The University of Michigan’s Andy Hilbert raced down the left side from
the opening face-off of the CCHA championship game, grabbed a loose puck
and tried to drive a shot from the left circle past eventual tournament
MVP Ryan Miller, sophomore goaltender for the Michigan State Spartans.
Miller stopped it and 19 shots later stopped everything else as MSU
glided to its second straight CCHA playoff championship, defeating the
Wolverines 2-0 in the CCHA title match at Joe Louis Arena.
It was a muscular defensive effort by the Spartans and their Hobey
Baker-nominated netminder, who in most hockey worlds could be referred
to as a human wall.
But, the promising goalie and cousin of three of MSU’s greatest
contingent of Millers says the defense in front of him should not be
“The guys in front of me played outstanding,” said Miller, who became
the first-ever two-time tournament MVP. “They really limited the shots
and didn’t let them (U-M) stretch the ice out on us. They took away a
lot of the back-door plays.”
Miller was outstanding in getting his second straight tournament
championship shutout (last year the Spartans defeated Nebraska-Omaha in
the final 6-0) but those green and white defenders (Andrew Hutchinson,
Jon Insana, John-Michael Liles, Brad Fast, Joe Markusen and Kris Koski)
had a hand in it too, tying up potential maize and blue offenders at
every opportunity and forcing them into taking bad shots at times.
“That was Spartan hockey at its best tonight,” said head coach R Read more »
Ben Assenmacher doesn’t have to speak in the Springfield Jr. Blues
locker room to command respect from his teammates. He merely shows them
what he’s talking about by collecting points on the ice and making big
plays. He leads by example.
Springfield head coach Craig Heggs says his star can play in all zones
and all corners and is possibly the hardest worker on the team.
“There’s no stat category for hard work,” says coach Heggs. “Benny
logs a lot of ice time. You don’t have to worry about him away from the
The Blues’ team captain is one of the top penalty killers on the team
and simply leads by example, much like his linemate Greg Rallo.
“He is a tough kid, a captain by example,” says Heggs. “We need to
bring more players like Benny into this program. He’s very coachable,
Assenmacher himself would be the first one to tell you that he’s a
hard-working guy and he knows what it takes. He works hard off the ice
and in the gym. He constantly tweaks his game, and knows he’s not
always going to be perfect. But, he expects to win. And he expects his
teammates to win.
Ben Assenmacher is from a highly competitive background and the
athletic trademark runs deep through his family roots.
Ben’s dad received a full-ride scholarship to play football at the
University of Detroit. His father is now a hard-working doctor. He has
five older brothers, one younger than he and a sister thrown in there
Assenmacher says although his dad never forced Read more »
In a disappointing season for the Panthers, there has not been too many thing for fans to get excited about, but there has been two constants all season that have brought optimism for next season. The record-breaking season by Pavel Bure, and the exemplary play of Roberto Luongo.
In the midst of a streak that has seen Roberto lose only once in his last nine starts (3-1-5), Roberto has been keeping the Panthers competitive in every one of these games. In the last three games alone, he has stopped 110 of 114 shots (.965 sv), and has allowed two goals or less in six of the last 9 starts, and 14 goals in his last 23 starts.
The night before playing Montreal to a 2-2 tie, a game in which he faced 40 shots, 23 of which came in one period alone, Roberto was gracious enough to speak with Hockey’s Future regarding his season so far, and his thoughts on a variety of other topics Read more »
We’re going to talk about a player, who has really shown that a recall from the affiliate
team can turn your career on. Petr, a Anaheim Mighty Ducks forward, seems to be a lock on the
Ducks roster for the future now. And that when he was a household name only for the hard-core
Ducks fans the season before. They knew that in the Finnish league there is a high scoring winger,
belonging to the Mighty Ducks. But this season they could see Petr on the Pond. And they’ve
really seen a player, who can put great numbers for the Ducks in the future!
