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Beast of the East Bolsters Lineup With Trio of Signings

Elmira, NY - The Elmira Jackals announced today that they have acquired defenseman R.C. Lyke in a trade with the Bloomington Prairie Thunder. They also announced the signings of Lyke, along with forwards Evgeny Lazarev and Jean-Francois Soucy to contracts for the upcoming 2006-2007 season.

The Jackals have signed three players to their training camp roster, forwards Evgeny Lazarev, Jean-Francois Soucy and defenseman R.C. Lyke. The Jackals acquired Lyke via a trade with the UHL's newest expansion club, the Bloomington Prairie Thunder in exchange for future considerations.

"We are excited to add three players with lots of professional experience," said General Manager Robbie S. Nichols. "The signing of these talented players shows the commitment to our fans that the Jackals are trying to put the best possible team on the ice."

Evgeny Lazarev (pronounced Yev-gen-ee LAZ-ah-rev) is one of two former Richmond Riverdogs player to sign with the Jackals this season. The Kharkov, Ukraine native brings a dangerous offensive threat and additional experience to a team already loaded with both. Lazarev had a very solid season in 2005-06, his first in the UHL, as he scored 64 points (26 goals, 38 assists) and had 104 PIMs in 76 games split between the Richmond and the Quad City Mallards. The 6'2", 235 lbs right wing was drafted in the 3rd Round (179th overall) by the Colorado Avalanche in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft and he played parts of 5 seasons with the Hershey Bears, their AHL affiliate at the time. Over his 8-year professional career, the 26-year old has played in 385 games, with 212 points (88 goals, 124 assists) and 370 penalty minutes.

"Evgeny is a great skilled played with lots of AHL experience," said Jackals Head Coach Kris Waltze. "He is also one of the strongest players in the UHL at protecting the puck; it is rare to see him lose possession."

Jean-Francois Soucy is another promising talent with AHL experience. The 24-year old left wing, who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 8th round (252nd overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, began his professional career with the Pensacola Ice Pilots of the ECHL in 2003-04 and also spent 12 games with the AHL's Hershey Bears. The next season, Soucy played 55 games for the Springfield Falcons, Tampa Bay's AHL affiliate. A formidable 6'3" forward, Soucy spent the 2005-06 season in the ECHL split between the Phoenix Road Runners and the San Diego Gulls, where he put up 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) and 225 PIMs in 68 games played. Ever a physical presence, Soucy has already amassed 206 games played, 61 points (25 goals, 36 assists) and 705 PIMs in his 3-year professional career.

"J.F. adds another element of toughness," said Waltze. "We have told our fans that we will not be pushed around in our own building this year and this shows our commitment to that. J.F. just had an excellent stint in Rochester's AHL camp and we are excited to have him join our team."

R.C. Lyke, a native of Poughkeepsie, New York, played college hockey for NCAA Division I Mercyhurst College, before he began his professional career with the Jackals during the 2002-03 season. After his rookie season, Lyke split the next season between Adirondack and Rockford of the UHL and then moved to the CHL during the 2004-05 season where he spent a majority of the season with the Odessa Jackalopes. Last year the 28-year old returned to the UHL with the Richmond Riverdogs and posted a strong defensive year playing under now Jackals GM Robbie Nichols and Coach Kris Waltze. In 71 games for the Riverdogs Lyke had 13 points (1 goal, 12 assist) and 111 penalty minutes. For his professional career, he has 51 points (13 goals, 38 assists) and 395 penalty minutes in 251 games played.

"R.C. is a very steady defenseman," said Waltze. "He is smart with the puck in the defensive zone and makes a goaltender's jobs easier."

Elmira will hold a Blue vs. White Exhibition game on Saturday, October 7th at 7:35 pm at the First Arena; admission is free for all Season Ticket Holders and only $5 for general admission. The Jackals open the season at the First Arena as they host the defending Colonial Cup Champion Kalamazoo Wings on Friday October 13th at 7:35 pm. They will also face off against the Wings on Sunday October 15th at 4:05 pm in Elmira.

