Michi-gamer: Pride of the Mitten (Week of March 25)

Welcome to another season of MiHockey’s Michi-gamer, now powered by Bauer Hockey.

We take great pride in our homegrown talent. Whether they grew up in the Mitten or we welcomed them here for college or juniors, they are our own. They represent the best place in the world for hockey.

Every night, we’ll keep an eye on those players, and every morning, we will pick one Michi-gamer of the night – one Michigan player who stood out above the rest.


MARCH 29 – ALEX ALEARDI

Farmington Hills native Alex Aleardi played in his first professional hockey game yesterday. He also scored his first professional goal yesterday. Oh yeah, and that first professional goal just happened to be the game-winner. The former Plymouth Whalers forward quickly made friends with his new teammates on the Springfield Falcons when he found the back of the net at the 4:15 mark of the third period, breaking a 4-4 tie between the Falcons and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Aleardi played for four teams during his OHL career – the Whalers, the Kitchener Rangers, the Bellville Bulls and the Windsor Spitfires – and he racked up 104 goals and 123 assists for 227 points in 321 games.

More MiHockey articles on Aleardi:

Whalers trade Farmington Hills native Alex Aleardi to Windsor, acquire Lorentz

Michi-gamer: Pride of the Mitten (Week of Nov. 26)


MARCH 28 – MIKE CAMMALLERI

Even without captain Jerome Iginla, Mike Cammalleri made sure his Calgary Flames picked up a win Wednesday night. The former Wolverines star recorded a pair of goals to lead the Flames to a 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Cammalleri struck twice in the middle frame, recording his 10th and 11th goals of the season. The latter turned out to be the game-winner for the Flames, giving them an important win as they begin to conclude a season without their captain. Cammalleri now has 24 points on the season.

More MiHockey articles on Cammalleri:

Michi-gamer: Pride of the Mitten (Week of Feb. 11)

Michi-gamer: The pride of the Mitten (2011-12 archive)


MARCH 27 – BEAU SCHMITZ

On his 22nd birthday, Howell native Beau Schmitz had himself a good night on the scoresheet for his Charlotte Checkers in AHL action against the Norfolk Admirals. In a 3-1 win, Schmitz started off the scoring for Charlotte, tallying his third goal of the year with an assist going to former Plymouth Whalers teammate Chris Terry. That marker came with the man advantage and helped erase a first frame that saw the Checkers be outshot 17-3. Late in the third, also with the man advantage, Schmitz assisted on newly-reacquired Zach Boychuk’s 18th of the year to cap off the win for the Carolina Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate. Upon finishing his last season in Plymouth last year – where he racked up 54 points in 62 games on the back-end – Schmitz began the season in Florida of the ECHL. There, he recorded eight assists in 50 games, but Schmitz now has six points in 11 games with Charlotte this season.

More MiHockey articles on Schmitz:

Pick your favorite MiHockey custom EA Sports NHL ’13 cover

Plymouth Whalers’ 2011 year in review

Beau Schmitz – the “country boy” captain


MARCH 26 – RYAN MILLER

There wasn’t much to pick from yesterday, so we took a second trip through the weekend’s box scores for today’s Michi-gamer. Let’s face it, Justin Abdelkader had Monday’s spot all wrapped up, and we didn’t search too hard to find somebody to top him. But on Saturday, East Lansing native Ryan Miller turned in quite the performance – one worthy of putting him in today’s Michi-gamer spot. The Michigan State alum and Hobey Baker winner stopped 39 of the 40 shots fired his way during a Hockey Night in Canada showdown with the Montreal Canadiens. It’s been a rough year for the Sabres netminder – his record now stands at 11-13-4, but a game in which he stopped 36 even-strength shots and the only goal allowed came on a tip during a power play could propel Miller to a strong second half.

More MiHockey articles on Miller:

CCHA announces All-Time Team

Michi-gamer: Pride of the Mitten (Week of Feb. 25)

Ryan Miller: Michi-gamer of the Year


MARCH 25 – JUSTIN ABDELKADER

Muskegon native Justin Abdelkader didn’t have the best start to the 2012-13 NHL season. It took the Red Wings forward until March 17 to score his first goal of the season – an empty-netter against the Oilers. However, it looks like Abdelkader’s starting to get that scoring touch back. Friday night, the former Michigan State Spartan went off against the Anaheim Ducks, recording his first NHL hat trick, and adding an assist. Abdelkader scored once in the first and twice in the second to lead the Wings to a convincing 5-1 road victory in front of a significant Red Wings support group in the stands of the Honda Center. That meant a whole lot of hats littering the ice to celebrate No. 8′s first pro hatty. Here are all three of the goals, just so you can watch them again (or for the first time).


To see last week’s Michi-gamer nominations, click here.

This week’s Michi-gamer list assembled by MiHockey’s Stefan Kubus and Michael Caples.