Flags Finish 2006 Strong, Posting 9-2-3 Record in December
Wednesday, Dec. 27 Kalamazoo 3 vs. Port Huron 6
Kalamazoo took a 2-0 lead in the first period, but were matched on goals from Bobby Kukulka and Mike Olynyk in the second. Garett Cameron then gave the Flags the lead early in the third, but Kalamazoo struck back, tying up the contest several minutes later. Port Huron responded with three straight goals from Colt King, Greg Bullock and B.J. Adams to secure a solid victory.
Friday, Dec. 29 Port Huron 3 @ Elmira 4 (SO)
On the road, Bullock scored the only goal of the first period, but the Jackals netted three in the second, giving them a comfy 2-goal lead. Cameron and Ryan Markham's goals during the third sent the game to a shootout where Elmira edged out the Flags by one point.
Saturday, Dec. 30 Elmira 4 vs. Port Huron 6
Back at home, Port Huron scored 4 goals in the third period to erase a 2-goal deficit and some up with a big win. The visitors scored first, but King equalized the match for nearly ten minutes until Elmira took a goal lead again. Robert Snowball tied it up again, but the Elmira scored the next two, going up 4-2. Markham cut the lead to one in the second period. During the third, King scored twice, winning the game for the Flags and recording the team's first hat trick of the season. B.J. Adams netted his first goal of the season near the end of the game, capitalizing on an empty net situation and putting the icing on the cake.
Sunday, Dec. 31 Elmira 3 vs. Port Huron 4
Elmira took another early lead in the game, but Olynyk banged in a rebound to tie the game in the first period. The Jackals then scored 3 unanswered goals. Port Huron never stopped fighting, scoring 2 goals in the last 5 minutes from Craig Mahon and Bobby Kukulka and very nearly sending the game to a shootout. Time ran out before they could capitalize.
Player of the Week: Greg Bullock
DATE Vs. G A PTS PIM +/-
12/27 Kalamazoo 1 2 3 0 0
12/29 Elmira 1 1 2 0 0
12/30 Elmira 1 1 2 0 +1
12/31 Elmira 0 1 1 2 -3
TOTALS 4 3 5 8 2 -2
Greg led the team in points this week, recording 3 goals and 5 assists. He currently owns the league's longest point streak (18 pts in 10 straight games) as well as the longest assists run (7 in 6 consecutive contests). He was named 1st Star of the Game on Wednesday for his goal and 2 assists. Greg's non-flashy presence on the ice has quietly propelled the Flags to many of its recent victories.
Goaltender of the Week: Noah Ruden
DATE Vs. W/L/SOL MIN GA SAVES SPCT.
12/27 Kalamazoo 1/0/0 60:00 3 28 .903
12/29 Elmira 0/0/1 60:00 3 31 .918
12/30 Elmira No decision 27:25 4 21 .840
12/31 Elmira No decision 2:22 0 1 1.000
TOTALS 4 1/0/1 149:47 10 81 .890
Noah saw ice time in all 4 games this week and picked up his first career win over Kalamazoo on Wednesday night. He entered Sunday's contest, late in the third when Dustin Traylen left with an injury. Noah stayed sharp in front of the net, giving the Flags the opportunity to cut a 3-goal deficit to one, and nearly tie the game in the final seconds. He is currently on a 4-game unbeaten streak, with his last regulation loss coming on Nov. 17 against Flint. He is the only number two goalie in the league that holds a spot on the top ten list. With a 3.15 GAA, ee is at number seven, just two back from Dustin Traylen (#5, 2.69).
- Colt King's hat trick during Saturday's game against Elmira was the first of the season for the Flags and the second of King's career
- Saturday's victory over the Jackals improved the Flags' record to 14-14-5, setting them at a .500 pct for the first time of the season
- B.J. Adams scored his first goal of the season, an empty-netter vs. Kalamazoo
- The Flags culminated in a 9-game unbeaten streak over 17 days (12/13-12/30) that included 3 road contests. It is the league's longest non-loss campaign in the season
- Additionally, Port Huron is unbeaten on the road in December (2-0-3), which is the current longest run in the league. Their last loss outside of McMorran Arena occurred on Nov. 25 in Bloomington
- The Flags have maintained sole possession of 3rd place in the Eastern Conference and are just one point back from Rockford for 4th place in the league.
