The Texas Stars of the American Hockey League (AHL) have announced the signing of 2010-11 Ferris State University men's ice hockey senior left wing Mike Embach (Orland Park, Ill.) to an ATO (amateur tryout agreement) per a release by the organization this Wednesday (March 16) afternoon.
Embach finished the 2010-11 season ranking tied for third place on Ferris State's points leaders list with 18 points on eight goals and 10 assists in 39 contests as the Bulldogs compiled an 18-16-5 overall record and placed fifth in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) standings at 12-12-4-3 (43 league points). Embach tallied a nation-leading five short-handed goals this season to go with a power-play marker, 10 blocked shots, and a plus one efficiency rating. The 5-10, 185-pound left wing also posted at least a point in 15 outings, which included two multiple-point game performances. He garnered two points (1-1=2) in a 3-1 league home triumph over Western Michigan (Nov. 19) and racked up a season-best three points (2-1=3) in a 5-1 non-league home decision against Alabama-Huntsville (Feb. 12), which featured a pair of short-handed goals.
Embach concludes his four-year (2007-11) Ferris State career with 58 points on 27 goals and 31 assists in 132 games. He registered eight power-play goals, five short-handed markers, two game-winning lamplighters, 22 blocked shots, and turned in a career plus four efficiency rating. Embach's best season offensively occurred in the 2009-10 campaign in which the Bulldog forward tallied nine goals with 11 assists for 20 points in 34 appearances. Embach produced double-digit points in each of his last three seasons as a Bulldog, starting with 13 points (9-4=13) in 34 encounters for the 2008-09 season.
By signing with Texas, Embach is reunited with former Bulldog Cody Chupp (2006-10) and also represents the third Ferris State alumnus on the current Stars' roster joining Greg Rallo (2002-06). Chupp, a forward, has recorded 14 points on five goals and nine assists in 46 games while Rallo has notched a team-leading 43 points with a squad-most 21 goals and 22 assists in 68 contests this season to date.
This season, Texas has presently posted a fourth-place 35-23-4-6 record (80 points) in the West Division of the AHL's Western Conference. The Stars, who are coached by Glen Gulutzan, are an affiliate of the National Hockey League's (NHL) Dallas Stars.
Embach helped Ferris State register 18 victories this campaign which represents a tie for the eighth most single-season wins in the program's history. The Bulldogs, who are listed among other team receiving votes in this week's (March 14 U.S. College Hockey Online.com poll, participated in a best-of-three 2011 CCHA Tournament Quarterfinal-Round series (March 11-13) after receiving a tourney first-round bye.