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Tornado return home

After playing their first 8 games on the road, the Texas Tornado finally return home this weekend for their first set of home opening games on Friday, October 6th and Saturday, October 7th at 7:30pm at the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Frisco against the first-place Santa Fe Roadrunners. Tickets for both games can be purchased by calling the Tornado office at 972-335-9800, or Purchase Tickets Online Now!

There are many events associated with the home opening games, so here is a list of events that the Tornado will be involved in:

Wednesday, October 4th

8:20am - Hear Tony Curtale live on 97.5 FM KLAK with Johnny B and Stephanie. Tony will visit with the morning duo to talk about the upcoming weekend and the Tornado.

7:30pm - It is the season premiere of the Tony Curtale Show live at Boston's in McKinney at 7:30pm. Fans can see Texas Tornado Head Coach Tony Curtale sit down with Texas Tornado play-by-play voice Alex "Cheeks" Kyrias live at Boston's, or listen to the show live on tornadohockey.com

Thursday, October 5th

6:00pm - It's the annual Texas Tornado Season Ticket Holder Meet and Greet at the Frisco Conference Center located next to the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Frisco (full season ticket holders only please).

Friday, October 6th

6:30pm - The doors open for the 2006-07 Texas Tornado home opener at the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Frisco. Each fan will receive a Commemorative 2006-07 Texas Tornado Magnetic Schedule and the Tornado will raise the South Division Champions and National Champions banners prior to the opening face-off... you don't want to miss it!

Saturday, October 7th

6:30pm - The doors open for Game #2 of the home opening weekend series against Santa Fe. Each fan in attendance will receive a Commemorative Texas Tornado 2006-07 Schedule Poster!
 

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Stars outlast IceDiggers, 4-3

TRAVERSE CITY - The forward tirumvirate of Zach Hitch, Brett Englebright, and Sabastion Kimmel made a pact before Saturday's game against North Division rival Alpena: Go all-out and let the chips fall where they land.

"We said before the game we were going as hard as we could every shift, to every loose puck, and finish every single hit," said Hitch, who had a pair of assists in the Traverse City North Stars' 4-3 victory over the IceDiggers at Centre ICE arena. "We didn't want to have another performance like Friday night (a 5-1 Alpena win)."

The line was instrumental in pulling the Stars (4-3-1) to within a single point of the top spot in the North American Hockey League's North Division, as Englebright and Kimmel posted second period goals. Englebright also drew and assist - along with Hitch - on the even- strength marker that put the host Stars on top for good at 2:41 of the second stanza.

"Those guys really turned the game around there in the second with their speed," said TC head coach Scott Gardiner. "And there were a couple of shifts in there where they just controlled the play. It was a great effort from those guys, and really all the guys - and we needed this win."

After NAHL co-leading scorer Nolan Craner put Alpena up 1-0 on a power play lamplighter 5:46 into the contest, Matt Hughes (Harrison Niemann) knotted the affair with his third goal of the season, setting up the second period surge. After Drew Pierson made it a one- goal contest again at 11:56, Jonathan Juliano levied what turned out to be the game-winner, corralling a bounding puck near center ice and breaking in for a writer that found twine.

Craner scored again for the IceDiggers (5-3-0) with eight seconds left, but it was purely academic, as the Stars rode out the clock and evened the all-time series between the cross-state rivals at eight games apiece over two seasons.

"It was a good, hard-fought win," Gardiner added. "Sometimes, you have to just grind it out, and that's what we did tonight. Alpena came at us hard again, but we had enough tonight to get by 'em."

Stefan Shively was solid in net for Traverse City, stopping 33 of 36 shots, while his counterpart, Shawn Hunwick was nearly as effective, making 25 stops on 29 tries.

Traverse City will travel to Marquette next weekend for a two-game set against the first-year Rangers before returning to Centre ICE arena on Oct. 13 against Mahoning Valley.

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: www.traversecitynorthstars.com.
 

