Monday, April 30, 2007

Ex-Mechanics, Fury, Griffins coach Cole UAH-bound

Following a nationwide search, the University of Alabama in Huntsville is pleased to announce Danton Cole as the third head coach in the history of the Chargers hockey program filling the seat of Doug Ross, who retired after 25 years at the end of the 2006-07 season.

"We look forward to Danton's experience, his integrity, his desire and his enthusiasm and excitement to take the Chargers to the next level and to win as many championships as absolutely possible," noted UAH Director of Athletics Jim Harris. "I can't thank the committee enough for their diligence and time searching through the wonderful group of candidates. They did a great job helping us narrow down the group to pick the very best candidate for our needs. On behalf of the UAH Athletics Department I thank them for everything they did."

Spending the last season as assistant coach at Bowling Green State University, Cole was responsible for the Falcons' defensemen leading five of their six regulars to new career-bests in points.

"First and foremost, I'd like to thank Dr. Franz and Mr. Harris for giving me the opportunity to come in here to what I think is a great situation and with the chance to do some great things," said Cole. "A special thanks to Coach Ross for his 25 years and the great things he has done here with this program and college hockey. I was in pro hockey for 17 years as a player and coach and a lot of the reason I wanted to come back (to college hockey) was the culture and the people that are involved. Certainly Doug has done great things for college hockey and we wish him the best."

A Pontiac native, he suited up for Michigan State for four seasons where he still holds the career record with 180 games played during his span. Advancing to the Frozen Four three out of four years including winning a national title as a Spartan, Cole notched 163 points (69g, 94a) and was honored with the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1989 as MSU's top male student-athlete in both scholarship and achievement.

"Two things on his resume impressed the Dickens out of me" remarked Harris. "He was a three-time All-CCHA Academic Team member and that rings well with what we do here at UAH. He was also a Big Ten Medal of Honor winner while at Michigan State. That certainly leads toward our UAH philosophy of the true student-athlete concept of student first and to continue the integrity of bringing the student here for the highest possible degree of education as well as winning championships for UAH."

A Stanley Cup winner with the New Jersey Devils in 1995 during his six years in the NHL, Cole joins the UAH family with a wealth of head coaching experience in professional hockey. With a career record of 222-126-27, Cole spent three seasons (2002-04) with the Grand Rapids Griffins, the top farm team of the Detroit Red Wings, where he became the all-time winningest coach in team history with a record of 116-72-17. Following his stint with the Griffins, he spent two seasons with the Motor City Mechanics, where he coached former Charger standout Jared Ross. Cole led the Mechanics to a 58-32-6 mark during his tenure.

"I want to thank Coach (Scott) Paluch and Greg Christopher the A.D. at Bowling Green for giving me the opportunity to get back into college hockey," said Cole. "I certainly thank them as they've been wonderful supporters. It was tough leaving there but I did want to get back to being a head coach and this is a great spot and some good things are going to happen."

Cole got his first shot as a head coach with the Muskegon Fury where he led the team to a 48-22 mark and a league championship.

Married to the former Debbie Fox of Lansing, he and his wife have three daughters (Ashton 13, Madeleine, 12 and Payton, 8).

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Fury's Robinson named UHL's most valuable

The United Hockey League announced Thursday Muskegon Fury center Todd Robinson has been named the 2006-07 Sher-Wood UHL Most Valuable Player as selected by league head coaches, general managers and members of the media.

The 28-year-old native of Trail, British Columbia led the UHL with 79 assists and 123 points. He was the only skater to amass more than 100 points this season, and his total was the 23rd-best season by a player in UHL history. He also led the league with 11 game-winning goals, tying him with seven other players for the UHL single-season record. He ranked second in the league with 44 goals and a plus-38 rating.

Robinson put together several of the longest scoring streaks of the season. Three times he had point scoring streaks of 10 games or more, and his 13-game streak (8g, 12a) from Jan. 26-Mar. 2 tied for the longest in the UHL this season. In addition, he had the second-longest assist streak (10 games) and the third-longest goal-scoring streak (six games) this year.

