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Bobby Ryan Named Becker Shoes Attacker of the Week

For the third time this season and the second consecutive week Owen Sound Attack captain Bobby Ryan has been named the Becker Shoes Attacker of the Week.

The week of December 11 to 17, 2006 featured three games for the Owen Sound Attack.

Wednesday, December 13 the Owen Sound Attack hosted the Barrie Colts. Barrie held a 1-0 lead until the 19:42 mark of the third period when Trevor Lewis scored on the power play with assists to Bobby Ryan and Wayne Simmonds. Nothing was decided in overtime. Bobby Ryan was the first shooter for the Attack and was the only Owen Sound player to score as they would lose in the shootout.

Friday, December 15 the Owen Sound Attack visited the Sarnia Sting. Bobby Ryan scored both Owen Sound goals late in the third period to make it a 3-2 game. The Sting would eventually score an empty net goal to make the final 4-2 for Sarnia.

The final game of the week was Saturday, December 16 in Owen Sound as the Attack hosted the Windsor Spitfires. Bobby Ryan scored the Attack's second goal of the game however it was the Spitfires that found the net in overtime for a 4-3 victory. Ryan was named the second star of the game.

Bobby Ryan has been on a tear lately. He is on a 6 game point scoring streak with 4 goals and 6 assists. He is tied for 10th in OHL scoring with 53 points. He is tied for 12th on OHL Assists with 33. He is tied for 4th in OHL Power Play Goals with 13. He is tied for 5th in OHL Power Play Assists with 23. And he is one of the top players in the league when it comes to shootouts with 3 goals in 4 attempts. He now has 276 points in his OHL career and is just 19 points behind Andrew Brunette who currently holds the team scoring record of 295 points in his career.
 

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Rogers TV adds five additional Rangers games

Kitchener, ON: Rogers Television has announced plans to add an additional five Rangers broadcasts for the 2006-07 season.

The additional home nights include January 19th, January 28th, February 9th, February 23rd and March 9th.

With the additional nights added the Rangers will now have 33 of a possible 34 home games carried on either Rogers Television or Rogers Sportsnet during the season.

For a complete listing of the Rangers television schedule visit the Rangers official website at Kitchener Rangers Hockey Club: Home.
 

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Jason Bailey Signs with 67's

The Ottawa 67's are very pleased to announce the signing of Nepean native Jason Bailey. Bailey was the 67's 2nd Round Pick (40th overall) in the 2003 OHL Priority Selection, but has spent the past two seasons with the University of Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA.

The 19 year old right winger is a strong competitor, and is listed at 6'01" and 215 lbs. Bailey will add a physical edge to the 67's and will be in the line up on Thursday, December 28 when the OHL schedule resumes following the Christmas break.

Ottawa 67's Assistant Coach Chris Byrne was the head coach of the Nepean Raiders when Bailey starred for the CJHL team in 2004-2005 while posting 52 points in 33 games and adding 125 PIM. Bailey was the Anaheim Ducks 3rd Round Pick (63rd overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

Jason Bailey has dual citizenship with Canada and the U.S. and has gained International experience by representing both countries recently. In 2003, Bailey was a member of the gold medal winning Team Ontario at the World U-17s. Bailey suited up for the U.S. in the Compuware Four Nations Cup with the National U-18 team, as well as in the 2005 IIHF World U-18 Championship in the Czech Republic.
 

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Eagles Nest Notes

Welcome to Eagles' Nest Notes, the weekly Spirit update and preview. Saginaw played in Kitchener against the Rangers last Friday, losing 5-3, beat the Erie Otters on Saturday 7-1, then finished out the weekend in Oshawa with a 5-3 loss to the Generals. The Spirit are on a short holiday break then return to the ice on December 28th to face off against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds at 7:11 PM.

The Spirit Record

Saginaw's record stands at 22-11-0-2, with 46 points and a first place tie in the OHL West Division with the Plymouth Whalers. However, the Whalers have a game in hand on the Spirit. The third place Sarnia Sting is closing the point gap with 43 points. Sault Ste. Marie is in fourth place with 36 points while the Windsor Spitfires are in fifth place with 26 points. The Spirit and Whalers are tied for third place in the OHL Western Conference, behind the Kitchener Rangers (50 points) and the London Knights (49 points).

The Spirit were 1-3-1-1 during the month of September, 9-1-0-0 during the month of October and 9-4-0-0 during the month of November. For the month of December, with 3 games left to play, the Spirit are 2-5-0-0.

Series Sweeps

The Spirit have swept the Brampton Battalion, the Toronto St. Michael's Majors, the Ottawa 67's and the Peterborough Petes this season, earning a crucial 16 points out of the OHL Eastern Conference.

Saginaw has one more game to play against the Kingston Frontenacs, the Sudbury Wolves and the Owen Sound Attack in order to sweep those series. The Spirit lead the Erie Otters series 2-0 with 2 more games left to play.

League Leader

The Spirit have notched 147 goals this season, the second highest number of goals scored in the league. The Mississauga Ice Dogs have notched 160 total goals.

Saginaw is ranked 3rd in the league in the power play, with 54 power play goals in 232 opportunities. The team is ranked 1st in the power play when playing at home, with 29 goals in 111 opportunities.

The Spirit have the lowest number of penalty minutes per game average in the league with 16.3 penalty minutes per game.

