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Discussion Starter #1
Blizzard coming alive

Struggling to find any consistency, the Alexandria Blizzard finally strung together its first two-game sweep of the season last weekend with a pair of victories over Southern Minnesota.

"Coming back from (holiday) break and getting a couple of wins, it was really nice," said Blizzard coach Brad Willner, whose club improved to 13-19-1.

On Saturday, Steve Sperry's third-period goal lifted the Blizzard to a 2-1 win over the Express. Alex Lundbohm scored the other Alexandria goal, while goaltender Dustin Carlson turned aside 35 shots.

The next night, the Blizzard downed Southern Minnesota in a shootout, 4-3. Defenseman Adam Hammerbeck recorded a goal and an assist in the win, with Luke Nesper and Mark Columbus connecting for the other Alexandria markers. Carlson was again solid between the pipes, stopping 32 shots in regulation and five of six in the shootout.

"As of late, we've been playing better," said Willner. "Things are starting to come together for the guys. They're working hard, and I think it's just a matter of everybody clicking together."

Willner also points to the late-November trade for Sperry from Marquette as a catalyst for his team's recent turnaround. Not only is Sperry averaging a point a game (10) for the Blizzard, but the deal which sent Derek Grogan to the Rangers has also created a sense of urgency in the locker room.

"It's funny how that affects your game and gets everyone focused again," said Willner of the first trade he's made in his two seasons behind the Blizzard's bench. "Ever since we did that, mentally we've been a different team on the ice."

The Blizzard's defense was exceptional against the Express, in particular Hammerbeck, a 20-year-old from Superior, Wis., in his second season with Alexandria.

"Being the veteran defenseman back there, he had a real good weekend," said Willner.

And the goaltending of Carlson, along with Ryan Leets, has been steady throughout the season. Carlson holds a .912 save percentage, with Leets at a formidable .900.

"It's good having two goaltenders that can play, and it's tough on us as coaches to make a decision on who to play, but they both have handled the situation very well when the other one has played," said Willner.

On a team struggling to put the puck in the net - the Blizzard is tied with Marquette with fewest goals scored with 88 - Rylan Galiardi, along with Nesper and Sperry, have been finding the scoresheet with more regularity of late.

"The guys are working a little bit harder than they did early on," said Willner. "Hopefully, that will continue for us as we head into the New Year."

North Division
Mahoning Valley 35 26-8-1 53 .757 153 92
Alpena 33 23-8-2 48 .727 128 98
Traverse City 35 12-18-5 29 .414 103 138
USNTDP 30 11-17-2 24 .400 99 112
Marquette 32 11-19-2 24 .375 88 116

South Division
St. Louis 33 25-6-2 52 .788 122 73
Santa Fe 32 23-5-4 50 .781 120 66
Texas 33 21-9-3 45 .682 116 96
Fairbanks 35 17-17-1 35 .500 119 123
Wichita Falls 33 12-18-3 27 .409 90 111
Alaska 36 11-20-5 27 .375 91 129

Central Division
Fargo-Moorhead 32 22-9-1 45 .703 114 92
So. Minnesota 36 19-15-2 40 .556 115 96
Springfield 34 15-15-4 34 .500 99 108
North Iowa 33 14-17-2 30 .455 92 119
Bismarck 35 12-17-6 30 .429 99 131
Alexandria 33 13-19-1 27 .409 88 113

Rudasill, Todd ALP F 33 19 38 57
Schmidt, Kyle FBX F 35 28 17 45
Echternach, Jesse FMH F 32 20 25 45
Maroon, Pat STL F 30 16 28 44
Kutalek, Tibor SFE F 31 24 18 42
Pierson, Drew ALP F 33 16 26 42
Shean, Joe FBX F 35 15 27 42
Craner, Nolan ALP F 30 17 23 40
Longpre, Nathan MVY F 35 14 23 37
(three players tied with 36 points)

Hopper, Nick SFE 27 1590:36 19-5-3 1.85 .916
Nagle, Pat STL 19 1128:42 14-3-2 1.91 .934
Zapolski, Ryan MVY 32 1857:02 25-6-1 2.26 .930
Lee, Austin FMH 18 1042:52 13-3-1 2.42 .928
Paulgaard, Lars SME 27 1503:30 15-10-1 2.47 .916

Schmidt, Kyle FBX F 35 28
Kutalek, Tibor SFE F 31 24
Echternach, Jesse FMH F 32 20

Rudasill, Todd ALP F 33 38
Maroon, Pat STL F 30 28
Shean, Joe FBX F 35 27

Flink, Adam TXS F 27 141
Belanger, Neeco MAR F 32 138
Yovanic, Paul TXS F 27 131

Kimmel, Sisson, Carlson named Sherwood Players of the Week

Traverse City forward Sabastion Kimmel recorded a goal and three assists as the North Stars split a pair of games with Alpena last weekend. On Saturday, the 18-year-old assisted on Nathan Urbaniak's game-tying goal and netted the final marker in the shootout in Traverse City's 5-4 win. The next night, the New Milford, Ct., native scored a goal and two assists as the North Stars fell to Alpena, 5-4.

