'Jacks Lead League
'JACKS TRACKS: The first place Muskegon Lumberjacks of the International Hockey League have completed a highly-successful month of November with a brilliant record of 12(9-1-2), earning 20 of a possible 24-points. Under the direction of head coach Rich Kromm, the league-leaders have gained a 3-points' lead atop the IHL alliance through the league's best record of 18(12-4-2) totaling 26-points and a win percentage of a dynamic .722. In second place is Port Huron 17(11-5-1)23-points with 3 of the latter team's 5-setbacks inflicted by Muskegon. Two-time defending league champion Fort Wayne 16(11-5-0)22 is occupying third place, trailing the 'Jacks by 4-points. The Komets are 11(8-3-0) in their last 11-decisions with all 3-of those defeats coming to the Lumberjacks. Fourth place is now shared in the standings with Bloomington 18(9-6-3)21-points and Dayton 20(9-8-3) 21-points. The Prairie Thunder are 2(0-2-0) against the Muskegon club so far this campaign. This week, as the IHL season progresses into December, the Lumberjacks will face a two-games work load with both appearances occurring on home ice this upcoming weekend. Friday night has become a showdown duel featuring the top two teams in the loop as Port Huron comes calling Friday night before archrival Quad City touches down in our town downtown Saturday night.
PROMOTION IN MOTION: Once again this weekend, the Lumberjacks organization continues to celebrate and commem-orate the Muskegon franchise Golden Anniversary Season with some special promotional activities and festivities. On Friday night, the Lumberjacks will honor and salute all military personnel by offering all tickets to them for only $5. In addition, it's the first Muskegon Community College "Student Night" of the season. All MCC students with proper student ID will receive their tickets as well for only $5. Saturday night, the Lumberjacks will present their annual, popular "Star Wars" Night at Walker Arena.
11TH MONTH MAJESTY: The Lumberjacks month of November was one for the ages as "The Kromm Crew" posted a sterling record of 12(9-1-2); suffering a scant single setback for the entire month. Included in the majestic month was an IHL season's best 9-game win streak and 10-game undefeated skein; 10(9-0-1), also the league's longest in that category. For the month, Muskegon earned 20 of a possible 24-points. In their last 15-games, the Muskegon record is a brilliant 15(11-2-2). Thus far this season, the Lumberjacks have yet to sustain back-to-back defeats, incorporating the first 2-months of the season, comprising 18-games. When Dayton defeated the 'Jacks Saturday night in Muskegon, 4-2, it represented the league-leaders first setback since October 31st at Fort Wayne.
HOME VERSION OF THE GAME: The past week, the Lumberjacks divided a pair of Walker Arena appearances; conquering the Komets of Fort Wayne Friday night, 3-1, before being derailed by Dayton Saturday night, 4-2. With the Dayton defeat, the Lumberjacks also saw their league season's best 8-game home win streak stopped as they incurred their first home undoing since back on October 23rd when the Gems also ambushed them, 7-5. In a sparkling home record of 11(9-2-0), the 'Jacks have been saddled with both setbacks by way of the upstart Dayton club. Muskegon's 9-home victories are two more than the rest of the league.
ROAD SHOW SHINE: The Lumberjacks completed the month of November unsullied abroad with a 5(3-0-2) November log. Their present tense 5-game unblemished skein is the longest accomplished in the IHL this season while their recently-capped off 3-game road win skein also ranks as the best of the rest in the circuit this season. For the season, Muskegon is maintaining a road record which exceeds the .500 barrier at 7(3-2-2); or 7-points in 7-games.
SCORING BALANCE CHALLENGE: Through their first 18-games on the campaign, the Lumberjacks continue as the circuit's supreme goal-scoring squadron. Having stoked some 65-GF, they are averaging 3.65 goals per game. The top 3-circuit scoring sultans, Robin Bouchard, Todd Robinson and John DiPace have accounted for 34 of those 65-strikes or an average of 52.3% of the team's firepower. In the meantime, defensively, the Lumberjacks have climbed to #3 in the league with 49-GA for a GAA of an ever-evaporating 2.68.