The NHL Connection

The Spirit roster is among the heaviest in the OHL with eight NHL drafted players:

Defenseman Matt Corrente - New Jersey Devils, 1st Round, 30th overall in 2006
Defenseman Nigel Williams - Colorado Avalanche, 2nd Round, 51st overall in 2006
Forward Tomas Zaborsky - New York Rangers, 5th Round, 137th overall in 2006
Goalie Ryan Daniels - Ottawa Senators, 5th Round, 151st overall in 2006
Forward Jan Mursak - Detroit Red Wings, 6th Round, 182nd overall in 2006
Forward Ryan O'Marra - New York Islanders, 1st Round, 15th overall in 2005
Forward Tom Pyatt - New York Rangers, 4th Round, 107th overall in 2005
Defenseman Patrick McNeill - Washington Capitals, 4th Round, 118th overall in 2005

New Additions

Saginaw has acquired many skilled players since the start of the season. Defenseman Curtis Cooper was acquired from the WHL's Prince George Cougars, and was soon joined by d-man Nigel Williams who came to the Spirit from the University of Wisconsin. In November 2006 the Spirit traded for forward Ryan O'Marra.

Top Scorers

1. Forward Tyler Haskins - 9 goals and 37 assists, 46 points
2. Forward Tom Pyatt - 21 goals and 24 assists, 45 points
3. Forward Jan Mursak - 13 goals and 32 assists, 45 points
4. Forward Ryan McDonough - 18 goals and 14 assists, 32 points
5. Defenseman Patrick McNeill - 14 goals and 18 assists, 32 points
6. Forward Patrick Asselin - 14 goals and 11 assists, 25 points
7. Forward Jack Combs - 8 goals and 17 assists, 25 points
8. Forward Tomas Zaborsky - 6 goals and 15 assists, 21 points
9. Forward Chris Chappell - 8 goals and 8 assists, 16 points
10. Forward Ryan Berard - 5 goals and 11 assists, 16 points

Scoring Records and Highlights

Forward Jan Mursak shattered the team's consecutive point streak record of 14 games, previously held by Nick Lees and Marek Kvapil, by scoring at least one point in 22 consecutive games. The 22 games were also his first in the OHL. Forward Tyler Haskins beat the teams consecutive assists streak record of 10 games, previously held by active forward Ryan McDonough, by scoring at least one assist in 11 consecutive games.

The Spirit have seen four hat tricks this season. Forward Tom Pyatt notched two consecutive hat tricks, a first for the Spirit, on October 15, 2006 against the Kingston Frontenacs and on October 19, 2006 against the Brampton Battalion. Forward Jan Mursak earned his first OHL hat trick on October 19, 2006 against the Battalion as well. D-man Nigel Williams was the first Spirit defenseman in team history to score a hat trick, on December 16, 2006 against the Erie Otters.

Active Career Records and Honors

Netminder Ryan Daniels was named the OHL Goaltender of the Month for October of 2006. Daniels, who was also awarded the honor for October of 2005, is currently leading the league in ice time with 2040 minutes played in 34 games.

Defenseman Curtis Cooper played his 300th CHL game on December 8th, 2006 against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Forward Patrick Asselin and defenseman Patrick McNeill are tied at 222 games for most games played in Spirit uniform.

Forward Tom Pyatt leads the Spirit with 73 career goals and 165 points, scored from 2003-06. McNeill holds the most assists record with 111 assists from 2003-06.

Defenseman Matt Corrente is the active penalty minutes leader with 326 total career PIM, from 2004-06. The current record of 341 PIM is held by Steve Dix, from 2002-04.

International Action

Several Spirit players have headed overseas this month to represent their countries at the 2007 IIHF World Juniors Tournament.

Forward Jan Mursak played with Team Slovenia in the A Pool Tournament that took place in Denmark. In the five games played he notched 3 goals and 2 assists. Mursak is expected to return to Saginaw following the recent completion of the A Pool Tournament.

Forward Tomas Zaborsky will be playing with Team Slovakia in the World Juniors Championship held in Sweden from December 26th, 2006 to January 5th, 2007.

Forwards Tom Pyatt and Ryan O'Marra were recently named to Team Canada's World Juniors roster for the games in Sweden. Both participated in last years championship, winning the gold medal for Canada. Pyatt was also named an Alternate Captain for Canada.

Second Half Preview

The Spirit will play eight more games against the OHL Eastern Conference, four at home and four on the road.

Saginaw will see plenty of more action in the Western Conference, with Saginaw facing off against the Midwest Division in nine more games, four at home and five on the road. The fight for the OHL West Division crown will be a heated contest. The Spirit face off against the rival Plymouth Whalers in four more games (two home, two away), against the Sarnia Sting in three more games (two home, one away), vs the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in four more games (two home, two away), and against the Windsor Spitfires in five contests (two home, three away).

All-Star Community

The Saginaw Spirit was awarded the honor of hosting the 2007 OHL All-Star Classic, presented locally by the Dow Chemical Company. The Skills Competition will be held on Tuesday, January 30th and the Classic will be played on Wednesday, January 31st. Both events will be held at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw at 7:11 PM.

The OHL All-Star Classic is a showcase of the best young talent in the league. Last years All-Star squad included many NHL picks, including Jordan Staal (Pittsburgh Penguins 06), Bobby Ryan (Anaheim Ducks 05), Bobby Sanguinetti (New York Rangers 06), Brian Little (Atlanta Thrashers 06), Cory Emmerton (Detroit Red Wings 06) and Chris Stewart (Colorado Avalanche 06).

The Spirit were represented on last years roster by Tom Pyatt (New York Rangers 05) and Patrick McNeill (Washington Capitals 05). Pyatt was named the All-Star Classic's Western Conference MVP. Forwards Ryan O'Marra (New York Islanders 05) and Tyler Haskins also participated in last year's classic, O'Marra with the Erie Otters and Haskins with the Toronto St. Michael's Majors.
 
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