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Storm doubles Otters

Jamie Arniel scored twice to lead the Guelph Storm to a 6-3 win over the Erie Otters in an Ontario Hockey League game played this afternoon in front of 3,533 at the Guelph Sports and Entertainment Centre.

Luke Pither, Tyler Doig, Tim Priamo and Mike McLean also scored for the Storm, who won their third straight to improve to 16-14-1-4.

Zack Torquato, Josh Kidd and Josh Vatri scored for the Otters. Erie dropped their third straight and are 8-25-0-2 heading into the holiday break.

The two teams were tied at one after one and at two after two. Guelph struck for two goals in the opening eight minutes of the third to build a 4-2 advantage before Vatri scored shorthanded to bring Erie back to within one. The Storm answered with two in the final four minutes, the latter into an open net, to complete the scoring. Guelph out shot the Otters 36-19 in the game.

Ryan Ludzik started for the Otters and turned in a 30-save effort, including a penalty shot stop on McLean with seven minutes left in the third that kept the Otters to within one.

The three stars of the game were all from the Storm. Doig was the first, Arniel the second and Pither the third.

The Otters return to action in the first game of a three-game road trip Friday, December 29th when they travel to Ottawa to face the 67's. The game can be heard live on 1330 Erie's ESPN Radio 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 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's Mursak Finishes Five Point Run at World Juniors

Saginaw Spirit forward Jan Mursak notched 5 points, 3 goals and 2 assists, in five games with Team Slovenia at the World Juniors Division 1, Group B Tournament held in Denmark. Team Slovenia ends the tournament with a record of 1-4. Mursak is expected to return to Saginaw following the Ontario Hockey League holiday break.

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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Rangers Lose A Close One

Kitchener, ON: The Rangers eight game winning streak came to an end tonight against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 2-1in front of a crowd of 5,575 at The Aud.

Peter Tsimikalis opened the scoring with his sixth goal of the season, assisted by Victor Oreskovich and Steve Tarasuk at 15:24. Brandon Biggers tied the game at 1-1 with just :16 seconds left in the first period while on a power play

After a scoreless second period, Cody Thornton scored the eventual game winner and put the Greyhounds in the lead with his 19th goal of the season at 2:50 of the third period.

The Rangers head into the Christmas break as the top team in the Western Conference with 50 points. That total is good for second overall in the league just a single point behind the Barrie Colts.

The Rangers next home game is Friday, December 29th against the Belleville Bulls. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
 

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Generals Stop Spirit in Final Minutes 5-3

(Oshawa, ON) The Saginaw Spirit lost 4-3 to the Oshawa Generals Sunday night in Oshawa. The Spirit finish out the three game weekend with a record of 22-11-0-2 and 46 points. The shorthanded Spirit, dressing only 15 skaters, faced a full strength Generals' roster.

"The kids played their hearts out; it was a very disappointing loss", stated Spirit General Manager and Head Coach Bob Mancini, "The break will do us good and I am already looking forward to coming back and competing in the second half of the season".

Both teams scored in the first period. Oshawa defenseman Matt Seegmiller gave the Generals an early 1-0 lead with a goal at 1:41 in the first. Spirit winger Ryan Berard quickly tied up the game 1-1 with a power play goal at the 3:38 mark in the first, with assists from linemates Tyler Haskins and Ryan McDonough. Saginaw's second goal came when defenseman Nigel Williams (COL 06) fed winger Patrick Asselin for a goal at the 9:07 mark in the first, giving the Spirit a 2-1 lead. Oshawa winger Cal Clutterbuck (MIN 06) tied the game 2-2 with a power play goal at 19:16 in the period.

Oshawa was able to break the tie with a goal from winger Dale Mitchell at 14:52 in the second period taking the game to 3-2. Saginaw's power play squad tied the game 3-3, with d-man Williams scoring at 3:16 in the third period on assists from Haskins and Asselin. Oshawa's Mitchell scored his second goal of the evening to take a 4-3 lead for the Generals at 18:17 in the third. Saginaw pulled netminder Ryan Daniels in the final seconds to give the Spirit an extra attacker. However, Oshawa's Clutterbuck was able to break through at the 19:43 mark for an empty net goal to end the game 5-3.

Spirit netminder Ryan Daniels (OTT 06) had 30 saves in the effort.

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

Several of Saginaw's players have left to prepare for the World Juniors Tournament, which takes place at the end of December in Sweden. Forwards Tom Pyatt (NYR 05) and Ryan O'Marra (NYI 05) will be playing with Team Canada, while forward Tomas Zaborsky (NYR 06) will be playing with Team Slovakia. Forward Jan Mursak (DET 06) is set to return from Team Slovenia following the conclusion of the World Juniors Division 1, Group A Tournament recently held in Denmark.

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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Whalers Move Into First Place Tie After 3-0 Road Trip

BRAMPTON - Evan Brophey's power play goal at 14:04 of the second period snapped a 1-1- tie and the Plymouth Whalers went on to defeat the Brampton Battalion, 5-1, on Sunday before 2,282 at Powerade Centre in Brampton.

The Whalers won all three games this weekend by identical 5-1 scores, winning in Peterborough on Thursday and Oshawa on Friday.

Plymouth's victory - coupled with Saginaw's 5-3 loss in Oshawa Sunday night - moves the Whalers into a virtual tie with Saginaw for first place in the Ontario Hockey League's West Division. Plymouth (22-10-1-1) and Saginaw (22-11-0-2) both have 46 points, with Plymouth having a .676 winning percentage and Saginaw .657.

Plymouth goes into the Christmas Break 14-1-1-1 over its' last 17 games dating back to Nov. 10.

The Whalers got balanced scoring Sunday afternoon in Brampton with five different players contributing goals - Vern Cooper (5th), Brophey (14th), Dan Collins (12th), Joe McCann (3rd) and Andrew Fournier (5th).

Jeremy Smith (Brownstown) played well in goal for Plymouth, stopping 30-of-31 Brampton shots as the game's second star.

Cooper gave Plymouth a 1-0 lead at 7:02 of the first period when he took Jared Boll's pass from the left face-off dot in the Brampton zone and deflected the puck past Battalion goaltender Bryan Pitton.

After Cody Hodgson tied the game for Brampton at 5:06 of the second period, Brophey scored the game-winner on a Plymouth power play when he took Chris Terry's pass from the lower rim of the right circle in the Brampton zone, waited for Pitton to commit and go down, then put a back hand shot from the left hash mark into the goal. Collins gave Plymouth a 3-1 lead at 18:57 of the second period when he shot the puck through traffic in the Brampton slot and scored when the puck caromed off a Battalion player and into the net.

Plymouth pulled away with two more goals in the third period. McCann took John Armstrong pass at the right hash mark in the Brampton zone and one-time a backhand shot by Pitton. Then Fournier finished the scoring at 18:42 with a shot from the slot.

Plymouth is off until Thurs. Dec. 28 at 2 p.m. against Windsor on Kid's Day at the Compuware Sports Arena. Plymouth hosts Guelph on Sat. Dec. 30 at 7:05 p.m. Tickets for all Whalers games can be purchased by calling the Compuware Sports Arena box office at (734) 453-8400 or by going to Ticketmaster at Official Ticketmaster site. Tickets for Concerts, Sports, Arts, Theater, Family, Events, more
 
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