St. Louis forward Graham Sisson struck for three goals and three assists as the Bandits skated to a 2-1 record last week. On Friday, the 19-year-old scored the game-winning goal in St. Louis' 4-2 win over Springfield. The next night, the Chesterfield, Mo, native assisted on the Bandits' lone tally in a 3-1 loss to Texas before notching two goals, including the game-winner, and two assists in a 5-2 victory over the Tornado on New Year's Eve.

Alexandria goaltender Dustin Carlson backstopped the Blizzard to a pair of wins over Southern Minnesota last weekend, turning aside 67 of 71 shots. On Saturday, the 20-year-old made 35 saves in the Blizzard's 2-1 victory. On New Year's Eve, the Forest Lake, Minn., native stopped 32 shots - and five of six in the shootout - in a 4-3 triumph over the Express.

OTHER NOMINEES: Alexandria forward Steve Sperry; Alpena forwards Erik Peterson and Justin Stadler; Bismarck forward Vince Unklesbay; Fargo-Moorhead forward Robby Philipp; Southern Minnesota forward Scott Kozlak; St. Louis defenseman Scooter Vaughan; Texas defenseman Brian Reagan

Friday, December 29
St. Louis 4 @ Springfield 2 (STL: Vaughan, 3A)
Wichita Falls 3 @ Texas 4 (TEX: King, G, A)
Fargo-Moorhead 3 @ Bismarck 2 (FM: Adams, GWG)
So. Minnesota 5 @ North Iowa 4 (OT) (SM: Kozlak, GWG, A)

Saturday, December 30
Texas 3 @ St. Louis 1 (TEX: Reagan, G, GWG, A)
Bismarck @ Fargo-Moorhead (postponed)
Alexandria 2 @ Southern Minnesota 1 (ALX: Sperry, GWG)
North Iowa 1 @ Springfield 2 (SPR: Greco, GWG)
Alpena 4 @ Traverse City 5 (SO) (TC: Nagorsen, G, A)

Sunday, December 31
Fargo-Moorhead 5 @ Bismarck 3 (FM: Connolly, GWG, A)
Traverse City 4 @ Alpena 5 (ALP: Peterson-Stadler, G, 2A)
Texas 2 @ St. Louis 5 (STL: Sisson, G, GWG, 2A)
So. Minnesota 3 @ Alexandria 4 (SO) (ALX: Hammerbeck, G, A)
Springfield 2 @ North Iowa 3 (SO) (NI: Mobley, G, A)

COACHING CHANGE IN MARQUETTE: The Rangers have released Leigh Mendelson from his contract as head coach. Randy Enders, who was serving as the team's assistant coach, will assume the role of interim head coach.

AVS' DIMMEN TO CANISIUS: Alaska defenseman Jeff Dimmen, 19, has committed to Canisius College (Atlantic Hockey) for the 2007-08 season. Now in his third NAHL season, the Colorado Springs, Colo., native has two goals and 17 points in 21 games this year.

BLUES' ROY TO HOLY CROSS: Second-year Springfield goaltender Adam Roy, 20, has committed to Holy Cross (Atlantic Hockey) for next season. On the year, the Feeding Hills, Mass., native holds a 13-11-4 record with a 3.00 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage.

GIEBE SCORES FOR GERMANY: North Iowa defenseman Chris Giebe, 19, scored Team Germany's first goal in its 2-1 overtime win over the U.S. in the first game of the World Junior Championships in Sweden. Germany finished pool play with a 2-2 record.

FINE FINN: Former Fargo-Moorhead forward Kai Kantola (2005-06), 19, was named to the World Junior Championships as a member of Team Finland. Kantola is currently a freshman at Bowling Green State University.

A FINE LINE: Alpena linemates Erik Peterson, 18, and Justin Stadler, 19, combined for three goals and six assists as the IceDiggers split a pair of games with Traverse City. "Both Erik and Justin have a way of knowing where the other one is when they're out on the ice," said IceDiggers coach Kenny Miller. "Erik played two of the best games I've seen him play - he was very good for us. Justin has really turned it up of late and is being rewarded for his hard work."

