Monday, November 05, 2007

This Week In The IHL - Nov. 5


The third week of action caused a shake-up in the IHL standings as the Flint Generals have taken over first place with nine points (4-1-0-1). Flint won both games they played this weekend, the first coming Friday (11/2) with a 2-1 victory over Kalamazoo at Wings Stadium. The Generals then returned home to Flint to hand out a 5-2 loss to Bloomington .

This weekend was eventful for Port Huron as their season-high four game winning streak was snapped on home ice Saturday (11/3) after the K-Wings defeated the Icehawks. Kalamazoo scored a league-high six goals in the 6-3 victory, with Nick Bootland and Mike Manley each scoring two goals a piece. The Icehawks have dropped to second place with eight points (4-4-0-0).

Fort Wayne rookie Luciano Aquino scored the IHL’s first hat trick of the 2007-08 season. Aquino’s three goals were scored vs. Muskegon Saturday (11/3) in front of the home crowd of 7,923 in Fort Wayne . Aquino scored three different ways as he scored a goal shorthanded, one on the power play and one at even strength. The third tally turned out to be the game winner as the Komets shut down the Fury to earn the 5-2 victory.


Bloomington PrairieThunder - (2-1-0-0) – Of its four wins this season, the PrairieThunder has had to rally from behind to earn the victories and only twice this season has the PrairieThunder scored the first goal of the game. Goalie Loic Lacasse registered his first professional victory with a 3-2 win over Port Huron on Sunday. He stopped all 15 shots in faced in the first period and halted 25 of 27 for the game. Don Parsons had a five-game scoring streak stopped in Flint on Saturday. Jason Ralph leads the team, scoring in six of seven, followed by Parsons and Cory Laylin with five each. The PrairieThunder has scored one power play goal in each of its seven games, while limiting the opponent to power play goals in only three of seven games.

Flint Generals - (2-0-0-0) – The Flint Generals are alone in first place in the IHL heading into week four. The Generals will have a first place showdown with Port Huron on Friday night. The Ice Hawks are second. Specialty teams have been outstanding lately for the Flint Generals as they are first overall on the power play and second overall on the penalty kill. It took a while but the Generals finally have some company atop the shorthanded goal department. It took three weeks before Fort Wayne fired a shorthanded goal. Prior to that, the Generals owned the IHL’s lone goal. The Flint Generals have gone two straight games without allowing a third period goal. The team had been outscored 8-2 in the third period but has erased that with no goals against in the third period the last two.

Fort Wayne Komets - (1-1-1-0) – After six games, the third place Komets (3-2-1-0, 7 pts.) are two points behind league leader Flint (4-1-0-1, 9 pts.). Saturday's 5-2 home win vs. Muskegon extends Fort Wayne 's home win streak to three games while extending road winless streak to three games. Komets have outscored opponents at home 12-3 (5-11 on the road). Rookie winger Luciano Aquino scored the Komet's first hat trick (and the only hat trick in the IHL) of the season Saturday in 5-2 win over visiting Muskegon . Aquino leads Komets with four goals. Rookie center Mathieu Curadeau had points in each of the first five games of the season (3g, 2a) before having his point-streak snapped Sunday at Kalamazoo. Rookie defenseman Jake Pence leads IHL with +7 and Guy Dupuis (D) leads IHL defensemen with 27 shots.

Kalamazoo Wings - (2-1-0-0) – Kory Karlander is one game shy of 700 in his career. Kalamazoo ’s head coach Brian Curran is one game shy of 500 in his coaching career. Goaltender Jeremy Symington stopped a combined 85 shots in two wins this weekend. Nick Bootland, Kory Karlander and Jamie Vanderveeken are all on three-game point streaks. Kalamazoo started a four-game home stand yesterday with a victory against Fort Wayne . After lighting the lamp nine times in its first four games of the season, Kalamazoo offense has exploded, scoring nine goals over the last two games. Kalamazoo is 3-0-0-0 when leading after two periods. After dropping three straight, the K-Wings are on a two-game winning streak. Florian Iberer has recorded four points in his last two games. The defenseman also scored two goals in Sunday’s win, including the overtime game-winner. Nick Bootland is tied with Robin Bouchard for the league lead in power-play goals with three.