Robinson was named the Sher-Wood UHL Player of the Month for October, November and January. He was selected to the 2007 UHL All-Star Classic, recording one goal and four assists in the game. Last week, Robinson was named to the UHL All-Star First Team. He is the second consecutive Muskegon Fury player to earn UHL Most Valuable Player honors.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Red Wings oust Calgary in six


Detroit Red Wings (1) vs. Calgary Flames (8)

Game 1 - at Detroit 4, Calgary 1
Game 2 - at Detroit 3, Calgary 1
Game 3 - at Calgary 3, Detroit 2
Game 4 - at Calgary 3, Detroit 2
Game 5 - at Detroit 5, Calgary 1
Game 6 - Detroit 2 at Calgary 1 (2OT)
(Detroit wins series, 4-2)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

K-Wings and Fury move on in UHL playoffs

Game 1 - Flint 4 at Kalamazoo 3
Game 2 - at Kalamazoo 5, Flint 0
Game 3 - Kalamazoo 6 at Flint 2
Game 4 - at Flint 3, Kalamazoo 2 (OT)
Game 5 - at Kalamazoo 4, Flint 3 (OT)
Game 6 - Kalamazoo 4 at Flint 3 (OT)
(Kalamazoo wins series, 4-2)

Game 1 - Muskegon 4 at Port Huron 2
Game 2 - at Muskegon 5, Port Huron 1
Game 3 - at Muskegon 4, Port Huron 2
Game 4 - Muskegon 3 at Port Huron 2
(Muskegon wins series, 4-0)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Muskegon's Watt named UHL's most sportsmanlike

The United Hockey League announced Thursday that Muskegon Fury left wing Mike Watt has been named the 2006-07 UHL Most Sportsmanlike Player as selected by league head coaches, general managers and members of the media.

The 31-year-old native of Seaforth, Ontario, ranked second on his team and sixth in the league with 79 points. He ranked among the top 10 in the UHL with his totals of 35 goals and 44 assists.

In 68 games played for the Fury, he complied a plus-24 rating and was assessed only 32 penalty minutes. His plus-24 rating tied him for the sixth-highest rating in the UHL. He had six game-winning goals, recorded three hat tricks and was selected to the 2007 UHL All-Star Classic, tallying one goal in the game.

Photo by Deanna Bradford

Wings Stadium increases security this weekend

Wings Stadium, which is also home to "The Annex" and "The Cube," announces that the complex has increased their security level for all events this weekend, which include Kalamazoo Wings hockey on Friday and Kalamazoo Xplosion football on Saturday.

With the recent events on the campus of Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia and in the wake of threats at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, the Wings Stadium Complex deems it necessary to raise the security level.

With the raise in security level, patrons this weekend maybe subject to physical searches and inspection of bags/purses.

“With the tragedy in Virginia coupled the threat of violence in our own community, we feel it is our obligation to our patrons to ensure the safest environment possible,” said Kalamazoo GM Paul Pickard. “Our goal is for every patron to have the ultimate experience and that starts with their safety."

Fans coming either the K-Wings or Xplosion games this weekend are encouraged to allow extra time to enter the facility.

“We take our patrons safety very seriously at all events, due to the recent circumstances we are heightening our security,” said security supervisor Thomas Flynn. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our patrons, but your safety is our top priority.”

Flags announce “Salute to Season Two”

With last night’s conclusion of the Port Huron Flags’ second season, the organization has planned a post-season event for Saturday, April 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the downstairs lounge of McMorran Arena.

"Salute to Season Two" offers fans a chance to mingle with the team one last time, as well as enjoy light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. The feature event of the evening will be the conclusion of the black jersey auction, which began online at the beginning of the week. A live auction will pick up with the high bids on each jersey and is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

The front office staff is asking for RSVPs from those who plan to attend, by telephone at (810) 982-3524 or through email to

Griffins get Red Wings' prospect Kindl

The Grand Rapids Griffins on Tuesday signed defenseman Jakub Kindl to an amateur tryout and assigned defenseman Tom Galvin to the UHL’s Muskegon Fury.

Kindl (pictured), 20, was the Detroit Red Wings’ first selection (19th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He made his pro debut with the Griffins at the end of the 2005-06 season, contributing one assist in three regular season games and remaining on the team’s roster during its first playoff series.