ALUM LEADS D-I CHARGE: Eric Ehn (Capital Centre Pride, 2002-03), a junior at Air Force (Atlantic Hockey), leads the nation in Division I scoring with 36 points (16 goals) after 20 games.

LET'S MAKE A DEAL: St. Louis traded goaltender Kenny Reiter and defenseman Brock Shelgren to Fairbanks for goaltender Shane Madalora and defenseman Wes Love.

Thursday, January 4
Santa Fe @ Springfield, 7:30 pm
Alexandria @ Bismarck, 7:05 pm

Friday, January 5
Southern Minnesota @ Fargo-Moorhead, 7:35 pm
North Iowa @ Fairbanks, 7:30 pm
Santa Fe @ Springfield, 7:30 pm
Alexandria @ Bismarck, 7:05 pm
Texas @ Wichita Falls, 7:05 pm
Alpena @ Mahoning Valley, 7:00 pm
Marquette @ Traverse City, 7:00 pm

Saturday, January 6
North Iowa @ Fairbanks, 7:30 pm
Southern Minnesota @ Fargo-Moorhead, 7:05 pm
Texas @ Wichita Falls, 7:05 pm
Bismarck @ Alexandria, 7:00 pm
Alpena @ Mahoning Valley, 7:00 pm
Santa Fe @ Springfield, 7:00 pm
Marquette @ Traverse City, 7:00 pm

Sunday, January 7
Fargo-Moorhead @ Southern Minnesota, 5:05 pm
North Iowa @ Fairbanks, 5:00 pm
(all times local)

Premium Member
18,276 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
FM Jets Game Postponed

Fargo (ND): Due to inclement weather conditions, tonight's Fargo-Moorhead Jets versus Bismarck Bobcats game scheduled for the John E. Carlson Coliseum tonight has been postponed. No make-up date has been scheduled as of yet.

All fans holding tickets, may redeem those tickets for any future FM Jets' game based upon availability.

The FM Jets will travel to Bismarck tomorrow night for a 7:05pm game. The FM Jets next home games are January 5th and January 6th against the Southern Minnesota Express.

The FM Jets Junior A Hockey Club is in its fourth season as members of the North American Hockey League. The NAHL is the nation's largest Junior A hockey league and is now in its 31st year of operation. For more information, visit or call (701) 235-2354.

Jets home games are played at the John E. Carlson Coliseum in Fargo, ND. All games are broadcasted on Today's Hot New Country 103.9 THE TRUCK and

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18,276 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Finland Tops Germany, 7-3, in Day Two Action at Toys for Tots Four Nations Cup

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Team Finland netted three power-play goals and received a 27-save performance from netminder Rasmus Rinne en route to a 7-3 victory over Team Germany in Day Two action at the 2007 Toys for Tots Four Nations Cup.

For the second straight day, Toni Rajala gave Finland a 1-0 lead after one period of play when he found the back of the net at the 12:35 mark. Rajala took a feed from Tommi Taimi and carried the puck along the left boards before putting a wrist shot under German goaltender Felix Bruckmann's glove from the outside edge of the left faceoff circle.

An action-packed second period saw four goals scored, with three of them belonging to Finland. Ilmari Pitkanen gave the Finns a 2-0 advantage at 5:59 when he banged home the rebound of a Juha Korkeamaki shot that bounced straight up into the air and landed just outside the crease.

Germany cut its deficit in half at 7:58 thanks to a strong forecheck by Simon Fischhaber. With Germany on a power play, Fischhaber was able to tip the puck away from a Finnish defender, skate around him and recover the loose puck before putting a shot over Rinne's left shoulder.

The Finns would light up the scoreboard twice more before the second intermission. Pekka Jormakka picked up a loose puck in front of the German goal and buried a high wrist shot at 12:36 before Joonas Rask extended Finland's lead to 4-1 with 1:06 remaining in the middle frame on a one-timer from the low slot.

Fischhaber again showed his quickness early in the third period, as he intercepted a Finnish cross-ice pass near the blue line and skated in on a breakaway before sneaking the puck just under the crossbar to make it a 4-2 contest at the 6:08 mark.

The teams would then combine for three goals within a 59-second flurry, with Rajala netting his second tally of the night on a rebound at 14:25, Germany's Jerome Flaake notching a goal nine seconds later and Finland's Sami Blomqvist answering back at 15:24.

Pitkanen added his second goal of the night at 17:19 to ice the game for Finland.

