UHL Path to the Playoffs
UHL Path to the Playoffs
Tuesday, Mar. 1st, 2005
LAKE ST. LOUIS, MO – This past month has been one of notable performances, intensified rivalries, and acceleration in player development. NHLers joined several teams, player trades proved beneficial for many, and with less than five weeks remaining in the 2004-05 regular season, the competition has gotten stronger.
From The Bottom Up After a number of trades and roster additions, the Missouri River Otters and Motor City Mechanics have improved their overall record in the month of February. Missouri’s record has improved from 4-9-2 in January to 11-4-1 this month; Motor City’s record from 4-7-3 in January to 8-5-1.
Division Differentials Last month, Danbury led the Eastern Division by a single point; a month later, Adirondack leads the division by eight. Muskegon continues to lead the Central Division with 83 points, followed by Kalamazoo with 79. Missouri, who sits third in the division, reduced its point differential by 13 this month. At the end of January, Rockford posted a 31-12-5 record, leading the Western Division with 67 points, three points ahead of the Komets. After 28 days, the Fort Wayne Komets have moved into first in the division with a 38-18-4 record and a single point lead.
Between the Pipes Kevin St. Pierre has moved from fifth to first amongst UHL leading goaltenders posting a 24-9-2 record on the season; Quad City’s Robert Gherson moved from seventh to second in the league posting a 9-5-1 record on the season. Missouri’s Kevin Reiter moved to seventh with a 16-6-3 record on the season and a 4-2-0 record in February.
Leading Scorers Adirondack’s Hugo Belanger leads the league with 79 points. Richmond’s David Hymovitz moved up nine spots with 12 goals and 12 assists in the month of February, including seven power plays, one shorthanded and one game-winning goal. Danbury’s Mike Bayrack is one shorthanded goal away from tying last season’s high of seven scored by Flint’s Bobby Reynolds and Jim Duhart.
Rookie Class Flint’s Mike Kinnie and Quad City’s Mike Kompon continue to lead UHL rookies with 59 and 58 points, respectively. Kinnie has recorded 13 power play goals so far this season passing the 2003-04 season high of nine goals by a rookie. Adirondack’s Ryan Bennett has tallied four shorthanded goals on the season, passing last season’s rookie high of three set by Kalamazoo’s Tim Turner and Flint’s John DiPace.
Blue Liners Missouri’s Mat Snesrud currently leads UHL defenseman with 46 points (nine goals, 37 assists), and Kansas City’s Matthieu Descoteaux with a .128 shooting percentage (six goals on 47 shots). Danbury’s Mario LaRocque leads UHL defenseman with 253 penalty minutes in 60 games played.
UHL Celebrates B2 Networks 500th Webcast In celebration of B2 Networks 500th webcast this season, the United Hockey League and B2 Networks will be offering its 500th broadcast for free via theuhl.com on March 2, 2005. The Danbury Trashers and Fort Wayne Komets will face-off at 7:30 p.m. EST.
Adirondack Frostbite - (3-1-0) –The Frostbite’s win on Friday night at Richmond improved their record to 37-15-6 for 80 points. They are first place overall in both UHL standings and the Eastern Division…Left wing Hugo Belanger leads the league in scoring with 79 points. He also posts the second best shooting percentage in the league converting at 20.3 percent…The Frostbite are on a three-game winning streak and a season-high seven-game home winning streak. The Frostbite are 26-3-3 when scoring first and 25-0-0 when leading after the second period…Defenseman Bob Rapoza is three points away from 300 on his career and three games away from 600…After his win on Sunday, goaltender Kris Tebbs is ninth on the Adirondack all-time wins list with 13…Adirondack has the best road power play, and second best overall converting 21.8 percent. On the penalty kill, the Frostbite are fifth in the league at 84.1 percent.
Danbury Trashers - (3-1-0) – Trashers rookie winger Alex Goupil had a career-high five-game goal- scoring streak end on Sunday. Over the span, Goupil scored eight of his 14 goals this season and tallied an assist for nine points and a plus-seven rating…Bruce Richardson is tied for second in league scoring in the month of February and is now sixth overall in scoring with 71 points. He is also fifth in the league with 51 assists…Forward Jeff Daw recorded the first six-point game (one goal, five assists) in team history in Danbury’s 9-3 win over Motor City on February 19th. This month, he was second on the Trashers roster in scoring with 18 points…Danbury finished the month of February with a 6-7-1 record; it is the first time the Trashers have had a losing month…Eighteen of Mike Bayrack's team-leading 31 goals have come on the road.