EMINENT FRONT: The top 3 in league-wide scoring continue to be the IHL's most dangerous, dynamic forward line of Robin Bouchard, Todd Robinson and John DiPace. For the record, Bouchard 18(15-16-31) and Robinson 18(9-22-31) share the top pinnacle with DiPace 18(10-20-30) a very close #3. Bouchard leads the league in goals (15) and GWG (4). He is tied for the league-lead in PPG with 5. Robinson (22), DiPace (20), Bouchard (16) are also 1-2-3 in playmaking assists. Robinson (9) and DiPace (8) are 1-2 in PP/assists. Bouchard (75) is tied for #2 in the IHL for SOG. The Lumberjacks continue to dominate the league's best plus players; 1-DiPace +24; 2- Robinson +19; 3-Bouchard +18; 4- Matt Krug +12; 6- Tom Galvin +8; 7- J.T. Dahlinger +7; 8- Adam Welch +6; Jason Lawmaster +6. In Rookie Scoring; 4- Matt Krug 18(3-8-11); 9- Matt Robertson 18(3-3-6); 13- J.T. Dahlinger 17(1-3-4); In Defense Scoring; 3- Tom Galvin 16(4-7-11); Krug 18(3-8-11). In the goaltending department, Matt Lundin is #2 IHL with a 2.30 GAA and .922 SPCT. He also has the IHL's best record at 7(5-1-1). Sebastien Centomo ranks 5th with a GAA of 2.49 while his SPCT of .913 ranks 5th IHL. His 7-wins are second most in the IHL.
THE "PACE" CAR STAR: Veteran left wing John DiPace has never played better in his outstanding pro career. The past month, in 12-games, he fashioned 22-points on 8-goals, 14-assists with a brilliant +18 and 34-SOG. He achieved 11-consecu-tive plus games in the calendar's 11th month along with an 8-game point streak; 8(7-10-17) and 5-game goal streak; 5(5-7-12). Moreover, he collected points in 10 of the last 11-games for November with 8 of those being multiple point productions. In 7 of the 11-games, he was selected as one of the games 3-Stars. DiPace has been a plus player, remarkably, in 16 of his team's last 17-games and has experienced only one minus game all season long. Having captured Meijer / IHL Player of the Week last week, DiPace is the Lumberjacks nomination for Meijer / IHL Player of the Month for November.
THE GREAT CENTOMO: Nine-year pro Sebastien Centomo completed November riding the rising rapids of a personal , 5-game win streak; 5(5-0-0) with a nifty and thrifty GAA of 2.11 and SPCT of .910. He has started in 12 of Muskegon's first 18-games thus far this season and is a stellar 7(6-1-0) on home ice. For November, he was undefeated at 6(5-0-0-1) with a scintillating GAA of 2.07 and SPCT of .923. His last defeat came back on October 31st in Fort Wayne. Centomo is the Lumberjacks nomination for Meijer / IHL Goaltender of the Month.
MATT-SCAT SKILL: First year goaltender Matt Lundin continues to make a stellar statement of his puck-stopping stupendo. For the month of November, he was extraordinary, compiling a masterful record of 6(4-1-1) with a stingy 2.35 GAA and .919 SPCT. Opening his pro career precociously and auspiciously with a 5-game personal win streak, the former U. of Maine and Mercyhurst ace in the place has already gained 3 of his victories in OT. He also remains unblemished abroad at this juncture with a mark of 3(2-0-1). Lundin is the Lumberjacks nomination for Meijer / IHL Rookie of the Month as well as IHL Goaltender of the Week and Rookie of the Week.
"BOUCH" BLAZES: 16-year veteran right wing Robin Bouchard is thoroughly enjoying his 13th season as a member of the Muskegonites. The past week, Muskegon'a all-time feared, revered premiere cannoneer cannonaded 4-goals in 3-games on 3(4-1-5). Included in his output were his 4th and 5th multi-goal games of the year to top the IHL in that department as well. He was +3 for the week that also included 2-PPG, 1-FG, 1-GWG and +3 rating. In his last 11-games; 11(11-11-22). Bouchard (642) is now 41-goals shy of becoming the greatest goal-scorer ever in the annals of minor pro hockey. Bouchard is the Lumberjacks nomination for Meijer / IHL Player of the Week.
"TAPE-TO-TAPE" TODD: The Muskegon franchise all time playmaker extraordinaire and assists' leader Todd Robinson is on yet another one of his scoring binges. Currently riding the crest of a 9-game point streak on 9(6-14-20), he was and is 3(0-5-5) in 3-games the past week and is 11(7-16-23) in the 'Jacks last 11-games. For his Muskegon pro career, he has amassed an amazing 546-assists in 514-games. Meanwhile for his total body of work at the pro level, he has maestroed 687-pro career assists in 687-pro career games.
