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Discussion Starter #1
Sam Gagner named to Team Canada

London, ON: The London Knights Hockey Club wishes to congratulate Sam Gagner on being named to Team Canada for the 2007 World Junior Championships in Sweden. Gagner, 17 is the youngest member of the 2007 Team Canada Roster. Gagner is the only player born in 1989 to be named to Team Canada. He continues the London Knights tradition of providing players to the Canadian National Junior Team. Last season David Bolland won a Gold Medal at the 2006 World Junior Championships in Vancouver, BC. Former London Knights Corey Perry ( Anaheim Ducks ) and Danny Syvret ( Grand Rapids Griffins ) were members of the 2005 Gold Medal Winning Team Canada in North Dakota. Gagner becomes the first 17 year old London Knights player to be named to Team Canada since Rick Nash in 2002.

Gagner is the 3rd member of the 2006-2007 London Knights to be named to their respective countries team for the World Juniors. His Knights teammates Patrick Kane ( USA ) and Sergei Kostitsyn ( Belarus ) will also take part.
 

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Canada Selects Pyatt and O'Marra for World Juniors – Pyatt Named Alternate Captai

Saginaw Spirit forwards Tom Pyatt and Ryan O'Marra have been chosen to represent Canada at the 2007 IIHF World U-20 Championships to be held from December 26, 2006 to January 5, 2007 in Sweden. Pyatt was also named an alternate captain for Team Canada. Both earned gold medals playing with Team Canada at the World Juniors last year.

"This is a wonderful accomplishment for both young men", stated Spirit General Manager and Head Coach Bob Mancini, "We are confident that they will represent not only Team Canada but the Saginaw Spirit to the best of their abilities".

Forward Tom Pyatt came to the Spirit twenty-first overall in the 2003 OHL Priority Selection. The native of Thunder Bay, Ontario earned the Western Conference MVP honors for the 2006 OHL All-Star Classic and participated in the 2006 ADT Canada-Russia Challenge. He was drafted by the New York Rangers in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

Forward Ryan O'Marra is a recent addition to the team, coming to the Spirit in a November 2006 trade from the Erie Otters. The native of Mississauga, Ontario participated in the 2006 OHL All-Star Classic and was named the Player of the Game for Team OHL in the 2006 ADT Canada-Russia Challenge, where he notched the opening goal and an assist on the game winning goal. He was drafted by the New York Islanders in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

The World Juniors is an annual competition that pits the best junior hockey players in the world against each other in a series of tournaments. Team Canada will play against teams from the United States, Belarus, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

Other OHLer's on Team Canada's roster include Ryan Parent (GUE), Marc Staal (SUD), Steve Downie (PTB), Sam Gagner (LND), Bryan Little (BAR) and James Neal (PLY).

Past World Junior Participants:

2006: Tom Pyatt, Team Canada (Gold); Michal Birner, Team Czech Republic

2005: Marek Kvapil, Team Czech Republic (Bronze)

For more information on the IIHF, please visit IIHF - INTERNATIONAL ICE HOCKEY FEDERATION.
 

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Spirit's Mursak Notches Goal in Team Slovenia Loss to Latvia at World Juniors

Saginaw Spirit forward Jan Mursak scored a goal in the 7-2 Team Slovenia loss to Team Latvia today. In four games with Team Slovenia Mursak has notched 2 goal and 2 assists.

OHL'er Kaspars Daugavins of the Toronto St. Michaels Majors had a goal and assist for Team Latvia.

Slovenia is participating in the World Juniors Division 1, Group A Championship, from December 11 to December 17, taking place in Odense, Denmark. Team Slovenia's record stands at 1-3, with their last game being played against Team Poland on December 17. Mursak is joined on Team Slovenia by fellow OHL'er Ziga Pance of the Oshawa Generals.

Mursak is a native of Maribor, Slovenia and came to the Spirit in the 2006 CHL Import Draft. The 1988 born player was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. This season has seen Mursak score 13 goals and 33 assists for 46 points. He also has the distinction of holding the team's consecutive point streak record, scoring at least one point in 22 consecutive games.

The World Juniors is an annual competition that pits the best junior hockey players in the world against each other in a series of tournaments. Spirit forwards Tom Pyatt (Canada), Ryan O'Marra (Canada) and Tomas Zaborsky (Slovakia) will be playing in the World Juniors Championship from December 26, 2006 to Janurary 5, 2007.