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U.S. National Under-17 Team Falls to Phantoms

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The Mahoning Valley Phantoms of the North American Hockey League dropped the U.S. National Under-17 Team tonight by an 8-6 count at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube.

For the second straight night Team USA scored to open the game. U.S. forward Kevin McCarey (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) buried a feed from Vinny Saponari (Powder Springs, Ga.) from the high slot to give the U.S. the 1-0 advantage 9: 33 into the game. Team USA gained the 2-0 advantage 5:07 later in the first period when Justin Florek (Marquette, Mich.) notched his first of two goals on the night, also on a play from Saponari.

After just four shots in the first period, the Phantoms offense came alive to open the second period. Mahoning Valley scored six goals in the first 5:01 of the period, including a hat-trick from Chris Fairbanks.

Team USA replied 12:56 into the second period when Florek was able to bank the puck off a Phantoms defenseman, past netminder Ryan Zapolski to cut the Mahoning Valley lead to 6-3. The Phantoms struck again, this time shot-handed when Mike Fillinger was able to convert on a breakaway.

In the final frame, the Phantoms notched an early tally from Eric Ringel to make it a 8-3 contest. The U.S. replied midway through the period when Danny Kristo (Eden Prarie, Minn.) tallied his fourth goal on the season on a play from Jordan Schroeder (Prior Lake, Minn.) to cut the Phantoms lead to four at 8-4. U.S. defenseman Ryan Grimshaw (Rochester, N.Y.) made it a 8-5 contest when he scored with 3:39 remaining in the game, also assisted by Schroeder. Team USA scored its third goal of the period when Sam Lofquist (Faribault, Minn.) beat Zapolski with 43 seconds remaining in the game. The late offensive surge from Team USA was not enough though and the Phantoms left town with the 8-6 victory.

"It is good to see our guys battle back in the final period," said U.S. Head Coach John Hynes (Warwick, R.I.). "Although we came up short tonight, we will take away some positives and continue to develop as the season progresses,"

The U.S. National Under-17 Team travels to Alpena, Mich., next weekend (Oct. 6-7) to take on the Alpena IceDiggers of the NAHL.
 

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U.S. National Under-18 Tops University of Alaska, 5-3

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The U.S. National Under-18 Team defeated the University of Alaska Nanooks last night (Sept. 29), 5-3, at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska, in the first NCAA Division I game of the season for Team USA.

Ryan Hayes (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Jimmy Hayes (Dorchester, Mass.) led the way offensively for Team USA with two points apiece and Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.) was strong in goal, turning away 36 of 39 Nanooks attempts.

The U.S. National Under-18 Team got out to a quick start offensively when Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich.) blasted a shot past Alaska netminder and U.S. National Under-18 Team alumnus, Wylie Rogers, 4:27 into the game. U.S. forward Mike Hoeffel (North Oaks, Minn.) gave Team USA the 2-0 advantage when he converted a short-handed feed from Jimmy Hayes. Forty-three seconds later in the first frame, Ryan Hayes scored Team USA's first even-strength goal on a play from C.J. Severyn (Beaver, Pa.).

Jimmy Hayes gave Team USA the 4-0 advantage 5:09 into the second period when he was able to sneak one past the Nanooks netminder Rogers. Although Team USA held the 4-0 advantage, Phillips was key in net for the U.S. National Under-18 Team as he turned away all 23 shots he faced in the first two periods.

In the final frame, U.S. defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (New Rochelle, N.Y.) scored early to push the Team USA lead to five. The University of Alaska did not sit back though and was able to score three goals in the final 16:34 of the game.

"It is always intimidating for the Under-18 Team to play its first game against (NCAA) Division I players," said U.S. Head Coach Ron Rolston (Fenton, Mich.). "Our guys were able to settle down and execute on our chances early in the game helping us get back to playing our style of game."

