Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Michigan UHL teams - News & Notes

Heading into the tenth week of the United Hockey League season, the Port Huron Flags had earned six victories in their first 24 games of the season. The tenth week proved to be fruitful for the club as they won all four games and found themselves just two points shy of three teams who are tied for fourth place in the overall UHL standings.

Prior to the four-game winning streak, the Flags had won consecutive games just once all season. Home ice has been kind to the team as they have won three straight at McMorran Arena and six out of their last seven playing at home while outscoring their opponents 22-12 during that span.

The offense for the Flags has picked up the pace and scored four or more goals in each of the last three games. Right wing Bobby Kukulka has five goals during the four-game win streak including the game-winner in two of the contests. Captain Greg Bullock has seven points (1g, 6a) during the streak and now is tied for the team lead in scoring. Center Steve Hildenbrand ended an eight-game scoring drought when he posted four points (2g, 2a) over the last three games. Defenseman Chris Bogas has dished out an assist in three straight games and has an even or better plus/minus rating in each game of the four-game winning streak.

Both goaltenders for Port Huron have contributed during the win streak. Rookie Noah Ruden earned the first victory of his professional career when he stopped 32 shots in the 2-1 win vs. Elmira on Wednesday. He followed that up by earning a victory on Friday in the 4-2 win vs. Elmira. Dustin Traylen picked up the next two wins during the weekend, including the 43 saves he made in the 5-2 victory on Saturday to snap Quad City’s seven-game unbeaten streak in regulation. Traylen (.914) and Ruden (.913) currently rank fourth and fifth among UHL goaltenders in save percentage (SPCT). Traylen also currently ranks fourth among league netminders in goals against average (2.67), minutes played (1146:52), and saves (542).

Port Huron looks to continue their success as they will play six of their next eight games on home ice.

CLUTCH PERFORMERKalamazoo Wings left wing Lucas Drake became a hero last season when he scored the game-winning goal in overtime of Game Five of the UHL Finals to clinch the first Colonial Cup in team history. Drake re-signed with the team this week and quickly picked up where he left off. In his first three games with the club, he netted five goals and dished out one assist. He registered a hat trick on Saturday and scored the game-winning goal in both Kalamazoo victories during the weekend.

GOOD LUCK BEARS – The Kalamazoo Wings are undefeated (11-0-0) all-time in the UHL when playing games on “Teddy Bear Toss” nights. Seven of these wins have come at home, including Saturday’s 4-2 win vs. Fort Wayne when Kalamazoo fans tossed a total of 1,239 stuffed toys to the ice.

Flint Generals - (2-1-0) – After trailing 2-0 after the first period, the Generals scored four unanswered goals to defeat Chicago 4-2 on Friday…Left wing Bobby Reynolds dished out four assists in Saturday’s 6-3 win vs. Elmira…Defenseman Gerard Miller is on a four-game point streak…Right wing Mike Kinnie is riding a five-game point streak… Center Tony Tuzzolino is on a five-game point streak. He has a point in 10 of 12 games he has played for the Generals this season…Goaltender Bryan Worosz has won his last three starts posting a .930 SPCT.

Kalamazoo Wings - (2-1-0) – Nick Bootland has a goal in three straight games and is riding a four-game point streak...Goaltender Ryan Nie earned his first victory on home ice making 32 saves in Sunday’s 6-2 win vs. Elmira… Including the 2006 playoffs, left wing Lucas Drake has scored 12 goals in his last six games on home ice…Forward Scott Dobben has seven points (2g, 5a) and a plus-6 rating over his last four games…Right wing Justin Cross has 14 points over his last ten games and is currently ranked second in scoring among UHL rookies.

Muskegon Fury - (2-0-0) – Over their last nine games, the Fury are outscoring the opposition 33-15 (1.67 GAA)... With Saturday’s 3-2 win at Chicago on Saturday, Muskegon has set a new team record with nine straight road victories…The club is 11-0-0 vs. Western Conference opponents…Right wing Rustyn Dolyny is riding a league season high 13-game point streak and 12-game assist streak…Left wing Mike Watt is on an eight-game point streak…Goaltender Clayton Pool’s shutout on Friday came in his 100th career game in a Muskegon uniform.

Port Huron Flags - (4-0-0) – Wednesday’s 2-1 win at Elmira was the team’s first road victory since opening night... Sunday’s 4-3 win snapped Flint’s four-game win streak and snapped a four-game winless streak vs. the Generals (0-3-1)…Defenseman Craig Mahon scored his first professional goal in Friday’s 4-2 win vs. Elmira. The goal also proved to be game-winner…Forward Mike Olynyk had a goal in back-to-back games over the weekend… Center Ryan Markham leads the Flags with a plus-8 rating. He has received a minus rating in just three games all season.

Text taken from the official UHL website
Port Huron photo courtesy Deanna Bradford


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