Past World Junior Participants:

2006: Tom Pyatt, Team Canada (Gold); Michal Birner, Team Czech Republic

2005: Marek Kvapil, Team Czech Republic (Bronze)

For more information on the IIHF, please visit IIHF - INTERNATIONAL ICE HOCKEY FEDERATION.
 

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Lacklustre Performance Costs Majors

Ottawa, Ont. (Friday, Dec. 15) - The St. Michael's Majors initially appeared timid during their tilt with the Ottawa 67's this evening, and before they knew it they were down by a sizable margin. The game ended in an 8-4 final that favoured the 67's. As a result, the Majors record dips to 13-19-1-1 on the season.

The 67's quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Matt Lahey and Logan Couture at 0:13 and 9:20 of the opening period. Assists on both goals went to Jamie McGinn. The Majors cut the lead in half when Anthony Tapper snuck home a shot at 11:40 after receiving a pass from Scott Baker.

Unfortunately, the Majors couldn't carry their momentum over into the middle frame as the 67's proceeded to ring off four straight goals to go ahead 6-1. The goalscorers were Couture, McGinn, Lahey and Tyler Cuma (penalty-shot). The helpers were credited to Couture, McGinn, Lahey and Jordan Gallea.

The Majors responded with markers from Justin Donati and Matt Piva, both on the power-play, at 12:48 and 15:49. The assists were given to Byron Elliott, Matt McCready, Darrell Simich and Mike Pelech. However, Ottawa made it a 7-3 game with 18 seconds left in the period when Shea Kewin scored off of Cuma and Scott Cowie feeds.

The Majors got a goal back in the 3rd period as Justin Donati tickled the twine on a pretty backhand shot. Yet, Julian Cimadamore restored the 67's 4-goal lead a few minutes later.

Chris Carrozzi got the start in goal for the Majors, but was replaced by Wayne Savage after allowing the fifth 67's goal. The game's three stars were McGinn (1st), Couture (2nd) and Cuma (3rd).

The Majors final game prior to the Christmas break comes tomorrow afternoon when they host the 67's at Ottawa's Scotiabank Place at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at www.CapitalTickets.ca; by calling 1-613-599-FANS or 1-877-788-FANS; in person at all Ottawa-Gatineau area Sports Experts locations; or, at the Scotiabank Place box office.
 

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Colts squeak past Otters

Vladimir Nikiforov's goal 90 seconds into the third period stood as the game winner as the Barrie Colts slid past the Erie Otters 3-2 in an Ontario Hockey League game played tonight in front of 3,502 at the Tullio Arena.

Kris Sparre and Michael Lombardi netted the other Barrie goals. The Colts won for the third straight time to improve to an OHL-best 25-7-0-1 on the season.

Josh Vatri and Josh Kidd replied for the Otters. Erie dropped to 8-23-0-2 with their eighth one-goal loss of the season.

The Otters led 1-0 after one. Barrie carried a 2-1 lead into the third.

Erie out shot the Colts 39-27 in the game as Ryan Ludzik took the loss.

The three stars of the game were 1. Barrie goalie Andrew Perugini (37 saves), 2. Nikiforov and 3. Vatri.

The Otters return to action tomorrow (Saturday) night when they host the Saginaw Spirit in a 7:30 p.m. start at the Tullio Arena. Tickets for the game are available at the Civic Center Box Office and all Erie-area TicketMaster locations. The game can also be heard live on 1330 Erie's ESPN Radio and on line at Welcome | Erie Otters (presented by the James H. Cross Company) beginning with the pre-game show at 7:15 p.m. The can also be seen live on the Image Sports Network starting at 7:30 p.m.

The Otters close out the first half of the 2006-2007 season Sunday afternoon in Guelph against the Storm in a 3 p.m. start. The game can be heard in its entirety on 1330 Erie's ESPN Radio on line at Welcome | Erie Otters (presented by the James H. Cross Company) immediately following Pittsburgh Steelers Football.
 

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Rangers Climb To The Top Of The Western Conference

Kitchener, ON: Peter Tsimikalis scored twice and added a pair of assists tonight leading the Rangers to a 5-3 win over the Saginaw Spirit.

Nick Spaling scored the only goal of the period burying his 11th of the season past Spirit goalie Ryan Daniels at 3:29.

In the second period the Rangers built up a 3-0 lead on goals by Yves Bastien (7) and Peter Tsimikalis (3). Chris Chappell put the Spirit on the board with his 8th goal to make it a 3-1 game after two periods.