FIRST ARENA REC RINK

The ice is HOT at First Arena - Visit our website for a complete list of Public Skating times and Arena Programs at www.firstarena.com - Come in to the COOL place to be!

The First Arena Rec Rink offers public skating, skating lessons, hockey programs, figure skating, birthday parties, and much more....
 

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"Chip" proclaimed official name of PrairieThunder mascot

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Megan Fish, a 12-year-old sixth-grader at Chiddix Junior High School, won the Pantagraph-sponsored Name the Mascot Contest to give the Bloomington PrairieThunder hockey team's mascot a name! Her winning entry was chosen and "Chip" is now the official name of the team's fury, jersey-wearing mascot.

Fish, the daughter of Terry and Jill Fish, was the first of 12 individuals to submit the name Chip. The next most popular entry was "Boomer" which had seven submissions. Each of the 200 children, ages 12 and under, who sent in a valid name submission will receive a certificate redeemable for a free ticket to a Sunday-Thursday PrairieThunder hockey game at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum.

Chip the Buffalo made his first public appearance at the Open House and Public Scrimmage held by the PrairieThunder on Wednesday. At the scrimmage he took pictures with kids, mingled with fans and led cheers in the stands during the scrimmage. Chip will be present at all PrairieThunder home games.

The PrairieThunder opens its season with exhibition action on the road against the Muskegon Fury on Saturday, October 7. The game is slated to begin at 7 p.m. at the L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon, Mich.

The Bloomington team kicks off its inaugural season at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum on Saturday, October 14 when the Fort Wayne Komets visit for a 7:05 p.m. match-up. Tickets for the season opener are still available by contacting the Coliseum box office at 309-434-2678 or toll free at 1-866-891-9992. Tickets may also be purchased online by visiting www.prairiethunderhockey.com. Season ticket packages for 2006-07 are also still available by contacting Jennifer at 434-2692 or Patrick at 434-2664.
 

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PrairieThunder acquires UHL standout Rennette

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - The Bloomington PrairieThunder acquired one of the top players in the United Hockey League through a trade that sends defenseman Jeff Brown and a player-to-be-named-later to the Kalamazoo Wings, in exchange for center Tyler Rennette. Rennette, who previously played five seasons for the Rivermen, led the Wings to last year's UHL Colonial Cup Championship, and is regarded as one of the top scorers in the League.

"Since the day I was hired to coach the PrairieThunder I have been trying to work out a trade to get Tyler Rennette on this team," said Booth. "I would really like to thank Kalamazoo for working with us and making this trade happen, I am very happy to have Tyler as a member of this team; this is a big signing for the PrairieThunder."

During the 2005-06 season Rennette saw action in 43 games for the Wings, and recorded 22 goals and 37 assists, for a total of 59 points on the season. In addition, he added 10 more points to his total during the Wings' six-game UHL play-off run last season, which ended when the team accomplished the ultimate league honor by winning the Colonial Cup.

Rennette played for the Rivermen for five seasons from 2000-01 through 2004-05. His most productive season with the Peoria club occurred during the 2002-03 campaign, in which he hit the ice in 65 games and recorded a total of 74 points, including 42 goals and 32 assists, and notched 98 penalty minutes. In his five seasons with the Rivermen, Rennette saw playing time in a total of 267 games, scored 119 goals and added 118 assists, and recorded a total of 197 penalty minutes during regular season play.

The veteran center brings seven years of professional experience to the PrairieThunder. Rennette, who was the second round (#40 overall) NHL entry draft pick of the St. Louis Blues in 1997, is a native of North Bay, Ontario. Head coach Derek Booth is pleased to add such a talented player, who is also a local favorite, to the team's inaugural roster.

