Friday, February 23, 2007

Desrosiers headlines Saginaw alumni game

Former Saginaw Gears player and Saginaw Generals coach Dennis Desrosiers headlines the former Saginaw players taking to the ice with the Sr. Spirit this Saturday when they take on the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Team.

The game is at 6:00 p.m. prior to the Saginaw Spirit home game against the Belleville Bulls, presented by Hooters and Kreager Towing. The Spirit game start time was delayed to accommodate the alumni game. Fans can use their Spirit ticket for both games.

Other former Saginaw Gears participating in the game include Warren Holmes, Mel Hewitt and Jean-Marie Nicol.

“We're thrilled to have No. 8 Dennis Desrosiers back on Saginaw ice," stated Spirit managing partner Craig Goslin, “It is a real treat for our fans to see him and the others playing at the Dow Event Center Saturday. They will be highly entertained."

In the Gears' inaugural season, Desrosiers scored 60 goals and led the team in scoring with 97 points. He would go on to score 312 goals, tally 589 points and win two Turner Cup championships in his IHL career. In 1983, Desrosiers turned to coaching, taking on the job of head coach of the Flint Generals. After two seasons in Flint, the franchise moved to Saginaw and he spent three seasons behind the bench at Wendler Arena. Desrosiers had great success coaching professional hockey. He coached 1099 games and complied a record of 550-455-94 and was the Spirit's first coach in 2002.

Holmes, a native of Beeton Ontario, played three seasons of junior hockey with the Ottawa 67's. After being drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 1977, he came to play in Saginaw and spent parts of five seasons in his career playing for the Gears and Generals and won a Turner Cup with the Gears in 1981. Holmes also played parts of three NHL seasons with the Kings where he recorded 8 goals and 26 points. During the 1997-98 season, Holmes coached the Colonial Hockey League's Saginaw Lumber Kings.

Hewitt, a native of Moose Jaw Saskatchewan, played his junior hockey with the Saskatoon Blades and the Calgary Wranglers. After being drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1978, he came to Saginaw and played two seasons with the Gears. Hewitt was a physical presence on the ice, recording 504 penalty minutes in his second season in Saginaw. In 1985-86, he would return briefly to Saginaw to play 17 games with the Generals.

Nicol, a native of Palmarolle Quebec, played his junior hockey with the Trois Rivieres Reds. He then spent six seasons in the Eastern Hockey League with the New Haven Blades-Long Island Ducks franchise. In 1973, Nicol arrived in Saginaw to play for the Gears. He played seven seasons with the Gears and won a Turner Cup championship in 1977.


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