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Haydar shines at UNH

by Brian Roe
on

The bigger prospects in the Nashville Predators system, Adam Hall (6’3″), Dan Hamhuis (6’1″), Brian Finley (6’4″) and Andrew Hutchinson (6’2″) are all prominent names in the Preds future. There is, however, a saying that good things come in small packages, an adage that is personified in the form of another Nashville prospect, and University of New Hampshire star, Darren Haydar.

The hockey gods have certainly smiled on the University of New Hampshire Wildcats this season. The #1 team in NCAA Division I hockey boasted an often times unstoppable offense, as well as two senior goaltenders that have played very well. Next week, UNH will make an appearance as one of the finalists in the NCAA’s Frozen Four hockey tournament, where they will open against the Maine Black Bears in a rematch of the Hockey East championship game. UNH won that previous confrontation, 3-1.

Perhaps the main reason for New Hampshire’s success this season is their leading scorer, vocal leader and captain, Darren Haydar. Haydar (22, 5’9″, 165 lbs.), who wears #20 for the Wildcats, is the leading scorer in the nation. In 39 games so far this season, the Milton, ON native has 31 goals and 43 assists for 74 points, an offensive explosion that comes on the heels of back-to-back 41-point seasons. His breakout season has not gone unnoticed, as he is a finalist (and favorite) for the Hobey Baker Award, t Read more »

Oilers youngsters fill in

by Steve Morrow
on

When the Oilers traded both Tom Poti and Sean Brown at the deadline, the blueline had an opening, so the Oilers called up Sven Butenschon and Ales Pisa to fill the void.

Butenschon has been very steady in the three games, playing about eight minutes a night in the sixth defence spot. Pisa saw his first action against San Jose and definitely had his struggles. With the return of Steve Staios to the line-up, Pisa was pushed to the press box. This is a great time to be an Oiler prospect on defence, although Ferguson and Butenschon have laid claim for now.

The Bulldogs have won 3 in a row; they have a very similar record to the Oilers. Jason Chimera has scored 1g 5a 6pts during the streak. Ales Hemsky has scored 3 goals for Hull but they trail 2-1 to Montreal in the first round of QMJHL playoffs.

Top Czech Under-17 team players: Vojtech Polak

by Robert Neuhauser
on
It didn’t happen very often in the history of Czech hockey that a line would be so dominating
on the international junior stage like the Vojtech Polak-Petr Vrana-Ivo Kratena line. Young
guns of the late 80’s Jaromir Jagr, Bobby Holik and Robert Reichel also formed a great line
and the three 1985 born blue-chippers draw many comparisons to them when speaking about
their level of skill. The scorer of this line and the most offensive player is the right
winger Vojtech Polak, the current captain of the Czech Under-17 team.

Vojtech Polak had ‘hockey player’ written all over him since he was born. Just like many stars of the
past and future he was born in a hockey family. His dad, also of the name Vojtech Polak, is
a respected youth coach and the current coach of Karlovy Vary’s 5th grade team. Just as the
little Vojtech could walk, he also became his first pair of skates and his dad laced him the
tights up for the first time. So it came that already at the age of two years Vojtech Polak
took his first strides. He was born in the small city Ostrov nad Ohri, but lives his whole
life in the famous spa city Karlovy Vary and at the local rink he also learned how to keep
balance on his skates. The little kid was very talented, when he was four, Vojtech was already
a solid skater for his age, took the stick into his hands and touched the black piece of
rubber for the first time. His hockey career began very early, at the mere age of four Vojtech
Polak was admitted into the Karlovy Vary’s pre-novice cathegory and also played his first
game. From the very first gam Read more »

Wild news and notes

by Chris Kitching
on

As expected, the Minnesota Wild were very quiet last Tuesday, making only
one minor deal leading up to the much anticipated NHL trade deadline. Minnesota’s only move sent C Darryl Laplante to the Boston Bruins for LW Greg Crozier.

Crozier, a third round pick (73rd overall) of the Pittsburgh Penguins in
1994, has played only one NHL game in his career. The 25 year old has spent
all season with the Providence Bruins (AHL) this season, tallying 11 points
in 54 games. He was assigned to the Houston Aeros following the trade.