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18,276 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
USA Downs Slovakia, 6-1, in World Junior Championship

LEKSAND, Sweden -- Team USA used outstanding special teams play and solid goaltending on the way to a 6-1 victory over Slovakia today in preliminary-round play at the 31st annual International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.

In what was a must-win game for the United States if it hoped to have a chance to move onto the medal round, Team USA came alive with three power play goals and held Slovakia scoreless on its 10 man-advantage chances.

"We got an all-around team effort today," said U.S. Head Coach Ron Rolston (Fenton, Mich.). "I'm proud of our guys. We have to get some rest and be ready for Sweden tomorrow."

The United States held a 2-0 advantage after the opening period. Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y./London) wristed a shot from the top of the right circle and past Slovakia netminder Jakub Macek with Team USA on the power play at 6:51 for a 1-0 edge. Captain Taylor Chorney (Hastings, Minn./University of North Dakota) and Jack Skille (Madison, Wis./University of Wisconsin) drew assists on the play. Defenseman Jack Johnson (Ann Arbor, Mich./University of Michigan) made it 2-0 at 14:45 with a delayed penalty on Slovakia in effect. Peter Mueller (Bloomington, Minn./Everett) found Johnson at the side of the left circle and his shot sailed over the glove of Macek. Nate Gerbe (Oxford, Mich./Boston College) also assisted on the play.

Getting his first start of the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship, U.S. netminder Jeff Frazee (Edina, Minn./University of Minnesota) was strong in the opening stanza, including a solid stop off an opening-faceoff two-on-one rush. Frazee also made two big stops in less than a minute midway through the period, first on David Buc and then on Juraj Valach.

Team USA scored two more power play goals in the second period to gain a 4-0 advantage after 40 minutes. Kane had one of the tournament's most spectacular goals at 4:15 as he came from the side wall, stick-handled through traffic and roofed one into the upper corner of the net on the near side from just outside the goal crease. Then at 9:00, defenseman Erik Johnson (Bloomington, Minn./University of Minnesota) wristed one from the center point that beat Macek and sent him to the bench in favor of Branislav Konrad.

The United States gained a 5-0 lead just 1: 36 into the third period as Konrad inadvertently tipped the puck up over his own shoulder and into his net off an Erik Johnson pass attempt to Mueller. Mueller got credit for the goal despite not touching the puck. Slovakia broke the shutout at 9:46 before James vanRiemsdyk (Middletown, N.J./USA Hockey National Team Development Program) finished the scoring at 16:07 when he put home the rebound of a Justin Abdelkader (Muskegon, Mich./Michigan State University) shot from in close. Blake Geoffrion (Brentwood, Tenn./University of Wisconsin) started the play.

Frazee finished with 28 saves, while Macek and Konrad combined for 23 stops for Slovakia.

Team USA will play its final preliminary-round game tomorrow against Sweden in Leksand. Opening faceoff is set for 11 a.m. (EST) and the game can be heard live on There is no U.S. television coverage.

Premium Member
18,276 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Team USA Falls to Sweden, 4-2, in Day Two Action at the 2007 Toys for Tots Four Natio

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The U.S. National Under-17 Team fell to Sweden by a count of 4-2 tonight at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in its second game at the 2007 Toys for Tots Four Nations Cup.

Sweden jumped onto the scoreboard first 2: 21 into the game with a power-play goal when Victor Hedman blasted a shot from the point that found its way through traffic in front of U.S. netminder Michael Clemente (Great Falls, Va.). Minutes later in the opening frame Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) appeared to have scored on a breakaway but play carried on. Kristo was determined to score on his shift and gathered a loose puck in front of Sweden's goal and buried a shot into the top of the net to even the score 8:56 into the game. Sweden's William Wallen scored just 52 seconds later when he converted a pass from Robert Johansson during a two-on-one break to give Team Sweden a 2-1 advantage at the end of the opening period.

Sweden's Andre Petersson made it a 3-1 game 2:44 into the second period while the teams were playing 4-on-4. Team USA defenseman Eric Ringel (Hickley, Ohio) cut Sweden's lead back to one goal 7:07 into the second period. Ringel, who joined the U.S. National Under-17 Team just prior to the tournament, carried the puck the length of the ice then beat Sweden's netminder Jacob Markstrom over his right shoulder with a quick snapshot to make it a 3-2 contest. David Rundblad gave Team Sweden a 4-2 advantage with 2: 49 remaining in the period when his wrist shot slipped past Clemente.

Team USA dominated the play in the third period, outshooting Sweden 17-3, but were unable to beat Markstrom.

