Fresno Falcons as a season-high 9,363 fans packed Stockton Arena, witnessing a goaltending duel between Stockton's Cam Ellsworth (21 saves) and Fresno's red-hot Ryan MacDonald (35 saves). Fresno scored two goals in the second period and one in the third to secure the victory, while the Thunder received goal-support from Tim Verbeek's first period marker and Jeff Lang's late third period tally.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING (courtesy of The Record)

"Each night it has come down to a couple of mistakes on our part. When you don't score during those eight minutes, you start to press too much. It begins to get to you, but we'll get past it."

- Thunder veteran defenseman Tim O'Connell, assessing the team's power-play during its first losing streak of the season

"They came here ready to cheer for us. We just have to find a way to turn this around and keep a positive attitude."

- Thunder head coach Chris Cichocki's reaction of the season-high crowd of 9,363 in last Saturday's game

"There's a very good reason why he was chosen as a starter in the all-star game. He's the type of guy who plays smart and makes things happen. He can give us a spark."

- Cichocki on All-Star center Nathan Martz, who returned from the injured reserve list last Friday
 

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Tardif Returns to Toledo

(Toledo, Ohio) The Toledo Storm, ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, announced today that forward Jamie Tardif has been reassigned to Toledo by the Iowa Stars of the American Hockey League (AHL). In addition, the Norfolk Admirals have recalled defenseman Mitch Maunu.

Jamie Tardif will return to the Storm this weekend, after skating in a pair of games with the Iowa Stars. With the Dallas Stars' primary affiliate, Tardif did not register a point. This season with the Storm, the ECHL All-Star forward has collected 25 points (9 G, 16 A) in 25 games.

Maunu has appeared in 19 games for the Storm this season, during which time he recorded 5 assists along with 36 PIM. The fourth round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks has also seen 9 games with the Norfolk Admirals (AHL), where he went scoreless with 8 PIM.

The Storm host three games in three days this weekend, beginning Friday night at 7:35pm when they will welcome the Trenton Titans to Toledo Sports Arena. They will face the Titans again on Saturday night before finishing the weekend with a Sunday matinee against the Cincinnati Cyclones at 3:05pm. Great tickets for all three games 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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Salmon Kings bring in Bernier

Victoria, BC- The Victoria Salmon Kings, proud affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks and Manitoba Moose, announced today that 21-year-old Forward Marc-Andre Bernier has been assigned to the Salmon Kings by the Moose while under contract with the Canucks. He joins the Salmon Kings in California to battle the Long Beach Ice Dogs tonight at 7:00 p.m.

Bernier, a native of Laval, PQ was originally selected by Vancouver (60th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

The 6-foot-3, 218-lb right winger has played 23 games for Manitoba this season and collected two points and 16 penalty minutes. Last season, he split time between the Moose and the ECHL's Columbia Inferno. In 44 games with the Inferno, Bernier earned 23 points (6 goals, 17 assists).

Prior to his pro career, he played four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). From 2001-2003, Bernier notched 64 points in 116 regular season games and 17 points in 23 playoff games with the Halifax Mooseheads. In 2003-2004, he posted 50 points in 58 regular season games with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, and in the 2004-2005 season he returned to the Mooseheads and tallied 50 points in 65 regular season games.

In addition to Bernier's arrival, Forward Warren McCutcheon has been moved to the 30-day injured reserve list due to an injury suffered December 8th versus Long Beach. The 24-year-old rookie has six points in 22 games with the Salmon Kings.

The Salmon Kings will continue their cruise through California with a game versus Fresno on Friday, Bakersfield on Saturday, and Fresno again on Sunday. Their next home series begins Friday, January 19th.

Get your mini-packs or single game tickets to be a part of Victoria's most exciting professional game! Call today (250) 220-7777. We're ready for hockey. How about you?
 

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ECHL Today

Victoria Salmon Kings (11-18-1) at Long Beach Ice Dogs (9-17-2) 7:00 p.m. PT
- Ice Dogs won 4-2 on Dec. 15 and are 1-0-0 at home and 2-2-0 overall against Victoria.
- Victoria's Julien Ellis is 2-1-0 with a 2.35 goals-against average against Long Beach.
- Ash Goldie leads the Ice Dogs with 21 points (9g-12a) in 23 games.
- Salmon Kings rank eighth in ECHL on the power play with 18.0 percent (39-for-217).



Utah Grizzlies (8-19-3) at Alaska Aces (18-9-2) 7:15 p.m. AT
- Alaska ranks second in ECHL on the penalty kill with 86.4 percent (28-for-213).
- Utah's Andy Sertich had two assists on Dec. 30 for first multi-point game of professional career.
- Aces' Derek Gustafson is 2-1-0 with a 1.68 goals-against average against Utah.
- Grizzlies' Ryan Kinasewich has 20 points (11g-9a) on the road and has a six-game point streak (7g-5a).



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.
* 311 former ECHL players have played in NHL.
* 166 have made NHL debut in the last five seasons, including goaltenders Barry Brust, Martin Houle, Joey MacDonald, Mike Smith and Mike Wall, centers Drew Larman and Kris Newbury, 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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