Laplante, meanwhile, has played in the minors with Houston all season, with
17 points in 31 games, and never played a game in a Wild uniform.


Park shines

With Sergei Zholtok on the sidelines, C Richard Park has been given more
time on the power-play and more ice time, overall. Park took advantage of
the extra action to bang home two power-play goals in Monday’s 4-2 win,
including the game winner.

It was the first two-goal game of Park’s career, and extended the South
Korean’s season totals to eight goals and 12 assists in 51 games.

This is Park’s first season in the NHL since 1998-99 when he played seven
games with the Philadelphia Flyers.


Trainer’s Room

Minnesota was able to take two positives out of Saturday afternoon’s loss as
D Brad Bombardir and C Wes Walz returned to action. Bombardir missed four
games with a sore right ankle, while Walz had been on the shelf since the
Olympic break with injuries to his chest and left shoulder.

Read more »

Norfolk Admirals clinch playoff berth

by Corine Gatti
on

The Norfolk locker room is happy.

“We’re excited and there is a lot of energy. We knew we had to win t and we did the small things right,” said center Peter White.

Ten points behind first place Philadelphia in mid- February and despite call-ups and untimely injuries-the Norfolk Admirals are 8-1-2 in the last 11 games clinched a playoff for the second year of the franchises existence and extended their winning streak to six last weekend.

Norfolk swept their two home games by defeating the last place Portland Pirates 1-0 Friday and Philly 6-0 on Saturday and sent the reeling third place Philadelphia to another loss with a 4-0 victory on the road Sunday night. With their sixth straight win and only allowing one goal in the last three games, the Admirals now lead the former first place team by seven points.

Portland 1 Admirals 2

With a stellar performance from Craig Anderson and goals from Valerie Zelepukin and Quintin Laing gave the Admirals more room to breath in the Southern Conference.
Quintin Laing put the first goal on the board for Norfolk on a power play at 15:29 of the game. Norfolk who out shot Portland by 12 by the second period constantly bombarded the goalie and defense.

With consecutive shots amiss, veteran Valerie Zelepukin found the back of the net in the last three minutes before intermission. However, Anderson lost his shut out in the last few seconds of the third period. “The kid played a heck of a game and we work together to do the little things right,” said Jean-Yves Leroux who had assist in the second perio Read more »

Kamloops International Bantam Tournament

by Glen Crichton
on

KAMLOOPS INTERNATIONAL BANTAM ICE HOCKEY TOURNAMENT

MARCH 27-APRIL 1, 2002

It’s that time of year again when the twon of Kamloops, British Columbia hosts some of the best Bantam Teams and players from across Canada and the United States. The Detroit Compuware team, a regular fixture at the tournament are joined by three other U.S. based teams, the Michigan Ice Dogs, Cleveland Barons and Team Illinois. Kamloops will have two teams in the tourney with the Triple “AAA” Kamloops Jardine Blazers and the Double “AA” Kamloops Dolson Raiders. The remaining 19 teams in the tournament come from across Canada inlcuding, B.C. (3), Alberta (11), Saskatchewan (2) and Ontario (2).

Some former and currrent NHLer’s who have competed at the tournament are: Mario Lemieux, Don Murdoch, Tony McKegney, Ryan Walter, Curt Fraser, Dino Ciccarelli, Glenn Anderson, Doug Lidster, Jarri Kurri, Cliff Ronning, Kevin Hatcher, Mark Recchi, Jimmy Carson, Tony Twist, Joe Sakic, Rod Brind ‘Amour, Mike Modano, Darryl Sydor, Keith Primeau, Adam Foote, Richard Matvichuk, Mike Peca, Brendan Morrison, Darcy Tucker, Shane Willis, Andrew Ference, Patrick Marleau, Michael York, Scott Hannan, Brad Ference, Eric Brewer, David Legwand and Vincent Lecavalier.

Some former participants currently playing major junior hockey include: Tyson Mulock, Brad Priestlay, Ryan Jorde, Ryan Thrussell, Jason Jaffray, Jeremy Jackson, Craig Olynick, Jared Aulin, Chad Davidson, Ryan Craig, Jeremy Colliton, Nick Chibi, Shawn Belle, Paul Brown, Mark Rooneem, Joff Kehler, Pat Jarrett, Gary Gladue, Br Read more »

Is this the end for Kootenay?

by Jeff Bromley
on

It’s the end of March and playoff fever taken hold around the Kootenay’s. Unfortunately, it’s become more of an illness rather than a euphoria to both the players and their fans.