The U.S. National Under-17 Team will take on Finland on Monday (Jan. 1) at 7 p.m. The U.S. will need to beat Finland in order to advance to the championship game on Tuesday night (Jan. 2) at 7 p.m.

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Discussion Starter #6
Stars top Alpena in shootout

TRAVERSE CITY - The Traverse City North Stars didn't lead Saturday's game against Alpena until the final shot - but Sabastion Kimmel's shootout conversion in the fifth and final chance of the session was enough to give the host North Stars a 5-4 victory over Alpena in front of nearly a thousand fans at Centre ICE arena.

"We kept battling," said TC head coach Scott Gardiner. "That was a gritty effort we put forth, and in the end it was just enough. It doesn't have to be pretty to count as two points."

The IceDiggers, who came into Saturday's series opener having won six of their last eight, built a 2-0 second period lead, but Patrick Nagorsen roofed a wrister from the right face-off circle area to cut the visitors' deficit in half. Ben Plocar evened it up a scant :18 into the third period, but Alpena answered a mere 30 seconds later to go out front again.

Aaron Pietila knotted the game again with exactly 10 minutes to play, but again the Diggers responded, building a one-goal bulge less than two minutes later. Things looked somewhat bleak for Traverse City until Nate Urbaniak forced overtime with a clutch lamplighter with 2:46 left in regulation.

In the overtime, TC managed just one shot, but newly-acquired 6- foot-5 goalkeeper Martin Iberer stood tall in overtime, and after allowing Todd Rudasill's first shootout conversion, blanked the remaining shooters. Iberer made 42 saves on 46 shots in his TC debut.

The Stars and Diggers square off again on Sunday in a New Year's Eve clash slated for 6 p.m.

We thank you, our media partners, for your continued interest in Traverse City North Stars hockey. If there is anything we can do to help facilitate any aspect of your coverage, please do not hesitate to contact us. You are a valued component of North Stars hockey.

For more information, call Lance-Michael Correia at (231) 632-5047, the Traverse City North Stars office at (231) 941-9200 or visit the team's Web site at: Official Website of the Traverse City North Stars:  Home.

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Discussion Starter #7
Stars edged, 5-4

ALPENA - After the Alpena IceDiggers had built a 3-0 lead in the first 11 minutes of Sunday's game at Northern Lights Arena, the Traverse City North Stars could have packed and left town, content to take a split from the second place hosts after handing them a 5-4 loss on Saturday at Centre ICE arena.

But they played on. And after Zach Hitch and Sabastion Kimmel tallied for the visitors within about two minutes of each other, the Diggers went back ahead again by two goals near the midway point of the contest. Nick Von Bokern made it 4-3, and Nate Urbaniak evened the contest a mere 1:34 into the third stanza, and the stage was set for another Stars comeback. However, the hosts were able to stuff home the game-winner with just under seven minutes to go to escape with a 5-4 win in the final contest of 2006.

Martin Iberer started his second straight game for Traverse City (12-18-5), stopping 38 of 43 shots. The North Stars host Marquette next weekend in a Friday-Saturday series at Centre ICE arena.

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Discussion Starter #8
Team USA Beats Sweden in OT Thriller

LEKSAND, Sweden -- Defenseman Jack Johnson's (Ann Arbor, Mich./University of Michigan) power play blast from the side of the left circle propelled the United States to a 3-2 overtime victory over Sweden today in preliminary-round play at the 31st annual International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.

The win vaulted the United States into Tuesday's (Jan. 2) quarterfinal round where Team USA will face Finland at 7:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. EST) at the FM Mattsson Arena in Mora, Sweden.

"Obviously, that was a very big win for our hockey team," said U.S. Head Coach Ron Rolston (Fenton, Mich.). "We didn't get the start we wanted to, but we showed a lot of character and got better as the game wore one."

Team USA started the night knowing that it needed a win to advance to the quarterfinal round.

While the first period was scoreless, both teams had solid scoring chances. Team USA finished with 11 shots on goal in the first period, however, its first shot was a shorthanded effort from the high slot by Justin Albdekader (Muskegon, Mich./Michigan State University) nearly eight minutes in. Sweden had 12 shots on goal in the stanza but could not solve U.S. netminder Jeff Frazee (Edina, Minn./University of Minnesota).

