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HF’s Interview with German goalie talent Patrick Ehelechner

by Oliver Janz

Es gibt Torhüter in der NHL wie beispielsweise Dan Cloutier

Bavarian politeness

There is doubt that Patrick Ehelechner is one of the biggest surprises of this DEL season. While being under contract as the number three goalie for the Adler of Mannheim, he played eight games for their competitor, the Hannover Scorpions. Now he’s playing on loan for the third league team EV Landshut and he’s currently in the German Under-18 national team. They are preparing for the Under-18 world junior championships in Piestany, Slovakia, which starts on today. Ehelechner will most likely be the starting goalie of that team. Changing topics from hockey performance to personal things, German fans can be very happy to see him in the goal and not in a plane, because his ‘second’ dream job was to be a pilot.

Fans who have met him describe him as nice, calm, smooth, smart and polite. Coaches say Patrick is easy to handle. He loves hockey and he knows what he can reach and what he wants to reach. He won’t be the player who creates problems and continues to surprise some people that he’s just a 17 year old guy. After he found the time to answer some questions, we have to agree with those opinions.

Baby, you can drive my car

The next step Read more »

Norfolk Admirals Report

by pbadmin

Norfolk Admirals Report
by: Brad Johnson

In the past week the Norfolk Admirals have made produced several headlines
worthy of mention. This past Wednesday night the Admirals halted the Bears
franchise winning streak at ten-games while recording a 3-1 victory for the home
Crowd.  On Friday night the Bears were still in town for the Admirals final
home game of the regular season, the home team won once again by the count of
3-1 as the Admirals skated away with their first-ever division title in their
brief 2-year history.  The Admirals closed out their second campaign in the
American Hockey League with a 4-2 road loss at Philadelphia.  In other news
this past Tuesday, rookie center Tyler Arnason was rewarded with the AHL’s
Outstanding Rookie of the Year honors for his excellent performance this season.

Admirals fall in Philadelphia
by: Frank Porcelli – BlackhawkZone
Read more »

The Cub Report: Q&A With Chris Berti

by Shane Walsh

Welcome To the Second Edition of the Cub Report. In this segment, we’ll look at Bruins prospect Chris Berti.

Chris Berti
Erie (OHL)
6'5", 215 lbs.
Left Wing, Shoots Left
Born: Oct 6, 1981 in Scarborough, On

The only Canadian born player selected by the Bruins in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Chris Berti missed his first training camp that year due to a torn MCL in his knee. He was traded in January 2001 from the Sarnia Sting to the Erie Otters for Riley Moher. Last fall was his first appearance at training camp. He made a good first impression at the rookie tournament in Kitchener, Ontario.

A good skater for a behemoth player, Berti is versatile and can play all 3 forward positions. An obstinate hitter and fierce competitor, he will earn his way to the NHL by his intense physical play. A true teammate, he always puts the teams’ needs above his own interests. Some nights he plays like a scorer and other nights he’s a monster on the ice. He needs to simplify his game and focus primarily on physical play. He has the potential to be a legit NHL heavyweight if he realizes his true potential and remains focused. He needs to bulk up his 6’5″ frame.

Hockeysfuture correspondent Ken McKenna caught up with Berti for this exclusive interview.

HF: How do you feel about your progression from the beginning of the season? Do you feel like you’ve improved your game since then?

CB: I think my game has improved a little bit. I’ve gotten more oppo Read more »

Phantoms Reg. Season Report Card

by Al Alven

The Philadelphia Phantoms wrapped up their sixth season of existence in the American Hockey League on Sunday night in Hershey. A largely up-and-down campaign, the 2001-02 season saw the Phantoms finish with a 33-27-15-5 record (86 points), good for eighth place in the league’s Western Conference. As the team prepares for its preliminary playoff series with the ninth-seeded Rochester Americans, now is a good time to take a look at the individual player performances from the regular season.

The following article rates each player’s season performance with a letter grade. Included are players who either finished the regular season with the Phantoms or who remain a part of the Philadelphia Flyers organization at the current time. The ratings are done in accordance to usual grading standards (using an A+ to F scale). In this analysis, grades range from A to D+.

Note: Some players simply haven’t played enough games with the team to warrant a full grade rating. Thus, these players have been given an incomplete grade (I). If a player who has been given an incomplete grade has made a notable contribution (or lack of one) to the team in his short time with the Phantoms, he is given a secondary grade. As an example, Greg Koehler has only been with the Phantoms for 22 games, but he has already become an important member of the team in that time. Therefore, his grade is I/B.