Returning to the Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers this season, Kindl enjoyed a phenomenal year, averaging more than a point per game during both the regular season and playoffs. His 55 points (11-44—55) in 54 games ranked seventh overall on Kitchener and tied for eighth among the league’s blueliners, and he contributed 11 points (2-9—11) in nine playoff games. The Rangers bowed out 4-1 to Plymouth last weekend in the OHL’s Western Conference Semifinals.

Kindl will be available to play on Thursday when the Griffins visit the MTS Centre for Game 1 of the North Division semifinals against the Manitoba Moose.

Galvin, 27, saw action in 41 games for the Griffins this season, totaling seven assists and a plus-7 rating. He also scored five points (1-4—5) in 14 games with the Fury.

Kalamazoo's Nie named UHL's top rookie

Kalamazoo Wings goaltender Ryan Nie has been named the UHL’s Easton Rookie of the Year.

Nie’s rookie campaign rewrote both K-Wing and UHL history. The netminder, who led the entire league with seven shutouts, shattered the K-Wings’ UHL franchise records for both goals-against average (2.02) and save percentage (.929). His 2.02 GAA also establishes the UHL record for lowest GAA in a career. The UHL history books were also rewritten in February, when Nie logged three straight shutouts to help the K-Wings set the UHL team record for most consecutive shutouts at 203:39 minutes.

During the regular season, Nie earned the UHL’s Southern Sports Supply Goaltender of the Week on two separate occasions (February 18 and April 1), Eastern Rookie of the Month for February and Southern Sports Goaltender of the Month of March. On April 7, Nie was honored by the team as their Centennial Wireless Rookie of the Year during the K-Wings annual player award ceremony.

The league’s top rookie was honored on Monday as a member of the UHL All-Rookie Team.

Nie joins former K-Wing Jason Deitsch as the only other member of the franchise to receive the Easton Rookie of the Year award.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Fury, Wings dot UHL All-Star Teams

The United Hockey League announced Tuesday the 2006-07 All-Star Teams as selected by league head coaches, general managers, and members of the media.

Goaltender – Kevin St. Pierre, Fort Wayne Komets
Defenseman – Guy Dupuis, Fort Wayne Komets
Defenseman – Philippe Plante, Muskegon Fury
Forward – Todd Robinson, Muskegon Fury
Forward – J.C. Ruid, Fort Wayne Komets
Forward – Kory Karlander, Kalamazoo Wings

Goaltender – Frederic Cloutier, Rockford IceHogs
Defenseman – Mario Larocque, Fort Wayne Komets
Defenseman – Chris Busby, Chicago Hounds
Forward – Nick Bootland, Kalamazoo Wings
Forward – Preston Mizzi, Rockford IceHogs
Forward – Mike Watt, Muskegon Fury

Philippe Plante (D), Muskegon Fury – The 28-year-old native of Greenfield Park , Quebec , registered 67 points (18g, 49a) and 102 penalty minutes in 75 games. His plus-38 rating tied for second-best in the league and was the second-highest among defensemen. He also ranked second among defensemen with 49 assists and 29 power play assists. He was selected to the 2007 UHL All-Star Classic, tallying an assist in the game.

Todd Robinson (F), Muskegon Fury – The 28-year-old native of Trail, British Columbia , led the UHL with 79 assists and 123 points. He was the only skater to amass more than 100 points this season. He ranked second in the league with 44 goals and a plus-38 rating. Robinson was named the Sher-Wood UHL Player of the Month for October, November and January. He was selected to the 2007 UHL All-Star Classic, recording one goal and four assists in the game.

Kory Karlander (F), Kalamazoo Wings – The 35-year-old native of Melita , Manitoba , ranked third in the UHL with 88 points, and he became the first K-Wings’ player to lead the league in goals (45). Playing in all 76 regular season games, he also recorded a plus-20 rating and 88 penalty minutes. He had eight game-winning goals which tied him for the third-highest total in the UHL. He was selected to the 2007 UHL All-Star Classic.

Nick Bootland (F), Kalamazoo Wings – The 28-year-old native of Shelbourne , Ontario , ranked second on his team and fourth in the league in scoring with 85 points (40g, 45a). He was one of six players to top 40 goals this season. He ranked second in the UHL with nine game-winning goals, and he tallied 44 points on special teams. He was selected to the 2007 UHL All-Star Classic, tallying one goal and two assists in the game.