The U.S. National Under-18 Team will face the University of Alaska Anchorage tonight (Sept. 30) at 7:07 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time (11:07 EDT) at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
 

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Alpena's comeback falls short in 4-3 loss

Alpena MI: The comeback fell short last night in Traverse City for the Alpena IceDiggers as the Northstars defeated Alpena by a score of 4-3 in front of an announced crowd of 792 at Center Ice Arena.

Nolan Craner (Plainwell MI) scored two powerplay goals for Alpena and Drew Pierson (Pleasant Prairie WI) added the other goal. Todd Rudasill (Powell OH) had two assists while Chad Billins (Marysville MI), Eric Roman (West Bloomfield MI), Chris Hendrickson (Hancock MI) and Ben Kitzmiller (Lambertville MI) all added assists in the loss.

Craner and Rudasill kept their scoring streaks alive at eight games, both players have scored in every IceDigger game this season.

Shawn Hunwick (Sterling Hts. MI) took the loss in net making 25 saves.

The IceDiggers will host the U-17 team on Friday and Saturday night at Northern Lights Arena both games have a 7:00PM face off. Alpena and USA are tied atop the North division with both teams having 5-3 records.

For ticket information please contact the IceDiggers office at (989) 356-9812 or visit our website at www.icediggers.com.
 

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FM Jets Move Above .500

Fargo (ND) Last season at this time, Jesse Echternach (Bemidji, MN) was a rookie trying to make his mark on a veteran Fargo-Moorhead Jets team. Fast-forward by a year and Echternach is now one of those veterans and doing his best to fill a scoring void left by the loss of almost all of the team's top scoring threats of last year.

Echternach scored four goals, including a hat trick on Sept. 30, as the FM Jets won two of three games from the Alaska Avalanche at the Carlson Coliseum last weekend. Echternach had a goal and an assist in the FM Jets' 5-1 win on Sept. 28. After being held scoreless in a 4-2 loss on Sept. 29, he followed that with his second career hat trick on Sept. 30 helping to lead the FM Jets' to a 6-3 victory.

Echternach has opened the season with 12 points (7 goals) in the season's first seven games, and is on pace to have an unbelievably good year with over 100 points and more than 50 goals. Still, even if the pace drops off, the veteran is doing just what is needed.

"Early in the season, you need your veterans to be leaders and not just be around for the ride and many of ours are doing what is wanted" said head coach Chad Johnson.

Along with Echternach, other veterans have also stepped up including Chris Connolly (Duluth, MN) who is picking up where he left off last year in the assist department He leads the team with 7. In addition, Andrew Harrison (Temperance, MI) -who spent the past two seasons with the Texas Tornado - has 6 points (3 goals).

While the veterans are making their mark, the rookies are doing their part, much like a younger brother following a bigger brother around. Except, unlike an annoying younger brother, these rookies have actually served a purpose other than being a whipping boy for the veterans jokes and good-natured horseplay.

Former Thief River Falls High standout Robby Phillipp is tied for second on the team in points with 7 (3 goals). Marc Mihulka, formerly of Grand Forks Red River has 4 points (2 goals).

Between the pipes, it has been rookies who have guarded the FM Jets' net. Minnesota State-Mankato recruit Austin Lee (Bloomington, MN) is 3-1 with a 2.50 GAA and .919% save percentage. In addition, Beau Christian (Moorhead, MN) is 1-1-0 with a 3.00 GAA and .935% save percentage.

Johnson Moving into First Place

FM Jets' head coach Chad Johnson has won 231 games in his eight year Junior A hockey head coaching career, including 38 in a year plus with the FM Jets. Johnson's 38 FM Jets' wins has moved him into a tie for the most wins ever by a Junior A coach in Fargo-Moorhead.

Johnson is tied with Dave Christian, who also won 38 games over three seasons at the helm of the former Ice Sharks. Ironically, Christian is the father of current FM Jets' goaltender Beau Christian.

Bring on the Central Division

After starting the season with seven straight non-division games, the FM Jets begin a stretch of nine consecutive games against the Central Division with their upcoming series against the Alexandria Blizzard.

