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U.S. National Under-17 Team Hosts Marquette Rangers in Ann Arbor This Weekend

THIS WEEK: The U.S. National Under-17 Team will host the Marquette Rangers of the North American Hockey League for a weekend series at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. The clubs will meet Friday (Dec. 15) and Saturday (Dec. 16) with both contests set to begin at 7: 00 p.m. EST.

U.S. HEAD COACH JOHN HYNES: John Hynes is in his fourth season with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program. He has amassed a career record with the NTDP of 110-64-8-5 (W-L-T-OTL). Hynes has earned a gold (2006) and a silver medal (2004) at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Under-18 Championships as a head coach and a gold (2002) as an assistant. In 2005, Hynes led the U.S. National Under-17 Team to a first-place NAHL North Division regular-season finish and a North Division playoff championship, marking the first time this double feat was accomplished by the NTDP. Prior to his arrival in Ann Arbor, he spent time as an assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the University of Wisconsin.

U.S. HEAD COACH JOHN HYNES ON THE WEEK AHEAD: "With this being our last home series before the international event in late December, it is important for us to continue to execute our systems and play consistently all the way through our lineup. It's a good break for us to see a new team in our building in hosting Marquette after playing some of the other (NAHL) north division teams so many times early in the season."

GAME NOTES - MARQUETTE: This weekend's series marks the first-ever appearance for the Marquette Rangers franchise versus the NTDP at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube ... Marquette has lost 12-straight contests ... The U.S. National Under-17 Team has split the previous two meetings this season with the Rangers. The last meeting between the clubs (Oct. 14) resulted in a 4-3 Team USA victory in Marquette, Mich. ... Marquette Head Coach Leigh Mendelson worked as an assistant coach at the NTDP during the 2001-02 season.

TIS' THE SEASON: USA Hockey's National Team Development Program is once again in the middle of its Toys For Tots drive. The NTDP is offering two tickets for the price of one for fans who support this cause by bringing a new toy to either of the two games this weekend.

INTERNATIONAL FESTIVITIES ON THE HORIZON: The U.S. National Under-17 Team will host the Toys For Tots Four Nations Cup at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube from December 29, 2006 - January 2, 2007. National teams from Finland, Germany, and Sweden will join Team USA as the NTDP hosts its second Four Nations event of the season. Team USA will play December 29 (Germany), December 30 (Finland), and January 1 (Sweden). The third-place and championship games will be held on January 2. Tickets for the event are available by calling (734) 327-9251 extension 16.

LAST WEEK: The U.S. National Under-17 Team completed a stretch of three home games in four days with a 1-1-0-1 record. After a defeat at the hands of Alpena on Thursday (Dec. 7), Team USA lost a heartbreaker to Traverse City on Saturday evening (Dec. 8) in a shootout. The National Team came back strong on Sunday afternoon (Dec. 9) to win a thriller versus Traverse City. U.S. forward Jordan Schroeder (Lakeville, Minn.) tied the game with 17 seconds left in the game and Danny Kristo's (Eden Prairie, Minn.) shootout goal earned the victory for Team USA. U.S. netminder Michael Clemente (Great Falls, Va.) stopped four-of-five shooters in the shootout to earn his second win of the season.

UP NEXT: The U.S. National Under-17 Team will travel to Boardman, Ohio, for a midweek affair with the Mahoning Valley Phantoms on Wednesday, December 20. The game at the Boardman Ice Zone will begin at 7:30 p.m. EST.

NTDP FLIP-FLOP: While the U.S. National Under-18 Team visits Marquette, Mich., on Friday night, the Marquette Rangers of the North American Hockey League travel to the home of the NTDP (Ann Arbor, Mich.) to take on the U.S. National Under-17 Team in a weekend series.

NTDP ALUMNI UPDATE: Fifteen members of the 2007 U.S. National Junior Team, which was announced by USA Hockey on Tuesday (Dec. 5), have spent time with the NTDP, including Mike Carman (Apple Valley, Minn./2004-06), Jim Fraser (Port Huron, Mich./2003-05), Jeff Frazee (Burnsville, Minn./2003-05), Blake Geoffrion (Brentwood, Tenn./2004-06), Nate Gerbe (Oxford Mich./2003-05), Erik Johnson (Bloomington, Minn./2004-06), Jack Johnson (Ann Arbor, Mich./2003-05), Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y./2004-06), Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich./2004-05), Jamie McBain (Faribault, Minn./2004-06), Peter Mueller (Bloomington, Minn./2003-05), Jack Skille (Madison, Wis./2003-05), Ryan Stoa (Bloomington, Minn./2003-05), Bill Sweatt (Elburn, Ill./2004-05) and James vanRiemsdyk (2005-present) ... NTDP alumnus Kevin Montgomery (2004-06/Rochester, N.Y.) has left The Ohio State University to play for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. Montgomery recorded five points (1-4) in 17 games during his freshman campaign with the Buckeyes. In London Montgomery will join NTDP alumni Patrick Kane and Philip McRae (Chesterfield, Mo./2005-06).

