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October 13, 2003 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Danville Wings News Release


Welcome to another exciting weekend of Tier 1 USHL hockey action. Your Danville Wings come into action tonight with a 3-0-1 record, good for first place in the early going of our debut season in the best junior hockey league in North America. This weekend gives us another tremendous challenge, as we face the team picked to win it all this year, the Tri Cities Storm on Friday and follow up facing off Saturday against the Sioux Falls Stampede.

The Storm is coached by Bliss Littler, assisted by former Danville head coach Tom Rudrud. They’ve assembled a very deep, extremely skilled team with remarkable talent on defense. They’re off to a 4-0 start, and have yet to give up more than 2 goals in a game, having beaten Sioux City 4-1, Sioux Falls 4-0, Lincoln 4-2, and River City 5-1. They boast an impressive goalkeeping duo of former Pittsburgh Forge nemesis Peter Mannino and Eric Arnio, a returning vet coming off a stellar year. The Storm also has the outstanding Forge alum John Dingle who has yet to find his scoring range. Nick Pernula leads them in scoring with 6 points in 4 games, a total matched by Tim Madsen. Import Rad Spirik has tallied three power play goals.

The Stampede is coached by Mark Kaufman, who coached Rochester to National Championship and has had a successful coaching career at the pro level for the last several seasons. Kaufman is an old school coach, demanding, and his team will be one of the more competitive squads by the time the season is over. They are led in scoring by Anthony Ciraulo who has netted two goals and Jim McKenzie who’s scored two power play goals thus far. The Stampede is looking for their first win of the season.

The Wings recorded our first USHL sweep last weekend, topping Sioux City in a 2-1 thriller here last Friday and then scoring a 6-3 win in Cedar Rapids. In that latter game Derek Patrosso authored 4 assists, and combined with his goal the night before earned USHL Offensive Player of the week honors. We picked Derek up in a transaction with Sioux Falls. The 6 goal outburst by our forwards (6 different players scored; Tomas Klempa, Bryan Marshall, Todd McIlrath, Brad Robbins, Alex Foster, and Andrew Panchenko) was the first time we scored more than twice in regulation. In both games last week, the power play produced two goals, and Panchenko’s goal was a shorthanded tally.

We played Tri Cities in our first pre-season game of the year, dropping a 4-2 decision. In order to have a successful, we’ll need to continue to see growth in our power play, and as the Storm has the top power play in the league, our penalty kill will be tested. In both games, we’ll have to show strong discipline. One vital area we’ll watch closely is in front of the opponent’s net. We need to be do a better job getting to and burying our rebound chances, and playing well in the tough areas of the ice is a must for any team that hopes to leave a lasting mark in league play.

As always, we appreciate your support, and the consistent enthusiasm with which you’ve backed our efforts. –The Danville Wings Coaching Staff

Wings Sweep Weekend

The Danville Wings came into the weekend without a loss in regulation and that is how they left it. By defeating Tri City on Firday and Sioux Falls last night, the Wings brought their record to 5-0-1 for a league high 11 points.

On Friday evening Tri City came to town with a 4-0 mark and had only allowed 4 goals in their first 4 games. This game looked to be a defensive battle but in the end turned out to be a 6-4 Wings win. Chris Walsh got the Wings on the board early in the first period on an assist from Nik Sellers. Bryan Marshall then netted his second goal of the year on a pass from Alex Foster who also put 2 goals on the board. Justin Tobe got the win in net by stopping 29 of 33 shots and Tobe even wanted to get in on the scoring. With an empty net on the opposite side, Tobe took a weak shot and wristed it high in the air and in for the goal to seal the win.

On Saturday, the Wings did not sit back on their big win the night before. They kept up the intensity and came out with a 5-1 win. Nino Musitelli notched his first 2 goals of the year and Justin Tobe stopped 20 of 21 shots for his 4th win of the year to lead the USHL early this season. Bryan Marshall picked up 2 assists and Alex Foster collected his 6th goal of the year as both lead the league in points with 9.

The Wings are on the road next weekend with games at Sioux Falls and Sioux City before returning home to play St. Louis on Wednesday October 22nd at 7pm.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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