Elmira Jackals - (0-2-0) –Center Eddy Lowe is just two points from becoming the Elmira Jackals all-time leading scorer. In 343 career games for Elmira, Lowe has 217 points (111 goals, 106 assists) trailing the top mark of 219 points set by Randy Murphy…With a 4-2 loss to Danbury Saturday night Elmira has lost 11 straight games, the longest in the team's five-year history. It is the UHL's longest winless streak of the 2004-05 season…Netminder Greg Hewitt has 2,828 minutes and was passed by Rockford's Michel Robinson (2,876 minutes) over the weekend…Right wing Jason Sessa tallied his 15th power play goal of the season Friday night in Danbury, tying him for first in the UHL with Muskegon’s Robin Bouchard…Elmira hasn’t registered a win since the UHL All-Star break in late January.
Flint Generals - (1-2-1) – Right wing Rob Valicevic appeared in his 700th professional game and scored his 200th career goal in Wednesday night’s 4-0 victory at Fort Wayne. He currently leads the Generals with 29 goals…Goaltender Dan McIntyre posted his second shutout of the season Wednesday night at Fort Wayne. He also has appeared in 11 shootouts posting a 4-7 record…Flint set a new team record with its 11th shootout loss to Port Huron on Saturday. Flint is 2-9 in road shootouts and 3-2 at home…Flint suffered it’s second shutout home loss this season on Sunday afternoon against the Komets….The Generals record against the Western Division is 10-9-1; Eastern Division, 6-7-1; and Central Division, 9-8-9…Flint is 9-15-6 in the last 30 games played compared to 16-9-5 in their first 30 games of this season.
Fort Wayne Komets - (2-2-0) – The Komets registered four points for the fifth straight week and held the top spot in the Western Division improving to 38-18-4 for 80 points after 20 weeks and 60 games of the 2004-05 campaign…Friday the Komets captured their 20th home win of the season stopping the Quad City Mallards 3-1…Sean Venedam’s goal on Friday night tied his personal career season-best of 33 goals. Center Colin Chaulk registered three helpers for his fourth three-assist game of the season on Friday…Right wing Justin Virag posted his 200th UHL and Fort Wayne career point with an assist in the Komets 4-0 win at Flint on Sunday. Virag is appearing in his fourth Komet and UHL season and has appeared in 253 games with the Komets to date. The only professional game without a Komet uniform came during the 2000-01 season when he skated a game for St. John of the AHL…Goaltender Kevin St. Pierre has posted 97 UHL career wins.
Kalamazoo Wings - (1-1-1) – Forward Mike Manley is on a five-game scoring streak…Left wing Andrew Luciuk is on a four-game point streak…Right wing Tim Krueckl is on a three-game goal and point streak tallying four goals in his last three games. He is fourth overall and second among rookies with a .192 shooting percentage…Kalamazoo went a perfect 4-0-0 on the road in the month of February…K-Wings start a six-game home stand this Wednesday morning against Flint. Wednesday’s game marks the second annual Kalamazoo Public Schools Game for the K-Wings…The K-Wings have won 20 road games, the most of any team in the UHL…Goaltender Chad Alban is second in the UHL in wins with 27…Goaltender Joel Martin is second in the UHL in save percentage at .929…Forward Tim Turner is on a three-game road goal scoring streak.
Kansas City Outlaws - (3-1-0) – Maxime Gingras picked up the first shutout in Outlaws history on February 26th at Rockford. He currently leads the league in shootout victories with seven…Kansas City has had five of their last 10 games decided in a shootout posting a 4-1 record; on the season the Outlaws have registered nine shootout victories…Center Mark Lee is fourth among rookies in scoring with 42 points and second among rookies with 32 assists… Kansas City is the only team this season to win three consecutive games in a shootout (Feb 23rd, 25th, 26th)…Right wing Joe Seroski and Jay Murphy have registered hat tricks this season…Kansas City is 11-14-1 versus the Central Division, 11-21-2 versus the Western Division…Kansas City's three straight road wins in February was their longest road win streak of the season…The Outlaws have 12 home games and eight road games remaining…Left wing Jason Ruff has seven points (five goals, two assists) in his last five games played.