Muskegon Fury - (0-1-1-0) – The Fury completed their three game road trip with a 1-1-1-0 record, earning three of possible six points available. The Fury have scored at least one power play goal in each of their first five games thus far this season. The Fury continued as the league’s premiere penalty killing cast, operating at 91.3% (21 of 23), surrendering only two power play goals so far this young sesason. Including the pre-season, goaltender Issac Reichmuth has made six straight starts in the Fury goal. Defenseman Russ Moyer earned his first-ever professional point Saturday night in Fort Wayne through an assist on a Robin Bouchard game-tying power play goal.

Port Huron Icehawks - (1-2-0-0) – Friday’s victory over the Komets took the Icehawks to a four game win streak and a 3-0 record on home ice. The win streak was broken Saturday when the Icehawks were defeated by the K-Wings 6-3. The loss was Port Huron ’s first loss at home this season. Port Huron leads the league for goals scored (22) and shots on goal (291). Icehawks RW Jamie Carroll continues to lead Port Huron and the league for goals scored, after tallying three goals over the weekend. The IHL Rookie of the Month for October now has six goals on the season. He is among the league leaders for points with seven, is second in the league for shots on goal with 37, and second in the league in the plus/minus category at +6.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

K-Wings ink veteran defenseman Iberer

The Kalamazoo Wings signed defenseman Florian Iberer yesterday.

A native of Graz, Austria, Iberer is entering his third season of pro hockey in North America and eighth overall. Staring his career in the Austrian Elite League, Iberer was a member of his hometown Graz EC for four seasons.

“We are always in search of ways to improve our team and feel that signing Flo pushes us in the right direction,” said Kalamazoo GM Wade Welsh. “With a young core of defenseman, it was essential to add an experienced defenseman.”

At six-foot and 198 pounds, Iberer brings size to the K-Wings blue line. Iberer’s most prolific season as a professional was the 2005-06 season, when he racked up a combined 33 points (three goals, 30 assists) and 77 minutes in penalties in the United Hockey League with the Elmira Jackals and Quad City Mallards.

The signing of Iberer reunites him with Glenn Detulleo and Brian Curran. Iberer and Detulleo were teammates on the 2005-06 Mallards that were coached by Curran.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thursday in Grand Rapids - Steve Yzerman

Fury and Icehawks swing 1-for-1 deal

The Muskegon Fury completed a straight one-for-one trade with the Port Huron Icehawks today.

Muskegon has obtained top-scoring center Mark Cadotte, a former Plymouth Whaler in juniors, in exchange for the playing rights to center Mark Nebus, a 2007 Wayne State grad.

“Bringing Mark here fills an area that we have been looking to upgrade," Fury head coach Bruce Ramsay said. "He is a true, tested veteran who has the skills and ability to play all three forward positions. Mark has had a tremendous pro career and with his presence in our lineup, he will give us speed, energy and much-valued veteran leadership. Last season, he was a key player on a team that did not sometimes score a lot.

"With the Fury and playing with the right players, he has the capability of delivering some excellent numbers.”

Monday, October 29, 2007

Around the IHL - Oct. 29, 2007


Port Huron was the only undefeated team during this week’s IHL action, giving the Icehawks a league-leading six points (3-2-0-0). With a win over Muskegon on Friday and two huge come-from-behind victories over Flint on Saturday and Bloomington on Sunday, the Icehawks are currently riding a 3-game winning streak. Port Huron is unbeatable on home ice so far this season (2-0-0-0), along with Bloomington (1-0-0-0) and Fort Wayne (2-0-0-0).