Petr grew up in a small city of Kladno, not too far from the capital Prague. In fact, he played
hockey in one of the best known Czech cities for producing NHL-caliber players. You may know that
Jaromir Jagr also played in the system of Kladno before he started his star career for the
Pens. That’s a little of history, Petr, even if he was a decent prospect, was in no way
compared to the famous Number 68. He was born 1977 and that year Kladno produced a lot of
high quality players. Petr grew up playing with fellow ’77 born Jiri Burger, Marek Zidlicky
or Jiri Kuchler. These four players were the top on the junior team of Kladno and they played together
since they were kids. But only Petr Tenkrat was able to reach the NHL, even if center Jiri
Burger and defenseman Marek Zidlicky were regarded as better prospects. The last player, Jiri
Kuchler is almost forgotten also in the Czech Republic now. It is interesting, that Tenkrat,
Burger and Zidlicky all played in the Finnish SM-Liiga at some time of their care Read more »
The Tampa Bay Lightning sent right-winger Dmitry Afanasenkov and defenceman Mikko Kuparinen to the Detroit Vipers of the IHL on Wednesday.
Afanasenkov was recalled by the Lighting on March 9 and played in eight games this season, recording a goal and an assist. The Russian is in his first professional season and has recorded 15 goals and 18 assists with Detroit.
Kuparinen was recalled by the Lightning on March 27 but did not play. The Finn has been in 34 games with the Vipers this season, recording a goal and three assists.
Kuparinen was picked by the Lightning in the ninth round of the 1999 NHL entry draft. He was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers in October 1999 and was reacquired by the Lightning in March 2000 for defenceman Chris McAlpine.
IHL RESULTS FOR THURSDAY MARCH 29, 2001
Milwaukee Admirals 4
Detroit Vipers 1
Mark Mowers scored two goals for the second consecutive game and Jason Goulet and Ville Peltonen each added a goal and an assist as the Milwaukee Admirals beat the Detroit Vipers, 4-1. Mowers, a former standout at the University of New Hampshire who scored twice in Milwaukee’s 5-3 win over Cleveland yesterday, broke a scoreless tie 3:25 into the second period with his 20th goal before netting his second goal with 10 seconds left in the frame to give the Admirals a 4-0 lead heading into the third. Goulet and Peltonen also scored in the second period and Sean Haggerty added two assists as Milwaukee won their fourth straight game. Jan Lasak picked up the win after stopping 29 of 30 shots. Scott Nichol foiled Read more »
Jared Aulin may turn out to be a first line NHL center, which would suit the Kings just fine. But the Kings have to hope he is more for alot of reasons.
It is becoming clear that the Blake trade has been a positive in the short term. Adam Deadmarsh and Aaron Miller have made the Kings tougher and better on special teams, and the result is the current playoff run. But this trade was made for the long term, and what will that mean?
Jared Aulin will always represent the Rob Blake trade. While the merits of the trade can be discussed for many years to come, the fact is that the Kings will never have what Blake brought- a hammer on the blue line that hit and shot harder than anyone. The Kings seem to be comfortable with that fact and they feel what they acquired in his stead will counteract any losses on the blue line. For fans, Aulin will be the lynchpin on the deal- something that the Kings had for free- a prospect selected by a top team. The Kings’ penchant for blowing first round picks was taken out of the equation here- the pick has been made and they only have to enjoy the results even if they blow the pick that came with Aulin.
The other factor is that Aulin’s emergence can give the Kings some legitimate top prospects. As Frolov and Lehoux continue to impress, the Kings now have a third top forward prospect. If Shefer, Baker or any other forward come along, then DT will have the depth the Kings have lacked at every position in the system. That would make his job a success and make alot of people not necessarily forget Rob Bla Read more »
2000-2001 USHL Playoff Preview
It’s that time of year again, the regular season ends and the second season begins. 8 teams enter the Clark Cup Playoffs with aspirations of winning it all and heading to the Junior “A” National Championships. The Lincoln Stars won the Anderson Cup as the regular season champions. The Stars lost only 1 home game all season en route to the distinction of being the best team in the league without a doubt. Here is a preview of the matchups in the 1st round of the Clark Cup Playoffs. Each series will be a best of 5 set.
Lincoln Stars vs. 8. Sioux City Musketeers Read more »
It was opening weekend of the WHL
Eastern Conference Quarter-final this
past weekend and the Kootenay ICE
decided to do a little moose hunting and
take a commanding 2-0 series lead over
the Moose Jaw Warriors. Overtaking
the Warriors by scores of 6-2 in game
one and 4-0 in the return bill Saturday
night in game two as the series shifted
back to the Saskatchewan city for games
three and four on Tuesday and
Wednesday nights, the two games
belonged to ICE goaltender Dan
Blackburn as solid performances on both
nights continued to stymie the Warriors
on almost every opportunity.
