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Johnson flying like a Bird

by Jeff Bromley
on

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
on

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.

Yannick Lehoux Signs

by Tony Calfo
on

The Los Angeles Kings got part one of their off-season work done Monday when they signed highly regarded prospect Yannick Lehoux to a three year contract.

Lehoux will report to the Kings AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, on Tuesday. The Monarchs are preparing to open their first ever playoff series on April 13.

Lehoux also signed an amateur tryout contract with the Kings, so he could potentially play in one of the Kings final three games should they clinch a definitive playoff position. The Kings finish Sunday in Anaheim and if they have locked up their position, the Kings may give the faithful a look at the future.

The Kings next targets would appear to be Jared Aulin and Alex Frolov.

Baby Buds in the playoffs

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on


All the Way From St. John’s


With Mile One Stadium having booked the Juno Awards this week and the Leafs on a season ending road trip, the Baby Buds will be coming to town. The St. John’s Maple Leafs will be invading the ACC for the first of a three game playoff series versus the Providence Bruins Wednesday night, with games 2 and 3 (if necessary) in Brampton Thursday and Friday. Suffice to say by the booking, not many in the know expected this version of the farm club to get to the post-season, but here they are, and in the big rink nonetheless.

The club will be lead by AHL Scoring Champion (and John B. Sollenberger Trophy winner because of it) Donald Maclean up front, Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award winner Nathan Dempsey on the blueline, and Central Hockey League Rookie of the year Sebastien Centomo in goal. That said, of late there have been a few new heroes in the lineup thanks to a couple of call-ups to the big club due to injuries and injuries striking the St. John’s roster itself.

With Nik Antropov out for the year, Paul Healey sticking with the Leafs and Jeff Farkas having broken a finger the team has had to turn to other sources for offensive production. While it has been expected that Bob Wren and Bobby House would hold up their end of the bargain, Alexei Ponikarovsky is starting to develop the offensive touch many of the Leaf brass were waiting to see. Further, he hasn’t lost any of his grit doing so. Another name that has been getting mentioned is none other than Luca Cereda. While he has been buried on the depthchart for most of t Read more »

USHL Clark Cup Playoffs, let the games begin!!

by Jason Shaner
on

The 2001-2002 USHL season has finally come to and end, and what a season it was. The Eastern Division saw the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders nearly lead the pack from start to finish, only to see the Green Bay Gamblers re-claim the division title on the last game of the season. In the Western Division the Omaha Lancers were led by two stellar goaltenders, Dominic Vicari and Marty Magers, who carried a combined goals against average less than two. As has been the case for the last few years, the West was the stronger of the two divisions. Three teams in the West, Omaha, Lincoln and Sioux City all had better records than the East champ Green Bay. Sioux Falls finished with only one less point. Both divisions sent four teams to the playoffs this season with the Chicago Steel making their first ever visit to the Clark Cup playoffs. All that can be said now is, let the games begin!

Round 1 Matchups

1.Omaha Lancers vs. 8. Chicago Steel

This one is a no brainer. The Steel had a breakthrough season this year but they got the unlucky draw of the Anderson Cup champs. The Steel have a good offense this year led by Nick Anderson and Rene Gauthier. The Steel’s offense is tough and physical and likes to grind things out along the boards. Their forwards are big and strong. Danny Richmond and Tom Gilbert are top prospects on defense in front of John Daigneau. Daigneau, after a slow start to the season has played very strong the second half of the year leading the Steel’s surge to the postseason for the first time in their two year history. Read more »

The Top 30 Prospects for March

by HF Staff
on

Following are the March player rankings for the June 2002 draft. The list is provided in conjunction with the Prospect Advisor, a monthly newsletter covering hockey’s draft eligible players. Prospect Advisor has been providing an independent scouting service to NHL, CHL, and NCAA teams, fans, agents, etc for over 4 years. The Prospect Advisor has been a long time supporter of Hockey’s Future and we are pleased to be in partnership with them.

Glen Gawronski and his staff of 8 to 10 scouts in North America and Europe compile a monthly newsletter that is available for a very reasonable investment. For subscription information, please contact at them at Prospect Advisor. The ranking for April will be posted later this week.

1. Jay Bouwmeester–D–Medicine Hat
Like a gazelle, Bouwmeester is quick and graceful. A
two-way star with plenty of size, Jay has already is virtually a shoo-in for
the top spot at the draft.