Management: A Read more »

Q & A with Danny Bois

by Ken McKenna

Q & A with Danny Bois

By Ken McKenna

HF: First, let’s go back to your draft day (2001). How was it to have your name called? Obviously, a lot of guys go there who are disappointed when their name isn’t called, but yours was.

DB: I didn’t expect to go on the first day. I was the last pick in that session, so I was ready to leave when they called my name. So, having my name called then was really neat.

HF: You were there with your family?

DB: Yeah, a couple of aunts and my parents.

HF: Who were your role models in the NHL?

DB: (Mario) Lemieux was always my favorite player. Even though I don’t play like him, he is still my favorite player.

HF: Are there any players you model your game after?

DB: I don’t, but people tell me I play like Mike Keane, Rick Tocchet, and those guys. But I don’t try to be like them, I just go out and play my game.

HF: So, you’d be considered more of a grinder, then.

DB: Yeah, I’m not really much of a dangler or anything like that. I’m really more of a power forward.

HF: What parts of your game do you do well that make you a NHL prospect?

DB: One-on-one battles, big hits, getting good, quick shots off in front of the net. So, things like that.

HF: Do you feel that your game has improved this season?

DB: I was sick for a while, but after that I did OK. I don’t know what it was, but I couldn

Bucs fall apart early in the 3rd and lose 5-2

by Kevin Kasel

First period both teams had their chances, but both goalies were there to turn the puck away. Each team is whistled for two penalties in the 1st period with no damage done. The period ended like it started, 0-0

Second period started with the Bucs applying the pressure early, but Eric Pfligler was able to keep it 0-0. Gamblers returned the favor and applied the pressure and Chris Gartman kept it 0-0. At 5:03 Nate Hansen paid a visit to the penalty box for roughing for Des Moines. The Gamblers’ Matt Johnson was able to convert on the power play on a one-time pass from Matt Greene. Midway through the period, the Bucs got a golden opportunity, a minute plus 5-on-3 opportunity, but Chris Collins was whistled for a double minor for high sticking. From the on-line version of the rulebook, a double minor is for an accidental high stick that causes an injury (Rule 617- High Sticking: There was no goals scored on either teams’ power play chances. The period ended with the Gamblers out shooting the Bucs 27-17 for the game and a 1-0 lead.

Third period started off with the Bucs applying the pressure early, but it is the Gamblers who get on the board. Gamblers are able to breakout and feed Joe Crabb, who blasts it from the blue line and made it 2-0 at 1:12 of the 3rd period. Gamblers get another bounce as Crabb centered the puck that deflected off Weston Tardy’s skate and gave the Gamblers the 3-0 lead at 2:58. A little past the midway point, Tim Stapleton is left in front of the net with the p Read more »

Under-18 WJC: Czech Republic team preview

by Robert Neuhauser
For eight years is the Czech Republic waiting for a medal from the Under-18 WJC. This drought
lasts even from the times when the event was only the European championship of the Under-18
teams. Last year’s team was the first one to slip into the semifinals, but finally were the
only unlucky team, finishing fourth. This year this bad streak could come to an end. For
two years it is known that the Czech 1984 birthyear is exceptionally strong, definitely the
strongest one since the 1976 birthyear, which brought NHL stars Patrik Elias and Milan Hejduk
plus some solid NHLers like Pavel Trnka, Radek Bonk and Petr Sykora. The 1984 birthyear boasts
the likes of top 2002 prospects Jiri Hudler, Jakub Koreis, Jakub Klepis or Ondrej Nemec and
some more, of whom the NHL clubs can still one year only dream. This is for example Milan
Michalek or Kamil Kreps. All those players were selected to perform for the Czech Republic
at the Under-18 WJC, held in the Slovak cities Piestany and Trnava.