Left untreated, this condition will prove fatal.

The Prince George Cougars shocked the Kootenay Ice, their fans and just about anybody but themselves after walking away from the Cranbrook Rec/Plex this past weekend with 4-1 and 3-1 wins respectively, and a 2-0 lead in their WHL Western Conference quarter-final. Facing the prospect of returning to the Prince George Multiplex for three consecutive games, the Cougars will be looking to wrap the series on home ice. Cougar head coach Ed Dempsey, who’s charges failed to win in either of the two occasions at the Rec/Plex during the regular season, including a lopsided 10-4 drubbing the last time the club visited the Key City, was more than satisfied at the two wins.

“We were looking for two solid efforts on the road and that’s what we got,” said Dempsey. “It was nice to win the first one and it gave us an opportunity for another strong effort in the second game.” Dempsey was guarded against overconfidence against the suddenly sputtering ICE and was quick to warn about complacency in the playoffs. “Let’s give some credit to our opponent, these guys have the most goals of any team in the WHL (second to the Medicine Hat tigers actually), you don’t do that without talent and they have some absolutely gifted forwards led by Jarrett Stoll. If we’re going to have any hope at all we better be able to look after our own end or you’re going to Read more »

Denver Pioneers Season Review

by Christa Moore
on

At the end of last season the DU Pioneers immediately began to prepare for this season. The only thing they could not prepare for was the unknown and it was the unknown that ended a fantastic year. Having played only one team from the CCHA this year, (Bowling Green) it was difficult to gage how strong the Michigan Wolverines would be. Did their 27-10-5 record reflect that of an elite team or simply the best team in the CCHA? Was UM’s physical style of play capable of stopping DU’s speed? Would DU’s fantastic defense be able to match up with some of the NHL’s future stars? How could any building be louder then the Xcel Center, packed with 18,000 Gopher fans like they faced the weekend before? Would sitting out for over a week on a bye, while Michigan had just played the night before be a blessing or a curse? By beating 3 teams in the Hockey East conference earlier in the season, did this mean DU could also dominate the CCHA? Of coarse all these questions have now been answered. Here’s a look back at DU’s final game and an exciting season.

Saturday March 23, 2002 Last Saturday, the Pioneers faced the largest crowd to ever watch a college hockey game in the state of Minnesota. Since they were playing the Minnesota Golden Gophers, it was difficult to find any support for DU in the entire building with the exception of a few converted St Cloud fans. The most important part of this game was scoring the first goal to take the 18,000 plus vocal fans out of the game. Some how the Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, with less than 7000 fans seemed ju Read more »

The Leader of Traverse City

by Jessica Haskin
on

The Traverse City Enforcers are making a drive for the playoffs, and with their win on Sunday the 24th they are in the last playoff seed, three points ahead of the Downriver Bombers. What all teams needis a player to lead them into and through the playoffs. They need a player who is willing to lead by example and give everything he has to win. Do the Enforcers have such a player in their captain, Matt Barnhardt?

The 22-year-old Barnhardt, is on the small side for hockey standards at 5-foot-11, 175 lbs. He’s a full-blooded Mohawk Indian from the small town of Tyendinaga, an Indian reservation in Ontario where he grew up with his siblings.

“I’ve got a younger sister who’s in grade nine and I’ve got a older brother who’s twenty-six? I don’t know… I haven’t been home in five years. Just been moving around playing hockey, baseball, all sorts of stuff. Busy man.”

Yes, he is a busy man, besides playing Junior A hockey he holds a job.

“Yeah, I’m working at American Eagle. I did a year of college, graphic design. It was when I played last season for Rayside (Rayside Balfour Sabrecats of the NOJHA), they paid for my college so it’s something.”

College was the one thing he might have done different in his hockey career.

“I don’t know if I would have changed it but I think about it every now and then. I had two full scholarships for division 1 to go to Clarkson or St. Lawrence and I was picking between them. Then the OHL called me and said I was going to get drafted to Sudbury and where I grow up OHL is huge. I look Read more »

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