2. Rick Nash–LW–London
A ferocious two-way player, Rick likes to go hard to the net
and play hard-nosed physical hockey. A consensus top 3 pick.

3. Kari Lehtonen–G–Finland Read more »

Loose Pucks

by Ron Valerino
on

Forge to open Playoffs at Home

Forge 4 Barons 1 :

NEVILLE ISLAND (Friday, April 5, 2002) The Pittsburgh Forge Junior A hockey
club secured home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs by
defeating the Cleveland Barons, 4-1, at the Island Sports Center on Neville
Island. A three-goal second period was the key to Friday’s victory, which
enabled Pittsburgh (37-15-3) to clinch second place in the Eastern Division
of the North American Hockey League. Pittsburgh jumped out in front 1-0 on a
power play goal by Andy Brandt at the 6:13 mark of the first period. The
Forge pressed the advantage 4-0 after two periods of play as Bernie Chmiel
and Kenny Trombetta scored, and Brandt added his second goal of the game.
Brandt now leads the team with 27 goals. The only Cleveland goal of the
night was scored by Tom Goebel a minute and 10 seconds into the final
period.

Whats coming up: The Forge will host each game of its best-of-three first
round playoff series next weekend. The post-season games are set for Friday,
April 12; Saturday, April 13; and Sunday, April 14 (if necessary) at the
Island Sports Center. All three games will start at 7:30 p.m.

Find all the info you need on Pittsburgh’s new Junior A team at:
http://www.pittsburghforge.com/ Read more »

Johnstown Chiefs Playoff Update

by Ron Valerino
on

Johnstown, PA- On friday night Johnstown Chiefs defenseman Philippe Roy scored three goals and an assist to lead them to a 6-1 win over the Peoria Rivermen, and capture game #3 of the Kelly Cup Northwest division semi-finals. Eric Schneider, Dan Carlson and Blair Stayzer also scored. Stayzer’s goal came shorthanded in the third period. Kevin Cloutier scored the lone goal for the Rivermen in the first period. Chiefs goaltender Frederic Deschenes made 15 saves for the win, while Rivermen goaltender Phil Osaer stopped 27 shots before being pulled 1:53
into the third period in favor of Cody Rudkowsky (4 saves). With 0:12 left in the game there was a brawl, which resulted in 57 PIM being handed out between the two teams.

The following evening the Chiefs scored two third period goals to lift them to a 3-1 win at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena. The win forced a 5th and final game tuesday night (4/9). Peoria won the first two games of the series in Peoria. Lukas Smital scored a first period goal for the Chiefs, while left wing J.F. Boutin added an empty net goal. Bret DeCecco scored the lone goal for the Rivermen in the third period. Chiefs goaltender Frederic Deschenes made 22 saves for the victory, while Peoria goaltender Cody Rudkowsky made 33 saves in the defeat.

Game #5 will be played Tuesday night at Peoria’s Carver Arena. Game time is at 8:00 p.m. The game can be heard on on the world wide web at www.johnstownchiefs.com.

Hamilton Bulldogs Wrapping up the Season

by Mike Marasco
on

Prior to the start of the week the Bulldogs and their fans got some
disturbing news which was not helped by some of the media. A report that
was leaked out of Ottawa said that the Edmonton Oilers were to move their
farm team to Toronto for the 2003/2004 season.

The news got better for fans as the truth started to come out about the
whole situation. The Bulldogs logo, staff, name and team will remain in
Hamilton. The Oilers will move their players to Toronto. This is all if a
deal can be worked out between the Oilers and Edmonton businessman Lyle
Abraham.

The Oilers, the AHL, and the Bulldogs staff are currently looking for a new
parent club for the Bulldogs. The best scenario would be for that new
parent club and the Oilers to have a duel affiliation next season to make
the transition easier.

The Hamilton Bulldogs played 4 games this past week which saw them start the
week on the road and then finish off the season at home with 2 games. The
Bulldogs went 2-1-1 on the week.

The Bulldogs started the week off in Rochester against the Amerks.

The Hamilton Bulldogs concluded their eight-game regular season series with
the Rochester Americans on Monday with a loss, as they dropped a 2-1
decision. With the loss the Bulldogs record falls to 35 wins, 30 losses, 10
ties and 3 overtime losses. In ten games against the Amerks this season,
the Bulldogs earned a record of 2 wins, 5 losses and 1 tie.

Rochester opened the scoring at the 16:40 mark of the first period when
Craig Charron scored a shorthanded goal, his 12th goal of th Read more »

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