Welcome to another season of MiHockey’s Michi-gamer!
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 morning, we pick one Michi-gamer from the previous night’s slate of games across all professional levels of hockey – one Michigan player who stood out above the rest.
Worcester Sharks defenseman Matt Taormina contributed to the offense in a clutch way Wednesday night to help his team to a 4-3 victory over Lehigh Valley in AHL action. The Warren native first assisted on Livonia native and Sharks captain Bryan Lerg’s seventh of the season at 10:13 of the third period, a power-play tally. Just 3:35 later, Taormina drew the primary assist on Micheal Haley’s power-play goal that stood up as the game-winner. Taormina has recorded six goals and 17 assist on the season in 45 games.
Mike Cammalleri delivered when it mattered most for the New Jersey Devils. The University of Michigan alum scored on a wicked wrister from the slot during the third period to break a 1-1 tie between his Devils and the Ottawa Senators, which turned out to be the game-winning goal. For Cammalleri, it was his 17th goal of the season, good for 27th in the entire NHL. The former Wolverines star has 24 points on the season.
See the goal here:
We revisited all the action from this past weekend, and found Traverse City native Eric Kattelus recorded a performance worthy of our Tuesday Michi-gamer nod. The former Michigan Tech Huskies standout recorded three helpers Saturday night to help lift his Kalamazoo Wings to a 4-3 victory over the Wheeling Nailers at Wings Stadium in ECHL action. In 27 gamest his season, Kattelus has notched five goals and 24 assists to stand second on his team in points. Just two seasons ago, Kattelus set the K-Wings’ ECHL record for quickest goal in a game, striking seven seconds into a 2012 contest against Cincinnati. During his time at Michigan Tech, the 27-year-old Kattelus posted 32 points in 87 games across four years from 2007 to 2011.
Last Friday, Max Pacioretty rounded out our Michi-gamer list after he scored the lone goal in his Canadiens’ Thursday night win over the New York Rangers. This weekend, he did the same thing, in an even more dramatic fashion. Pacioretty, a University of Michigan alum, broke a scoreless tie at the 3:08 mark of overtime Saturday night to give the Habs a 1-0 win over the Washington Capitals. The Wolverines product dove to redirect a pass from Tomas Plekanec, soaring through the air for his fifth game-winning goal of the season. Pacioretty now has 23 goals on the year, good for the eighth spot in the NHL scoring race.
Here’s the goal:
Michi-gamer features compiled by MiHockey’s Stefan Kubus and Michael Caples. Click here to see last week’s Michi-gamer picks.