Muskegon’s special teams have come out strong early this season. With a 25% power play record (4 for 16) and 100% penalty killing record (15 of 15), the Fury are ranked number one for both categories in the International Hockey League. Also hot on the power play, Flint ’s Josef Fojtik leads the league with two power play goals in his four games played, helping improve the Generals to second place on the power play with a 23.1% record (3 for 13).

Bloomington forwards Don Parsons and Jason Ralph has both recorded points in all four games played by the PrairieThunder. Parsons is ranked first in the league in scoring and assists (1g, 6a, 7pts.). Ralph is tied for second (2g, 4a) with Muskegon ’s Mike Watt (1g, 5a).


Flint Generals - (1-0-0-1) – Generals rookie forward Josef Fojtik is already making his name felt with two power play goals in four games. The Generals are second in the IHL on the power play with three power play goals in 13 chances. The Generals have scored the first goal in four straight games and currently support a record of 2-1-0-1. Jordan Fox has scored first in two of the four games. Flint is currently first in the IHL in goals for averaging just over three per game, while they are third in the IHL in shots for averaging just over 34 per game. The Generals have surrendered eight goals in the third period this season which is the most of any team in the IHL.

Kalamazoo Wings - (0-2-0-0) – K-Wings opened up their home schedule in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 4,975 last Saturday during the 4th Annual Orange Ice Game. Kalamazoo 's 4-1 loss in the home opener, dropping their record on orange ice to 1-3-0-0, with all three loses coming against Muskegon . Matt Elich played in his 400th career game last Friday in Flint . Goaltender Jeremy Symington is one-game shy of 200 in his career. Kalamazoo 's best scoring periods are the first and third, posting three goals in each stanza. On the season, the K-Wings have scored seven goals. Nick Bootland ranks third in the league with 20 shots, but ranks first on shots per game average at 6.67. After playing just three games in the first nine days of the season, the K-Wings will play three-games in three days starting this Friday versus Flint .

Muskegon Fury - (1-1-0-0) – After launching the IHL season with a rare two consecutive losses, both on home ice, the Fury became the last team in the league to record their initial victory of the season Saturday night at Kalamazoo , 4-1. Muskegon ’s magic in Kalamazoo seems to be continuing as they are now 23-5-4 in their last 32 decisions at Wings Stadium. The Fury specialty teams are flourishing early in the new season; both the power play (4-16; 25%) and the penalty-killing (15-15; 100%) are ranked #1 in the IHL. Left Wing Mike Watt and Defenseman Philippe Plante are both on 3-game season opening point streak (three each). Robin Bouchard (646) is just 18-games away from tying Scott Feasby (664) for most games played in Fury franchise history.

Port Huron Icehawks - (3-0-0-0) – Port Huron forced the league’s first overtime and first shootout Saturday versus Flint . Port Huron landed two goals in the shootout, while Flint had zero. Brian Felsner and Jamie Carroll both had shootout goals for the Icehawks. Icehawks rookie Jamie Carroll is among the league leaders in several categories. He leads the league for shots on goal with 27 and is tied for first in the plus/minus category at plus-5. Ron Vogel posted two wins in net for Port Huron , and rookie goalie Marty Magers recorded his first win of the season Sunday in his second start in goal. Port Huron now leads the league in third period scoring after third period comebacks in back to back home games last weekend.

K-Wings auction Orange Ice jerseys

The Kalamazoo Wings announced the organization raised and donated $14,150 from the 4th Annual Orange Ice jersey auction, which occurred last Saturday at Wings Stadium.

Fans were clamoring for all of the K-Wings special Halloween jerseys. However, at the end of the night, the three highest bids were for the jerseys worn by forwards Justin Cross, Lucas Drake and Tyler Willis. Cross’ jersey received the high bid of $1,250, while Drake and Willis’ each went for $1,000.