The Warriors, trying to employ different
tactics on successive nights in order to
find some success against the defending
WHL Champions, didn’t have much
luck. In Game One of the series the
Warriors maintained that a physical
presence against the ICE would be the
plan of attack. That theory ended up
putting the Warriors in the penalty box
most of the night and defending against
Kootenay’s number one ranked power
play in the league. When the Warriors
finally did get some momentum going,
they ran into a brick wall named Dan
Blackburn and besides the two markers
that the Warriors did get from Brian
Sutherby, it was inconsequential as the
ICE played almost flawlessly in the 6-2
win with Zdenek Blatny notching a goal
and four assists to set an ICE playoff
game record for most points in a game
and garnering first star honors.
On Saturday the Warriors entertained
the idea of getting in Dan Blackburn’s
face most of the night in hopes that the
Read more »
As the playoffs kick off in the CHL and in international leagues, a couple Bolt prospectss are having their fair share of the glory.
1999 Draft pick, Jimmie Ölvestad, who has been playing with Djurgarden, the Swedish Elite League’s top team, has been on fire. In ten playoff games, he has 7 goals and 2 assists. That is a far cry from the 15 total points he had in 50 regular season games. He is currently ranked second in the league in playoff goals scored, and is 5th with a plus/minus ranking of plus-9. He is also first in game winning goals, having scored two.
Nikita Alexeev, while playing alongside Brad Boyes, is tearing up the OHL and tearing apart London. Alexeev is second in the league (OHL) in scoring behind only Boyes. Over the weekend, in back to back games versus the Knights, Alexeev scored four goals total, two in each of Erie’s wins. He also added four assists to that, putting him one point behind Boyes.
Elsewhere in the OHL, Fedor Fedorov, had an assist in Sudbury’s win over Barrie.
After a roller coaster season with the Detroit Vipers, Dimitry Afanasenkov was recalled to Tampa Bay. He has done well to impress the coaching staff. In seven games with the Bolts, he as a goal and an assist, and is averaging a little over eleven minutes of ice time a game. “He’s played very well,” Head Coach John Tortorella said after the Lightning’s 5-1 blowout of the Penguins. “He’s a good player who is good in around the net.”
The number of penalties called decreased him ice time greatly in a f Read more »
Junior Player of the Year 2/19 – 2/25
Peter Hamerlik (Kingston)- 2 games, 0-2, 4.20 GAA, .841 SvPct
Jeremy Van Hoof (Ottawa)- 2 games, 0 points
Darcy Robinson (Red Deer)- 4 games, 1 assist, 2 PIM
David Koci (Prince George)- 3 games, 7 PIM
Joel Scherban (London)- 3 games, 1 goal, 2 assists
Tomas Skvaridlo (Kingston)- 2 games, 1 assist
Steve Crampton (Moose Jaw)- 3 games, 4 PIM
Shane Endicott (Seattle)- 1 game, 1 goal
Jan Fadrny (Kelowna)- 1 game, 0 points
Michel Ouellet (Rimouski)- 3 games, 1 goal, 6 assists
Player of the Week
Ouellet 46 (5)
Fadrny 36 (5)
Endicott 32 (5)
Hamerlik 32 (3)
Crampton 13 (1)
Scherban 12 (1)
Van Hoof 1
Junior Player of the Year 2/26 – 3/4
Peter Hamerlik (Kingston)- 3 games, 0-1, 3.72 GAA, .897 SvPct
Jeremy Van Hoof (Ottawa)- 4 games, 1 assist
Darcy Robinson (Red Deer)- 2 games, 4 PIM
David Koci (Prince George)- 2 games, 1 assist, 17 PIM
Joel Scherban (London)- 3 games, 0 points
Tomas Skvaridlo (Kingston)- 2 games, 4 assists, 4 PIM
Steve Crampton (Moose Jaw)- 4 games, 3 goals, 1 assist, 14 PIM
Shane Endicott (Seattle)- 5 games, 1 goal, 4 assists, 2 PIM Read more »