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Johnson heating up for Spitfires

Calls From Home

December 13, 2012
The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - Calumet native Ben Johnson has gotten hot along with his Windsor (Ont.) Spitfires team in the Ontario Hockey League.

Johnson, in his second season with the Major Junior club, has scored in three of Windsor's last five games, doubling his total for the season to six goals.

Johnson's most recent tally came Friday night in his team's 3-2 shootout win at Sarnia, the equalizer for the Spits on the power play at 12:17 of the third period.

He had also scored the night before in a 3-2 home win over Sault Ste. Marie and on Nov. 30 at Kitchener.

Johnson, a draft pick of the NHL New Jersey Devils, has played in all 32 of his team's games (running his career total to 104 straight, including playoffs) and has five assists for 11 points and is a plus-1.

Windsor has won four games in a row and stands third in the Western Conference West Division at 14-12-1-5. The Spitfires host Kitchener tonight.

Hancock's Maria Almquist was sidelined by injury for last weekend's Northern Michigan women's basketball wins against Findlay and Hillsdale, but before going out, started Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play with nine points and four rebounds in a starting role Nov. 29 at Walsh. She collected four rebounds in 17 minutes as the Wildcats lost two days later to Malone.

The weekend before, she had 12 points and three boards in a win over Urbana in a showcase at Ashland a night after posting 10 points and four boards against Mercyhurst.

Almquist, a sophomore, is currently averaging 7.8 points and 2.7 rebounds in 18.7 minutes for the 6-2 Wildcats. She hopes to be available when or soon after NMU returns to GLIAC play Sunday at Ohio Dominican.

At Minnesota Duluth, the Bulldogs have won two of three to begin Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play.

In a Saturday win over Bemidji State, Houghton alumna Taylor Dillinger got five points, a steal and a rebound in seven minutes and saw about 10 minutes in the Bulldogs' previous two league games, a win over Minnesota Crookston and a loss to St. Cloud State.

Dillinger, a true freshman, averages 2.1 points and 1.4 rebounds over 13.1 minutes per game.

The College of St. Scholastica opened the indoor track and field season Saturday and Lake Linden-Hubbell's Travis Ambuehl led a Saints sweep in the pole vault. Ambuehl cleared 4.25 meters (13 feet, 11 1/4 inches).

EDITOR'S NOTE: "Calls From Home" is meant to recognize the accomplishments of area athletic alumni in collegiate athletics and junior hockey outside the Copper Country. If you know of an athlete we can add to our records, please contact DMG Sports Editor Brandon Veale at



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