Sweden took a 1-0 lead at 7:16 of the second period in shorthanded fashion as Andreas Turesson put home the rebound of Martin Johansson's initial shot. Team USA rallied with two goals in a 1:35 span in the back half of the period to stake a 2-1 advantage at 40 minutes. Kyle Okposo (St. Paul, Minn./University of Minnesota) intercepted a Swedish pass behind the net and fed Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y./London) in front for Kane's third goal in two games. Then Ryan Stoa (Bloomington, Minn./University of Minnesota) banged home the second rebound in tight at 13:25 following Peter Mueller's (Bloomington, Minn./University of Minnesota) initial shot from the left circle and Nathan Gerbe's (Oxford, Mich./Boston College) rebound attempt.

The U.S. looked like it would win the game in regulation, however, with :14 left in regulation and Sweden netminder Joel Gistedt pulled in favor of an extra attacker, Fredrik Pettersson got the puck by Frazee to tie the game.

That set the stage for Jack Johnson, who scored his second game-winning goal in as many days. Erik Johnson (Bloomington, Minn./University of Minnesota) and Jack Skille (Madison, Wis./University of Wisconsin) drew assists on the four-on-three overtime goal.

Frazee finished with 28 saves, while Gistedt had 31 stops for Sweden.

Tuesday's (Jan. 2) quarterfinal game can be heard live on with Jim Rich and Jeff Sauer. There is no U.S. television coverage.

NOTES: A special hour-long show previewing Team USA's stretch run at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship will air live on at 1 p.m. (EST) tomorrow. Head Coach Ron Rolston, Assistant Coaches Nate Leaman, Phil Housley and John Harrington as well as several members of Team USA will join Jim Rich and Jeff Sauer during the broadcast ... The 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship features athletes under the age of 20 on international teams including the United States, Belarus, Canada, Germany, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland ... The U.S. National Junior Team is coming off a fourth-place finish at the 2006 World Junior Championship in Vancouver, British Columbia ... Eight members of the U.S. National Junior Team are returning from last year's team, including Taylor Chorney (Hastings, Minn./University of North Dakota), Jeff Frazee (Burnsville, Minn./University of Minnesota), Nate Gerbe (Oxford, Mich./Boston College), Erik Johnson (Bloomington, Minn./University of Minnesota), Jack Johnson (Ann Arbor, Mich./University of Michigan), Brian Lee (Moorhead, Minn./University of North Dakota), Peter Mueller (Bloomington, Minn./Everett) and Jack Skille (Madison, Wis./University of Wisconsin).

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18,276 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Former FM Jets Star Playing for Finland at WJC

Fargo (ND) Former Fargo-Moorhead Jets forward Kai Kantola is currently playing for Team Finland at the 2007 World Juniors Hockey Championships in Sweden, and will be on the roster when Finland faces Team USA at 12:30pm (CST) in the quarterfinal round.

Originally born in Canada, and now residing in Raleigh, NC, Kantola's parents still have Finnish citizenship making his eligible for the team. Prior to joining the FM Jets, Kantola spent the 2003-2004 season playing junior hockey in Finland.

Kantola played two seasons with the FM Jets from 2004-2006, scoring 71 points (29 goals) during his career. He is currently a freshman at Division I Bowling Green University.

Kantola became the first-ever FM Jets' player to be listed by NHL Central Scouting last season, and also participated with Finland at the 2006 Four Nations Tournament.

The FM Jets Junior A Hockey Club is in its fourth season as members of the North American Hockey League. The NAHL is the nation's largest Junior A hockey league and is now in its 31st year of operation. For more information, visit or call (701) 235-2354.

Jets home games are played at the John E. Carlson Coliseum in Fargo, ND. All games are broadcasted on Today's Hot New Country 103.9 THE TRUCK and

Premium Member
18,276 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Outlaws Pick Up Three Points, Ready to Head North

The North Iowa Outlaws came back from the break just shy of a .500 record, and in the first official weekend of the second half of the season, North Iowa nearly accomplished that task. Three great games saw the Outlaws go 1-1-1, while picking up three points to bring their record to 14-17-2, and a tie for fourth in the Central Division with Bismarck. Despite the two loses on the weekend, on in regulation and one in overtime, North Iowa played some of their best hockey and could have won all three.

Friday night, the Southern Minnesota Express came to Mason City, and the Outlaws and Express put on a show for the fans. North Iowa battled from three goals down to tie the game at the end of the second period, but for the second consecutive game, the Express picked up the two points with a goal by Scott Kozlak with 2:32 seconds remaining in overtime. The Outlaws got goals from Mike Wallgren, Bobby Moe, Joe Harcharik, and Nick Follmer. For Follmer, it was his first goal in the NAHL.