Mike Watt (F), Muskegon Fury – The 31-year-old native of Seaforth , Ontario , ranked second on his team and sixth in the league with 79 points. He ranked among the top 10 in the UHL with his totals of 35 goals and 44 assists in 68 games played. He had six game-winning goals and finished the season with a plus-24 rating, tied for the sixth-highest rating in the UHL. He was selected to the 2007 UHL All-Star Classic, tallying one goal in the game.

Flags hold silent auction for black jerseys

Through the end of the playoffs, the Port Huron Flags will have their game-worn black jerseys available for purchase in a silent auction, with multiple venues for fans to place their bids.

Via the website,, the fan-favorite black jerseys are available to view, listed with current high bids. Interested parties may submit their maximum price online or by calling Lorraine Lixey at (810) 982-FLAG.

Additionally, during all home playoff games, the bid lists will be available at the merchandise table. If a jersey’s highest maximum internet bid is eclipsed with a live bid during a game, the online list will be appropriately updated at the conclusion of the game.

Upon final completion of the post-season, the team will host a Season’s End Event, with date and time to be determined. At the function, fans will have one final opportunity to raise their maximum price before the winners are announced.

Since their inception in December, the black jerseys have been a hit among fans and team members. Each jersey has a minimum bid of $150.

Monday, April 16, 2007

K-Zoo's Nie cracks UHL All-Rookie Team

The United Hockey League announced Monday the 2006-07 All-Rookie Team as selected by league head coaches, general managers and members of the media.

Goaltender – Ryan Nie, Kalamazoo Wings
Defenseman – Dale Lupul, Quad City Mallards
Defenseman – Luke Fritshaw, Rockford IceHogs
Forward – Brett Pilkington, Quad City Mallards
Forward – Mike Zbriger, Bloomington PrairieThunder
Forward – Justin Chwedoruk, Quad City Mallards

Ryan Nie (G), Kalamazoo Wings – The 22-year-old native of Nanticoke, Ontario, completed the regular season with a 20-8-4 record. He led all UHL goaltenders with a 2.02 goals-against average, a .929 save percentage and seven shutouts. His 2.02 GAA is a UHL career record among goaltenders with at least 30 starts. Nie was the Easton UHL Rookie of the Month for February and was selected as the Southern Sports Supply UHL Goaltender of the Month for March. Nie joins former K-Wings Jason Deitsch and Joel Martin as the only other K-Wing players to earn a spot on the UHL All-Rookie Team.

Toledo Storm to suspend operations

Ed. Note: The Toledo Storm is the ECHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings.

PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced on Monday that the Board of Governors has unanimously approved a Transfer of Controlling Interest for the Toledo Storm Membership from Professional Hockey, LLC D/B/A Toledo Storm to Toledo Arena Sports, Inc.

The Board also unanimously approved the Storm’s request for Voluntary Suspension for the 2007-08 Season as the team plans to begin play in a new arena in Toledo in 2009-10.

“We are pleased and proud to welcome the Toledo Arena Sports, Inc. organization to the ECHL. While we are disappointed that professional hockey will have to take a brief hiatus in Toledo, we also realize that it is unavoidable,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “A new state-of-the-art facility combined with the Mud Hens knowledge of the market, operational expertise and long-team commitment to Toledo will combine to keep the ECHL in Toledo for many years to come and provide fans with a first-class entertainment product.

“The ECHL would also like to thank the Toledo fans for their support over the years as well as the contribution of Tim Gladieux and Barry Soskin to hockey in Toledo.”

Toledo Mud Hens General Manager Joe Napoli said, “The Lucas County Commissioners has asked us to take the responsibility of acquiring the professional sports teams that will play in the new Lucas County Arena. After much research and due diligence, we have concluded that the ECHL is the proper fit and look forward to introducing a fan-friendly product in the Fall of 2009.”

Toledo captured the Brabham Cup, awarded to the regular season points leader, in its first season in 1991-92 and became the first team to win back-to-back league championships in 1993 and 1994.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Red Wings sign another 2006 draft pick

The Detroit Red Wings signed forward Jan Mursak to a three-year entry-level contract yesterday.