"Tyler is a guy that I've played with, and one that has an outstanding shot," said Booth. "He brings a variety of different things to the team, and is a hard and accurate shooter. But not only is he an outstanding player, he's also a great teammate and will provide veteran leadership this season."

The PrairieThunder opens its season with exhibition action on the road against the Muskegon Fury on Saturday, October 7. The game is slated to begin at 7 p.m. at the L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon, Mich.

The Bloomington team kicks off its inaugural season at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum on Saturday, October 14 when the Fort Wayne Komets visit for a 7:05 p.m. match-up. Tickets for the season opener are still available by contacting the Coliseum box office at 309-434-2678 or toll free at 1-866-891-9992. Tickets may also be purchased online by visiting www.prairiethunderhockey.com. Season ticket packages for 2006-07 are also still available by contacting Jennifer at 434-2692 or Patrick at 434-2664.
 

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'Chip' joins PrairieThunder

Thanks to 12-year-old Megan Fish, the Bloomington PrairieThunder ice hockey team’s mascot now has a name. “Chip” was introduced to the public Wednesday night at the squad’s first public scrimmage at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.

The buffalo-resembling mascot received his name through a contest sponsored by the Pantagraph and the PrairieThunder.

Fish, a Bloomington resident and sixth-grader at Chiddix Junior High School in Normal, was among 12 individuals to supply the winning nickname in a contest open to children 12 years and younger.

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K’s exhibit sloppy play in win

It was what you’d expect.

Playing their first game of the exhibition schedule, with a roster composed almost entirely of new players, the Fort Wayne Komets participated in a somewhat sloppy game Wednesday night at Memorial Coliseum.

After all, training camp just opened Monday and the players haven’t mastered the systems, the lines or even their teammates’ names yet. The Komets scored on only 1 of 7 power plays, allowed a short-handed goal and didn’t show the physical play that’s sure to be seen when the regular season begins Oct. 13.

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Komets rookies give best shot

Fort Wayne Komets coach Pat Bingham sat and clutched the puck, a post-game gift someone gave him in the Memorial Coliseum locker room Wednesday night.

“It’s nice that somebody would think to do that,” Bingham said. “But at the same time, it’ll be a lot more meaningful when there’s two points attached to it.”

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Flags drop preseason opener in shootout

Coach Stan Drulia was pleased with his Port Huron Flags' performance Wednesday night in their 2-1 shootout loss to the Fort Wayne Komets at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

The Flags were aided by strong goaltending early from Noah Ruden but controlled the play as the game went on, Drulia said.

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new goalie Frederic Cloutier

Rockford IceHogs coach Steve Martinson branded Frederic Cloutier’s game as “the best goaltending that this town has seen.”

Cloutier, who has been in the Vancouver Canucks and Milwaukee Admirals training camps this season, said Wednesday he likes the look of the defense he’ll be playing behind when he’s in the net for the IceHogs and is anxious to get on the ice in game situations. The next question, though, is how many times it will be for the IceHogs.

“My goal this year was to play in the AHL for as many games as I could play,” said Cloutier, who played for the NHL’s New York Islanders and their AHL affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers last year. “I proved, last year, that I could play in the AHL on a regular basis.

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K-Wings making adjustment to new roster, rules changes

All appears well in

K-Wings land.

Although Kalamazoo lost to Muskegon, 5-4 in a shootout, in both teams' first preseason game on Wednesday, coach Mark Reeds is going to have a tough time trimming the training camp roster -- and he expects to start doing that today.

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Do you know anything on the whereabouts of Brendan Tedstone?He was supposed to have been in Elmiras camp:( but is not there and I have heard rumour of him heading to the LNAH.
 

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jgdeadrabbit said:
Do you know anything on the whereabouts of Brendan Tedstone?He was supposed to have been in Elmiras camp:( but is not there and I have heard rumour of him heading to the LNAH.
He is playing in the LNAH for sorel.
 
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