Now all the focus of
NHL scouts, players agents and hockey fans will be concentrated on those two not very big
cities. They’ll surely see many great players, including the Czech ones. In fact, the Czechs
didn’t invite any 1985 born or younger underager as they have a terrific 1984 born birthyear.
The likes of Lukas Pulpan, Vojtech Polak and Martin Lojek were scratched from the team.
Like in the previous year the Czech will use CHL players on the team, but have to deal
with a limit of four. This year they didn’t even come close to this limit, Martin Vagner
wasn’t permitted to Read more »

Johnson flying like a Bird

by Jeff Bromley

When Trevor Johnson was a member of the Kootenay ICE, the Trail native garnered his share of apt and deserving nicknames. ‘T.J.’ was the obvious, ‘Crazylegs’ Johnson was another moniker common to those who’d seen his peculiar skating style during his four years in Cranbrook.

Unfortunately, ‘defensive stalwart’ wasn’t one of those trite pen names that Trevor Johnson was saddled with during his time in the Key City. At the time of the trade Johnson had tallied 10g, 23a for 33 points. The glaring stat however was the -22 and for a defenseman on a team where the defensive corps was considered the strong point, something had to give.

With stats such as 7g, 14a for 21 points and a -4 on a last-place team, it was a stigma that the offensively-minded blueliner has shaken with a fresh start as a Seattle Thunderbird.

Johnson, obtained for a similar style player in Gerard Dicaire at the WHL trade deadline on January 14, made his return to his old stomping grounds in the unlikely position of second round playoff opponent. Something Johnson says he never thought of after the deal. “No, not really,” said Johnson of the improbable match-up. “It’s a little different but that’s the way hockey goes. We won and they won so now we’re playing them. That’s the way it works.”

The week prior to the deadline Johnson’s thoughts were preoccupied with the possibility of getting dealt. His play of late had deteriorated with even his forte, the offensive side of the scoresheet suffering to the point where the defensive game of the shifty blueliner was becoming a distraction.
Read more »

Johnstown Chiefs Playoff Update

by Ron Valerino

The Johnstown Chiefs defeated the Peoria Rivermen 4-0 in Game #5 of the Northwest division semi-finals, and advance to the Northwest division finals against the Dayton Bombers beginning Friday night in Dayton.

The Chiefs opened the scoring with first period goals by Philippe Roy (power play) and David Gove (shorthanded goal). Chad Onufrechuk added a second
period goal while Kevin Baker tallied in the third period. Chiefs goaltender Frederic Deschenes posted the shutout making 25 saves in net, while Rivermen goaltender Phil Osaer suffered the loss for the Rivermen. This was Deschenes third career playoff shutout in a Chiefs uniform.
The Rivermen took the first two games of the series, in Peoria last week. The Chiefs rallied with two home wins in Games #3 and #4 on Friday and Saturday nights.

Tickets for Game #3 and Game #4 (if necessary) of the Dayton series will go on sale Wednesday morning at the Cambria County War Memorial Box Office at 10:00 a.m.
Game #1 and Game #2 against Dayton will be played Friday and Saturday night in Dayton. Game times are at 7:30 p.m. The games will be played on Hara Arena, not the Nutter Center, Dayton’s home arena. The rest of the series schedule will be announced Wednesday afternoon.

HF’s Interview with Rick Nash

by Ken McKenna

Coming into the 2001-02 season, LW Rick Nash was considered one of several top prospects for the 2002 NHL Draft. He had just come off a season where he was named the Rookie of the Year in the OHL, based mostly on his considerable offensive skills.

Rick’s team, the London Knights, started the 01-02 season slowly, which lead to the hiring of former NHL agitator Dale Hunter as the Knights’ coach. Hunter quickly settled the team down, helping Rick and his teammates develop a work ethic that may have been missing at the start of the season. Nash, in particular, benefited from Dale’s presence, improving his game to the point where he is considered a legitimate candidate to go 1st overall in the 2002 draft.

In 54 games this season, Rick tallied 72 points (32G, 40A), finishing 2nd in scoring on the Knights’ roster. He has added 15 points in the playoffs (8G, 7A), leading his team in scoring while placing fourth in that category in the OHL.

In addition to his work with the Knights, Nash also appeared in 7 games for Team Canada at the 2002 World Junior Championships. Rick picked up 3 points (1G, 2A) in his role as a 3rd or 4th line forward. He’ll no doubt see increased ice time at next year’s tournament.

I had the opportunity to speak with Rick prior to Game 3 of the London-Erie series. The initials “HF” indicates my questions, while Rick answers (minus some bad background singing by some of his teammates) are designated by his initials, “RN”.

HF: First, let’s talk about this season. You guys got off to a bit of a slow start, then (former Read more »