Garrett Sinfield cut the Rangers lead to 3-2 at 8:59 before Tsimikalis scored his second of the game and 4th of the season at 9:17 to put the Rangers back up by two goals. Patrick McNeill responded for the Spirit to bring Saginaw to within a goal again but Nick Spaling scored his second of the game at 15:06 to put the game away.

With the win and London's loss against Windsor tonight the Rangers have taken over first place in the Western Conference with 48 points.

John Murray picked up his 21st win of the season to improve to 21-3-0-1 on the season.

The Rangers next home game is Sunday, December 17th against the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds. Game time is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
 

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Rangers Top Spirit 5-3 in Kitchener

(Kitchener, ON) The Saginaw Spirit started their three game weekend with a 5-3 loss to the Kitchener Rangers Friday night in Kitchener. The loss takes Saginaw's record to 21-10-0-2, with 44 points and a first place tie in the OHL West Division with the Plymouth Whalers.

The Rangers opened the game with three unanswered goals. Kitchener jumped to a 1-0 advantage early in the game, with center Nick Spaling scoring at 3:29 in the first period.

Saginaw entered the second period on the power play, but Kitchener was able to fight through with a shorthanded goal from winger Yves Bastien giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead at the :45 second mark. Center Peter Tsimikalis, who recently joined Kitchener from the AHL, extended the Rangers' lead to 3-0 with a power play goal at 11:34 in the second period.

Spirit winger Chris Chappell lead Saginaw's counter-attack with a power play goal 17:49 into the second period, assisted by Jack Combs and Nigel Williams (COL 06) to make it 3-1.

Saginaw's Garrett Sinfield, playing as a forward, scored at 8:59 of the third period to cut the Rangers' lead to 3-2, assisted by forward Andrew Clouthier and defenseman Chris Breen. The assist gives Breen his first career OHL point. Kitchener's Tsimikalis slowed the Spirit counterattack with his second goal of the night, extending the Rangers' advantage to 4-2 at 9:17 in the third. Spirit defenseman Patrick McNeill (WSH 05), recently returned from Team Canada's World Juniors Selection Camp, quickly answered with a goal assisted by Ryan McDonough and Combs at 11:29 taking the score to 4-3 in favor of Kitchener. The Rangers' Spaling notched his second goal of the evening at 15:06 in the third on the power play to seal the Rangers' 5-3 victory.

Spirit netminder Ryan Daniels (OTT 06) had 36 saves in the effort.

A complete game sheet is available at www.ontariohockeyleague.com

The Spirit resume action tomorrow in Erie against the Otters, then finish out weekend Sunday with a match-up against the Oshawa Generals. The Spirit will play their next home game on December 28 against the Soo Greyhounds, and will welcome celebrity guest and former Detroit Red Wing Joey Kocur for an autograph signing, sponsored by Merrill Tool and Machine.
 

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Bass lifts IceDogs

Mississauga, Ont. (Friday, Dec. 15, 2006) - The Mississauga IceDogs got a huge boost from the return of captain Cody Bass to the line-up this evening. Bass had been out of the line-up for a few weeks after battling an injury, then flying to Calgary to participate in the Canadian National Junior Team's Selection Camp.

He found out early this morning that he was won of the team's final cuts. However, he demonstrated true commitment to the club by racing back to Mississauga to participate in this evening's game against the Soo Greyhounds. Then, he went one step further, providing the game-winner in Mississauga's 5-3, come-from-behind victory.

The IceDogs found themselves behind 3-0 halfway through the game after giving up goals to Cody Thornton, James Livingston and Josh Godfrey at 10:47 of the 1st period and 5:03 (power-play) and 10:38 (power-play) of the middle frame, respectively. The Soo assists on these goals were credited to Tyler Cuthbert, Dustin Jeffrey, Anthony Perdicaro, Branden MacLean and Michael Quesnele.

That's when the Mississauga offence began to roll, notching the following five consecutive goals to claim the victory: Mike Swift off of Nathan Martine and Chris Lawrence feeds at 16:07 of the 2nd period; Andrew Merrett from Bass and Travis Fuller 38 seconds later; Lawrence from Swift at 4:16 of the 3rd period; Bass off of Alex Pietrangelo and Luca Caputi support at 16:34 of the 3rd; and, Pietrangelo into an empty-net with 3 seconds left in regulation.