- The team posted its best monthly record in December, going 9-2-3 and racking up 21 points
- Port Huron is the only team in the league to have both goalies in the top 10 standings for GAA. They are also the only franchise not to receive any game, gross or match misconducts on the year.
- At 85.4%, the Flags are 4th in the league for penalty killing at home
- Third period play is where the Flags shine the brightest, outscoring their opponents 40-28. They are 7-1-1 when tied and 5-1-0 when leading after the second.
- Bobby Kukulka holds the league's longest scoring streak of the season, scoring 8 goals in 7 consecutive games from Dec. 13 to Dec. 29.
- Captain Greg Bullock holds the current record for points and assists streaks, having recorded 7 assists in 6 straight games and 18 points in 10 contests.
Team GP W L SOL PTS PCT GF GA PIM HOME AWAY
Muskegon 34 29 5 0 58 .853 145 80 1060 14-3-0 15-2-0
Kalamazoo 33 21 10 2 44 .667 112 80 742 10-5-2 11-5-0
Port Huron 34 14 15 5 33 .485 93 107 821 11-7-2 3-8-3
Elmira 31 16 15 0 32 .516 104 111 1070 8-6-0 8-9-0
Flint 36 13 21 2 28 .389 94 130 933 6-11-1 7-10-1
GP W L SOL PTS PCT GF GA PIM HOME AWAY
Fort Wayne 30 19 10 1 39 .650 108 75 900 12-3-1 7-7-0
Rockford 31 16 13 2 34 .548 95 87 846 8-6-2 8-7-0
Quad City 30 13 14 3 29 .483 101 114 794 6-6-2 7-8-1
Chicago 29 11 17 1 23 .397 77 92 595 7-6-0 4-11-1
Bloomington 32 8 22 2 18 .281 66 119 682 5-10-0 3-12-2
Friday, Jan. 5 vs. Fort Wayne Komets (Home)
Saturday, Jan. 6 vs. Muskegon Fury (Home)
Sunday, Jan. 7 @ Chicago Hounds
The Flags have a tough weekend ahead of them, facing the Western Conference leaders on Friday and the Eastern Conference and league leaders on Saturday. Both Fort Wayne and Muskegon have high-powered offenses and the Flags defensive unit will have to look sharp to neutralize their opponents' attacks. Fort Wayne has not played at McMorran yet, but in the teams' only meeting, thus far the Komets blanked the visiting Flags, 6-0. Guy Dupuis and Mario Larocque are second and third respectively in the league in defensive scoring, with a combined total of 50 points. The Flags will rely on Greg Bullock, Steve Hildenbrand and Colt King to put points on the board, while using their home ice advantage. When playing at home, the Flags are 11-7-2 and they are 6-3-0 against the Western Conference.
When Muskegon comes to town, the Flags will have their work cut out for them. In their most recent match on December 9, Muskegon hung on for a shoot-out victory, but prior to that, Port Huron had lost every game to the Fury by a minimum of two goals. Muskegon players top the charts of the league's scoring leaders, with Todd Robinson, Mike Watt and Rustyn Dolyny totaling 162 points on the season. Goaltender Clayton Pool is allowing the smallest number of average goals with a 1.96 GAA. However, Ryan Markham and Colt King have had some success against the Fury. In 3 games, Markham has recorded 2g-3a-5p and a +1 rating, while in 2 contests, King has 2g-2a-5p and is +1 also.
Traveling to Chicago on Sunday, the Flags will meet the expansion Hounds for the first time, who are 7-6-0 at home and 4-8-1 against Eastern Conference opponents.
Final Game Scores:
Wednesday, Dec. 27 Kalamazoo Wings 3
Port Huron 6 W
Friday, Dec. 29 Port Huron 3
Elmira Jackals 4 SOL
Saturday, Dec. 30 Elmira Jackals 4
Port Huron 6 W
Sunday, Dec. 31 Elmira Jackals 3
Port Huron 4 L
Flags Season Record: 14-15-5
At home: 10-7-2 On the road: 4-8-3
Conference: 7-12-5 Non-Conference: 7-3-0
Eastern Standing: 3rd League Standing: 4th