Mursak, 19, was Detroit's sixth-round selection (182nd overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Born in Slovenia, he completed his first season in North America with the Ontario Hockey League's Saginaw Spirit, where he scored 27 goals and 53 assists for 80 points in 62 games last season.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but Mursak is expected to return to the Spirit next season.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Michigan UHL teams - News & Notes

It came down to the final day of the United Hockey League season to determine the Tarry Cup championship, the best overall record in the regular season. Heading into Saturday’s action, the Fort Wayne Komets and Muskegon Fury had identical point totals of 104. Fort Wayne held the total wins tiebreaker over Muskegon, therefore a win by the Komets would clinch the top spot in the UHL no matter the outcome of Saturday’s games.

Muskegon suffered a 7-2 loss at the hands of the Quad City Mallards and goaltender Kevin St. Pierre pitched a 3-0 shutout over the Kalamazoo Wings to help lead Fort Wayne to the third Tarry Cup championship in the team’s history.

SCORING CHAMPIONS – Muskegon center Todd Robinson led the league in points with 123 to claim this season’s scoring title. His total of 123 points is the 23rd-best season by a player in UHL history. In addition, he led the league in assists (79) and game-winning goals (11), ranked second in goals with 44 and tied for second with a plus-38 rating. His 11 game-winning goals tied a UHL single-season record held by seven other players. Kalamazoo center Kory Karlander ended with season with 45 goals to lead the league in that category.

BEST BETWEEN THE PIPES – Kalamazoo rookie goaltender Ryan Nie led the league in goals-against average (2.02), save percentage (.929) and shutouts (seven). Nie’s 2.02 GAA ranks first in UHL history among goaltenders with at least 30 appearances. He bested Joel Martin’s career mark of a 2.20 GAA set as a K-Wing from 2004-2006.

PENALTY KILLERS - By killing 90.2 percent of their penalties this season, the Kalamazoo Wings set a single-season UHL record. They broke the league record of 89.0 percent set by the Muskegon Fury in 2004-05 and their team record of 84.2 percent set during the 2003-04 campaign.

Flint Generals - (2-1-0) – Left wing Jeff Zehr led the Generals with 64 points, 30 goals and 15 power-play goals. He ended the season on a five-game point streak (3g, 6a)…Goaltender Jason Muzzatti ended the season on a three-game winning streak, tying his longest streak of the year…Defenseman Gerard Miller ranked fourth in the league at his position with 57 points (13g, 44a)…The Generals led the league in power-play goals with 102, the only team to reach triple-digits…Defenseman Martin Ondrej was the only Flint player to play in all 76 games during the 2006-07 campaign.

Kalamazoo Wings – (2-1-0) – The K-Wings finished the season by winning 10 of their last 12 games…Kalamazoo reached 100 points for the second-consecutive season…Center Kory Karlander became the first K-Wings player to lead the league in goals scored (45)…Defenseman Jason Lawmaster ended the season on a five-game point streak (4g, 1a)…Right wing Justin Cross tied for third among rookies in goals scored with 26…Saturday’s 3-0 shutout loss to Fort Wayne marked the first time in 100 games that the K-Wings were held scoreless at home.

Muskegon Fury - (0-2-1) – The Fury captured their second conference championship in the past three seasons with 49 wins and 104 points…Muskegon fell one victory short of their third-consecutive 50-win season, but reached 100 points for the fourth-straight year…The Fury’s longest winless streak of 2006-07 came in the final five games (0-3-2)…Muskegon had three players rank in the top-10 in scoring, center Todd Robinson, left wing Mike Watt and right wing Rustyn Dolyny…The Fury also had four of the top five players in plus/minus rating. Defenseman Dave Van Drunen led the league with a plus-46 rating.

Port Huron Flags - (1-1-1) – Saturday’s 5-4 win over Elmira ended a seven-game (0-4-3) winless streak for the Flags…Port Huron set a franchise record with 68 points this season, exceeding the old mark of 52 set last year…Left wing Scott Wray recorded a point (3g, 10a) in seven of the final 10 games and ended the season on a three-game streak…Center Greg Bullock and center Jeremy Tucker tied with a team-high 74 games played in a Flags uniform this season…Bullock tied for second in the league with 30 power-play assists and for first on the Flags with three game-winning goals this year.