Andrew Loverock was solid between the pipes for the 'Dogs for the second straight night, turning aside 30 shots. Kyle Gajewski produced 32 stops for the Greyhounds. The IceDogs were 0 for 6 on the power-play while the Greyhounds were 2 for 7. The game's three stars were Bass (1st), Gajewski (2nd) and Pietrangelo (3rd).

In their final game before the holidays, the IceDogs host the Sudbury Wolves on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. Then, they return from their hiatus to entertain the Barrie Colts on Thursday, December 28 at 7:05 p.m.

IceDogs tickets can be purchased by calling the club at 905-502-7788, by contacting Ticketmaster at 416-872-5000 or Official Ticketmaster site. Tickets for Concerts, Sports, Arts, Theater, Family, Events, more, or by visiting the Hershey Centre box office during regular business hours or on game-days prior to the puck drop.
 

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Scotiabank Place Not Kind to Majors this Time Around

Ottawa, Ont. (Saturday, Dec. 16) - The St. Michael's Majors hosted the Ottawa 67's this afternoon in the first of two games at Ottawa's Scotiabank Place this season. Unfortunately, for the second time in less than twenty-four hours, the Majors couldn't find the winning combination against the 67's, this time falling by a 4-1 count. As a result, their record shifts to 13-20-1-1 on the year.

It was a fairly even 1st period with the Majors supplying the only goal. At 18:12, Justin Donati scored on a shorthanded shot after receiving passes from Matt Caria and Darrell Simich.

However, the 67's were the ones finding the back of the net in the 2nd period. They tied up the affair at 1:44 when Arron Alphonso connected off of Brett Liscomb and Cody Lindsay feeds. Then, they went ahead at 17:07 when Matt Lahey scored after receiving support from Logan Couture and Jamie McGinn.

In the 3rd period, the 67's bumped their lead up to 3-1 off of a Lindsay power-play goal at 1:36. This time, the assists were credited to Liscomb and Tyler Cuma. Then, Couture put the final nail in the coffin at 14:37 when he scored off of a Lahey pass.

Wayne Savage got the start for the Majors and turned aside 48 shots in a solid outing. Brady Morrison responded with 25 stops for the 67's. St. Mike's finished the day 0 for 5 on the power-play while the 67's were 1 for 8. The game's three stars were Lindsay (1st), Morrison (2nd) and Lahey (3rd).

The Majors now depart for their holiday break. They will be back in action on Thursday, December 28 when they visit the Peterborough Petes at 7 p.m. Then, they will return home to entertain the Mississauga IceDogs on Friday, December 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Majors tickets can be purchased by calling the team at 416-651-8228, by contacting Ticketmaster at 416-872-5000 or Official Ticketmaster site. Tickets for Concerts, Sports, Arts, Theater, Family, Events, more, or by visiting the St. Michael's College School Arena box office within two hours of the puck drop.
 

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Otters outpowered by Spirit

Nigel Williams scored the hat trick to lead the Saginaw Spirit to a 7-1 win over the Erie Otters in an Ontario Hockey League game played tonight in front of 3,621 at the Tullio Arena.

Garrett Sinfield added a goal and two assists for the winners. Jack Combs, Ryan McDonough and Patrick Asselin netted the others for the Spirit who improved to 22-10-0-2 with the win.

Kelly Geoffrey scored the lone Otters goal as Erie dropped to 8-24-0-2.

The Spirit led 2-1 after one and 5-1 heading into the third.

Jonathan Laniel started for the Otters and allowed four goals on 15 shots before being replaced by Ryan Ludzik after the Spirit grabbed a 4-1 lead early in the second. Ludzik allowed three goals on 14 shots.

The three stars of the game were all from the Spirit. Williams was the first, Sinfield the second and McDonough the third.

The Otters close out the first half of the 2006-2007 season tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon in Guelph against the Storm in a 3 p.m. start. The game can be heard in its entirety on 1330 Erie's ESPN Radio on line at Welcome | Erie Otters (presented by the James H. Cross Company) immediately following Pittsburgh Steelers Football.

The next Otters home game takes place Saturday, January 6th when the Sarnia Sting visit the Tullio Arena in a 7:30 p.m. start presented by Cel-One. It's also JetRadio 1400 Coats for Kids Night. Donate a reusable coat and receive a pair of tickets to the Otters game on January 24th. Limit one pair of ticket per person. Tickets for the game are available at all Erie-area TicketMaster locations as well as the Erie Civic Center Box Office.
 