Missouri River Otters - (1-2-1) – The River Otters are 9-2-1 over their last 12 games, and are six points out of first place in the Western Division…Right wing Frank Littlejohn and center Jim Montgomery each have scored eight goals in their last ten games. Littlejohn leads the team with 27 goals, while Montgomery holds fifth in UHL shooting percentage with a 19-percent success rate…With two assists Sunday against Motor City, defenseman Mat Snesrud took over the league lead for points among defenseman. He has scored nine goals and added 37 assists so far this season for 46 points…In just 13 games, defenseman Barret Jackman has moved to the River Otters lead in plus/minus. Jackman is a plus-13 tying him with Snesrud for the teams lead…The River Otters are 20-7-6 in one-goal games this season. Adirondack is the only team with more one-goal victories (21) than the River Otters.
Motor City Mechanics - (2-1-1) – Center Blair Manning recorded a hat trick on Wednesday versus the K-Wings…Defenseman Jason Reimers scored his first two goals of the season on Sunday versus Missouri…Center Rick Smith tallied three points in four games this week…Left wing Matt Hunter netted the game-winning goal on Friday versus Flint…The Mechanics were 2-1-1 this week and 8-4-1 in the month of February…Center David Bonk is tied for second among rookies with two shorthanded points…Motor City has the least goals for per game average (2.42) and highest goals against average per game (3.78)this season…Defenseman Chris Chelios is currently riding a five-game assist streak (six assists) and Blair Manning a five-game road assist streak.
Muskegon Fury - (2-0-1) – Muskegon leads the UHL in second period goals with 87…The Fury have yielded a league-low of 148 goals against in 60 games for a goals against average of 2.47…With his four goals in three games this weekend, Todd Robinson has moved past Sergei Kharin and Justin Morrison into seventh place on the Fury’s all-time goal-scoring list with 108…Goaltender Sylvain Daigle is currently on a seven-game win streak allowing only ten goals against in that span for a goals against average of 1.49 and a save percentage of .954… Center Jeff Nelson is currently riding an eight-game point-scoring streak with five goals and nine assists for 14 points. Left wing Jason Lawmaster is also on an eight-game streak with two goals and seven assists during that stretch… With a hat trick in Sunday’s triumph over Rockford, right wing Scott Hollis is three points away from 600 on his professional career. He is also three goals shy of 300 and five goals of becoming the tenth player in Fury history to score 100 goals…In the 13 games for the month of February, defenseman Jon Insana achieved the best plus rating among Fury (plus-14).
Port Huron Beacons – (2-0-0) – Aaron Brand had at least one point in 13 of 14 games played in the month of February…With the shootout goal on Friday versus Muskegon, left wing Josh Tataryn leads the team in shootout percentage, 6 for 11 for 54.5 percent…Defenseman Rico Fatticci has a two-game goal-scoring streak…The Beacons are 2-1-0 against the Elmira Jackals…The Beacons played over 20 minutes shorthanded on Saturday night with three goals against on the Generals 12 power play opportunities.
Quad City Mallards - (2-1-0) – Rookie goaltender Robert Gherson allowed a goal on Sunday at The MARK for the first time since February 4th. Gherson had a home streak of 140:24 scoreless minutes…Rookie forward Mike Kompon recorded his fifth multiple goal game of the year with a pair of goals on Sunday versus Kansas City. He has six points (three goals and three assists) in his last two games…Rookie forward A.J. MacLean has five markers in his last eight games…The Mallards went 4-20 on the power play in home victories on Saturday and Sunday.
Richmond RiverDogs – (0-1-1) – Right wing David Brosseau had one goal and three assists in two games versus Adirondack. He is fifth in the league with 218 shots on goal…Left wing David Hymovitz is second in the league with 77 points…Richmond held Hugo Belanger, the league's leader in points, without a point in two games…Luch Nasato is fourth amongst defensemen in points with 36…Richmond is third overall in the league on the power play at 19.4 percent…Richmond is third in the Eastern Division with 59 points with a 27-28-5 record.