Coming off a 5-4 overtime lose to the Southern Minnesota Express on Friday night, the Outlaws tried to rebound on the road with a match-up with the Springfield Jr. Blues. North Iowa entered the game three points behind the Jr. Blues with a pair of games and a chance to jump ahead in the standings with a pair of wins, starting on the road in Springfield on Saturday.

The Outlaws fell behind in the first period, 2-0 after Springfield capitalized on a 4-4 chance and added to it on a 5-3 power play. In the second, Bryant Skarda found the back of the net for the Outlaws with a turnaround shot from the circle that handcuffed Adam Roy and pulled the Outlaws within one.

Heading into the third period the Outlaws looked for their fifth come from behind win of the season, but Roy played strong in the third period, stopping a last ditch effort from the Outlaws. With a minute to go, Coach Boitz pulled Jay Clark for the extra attacker and with the Outlaws on the power play, Roy came up big to preserve the win for the Jr. Blues.

After Saturday's fight, Sunday's game promised to be a great one as the Outlaws and Jr. Blues were meeting for the last time in the regular season. It took 65 minutes to finish off the Springfield Jr. Blues, but the Outlaws took the victory in the final meeting, 3-2 in a shootout. North Iowa's Trevor Doden fired a shot passed Adam Roy in the fourth round of the shootout, and Robby Moss stopped all five attempts by the Blues to give the Outlaws the victory.

North Iowa battled back twice in the game with Max Mobley tying the game at one after the Blues scored early in the second period. Andrew Berecz scored a power play tally at 13:11 in the second to give Springfield a 2-1 lead at the break. In the third, the Outlaws got the equalizer from Joe Harcharik with under five minutes remaining. After tying the game, Moss came up big, stoning the Jr. Blues, stopping 20 of 22 shots in the win.

Neither team scored in the overtime and threw the first four rounds of the shootout until Trevor Doden sniped Roy to the stick side to put the Outlaws up. Moss then shut the door on Berecz to seal the victory.

With the first three games, and the rust from the ten-day holiday break shaken off; the Outlaws set their sights on the frozen north. Thursday morning the Outlaws head to Minneapolis and on their way to Alaska for five games during their ten-day stay. They open the trip with three games in Fairbanks on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They will spend the week there before returning to Anchorage the following Friday for a two-game set with the Avalanche.

The Outlaws enter their trip at a crucial point of the season. The Outlaws have climbed back into a playoff spot and with some non-divisional games, ground can be made up on other teams with some success.


Giebe Scores as Germany Downs Star Studded Team USA in OT

Outlaws defenseman Chris Giebe opened play at the World Junior Championships in Sweden on Tuesday and showed his team and the world not to mess with the Germans. Team USA got that message loud and clear as the German Junior team downed the future NHL filled roster of Team USA 2-1 in overtime. Under the guidance of former NHLer Uwe Krupp, the German's have the toughest pool to be in, facing off against powerhouses USA, Canada, and Slovakia.

North Iowa's Giebe scored the first goal for Germany as they opened pool play. Germany finished with 5 points after defeating Team USA and Slovakia, before falling to Canada and Sweden. Team USA defeated Sweden, ending the hopes for a Quarterfinal appearance for the Germans, who will finish in the Regulation games and look to remain in the top division at the World Junior Championships for the first time in years.

Giebe will rejoin the Outlaws at the conclusion of the tournament, catching up with the team in Alaska next week.

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Jets Prepare to Defend First Place this Weekend

Fargo (ND) The Fargo-Moorhead Jets can't mathematically clinch the North American Hockey League's Central Division this weekend, but they can take a major leap towards it. A three-game series with the second place Southern Minnesota Express will begin with games Friday and Saturday at the Carlson Coliseum, and conclude in Owatonna, MN on Sunday evening.

Having only recently tip-toed across the midway point of the regular season, the FM Jets (22-9-1, 45pts) have a five point lead over the defending division champion Southern Minnesota (19-15-2, 40pts). More importantly, the FM Jets have played four fewer games than the Express meaning that there are still a potential eight points laying out on the table, free for the FM Jets' taking.

"For us, this is a chance to build upon the lead and keep us away from the rest of the pack in the division" said head coach Chad Johnson. "This is a very tough division and we don't want to get pulled back into the dog pile."

The FM Jets have led the Central Division since early October, with a lead that has reached double-digits at times. However, do to a lethargic schedule for the FM Jets the past two weeks; Southern Minnesota has been able to cut into the deficit but at the same time give the FM Jets games in hand.

"Even with the games we have in hand, those aren't guaranteed points, so this weekend it's a chance for us to take care of business" added Johnson.