"WELCHADE:" Second year defenseman Adam Welch has become an excellent asset to the 'Jacks lineup in quite a short period of time. In his first 10-games, he is 10(2-2-4) with a superlative +6 rating. The past week, he struck with his initial 2-goals in 2-games, earning the game's #3 Star in his team's Friday night 3-1 triumph over Fort Wayne. In that one, he contrib-uted considerably with 1-goal, (the game's FG) and 1-assist. In his last 3-games; 3(2-1-3).
SPECIAL TEAMS TOPIC: The Lumberjacks special teams are as most of this constellation. Power play and penalty-killing can be very streaky. Certainly, Muskegon falls into this category as well. The power plant power play is only 2 for the last 27 for a proficiency rating of 7.4%. For the season, it is rated IHL 4th at 18-99; 18.2 %. As far as the shorthand band is concerned, Muskegon 5th at 77-97 for a rating 79.4%. The 'Jacks have yielded the most PPGA in the league with 20.
A MOMENT FOR MILESTONES: Robin Bouchard (693) is 7-assists away from pro career 700-helpers. Center Travis Banga's next point (299) will be the 300th of his pro stylings. Jason Lawmaster (197) is 3-assists away from 300. Left wing Bobby Bolt (198) is 2-games away from the pro career 100-games. Head Coach Rich Kromm (142) is 7-victories away from tying Todd Nelson (149) for most Muskegon coaching victories.
FEW FUN FAST FACTS FROM "FIC": Against their top 3-pursuers in the IHL, Port Huron 3(3-0-0); Fort Wayne 4(3-1-0) and Bloomington 2(2-0-0), the 'Jacks have composed a masterful mark of 9(8-1-0). Against Dayton 4(1-2-1) and Flint 3(1-1-1), the 'Jacks record stands at 7(2-3-2). Muskegon's best period is the first one, outscoring the opponents, 25-12 overall and 16-6 at home. The 'Jacks are 4(3-0-1) on Sundays this season and 3(3-0-0) at home. Muskegon is 2(0-2) in the OTSO this year with Todd Robinson scoring the only 2-Muskegon strikes while the 'Jacks have allowed 5-GA in 6-shootout attempts provided for the opposition.
THE LUMBERJACKS GAME CALENDAR FOR THIS WEEK:
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4TH PORT HURON AT THE LUMBERJACKS 7:00 PM
The fourth collision for two of the better teams in this year's IHL banner chase. Muskegon leads the series 3(3-0-0). At home, they are 2(2-0-0); on the road 1(1-0-0). The last clash here came on the Education Day game of November 18th when the 'Jacks surmounted a daunting third period of deficit of 3-1, in erupting for 4-third period goals in an ultimate 6-3 victory verdict.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5TH QUAD CITY AT THE LUMBERJACKS 7:00 PM
The Lumberjacks are also undefeated thus far this season against the fledgling franchise, Quad City. However, the previous encounters have both been decided in OT with Muskegon prevailing in the pair. On November 7th in Moline, IL, they prevailed 4-3 on a Tom Galvin GWG/OT/PPG at 3:24 of the overtime period. In the last clash back on November 21, it was a John DiPace deflection that produced in another GWG/OT at 1:11 of the extra session.
LEGENDS, YOUNG GUNS AND LUMBERJACKS: All the Lumberjacks game broadcasts in the 50th Anniversary Season as well as the Monday Night "Jacks Jam" can be heard on exclusive flagship radio station WLAW 92.5 FM, "THE OUTLAW." The Monday night "Jacks Jam" is every Monday night from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, live from FRICANO'S MUSKEGON LAKE. The "Voice" of the Lumberjacks, Terry Ficorelli has all of the Jacks on radio action. The 'Jacks game broadcasts can also be found on the world wide web at www.muskegonlumberjacks.com.
THE LUMBERJACKS DAILY UPDATE REPORTS: Tune in every day even when there is not a game, as Terry Ficorelli brings you up to date with the Lumberjacks Hockey Update, Monday through Friday at 5:57 pm on WEFG-FM 97.5, "THE CHAMP." There are also Lumberjacks daily reports throughout the day in Grand Haven on WGHN Radio, "Sports Radio 1370 ESPN."
LUMBERJACKS TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets for all Lumberjacks home games for the 2009-10 season are on sale at the Walker Arena Box Office, all Ticketmaster Centers or by phone at (231)726-2400; VISA / MASTERCARD accepted. For great group rates and birthday parties with the Lumberjacks, phone the Lumberjacks office at (231) 726-3879 or visit our website at www.muskegonlumberjacks.com. Once again, all this season at every home game, all youth tickets (17-under) are only $5 as presented by Muskegon Community College.
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