Rockford IceHogs - (1-1-1) – Michel Robinson set an IceHogs team record with his fifth shutout of the season on Saturday…The IceHogs and Outlaws were scoreless after three periods of play on Saturday. The game marked the first time in Hogs history that a game finished 0-0 in regulation…Center J.C. Ruid is third in the UHL with 32 goals…The IceHogs held the Outlaws to a season-low 16 shots on goal on Saturday night…The IceHogs have notched 30 or more shots in nine of their last 10 games…February marks the first month this season in which the IceHogs didn’t finish over .500…Winger J.F. Dufour led Rockford in scoring in February with three goals, nine assists and 12 points.
SHER-WOOD PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Motor City center Blair Manning completed the week with eight points (3g, 5a) and a plus-two rating in four games. In Wednesday’s 5-2 victory over the K-Wings, he tallied a hat-trick and an assist. On Saturday, he tallied three assists (one power play) against Quad City, and another power play assist on Sunday in the 6-5 shootout loss to Missouri. He currently leads Motor City with 15 goals and 36 assists, and is one of only two Mechanics players to have appeared in all 60 games played. The 29-year-old Vancouver, B.C. native is currently riding a five-game assist streak.
Manning began his career in 1993-94 playing 27 collegiate games with the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He spent the last two seasons with the Oklahoma City Blazers (2002-04) recording 133 points in 128 games played. On his career, he has played with the ECHL Louisiana IceGators (1998-99) and Baton Rouge Kingfish (1996-97); the IHL Grand Rapids Griffins (1996-98) and Kansas City Blades (2000-01), and the UHL’s Muskegon Fury (1997-98).
Other players nominated for the Sher-Wood UHL Player of the Week include: Adirondack right wing Ryan Bennett, Danbury forward Bruce Richardson, Elmira center Carl Drakensjo, Flint right wing Mike Kinnie, Fort Wayne center Colin Chaulk, Kalamazoo winger Tim Krueckl, Kansas City left wing Jason Ruff, Missouri center Lars Pettersen, Muskegon center Todd Robinson, Port Huron left wing Jeff Goldie, Quad City forward Mike Kompon, Richmond right wing David Brosseau, and Rockford right wing Chris Gobert.
SOUTHERN SPORTS SUPPLY UHL GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK
Kansas City’s Maxime Gingras finished the week with a 3-2-0 record, 1.94 GAA and .944 save percentage and one shutout. On Wednesday night, he registered the 3-2 shootout win over the River Otters, stopping 44 of 46 shots in regulation. On Friday, he registered the 4-3 shootout win over Kalamazoo, and after three scoreless periods, the shootout win over Rockford on Saturday. He is currently fifth in the league with 1,162 saves, first with seven shootout wins, and third with a .780 shootout percentage. The 26-year-old Lorretteville, PQ native is in his second season with the UHL and first with the Kansas City Outlaws.
He spent two seasons with the ECHL Pensacola Ice Pilots (2001-03) and for four seasons (1998-01), split time in the AHL with the Providence Bruins (1999-00) and Louisville Panthers (2000-01), and IHL with the Orlando Solar Bears (1998-99) and Houston Aeros (1999-00). He was the 1998-99 ECHL Goaltender of the Year.
Other players nominated for the Southern Sports Supply UHL Goaltender of the Week include: Adirondack’s Kris Tebbs, Danbury’s Scott Stirling, Elmira’s Greg Hewitt, Flint’s Dan McIntyre, Fort Wayne’s Kevin St. Pierre, Kalamazoo’s Joel Martin, Missouri’s Kevin Reiter, Motor City’s Rod Branch, Muskegon’s Sylvain Daigle, Port Huron’s Stu Dunn, Quad City’s Robert Gherson, Richmond’s Brent Belecki, and Rockford’s Michel Robinson.
SHER-WOOD PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Port Huron center Aaron Brand completed the month with twenty-three points (12g, 11a) and a plus-two rating in fourteen games. With 42 shots on goal this month, he netted four power plays, one shorthanded and one game-winning goal. He currently posts 24 goals and 42 assists on the season and holds the second longest consecutive-point streak this season at twelve games (20pts). He is 15 points behind Michel Beausoleil for third all-time on the Beacons scoring list with 54 goals and 67 assists for 121 points in 130 games played.
