UHL Teams Look for Boost With Deadline Deals
LAKE ST. LOUIS, MO - With 20 players changing hands, eight United Hockey League (UHL) teams made at least one deal before the trading deadline on Friday, March 2. The Muskegon Fury and Rockford IceHogs did not make moves while everyone else in the league tweaked their roster in hopes of success during the playoff run.
With many of the traded players in new uniforms over the weekend, several teams reaped immediate benefits from their recent transactions. The Quad City Mallards bolstered their defense with the acquisitions of Dale Lupul and Derek Miller from the Elmira Jackals. The pair combined for four goals, three assists and a plus-5 rating while helping the Mallards to an unbeaten week (2-0-1).
The Port Huron Flags made one trade, to acquire left wing Scott Wray from Elmira, and he scored twice and tallied two assists during the Flags 2-1-0 week. He scored the game-winner against his previous team in a 5-2 victory on Sunday. Also helping Port Huron this past week was incumbent goaltender Dustin Traylen who recorded all three decisions in net while posting a 1.67 goals against average (GAA), a .944 save percentage (.SPCT) and a shutout.
Elmira, the busiest team at the deadline, added eight players in four deals. The Jackals snapped an eight-game skid with a pair of victories in a 2-2-0 week. New acquisitions forward Bobby Kukulka and defenseman Nick Harloff scored a goal and assisted a goal, respectively, in the Jackals 4-3 win over Bloomington on Wednesday. Harloff ended his first week as a Jackal with two assists and a plus-3 rating. Other new faces that contributed this past week for Elmira were forwards Glenn Detulleo (three assists) and Andrew Leach (one goal, two assists).
1,000,000th FAN – As of Sunday, the UHL has welcomed over one million fans to its arenas for exciting hockey action during the season. The league’s attendance total for 2006-07 currently stands at 1,005,829.
KALAMAZOO 200 – Kalamazoo left wing Nick Bootland is three assists from 200 in his career while right wing Brent Cullaton needs four assists for 200 in his career.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Bloomington PrairieThunder - (0-2-1) – Forward Mike Zbriger ranks fifth in the league among rookies in scoring with 40 points…Forward Jon Booras has scored a point in eight of the last nine games…Center John Spoltore led the PrairieThunder with 14 points in the month of February (4g, 10a). He is currently on a five-game point streak…Forward Alex Goupil leads the team with three short-handed goals…Bloomington plays Elmira and Kalamazoo from the Eastern Conference this week. The PrairieThunder has a 4-14-4 record against Eastern Conference teams this season.
Chicago Hounds - (3-0-1) – Brenden Cuthbert became the first goaltender in franchise history to win three consecutive games. He went 3-0-1 on the week with a 2.25 GAA and a .932 SPCT…Rookie center Matt Amado leads Chicago in scoring with 19 goals and 16 assists in 53 games played. He has scored a goal in six consecutive games…Center Maris Ziedins has a plus-9 rating over his past five games…The Hounds will play three home games this week, two against Elmira. Chicago has posted a 3-3-1 record against the Jackals this season.
Elmira Jackals - (2-2-0) – Right wing Frank Littlejohn tied his career-high for goals in a season with his 32nd strike of 2006-07 on Saturday. His 32 goals ranks seventh in the UHL…The Jackals won two consecutive games for the first time since a pair of victories on Jan. 31 and Feb. 2…Elmira is two games into a six game road trip, losing both contests last weekend. The Jackals have a 10-19-0 record away from First Arena this season, but a 14-10-0 record against this week’s opponents…Goaltender Dave Lemanowicz has the fifth best save percentage in shootouts this season (.733).
Flint Generals - (1-2-0) – On Saturday in a 5-4 win over Elmira, right wing Jason Selleke became the second General to reach 20 goals this season…Left wing Jeff Zehr leads the team with 22 goals…Defensemen Martin Ondrej and Sean Kotary are the only players to appear in all 60 games for Flint this season…Newly acquired Bogdan Rudenko and Ryan Jorde each tallied an assist in their first game with the Generals on Saturday…Flint leads the league with 80 power play goals…The Generals haven’t won consecutive games since winning six in a row from Jan. 14-27.
Fort Wayne Komets - (0-2-1) – With a 0-2-1 record last week, it marked the first time that the Komets have been winless in three straight games this season…Fort Wayne has the UHL’s stingiest defense, giving up a league-low 151 goals…The Komets have converted 19.6 percent of their power plays, the best mark in the league…Center J.C. Ruid ranks second in the UHL in goals (35)…Defenseman Mario Larocque is on a five-game road point streak (1g, 5a)…The Komets will play three home games and one road game this week. They have posted a 20-8-1 mark at home this season.
Kalamazoo Wings – (3-1-0) – Kalamazoo has won eight of their last 10 games and is on a four-game home winning streak…Head Coach Mark Reeds coached his 800th career game on Sunday against Muskegon…Left wing Nick Bootland is on an 11-game point streak. He ranks fourth in the UHL with 69 points (34g, 35a)…The K-Wings held Muskegon to just 16 shots on Friday. That shot total was the fewest allowed by Kalamazoo this season…The K-Wings have won three of their last five meetings against Muskegon. The two teams will face off again on Wednesday.
Muskegon Fury - (1-1-1) – The Fury snapped its longest winless streak of the season (0-3-1) on Sunday with a 4-1 victory over Kalamazoo…Goaltender Ryan Cyr is 5-1-0 in his last six decisions, and he has a 1.50 GAA and a .949 SPCT during the stretch…When Muskegon scores four or more goals, the Fury have a 31-2-0 record…Right wing Rustyn Dolyny’s empty net goal on Sunday moved him into third place on the Fury all-time goal list with 142…Muskegon needs three more road wins to tie the franchise record of 24 they set last year. The Fury have one road game this week.
Port Huron Flags - (2-1-0) – Port Huron’s 22nd win of the season, a 4-0 win at Fort Wayne, gave the team its 50th point of the season, setting a franchise record…Saturday’s shutout marked the first time in club history that the Flags have shut out the same team in consecutive contests. They previously blanked the Komets on Feb. 23…Defenseman Chris Bogas was on the ice for all four of the Flags tallies on Saturday for a perfect plus-4 rating…Goaltender Dustin Traylen is tied for second in the UHL with four shutouts, and he ranks fifth in GAA (2.55).
Quad City Mallards - (2-0-1) – The Mallards have not suffered a regulation home loss at home since Jan. 26…Newly acquired defenseman Dale Lupul scored a point in his first three games as a Mallard…On Feb. 14, Quad City began a stretch in which they would play the top two teams in the West, Fort Wayne and Rockford, eight times in 22 days. Thus far the Mallards are 4-2-1 during the stretch that wraps up on Wednesday in Fort Wayne…The Mallards will complete their season series with Port Huron on Saturday. Quad City has a 3-2-0 record against the Flags this year.
Rockford IceHogs - (2-0-0) – Rockford is currently riding a club-record 15-game unbeaten streak (14-0-1) and a club-record 10-game winning streak at home…The IceHogs had a season-high crowd of 6,664 on Saturday night, the eighth largest in club history…Center Kevin Ulanski leads the IceHogs with 19 multi-point games this season…Goaltender Frederic Cloutier has a 19-1-2 record since the start of the new year…Center Preston Mizzi had his club-record 13-game point streak snapped on Saturday. He totaled 29 points (12g, 16a) during the stretch.
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