Last Week

Sept. 28 Alaska Avalanche 5-1 W

Sept. 29 Alaska Avalanche 2-4 L

Sept. 30 Alaska Avalanche 6-3 W

This Week

Oct. 6 Alexandria Blizzard 7:35pm

Oct. 7 Alexandria Blizzard 7:05pm
 

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Cats Lose Two in Santa Fe

This past weekend is one that the Wichita Falls Wildcats would like to soon forget. Heading into Santa Fe, the team was only four points out of first place, but after two tough losses this weekend, the Cats are 6th in the NAHL South Division, and are eight points behind the first place Roadrunners.

Friday night's game started out on an ominous note, with Santa Fe scoring two minutes into the opening period, on route to a 3-0 lead after the first period. The Wildcats defense reasserted itself, with their penalty kill unit shutting down all 10 of the Roadrunners powerplays. The offense, however, could not get going and the team would fall 5-0.

The Cats came out ready to play on Saturday night, playing an even contest with Santa Fe, but would eventually lose 5-3. The Roadunners got on the board first with a powerplay goal, but Sean Nealon would answer back with a shorthanded score for the Wildcats and after the first period, the score was tied, 1-1. In the second stanza, both teams took ten shots on goal, and the only scoring would come from Santa Fe, and after forty minutes, they were ahead 2-1. The last frame was an absolute battle with the squads doing everything they could to win the game. The newest Wildcat, Michal Hartus, would make his presence felt when he tied the game at the 9:16 mark. Santa Fe responded back with two goals, but Zach Josepher would not let the Cats go quietly, and with three minutes remaining, he scored his first goal of the season to pull the Wildcats within one. A victory, however, proved not to be in the cards for the team that night, as Santa Fe would add a late powerplay goal to seal the game.

The Wildcats have this weekend off to rest and prepare themselves for a tough two game set against the defending champion, the Texas Tornado. The games will be held on Friday, October 13th and Saturday, October 14th at the Kay Yeager Coliseum. The puck drops at 7:05pm!
 

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IceDiggers acquire netminder Mike Jarboe

Alpena MI: Alpena IceDiggers GM/Head Coach Kenny Miller announced today that the team has acquired goaltender Mike Jarboe from the St. Louis Bandits, per club policy terms of the trade were not released.

The Grosse Pte. MI native is in his 2nd season in the NAHL, last year Jarboe played for the now defunct Bozeman IceDogs where he complied a 15-4 record with 2 shutouts. The IceDogs advanced to the finals of the NAHL Robertson cup game before falling to the Texas Tornado 4-2.

Jarboe started this season with the St. Louis Bandits where he went 1-0 with the Bandits, he defeated the North Iowa Outlaws making 31 saves in the win.

Miller feels that with Jarboe and Shawn Hunwick both goalies can step in and give the team a chance to win every night. "Shawn has been great so far and now with Mike we should have one of the best one two combo's in the league."

With adding Jarboe the IceDiggers had to make room by releasing rookie netminder Brandon Stephenson. "It was a tough decision, but when you get a chance to add a guy like Mike you have to do what is best for the entire team. Brandon is a great kid who will turn out to be a good goalie in this league but I felt we had to get a guy that can step in right now and play."

Jarboe and his new teammates will face the U-17 team on Friday night at Northern Lights Arena at 7:00PM. Both teams are tied atop the North division with 10 points.

For more information on the IceDiggers please visit our website at www.icediggers.com or contact the main office at (989) 356-9812.
 

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Avalanche fall in N.D.

Jesse Echternach recorded a hat trick as Fargo-Moorehead reeled off three straight goals in the third period to down the Alaska Avalanche 6-3 on Saturday in Fargo, N.D.

Alaska tied the game 3-3 in the second period on goals from Jesse Bryant and Brad McCabe. David Brown also scored.