In the 2003-04 season, he tallied 55 points (30g) in 72 games played and in the playoffs, tallied seven points in nine games. In 2002-03, he played for the ECHL Cincinnati Cyclones, and from 1995-00 played with the AHL St. John’s Maple Leafs. As the top scorer in the OHL, he won the 1995-96 Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy. The 29-year-old Toronto, Ontario native is in his second season with the Beacons.
Other players nominated for the Sher-Wood UHL Player of the Month include: Adirondack center Sylvain Cloutier, Danbury forward Bruce Richardson, Elmira center Eddy Lowe, Fort Wayne right wing Chris Grenville, Flint right wing Mike Kinnie, Kalamazoo center Mike Manley, Kansas City right wing Jay Murphy, Missouri center Jim Montgomery, Motor City center Blair Manning, Muskegon center Jeff Nelson, Quad City forward Mike Kompon, Richmond left wing David Hymovitz, and Rockford right wing J.F. Dufour.
SOUTHERN SPORTS SUPPLY UHL GOALTENDER OF THE MONTH
Muskegon’s Sylvain Daigle finished the month with a 7-2-0 record, 1.74 GAA, and .942 save percentage. The Fury’s two-time team MVP goaltender has won his last seven consecutive decisions. In this stretch, he allowed only ten goals against for a GAA of a 1.49 and a save percentage of .954. His shutout on February 11th tied him with Joe Dimaline for most Fury career shutouts (8). He has the top save percentage in the league (.934) with 399 saves and two assists on the season. The 28-year-old St. Hyacinthe, Quebec native is in his ninth professional season and fifth with the Fury.
He rejoined Muskegon after playing overseas for the London Racers. In his career he split time with the Mississippi Sea Wolves (ECHL), Las-Vegas Thunder (IHL), Springfield Falcons (AHL), and Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL). He is the Fury's two-time team MVP, 2001-02 UHL Goaltender of the year, and the 2004 Playoff MVP. In 2003-04, he set the UHL single season record for most saves (1,961) and minutes played (3,918). Daigle was selected by the Winnipeg Jets in the sixth round of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft.
Other players nominated for the Southern Sports Supply Goaltender of the Month include: Adirondack’s Kris Tebbs, Danbury’s Scott Stirling, Elmira’s Kevin Kurk, Flint’s Marco Emond, Fort Wayne’s Kevin St. Pierre, Kalamazoo’s Joel Martin, Kansas City’s Maxime Gingras, Missouri’s Jason Tapp, Motor City’s Rod Branch, Port Huron’s Daniel Berthiaume, Quad City’s Robert Gherson, Richmond’s Brent Belecki, and Rockford’s Michel Robinson.
ON THE UP AND UP
Quad City right wing Greg Barber has posted one goal and two assists in twenty-four games with the Hershey Bears…Kalamazoo left wing Ryan Barnes continues to play for the Grand Rapids Griffins with nine points (4g, 5a) in 44 games played…Kalamazoo left wing Nick Bootland, who was reassigned to the Cleveland Barons in late September, has six goals and seven assists (55gp) with a plus-one rating…Flint left wing Jay Henderson who was called-up to the Providence Bruins at the start of the UHL season, has notched five goals and seven assists in fifty-seven games played…Kalamazoo center Kory Karlander has been with the Griffins since late September posting one goal and two assists in twenty-eight games played…Danbury forward John Morlang has played twenty-five games with Bridgeport tallying two goals and five assists…Rockford defenseman Tim Wedderburn has played in forty-four games with Chicago posting a plus-thirteen rating with seven assists…Rockford defenseman Kevin Klein returned to the Milwaukee Admirals in early December notching twelve points (4g, 8a)… Danbury’s J.F. David has played in two games with the Hershey Bears… Rockford’s Seamus Kotyk has played sixteen games in net for the Milwaukee Admirals posting an 8-5-0 record and tallying one assist…Elmira’s Darren Van Oene has played in four games with the Manchester Monarchs…Rockford winger Eric Labelle has played two games with the Milwaukee Admirals.
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