Taken from the official UHL website

Monday, April 09, 2007

Generals add two, release three

The Flint Generals released three players and added two more through this afternoon's United Hockey League waiver draft.

In order to reach the UHL's roster requirement of 19 pros and two amateurs, the Generals released forward Dave Frawley. Then, in the ensuing waiver draft, they picked up defenseman Nick Harloff from Elmira and forward Evan Kotsopoulos.

The 22-year-old Harloff, once a Wayne State recruit, split this season between Quad City and Elmira. In 68 games, he had six goals, 22 assists and 76 penalty minutes.

The 22-year-old Kotsopoulos had 16 goals, 25 assists and 208 PIM in 74 games with Muskegon.

To make room for Harloff and Kotsopoulos, the Generals released defenseman Preston Cicchine and forward Rick Smith.

Also in the waiver draft, Kalamazoo lost forward Brent Cullaton to Bloomington, Port Huron picked up defenseman Joe Markusen from Elmira and Kalamazoo got forward Glenn Detulleo from Elmira and then released defenseman Jordan Hart.

K-Wings hand out hardware Saturday

The Kalamazoo Wings announced the recipients of the 2006-07 player awards, presented following the K-Wings home game Saturday night against the Fort Wayne Komets at Wings Stadium.

The following were the awards and the recipients of the K-Wings Awards Ceremony:

Booster Club Appreciation Award: Nick Toneys
KOHA Plus-Minus Award: Kory Karlander
Otten Trophies Star of the Game Award: Kory Karlander
Keyser Insurance Group Leading Scorer Award: Kory Karlander
Meijer Most Improved Player Award: Mark Versteeg-Lytwyn
Pepsi Sportsmanship Award: Nick Bootland
Kalsee Credit Union Unsung Hero Award: Lucas Drake
Fifth Third Bank Defenseman of the Year Award: Adam Elzinga
Centennial Wireless Rookie of the Year Award: Ryan Nie
WLKM Most Popular Player Award: Tyler Willis
Kalamazoo Gazette MVP Award: Kory Karlander

Friday, April 06, 2007

Datsyuk signs with Red Wings through 2014

The Detroit Red Wings announced Friday that they have signed star forward Pavel Datsyuk to a seven-year contract extension.

Sources have Datsyuk earning between $6 million and $7 million a season.

Datsyuk, 28, has 28 goals and leads the Wings with 59 assists and 87 points in 78 games this season.

''Pavel is one of the world's most skilled players and has developed into a bona fide superstar over the past two seasons,” said Wings GM Ken Holland. ''We think securing Pavel, who is moving into the prime of his career, is key to ensuring the long-term success of this franchise.”

''I am very pleased to announce that I am continuing my hockey career with the Detroit Red Wings by signing a seven-year contract,” said Datsyuk. ''This contract was extremely important to me, especially since I have been a Red Wing since 2001.”

Datsyuk was originally Detroit's sixth-round pick, 171st overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Red Wings ink top 2006 pick Emmerton

The Detroit Red Wings announced Wednesday the team has signed center Cory Emmerton to a three-year entry-level contract.

In keeping with club policy, specific terms of the deal are not available.

Emmerton, 18, was Detroit's second-round selection (41st overall) in the 2006 National Hockey League Entry Draft and Detroit's first pick in the draft. He has spent the last three seasons playing for the Ontario Hockey League's Kingston Frontenacs.

In 164 games with Kingston, Emmerton has collected 72 goals and 122 assists. The native of St. Thomas, Ontario established a career-high for goals in 2006-2007, tallying 29 in 40 games.

Last season, Emmerton had 26 goals and 90 points for Kingston after originally being the Frontenacs' fifth-round pick in the 2004 OHL Priority Selection.

Generals sign Jean-Michel Rizk

A new face has joined the Flint Generals as the team came to an agreement with Jean-Michel Rizk, who split this season between Kitchener and Mississauga of the Ontario Hockey League.

Rizk, whose older brother Simon is a former General, had 15 goals, 17 assists and 77 penalty minutes in 61 OHL games.