Alaska fell to fifth in the North American Hockey League's South Division with a record of 3-5-1.
 

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Bobcats fall to Ice Dogs in shootout

Do the math and the equation doesn't seem to add up:How can a hockey team giving up a half-goal per game more than its opponents, as the Bismarck Bobcats had going into Saturday's game against Fairbanks, win three times as many games as they lose?

The answer is by playing great in the critical moments of close games, but there's not much margin for error.

The formula didn't quite work Saturday, as Bismarck overcame a two-goal deficit in the third period but had to settle for a 4-3 shootout loss to the Ice Dogs.

Dan Siira and Gerritt Hooker scored in the final 10 minutes of regulation, allowing the the Bobcats (6-2-1) to pick up a point for forcing the shootout. But Bismarck's magic in one-goal games - the Bobcats had been 5-0 in them - finally ran out.

"They show you glimmers,"Bobcats assistant coach Mike Peluso said. "They show flashes of what they can be.

complete article
 

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Ice Dogs win shootout

Over the years, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs have never been a team that has done anything the easy way.

That hasn’t changed this year.

The Ice Dogs let a 3-1 lead slip away in the third period against the Bismarck Bobcats, but battled back to claim a 4-3 North American Hockey League shootout victory over the Bismarck Bobcats on Saturday night in North Dakota.

“I don’t know how we came out of here with four points,” a relieved Ice Dogs coach Rob Proffitt said via telephone after his team posted a 2-1 record in their three-game series with the Bobcats.

“You know the Ice Dogs, we can never take the high road or get anything done the easy way,” Proffitt said. “We’ve got to do it the hard way—down the dirt road, over the fence, down the hill and through the pond—but we found a way to get it done.”

complete article
 

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Echternach’s three goals boost Jets

Three unanswered goals in the third period boosted Fargo-Moorhead to a 6-3 win over Alaska in North American Hockey League play Saturday at the John E. Carlson Coliseum.

The Jets won the series 2-1.

Jesse Echternach led the Jets with three goals, two of which came in the third period. Brandon Bukowski, Mark Johnson and Rob Johnson each added a goal apiece.

complete article
 

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Home ice not enough for Outlaws

Even the home ice couldn’t stop the North Iowa Outlaws’ losing streak.

The Springfield Jr. Blues scored three third-period goals in a 4-1 victory, spoiling North Iowa’s home opener at the North Iowa Ice Arena on Saturday.

“The crowd was very into the game, very energetic,” North Iowa coach Dave Boitz said. “The Iowa-Ohio State game may have kept some people away and it being a beautiful night, so it was a little less than I anticipated.”

The home fans saw a penalty-filled first period and wasted opportunities by the Outlaws.

North Iowa failed to take advantage of an 18-5 shot advantage and numerous power-plays in a scoreless first period.


complete article
 

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Express fall to Blizzard in first Owatonna appearance since February

Alexandria goalie Dustin Carlson has been thinking of a rematch ever since the Blizzard were knocked out of the Central Division playoffs last season by the Express.

"We got really pumped up for this game," Carlson said. "We've been motivated for awhile for this game and we can't wait to keep playing them all season and give them a battle every game."

Carlson finished with 33 saves as Alexandria spoiled Southern Minnesota's return to the Four Seasons Centre with a 3-1 win Saturday night.

complete article
 

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Stars ice Diggers at home, 4-3

A new day, a new effort.

A day after a lackluster 5-1 loss to Alpena, the Traverse City North Stars bounced back and topped the IceDiggers 4-3.

"We had a good, gritty effort," Stars coach Scott Gardiner said. "It wasn't our best game, but we'll take the two points and learn from it."

The line of Sebastion Kimmel, Zach Hitch and Brett Englebright energized the team in the second period, scoring two goals and putting TC up 3-1.

Kimmel struck on assists from Hitch and Englebright 2:41 into the period and the line struck again on an Englebright goal assisted by Hitch and Rich Zobak with 1:58 left.

complete article
 
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