VIF returned to the throne as national title holders in Norway over upstart Canadian Coached Serge Boisvert`s Frisk Tigers. Frisk basically fell apart and dropped three straight to VIF. Frisk made many basic mistakes and VIF capitalized on each. Most importantly the game of hockey with the great season had by Espen Knutsen of Columbus and the Frisk Tigers has helped grow interest in the game. There has even been talk of nationally televised league games for the first time since 1992-93. (end)The season 2000-01 saw the pending retirement of American Kyle McDonough who has been a dominant force on the ice for several years. Kyle will return to the US with his wife and children…we thank Kyle for all he has given. Now who will step up and replace him… perhaps another American? or homegrown player? (end)In the finals…Jordal Amfi, the home of VIF in Oslo was built up to add seats…and each of the two games played drew more than 4900 fans… Frisk, capacity of 1200 played to a packed house in the newly created hockey hotbed. The most interesting aspect of the playoffs was how easily Frisk beat defending champ Storhamar in 3 straight but still fell short of the level of VIF and their many Swedish and National players. Jarl Ygranes may be ready to step up next season…and he has his own website www.ygranes.no but a more mature senior player is needed to replace the smallish but gritty McDonough…and who will that be? We shall see…(end)
Two Connecticut players were in Norway for try outs with Lørenskog (Elite). Goaltender Marcus Senerchia who was the MVP of the MAAC Tourney two seasons ago played well but did not shine… Matt Jarret, a tough defender from Rhode Island and UConn like Senerchia, played a physical game and looks to be invited back.David Olson of North Dakota finished the season with Ski Hockey (1st Division) with 17goals-24assists for 41 points while American Bryan Presteng played two games notching 1 goal.Aker Hockey had another dismal season but will be bolstered by the return of American defender Evan Andriopoulos who has missed most of the past 2 seasons with a knee injury.Until later!