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Spirit Defense Drives 7-1 Win over Otters

(Erie, PA) The Saginaw Spirit beat the Otters in Erie Saturday night, winning 7-1. The Spirit defense lead the attack by killing all six Otter's power plays. D-Man Nigel Williams notched the first hat trick in team history to be scored by a Spirit defenseman, and netminder Ryan Daniels stopped 28 of Erie's 29 shots. The win gives Saginaw a two point lead over the idle Plymouth Whalers, with a 22-10-0-2 record and first place in the OHL West Division.

"We played very well tonight and I was very happy with the fact that we had so many good individual performances", stated Spirit General Manager and Head Coach Bob Mancini.

Erie got the scoring started in the first period with winger Kelly Geoffrey tallying the Otters first and only goal of the game at the 4:35 mark, taking the score to 1-0. Saginaw's Williams (COL 06) quickly answered for the Spirit to tie the game 1-1, scoring on assists from forwards Chris Chappell and Garrett Sinfield. Sinfield's assist was his first point of a three-point night. Spirit winger Jack Combs earned what would become the game-winning goal, an unassisted goal at 16:38 in the first, ending the period 2-1.

Erie earned a 5-on-3 when Spirit captain Patrick McNeill (WAS 05) and forward Tyler Haskins took penalties three seconds apart early in the second period. But the Otters were stunned when Saginaw's penalty kill-squad scored shorthanded twice. Forward Sinfield scored a shorthanded goal, assisted by defenseman Curtis Cooper, at 4:40 in the second period to take the score to 3-1. The score moved to 4-1 with winger Patrick Asselin scoring another Spirit shorthanded goal less than two minutes latter at the 6:04 mark, assisted by Sinfield. The shorthanded onslaught prompted the Otters to pull goalie Jonathan Laniel for Ryan Ludzik.

Defenseman Williams scored two consecutive power play goals to earn his first OHL hat trick and give the Spirit a 6-1 lead over the Otters. The first came off assists from McNeill and center Ryan McDonough at 11:03 in the second period. Williams' scored his third goal at 6:11 in the third period, assisted by Asselin.

Saginaw's McDonough sealed the game 7-1 by scoring a power play goal, assisted by linemates Ryan Berard and Tyler Haskins, at 12:47 of the third period.

Spirit netminder Ryan Daniels (OTT 06) had 28 saves in the effort.

Three Stars of the Game:

1. Nigel Williams, Saginaw, 3 goals

2. Garrett Sinfield, Saginaw, 1 goal (SH) and 2 assists

3. Ryan McDonough, Saginaw, 1 goal and 1 assist

A complete game sheet is available at www.ontariohockeyleague.com

The Spirit finish out the weekend Sunday night against the Oshawa Generals, at 6:05 PM in Oshawa. The Spirit takes a short break for the holidays, then return home on December 28 to face-off against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Merrill Tool and Machine and the Spirit will be hosting former Detroit Red Wing Joey Kocur at the game.
 

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Spitfires Down Attack 4-3 In Overtime

For the third consecutive home game it was overtime, this time with the visiting Windsor Spitfires scoring the game winning goal with just 1 second remaining for a 4-3 victory.

Scott Tregunna and Wayne Simmonds each had 2 assists while Marcus Carroll, Bobby Ryan, and Zach McCullough scored single markers.

A new record was set with the Teddy Bear Toss with more than 960 teddy bears being collected for less fortunate children this Christmas.

Bobby Ryan now has 53 points in 34 games played and is tied for 10th in the Ontario Hockey League. He is now just 20 points away from setting a new franchise scoring record and is currently on a 6 game point scoring streak.

Craig Voakes, Kevin Hudes, Adam Henrique, and Mike Weber scored for the Windsor Spitfires.

Heading into the Christmas break the Owen Sound Attack has 38 points in 36 games with a record of 17 wins, 15 losses, 1 overtime loss, and 3 shootout losses. They remain 3rd in the Midwest Division and 6th in the Western Conference.

Next Home Game

Saturday, December 30 at 7:30pm the Owen Sound Attack hosts the Brampton Battalion at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound. The game is sponsored by Peninsula Ford and Ken Hatt. Tickets are on sale at the Box Office weekdays 8:30 - 5pm and game days from 10am to game time. You can also order online at Owen Sound Attack Major Junior A Hockey Club, or by phone at 519-371-7452 or toll free 1-866-5ATTACK.
 
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