“Our fans continue to amaze us (K-Wings) with their generosity,” said Wings GM Wade Welsh. “With close to 5,000 fans at Wings Stadium to see both the K-Wings and our alumni, Saturday was a very special night and the jersey action was a perfect way to cap off the evening.”

Charities selected for the Orange Ice jersey auction were American Red Cross, Great Lakes Burn Camp, Ronald McDonald House and SPCA of Southwest Michigan.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Wings sign Draper to three-year extension

The Detroit Red Wings locked up one of their key veterans for the long term, signing forward Kris Draper to a three-year contract extension last Thursday.

The deal will pay him $1.85 million next season, $1.65 million in 2009-10, and $1.25 million in the 2010-11 campaign.

Draper, one of the league's top defensive forwards, has 137 goals and 302 points in 895 career NHL games.

He played parts of three seasons with the Winnipeg Jets and was traded to the Red Wings in 1993 for one dollar. He has helped lead Detroit to three Stanley Cups in his 13 seasons with the club and also won the Selke Trophy as the NHL's best defensive forward in 2004.

Draper, who earns $2.128 million this season, scored five goals in his first 10 games of the 2007-08 campaign.

The 36-year-old was set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kalamazoo announces pooch promotion

The Kalamazoo Wings have announced a new partnership for its “Hockey Pup of the Game” promotion.

Over the past three seasons, the K-Wings have helped find a home for over 120 dogs in southwest Michigan. For the second straight season, the K-Wings will be calling on the SPCA of Southwest Michigan to lend a hand and continue the miraculous efforts of eliminating pet homelessness. Also helping with the efforts will be PetsMart.

The SPCA of Southwest Michigan will bring one lucky dog to each of the Kalamazoo home games to participate in the K-Wings promotion. The dog gets to meet and interact with the fans and find a new family.

Founded in early 2002, the SPCA of Southwest Michigan is a not-for-profit animal welfare community that is bringing leadership and results to the problem of pet homelessness in the area. Its mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and find loving homes for the forgotten pets in southwest Michigan pounds by saving adoptable pets and making families complete. For more information about the SPCA, log onto

The title sponsor of the K-Wings “Hockey Pup of the Game” promotion will be PetsMart. Located at 5200 W Main St in Kalamazoo, PetsMart is one of the nation’s largest pet stores and is a huge supporter of the SPCA of Southwest Michigan.

IHL NOTEBOOK - Michigan teams

The International Hockey League kicked off the 2007-08 campaign on Friday when the Port Huron Icehawks flew into Flint for the first game of the season against the Generals. The crowd of 2,551 was booming throughout the entire game as the Generals defeated the Icehawks, 4-1.

All six member clubs hit the ice on Saturday, when the remaining four teams began their journey. Kalamazoo traveled to Muskegon to renew the rivalry between the Fury and the K-Wings. During the heated contest, the K-Wings cooled off the Fury with a 3-1 victory. Fort Wayne hosted the Icehawks Saturday as the Komets celebrated the return of the IHL in front of a sellout crowd of 10,153. Fort Wayne goaltender Kevin Reiter shut down the Icehawks offense, turning away all 30 shots he faced to earn the IHL’s first shutout of the season. Flint ’s second home game of the weekend was Saturday when the Bloomington PrairieThunder visited the Generals. Flint scored the lone goal in the opening period, but the second and third was all Bloomington as the PrairieThunder edged off the Generals for the 5-1 victory.

Flint Generals - (1-1-0-0) – Opening night was a huge success for the Flint Generals as more than 2,500 fans cheered loudly for the team all night long. Four different goal scorers paced the Generals past the Port Huron Ice Hawks 4-1 as the 2007-2008 IHL season officially got underway. Greg Bullock, Mike Alexiou and goaltender Chad Alban all had great games on Friday for the Generals. Bullock had a goal and two assists, while Alexiou scored his first professional goal. Alban turned aside 33 shots in the win over Port Huron. The Generals tallied first goals in both games over the weekend but ended up going 1-1 when doing so. Flint was 8-for-9 penalty killing over the weekend with a lone goal surrendered on Saturday night.

