Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Icehawks add three more forwards

The Port Huron Icehawks announced today that the team has added offensive firepower by signing Brent Hughes, Tab Lardner and Neil Clark.

The trio is expected to provide Port Huron with a potent scoring attack this season in the newly reformed International Hockey League. All three have played professional minor league hockey, bring playoff experience and have performed in big games.

Last year, Hughes’ Colorado Eagles defeated Clark’s Laredo Bucks for the CHL President’s Cup championship. These competitors-turned teammates bring that big-game experience to Port Huron and are expected to add a solid scoring attack from the wings.

Hughes last year played for the Amarillo Gorillas and Colorado Eagles, scoring 10 goals and 29 points in just 39 regular-season games. He also scored 10 points in the playoffs as the Eagles captured the CHL championship.

“Brent is a small, feisty player who competes every shift,” Icehawks' coach-GM Stan Drulia said. “He is a lunch pail-type player.”

Clark attended and played at Iona College in 2002-03 before he transferred to Manhattanville College, where he played from 2003-06. Last year, he was a member of the Laredo Bucks and played in the championship series against Hughes and the Eagles. In 21 playoff games, he scored six goals and amassed 12 points.

“Clark is a big game player with blue collar mentality,” Drulia said. “His strong play helped propel Laredo to the finals last year.”

Clark will also be attending the Detroit Red Wings training camp with Icehawks teammate Kris Vernarsky September in Traverse City. He qualifies as a rookie on the Icehawks roster.

Lardner played collegiate hockey for Michigan Tech University from 1997-2001 and started his pro career in 2001. His best professional season was 2005-06 when he scored 25 goals and 55 points for the Wichita Thunder of the CHL. Last season, he scored 19 goals and 29 assists for the Youngstown Steelhounds as they advanced to the playoffs. In his seven professional seasons, Lardner has helped his team advance to the playoffs four times.

“He’s been averaging almost a full point per game the last few seasons,” Drulia said. “He never stops working and his great speed is a real asset for our penalty kill unit. On top of it all, he is also a great character guy, which makes everyone around him better.”

The signing of Hughes, Lardner and Clark give the Icehawks 11 players on their roster.


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