With 30 games remaining in the season the "magic number" for the FM Jets is still a humbling 47 points, so it's a ways away from planning the celebratory party and ordering the championship banner. However, this weekend can still provide a potential six-point swing either way that could see the FM Jets' open up as large as an 11 point lead in the division, or actually fall back into second place.

The FM Jets and Southern Minnesota have met four times this season with the FM Jets holding a 3-1 advantage in the series. The FM Jets swept a pair of games at the Carlson Coliseum on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28, but then lost to the Express on Dec. 8. The FM Jets recovered to win a Dec. 10th showdown in Owatonna.

This weekend marks the first of six meetings the two teams will have the remainder of the season in what has been developing into a strong rivalry. Last year, the Southern Minnesota Express -in their inaugural year - rode a strong second half to overtake the FM Jets for first place in late March. Then swept the FM Jets in the Central Division finals playoff series.

Southern Minnesota hasn't had the same offensive firepower as they had last season, but have countered it with strong goaltending and defense. The Express are allowing 2.7 goals against per game, the fourth lowest in the NAHL, and goaltender Lars Paulgaard has a 1.99 GAA and 93% save percentage in the last five games.

The Express feature the NAHL's third best penalty kill at 88.6%.

Make-Up Date Still to Be Determined

There is still no official make-up date for the FM Jets vs. Bismarck Bobcats game postponed due to weather conditions on Dec. 30th at the Carlson Coliseum. All fans with tickets to the Dec. 30th game may use them at any other regular season game, based upon availability, or may use them at the rescheduled game.

Winning in the Division

One of the major reasons the FM Jets have been atop the NAHL's Central Division since October is their play within the division. The FM Jets hold a 17-5-1 record in the division, the best division record of any of the other Central teams.

In addition, the 761% winning percentage is the third best division record in the entire NAHL behind only Mahoning Valley's .845% percentage in the north and Santa Fe's .767% in the south.

Sports Bubble Event

Members of the FM Jets' will be at the Sports Bubble, off 13th Ave in Fargo on Tuesday January 9th from 7pm-9pm. Fans are invited to stop by and see if they can "out-drive" a player on the Sports Bubble's golf simulators, and get information on the Sports Bubble's many family activities. The event is FREE.

3 FM Jets' New Years Resolutions

In accordance with the unwritten rule that every person and their cousins must come up with resolutions, here are some the FM Jets' will likely be considering. Some will probably last as long as a guilty grandmother's to stop spoiling her grandchildren. Still, much like everyone who resolves to lose weight, stop smoking or bring to a close their addiction to Sex & the City reruns most of the success just comes from making the resolution.

1) Don't lose to teachers in floor hockey On Dec. 8th, the FM Jets went to Carl Ben Eielson Middle School to face the teachers in a game of floor hockey. Despite having the youthful legs, the training and the more dazzling jerseys the FM Jets lost. Its one thing to lose to the North Iowa Outlaws, its another to a group of teachers, more than half of whom have never played the game. It was a humbling experience the FM Jets hope to not experience again as the tour more schools in February.

2) Avoid snow storms Whether its through some sort of an ancient ritual, or by sacrificing Ace the Eagle to the weather gods the FM Jets need to find a way to keep snow storms from affecting their home schedule. Even though storms have missed the Red River Valley two FM Jets games have been affected by storms in the region. The Nov. 10th game was delayed an hour because North Iowa was late getting into town, while the Dec. 30th game was postponed due to a storm that made travel too treacherous for Bismarck.

3) Don't wear road jerseys at home They may be dazzling but they their fashion success didn't translate into a win at the Carlson Coliseum. The FM Jets' have worn their red jerseys once at home this season, on Dec. 15th, and the result was less than memorable. A 12-1 home loss to Alexandria. So for the rest of the season, expect the white jerseys at home and the red jerseys exclusively on the road where they have been very successful.

Last Week

Dec. 29 @ Bismarck Bobcats 3-2 Win

Dec. 30 Bismarck Bobcats ppd

Dec. 31 @ Bismarck Bobcats 5-3 Win

This Week

Jan. 5 Southern Minnesota Express 7:35pm

Jan. 6 Southern Minnesota Express 7:05pm

Jan. 7 @ Southern Minnesota Express 5:05pm

The FM Jets Junior A Hockey Club is in its fourth season as members of the North American Hockey League. The NAHL is the nation's largest Junior A hockey league and is now in its 31st year of operation. For more information, visit or call (701) 235-2354.

Jets home games are played at the John E. Carlson Coliseum in Fargo, ND. All games are broadcasted on Today's Hot New Country 103.9 THE TRUCK and
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