Kalamazoo Wings - (1-0-0-0) – As a franchise, the K-Wings have won its last five opening night games. K-Wings "Cash Money" line (Mike Manley, Lucas Drake, Justin Cross) cashed in for two of the K-Wings three goals on Saturday. Each member of the line had two points. Jeremy Symington had 26 saves in the victory, losing the shutout with just 24 seconds left in the game. Symington is tied for second in the IHL with a 1.00 GAA. Rookie Mike Bickley scored on his lone shot on Saturday, which proved to be the game-winning goal. Bickley led the K-Wings in preseason scoring with seven points. Kalamazoo opens up its home schedule on Orange Ice this Saturday. With its win over Muskegon last Saturday, the K-Wings are 102-106-71 versus IHL teams from Muskegon (101-106-71 versus the Mohawks/Lumberjacks, 1-0-0-1 versus the Fury). K-Wings lead the league in major penalties with five.

Muskegon Fury - (0-1-0-0) – On Saturday night, the Fury launched the 48th consecutive season of pro hockey in Muskegon, ranking the city fourth all-time for consecutive years of minor pro hockey longevity. It is the 16th consecutive year of Muskegon hockey under the Fury banner. Rookie Adam Segerie averted the Fury being shutout on opening night when he notched a power-play goal with only 24 seconds remaining in the third period. After being the lone undefeated team in the IHL pre-season at 2 (2-0-0-0), the Fury sustained their initial setback of the season on opening night against Kalamazoo at their home of Walker Arena. Previously, Muskegon operated IHL teams under the monikers of the Zephyrs (1960-65), the Mohawks (1965-1984), the Lumberjacks (1984-1992) and now the present-day Fury.

Port Huron Icehawks - (0-2-0-0) – The Icehawks kicked off their inaugural season with two road games; Friday, October 19 at Flint and Saturday, October 20 at Fort Wayne. They face another road contest this Friday at Muskegon before returning home for back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday with Flint and Bloomington. Chris Bogas will face several of his former teammates on the ice Sunday, when the Icehawks take on Bloomington at home. Four members of the Icehawks roster were not active last weekend for the first two games of the season. All four are expected to return this weekend. Rookie goalie Marty Magers made his first start in goal for Port Huron Saturday at Fort Wayne, tallying 40 saves, with a save percentage of .909.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Kalamazoo adds Cross, Ianetta

The Kalamazoo Wings announced the signing of forward Justin Cross and defenseman Matt Iannetta yesterday.

After a stellar rookie season, which earned him a spot in the 2007 UHL All-Star Classic, Cross returns to Kalamazoo for second season. While getting acclimated to the pro game, the native of Camarillo, California was dazzling in racking up 55 points (26 goals, 29 assists) in 72 games.

“He will compliment an already deep crop of forwards,” said Kalamazoo GM Wade Welsh. “Justin is a double threat on the ice. He can score goals, but also has a great passing ability to set up his teammates.”

Before turning pro, Cross spent four years at Niagara University, where as a member of the Purple Eagles, he recorded 92 points (36 goals, 56 assists) in 138 games.

After lacing up the skates in Italy a year ago, Iannetta returns to North America to compete in his second season as pro.

A hard-working defenseman, Iannetta played four years of collegiate hockey at the University of Waterloo. During his senior season, Iannetta led the Warriors in plus/minus (+10). The native of Woodbridge, Ontario also earned the Coaches Award, which is given to the player that is dedicated, most committed and showing the most leadership to the hockey program.

“After witnessing the preseason, we wanted to add a defenseman that has size and could help us offensively,” said Welsh. “We have heard good things about him and believe he could be the player that will fill that void.”

To make room of the roster the K-Wings waived forward Mike Carter and placed forward Tyler Willis on the 7-day injured reserve list.