ABOUT THE NTDP: Founded in 1996, USA Hockey's National Team Development Program was created to prepare student-athletes under the age of 18 for participation on U.S. National Teams and success in their future hockey careers. Its efforts focus not only on high-caliber participation on the ice, but creating well-rounded individuals off the ice. Located in Ann Arbor, Mich., the 46 players in the program are split into two squads - the U.S. National Under-18 and Under-17 Teams. In the eight years NTDP players have been eligible for the draft, 124 players have been selected, including the number one overall selection in both 2000 (Rick DiPietro) and 2006 (Erik Johnson).
 

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Diggers down Stars, 5-2

ALPENA - It's been almost a month since the Traverse City North Stars didn't come away from a game with a least one point, but that was little consolation following the Stars' 5-2 setback at Alpena on Wednesday. The contest marked the first of four games in five days against two of the North American Hockey League's top clubs.

On Wednesday, the host IceDiggers got a pair of first period goals - including Drew Pierson's power play effort with just over two minutes until the first intermission - and outshot their visitors from the west, 15-10 over the first 20 minutes.

Patrick Nagorsen opened the second with a man-advantage conversion just 34 ticks into the stanza, but Justin Stadler registered his second of the game to put the hosts out front by two again. Less than three minutes later Nick Von Bokern pulled TC to within a goal once more with his fifth goal of the year, but a pair of rapid-fire goals from IceDiggers Ben Kitzmiller (1:35) and Stars castoff Mike DeGrazia (3:49) - and being whistled for six of the game's last seven penalties - put the contest out of reach for the North Stars at Northern Lights Arena.

"A flat team showed up here tonight," said Stars head coach Scott Gardiner. "No jump, no intensity. We let in a couple of softies in the first period, and just couldn't get back in it. I don't know what it is about us in this building."

Kyle Jendra spelled Stefan Shively in net early in the final period, and the two goalkeepers combined for 34 saves on 39 shots. Shaun Hunwick and Mike Jarboe shared duties for Alpena, amassing 23 saves. Jarboe, who worked the third period, faced just two shots.

Mike Glaesmer and Harrison Niemann drew assists on Nagorsen's ninth goal of the year, while Ben Plocar and Sabastion Kimmel set up Von Bokern's marker.

Traverse City (11-14-5) will play host to the red-hot Mahoning Valley Phantoms on Friday and Saturday at Centre ICE arena. The Phantoms have won 16 consecutive times since they dropped a 3-2 shootout decision in Traverse City on Oct. 14. The Stars return to Alpena for Sunday's matinee and the final contest before the Christmas holiday break.

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 #3
IceDiggers out in community

Alpena MI: On Friday December 15, 2006 the Alpena IceDigger players will be going door to door in the Alpena community asking for donations of non perishable items to give back to the salvation army.

The players will be around town from 5:00PM to 7:00PM. The IceDiggers are asking members of the community to help with this much needed cause. "Our guys are happy to do this, they know it will benefit people less fortunate than them." said VP/GM Bob Krafft

The IceDiggers return home on Sunday to play host to the Traverse City North Stars before heading home to spend the holidays with their families. Face off for the Sunday matinee will be at 3:00PM

For more information on the IceDiggers be sure to visit the website at Alpena IceDiggers Jr "A" Hockey.....Home or call the main office at (989) 356-9812.
 

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Bobcats this weekend

Hey Bobcat Fans! Here at the Bobcats office we are getting geared up for an exciting weekend - Friday night the Catz will celebrate Christmas at the Elks Lodge with a social hour, dinner and dance. If you haven't signed up you can do so until the close of business today by calling the Bobcats at 222-3300 or email us at [email protected]. The cost is $18 per person and social hour starts at 6:00 with a 7:00 buffet style dinner and a dance starting at 8:00 featuring Richard Torrance and Night Life. Children are welcome as well ($10 cost for children) - hope you can join us!

Saturday night the Catz will have their dancing shoes off and their skates on as the take on the Fargo-Moorhead Jets. You can't miss this fierce rivalry, and don't forget you can bring a headset to the game and listen to Nick Hulberg's play-by-play. And stick around after the game for mini-motorcycle racing brought to you by Cycle Hutt.

Lastly, season ticket holder t-shirts are in and can be picked up at the merchandise stand at Saturday's game. Also, Bobcat gift certificates and apparel make great Christmas gifts, so don't stress if you've procrastinated your shopping ! Get everything you need for Bobcat fans at the merchandise stand on Saturday or stop in the Bobcats office. We'll see you this weekend!
 
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