The 21-year-old Rizk also played three seasons for the Saginaw Spirit and was Kitchener's captain before being traded this season.

"He's a good, solid two-way player," Flint head coach Kevin Kerr said to the Flint Journal. "He's got good work ethic and is a great team guy. From what I understand, he's very knowledgeable and understands the game."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Michigan UHL teams - News & Notes

In the Eastern Conference, the Muskegon Fury (103 points) will be the top seed in the playoff bracket. They will face-off against the fourth-seeded Port Huron Flags (65 points) in the first round of the playoffs.

The other first-round series in the East will pit the second-seeded Kalamazoo Wings (96 points) against the third seed, the Flint Generals (71 points). With three Flint losses and three Port Huron wins this week, both teams could end with the same point total. However, the Generals own the second tiebreaker, head-to-head wins, thus clinching the third seed.

With six points separating the top three teams in the league, Muskegon, Fort Wayne and Rockford are still in contention for the Tarry Cup. The Fury holds the edge with a three-point advantage over the Komets and a six-point lead over Rockford. This week Muskegon will play both teams once in addition to Quad City. Four points will clinch the Cup for the Fury, but since both contending teams play the leader, the Tarry Cup is there for the taking.

WHO’S THE BEST – The final week of the season will determine the UHL’s top goal-scorer for the 2006-07 season. The four players with at least 40 goals this season have the best chance at capturing the title. Muskegon’s Todd Robinson is currently in the lead with 44 goals. Kalamazoo’s Kory Karlander is on his heels with 43 goals followed by Fort Wayne’s J.C. Ruid (42 goals) and Quad City’s Luke Stauffacher (40 goals).

RECORD WATCH – Muskegon’s Todd Robinson tied the club’s single-season points record (122) on Sunday with a goal. He needs only one point to become the Fury’s all-time single-season leader. Kalamazoo’s Kory Karlander tied the K-Wings’ UHL franchise record for goals in a single season on Saturday in Muskegon. He needs one more goal to become the club’s all-time record holder.

Flint Generals - (1-2-0) – Right wing Bogdan Rudenko recorded the Generals’ second hat trick of the season in a 7-2 win at Port Huron on Sunday…Left wing Bobby Reynolds is on a 10-game point streak (4g, 10a). He needs a point in each of this season’s final three games to tie him for the longest point streak in the UHL during 2006-07…Goaltender Jason Muzzatti is 3-1-2 in his last six starts and posted a .938 SPCT last week…Defenseman Martin Ondrej is the only General to appear in every game this season…Flint plays two home games and one road game this week.

Kalamazoo Wings – (3-1-0) – The K-Wings have won eight of their last nine games…Kalamazoo is undefeated (30-0-0) when leading after two periods…Goaltender Ryan Nie has won five consecutive starts and leads the league with a 1.95 GAA and a .932 SPCT…Kalamazoo earned its first 10-win month of the season in March…Defenseman Jason Lawmaster is on a five-game point streak (4g, 1a)…Left wing Nick Bootland (nine) and center Kory Karlander (eight) rank second and third in the league, respectively, in game-winning goals.

Muskegon Fury - (1-1-1) – With a 3-2 win over Port Huron on Friday, the Fury clinched their fourth UHL division championship…The Fury are unbeaten at home over their last seven games with a 4-0-3 record…The Fury have outscored their opponents 92-56 in the second period this season…Defenseman Joe Pomaranski played in his 100th pro game on Saturday…Muskegon finished its regular season schedule against Eastern Conference teams with a 28-11-4 mark…Defenseman Dave Van Drunen is two points away from having 200 in his career.

Port Huron Flags - (0-2-2) – The Flags lead the league in shootout appearances this season with 16…Wednesday’s shootout loss to Chicago was only the second shootout loss to a non-conference opponent this season…Ending a drought of over 120:00 scoreless minutes against Kalamazoo, right wing Robert Snowball scored at 9:25 in the second period on Sunday…Center Ryan Markham scored his sixth shorthanded goal on Friday at Muskegon. He ranks third in the league and first among rookies in SHG…Left wing Scott Wray leads the league in shots (380).

Taken from the official UHL website