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Home at Last ?

by Corine Gatti
on

After busing for over 1,000 miles on their last road trip, home wasn’t as sweet as it should of been. Their fatigue on the ice captured what was to follow. Norfolk didn’t anticipate that when they laced up their skates that they would play one of their worst games of the season and continue on a four-game skid. Admirals came into Tuesdays game against the Syracuse Crunch leading among teams with fewest goals allowed in the league (2.39). But that changed when the Crunch who are in the midst of a three-game winning streak (20-26-6-2) (63 points),but who are also in fifth place, hammered Norfolk 5-1 in front of an announced crowd of 3,739.

A trapper to keep an eye on? The Crunches, netminder Jean-Francois Labbe (2.96 GAA, (12-14-5 overall) has more saves than any other goaltender in the league (1078). It was to a battle of the netminders in the first period .
Both counterparts only combined 15 shots on goal and rendered no goals. Syracuse Radim Bicanek on a pass from Bill Bower made a slap shot at the 3:24 mark. On a power play, Mathieu Darche slipped the puck in at the right side of the crease making it 2-0 Syracuse. Norfolk answered back when team leading scorer, Casey Hankinson (G-22) plucked the puck out Syracuse defensive zone at 10:45.

A dry spell? In the third, the Crunch moved up when Bill Bower (leads team with G-16) shot from the stick side at 1:54. Thus making it 3-1 Syracuse. Norfolk struggled to get any advantages. The only sound you could hear was the sound of sneers and jeers among the few fans that stuck it out. Norfolk’s re Read more »

Kootenay starting to put it together

by Jeff Bromley
on
A six game road trip, four out of the six being wins, a possible nine of twelve points in solidifying their current second place in the Central
Division standings. If you could have asked Kootenay ICE Head Coach Ryan McGill for that result from the second longest road swing the
ICE would encounter this season, there is no doubt that he would’ve answered an emphatic answer in the positive.

Coming off a rather embarrassing 3-1 home loss to the Calgary Hitmen in which they managed only 14 shots in front of a sellout hometown
crowd before the swing into the Pacific Northwest and Central Alberta began, the road trip turned out to be perhaps the most crucial point of
the season for the ICE. A sub-par road trip and the club could’ve found itself in a dogfight for third in the conference standings with a
slumping Calgary Hitmen team and the red-hot Regina Pats. After the addition of the nine points garnered on the trip, the ICE find themselves
with somewhat of a cushion between themselves and a suddenly vulnerable Calgary club and enough of a cushion that Regina isn’t a threat
to their position, yet.

In what could be best described as just another cliche to pile upon the heap of hockey mannerisms, the sentence ‘we’ll get together on the
road trip and come together as a team’, seems to have actually applied here. Given that the two newest members of the club, Mike Lee and Eric
Bowen hadn’t yet found their role within the club the before they left, it seems that they may have found it now. Switching from spot front line
duty to more of checking, p Read more »

An unlikely, but welcome surprise

by Derek Berry
on

Every hockey season has its share of surprises.

Things you couldn’t possibly expect to happen come to the forefront and
most of the time they reach the light by the all-star break. In fact,
if you asked anyone in Springfield, Illinois if they thought a player
named Greg Rallo would be the top scorer on their team – the NAHL’s
Springfield Jr. Blues – and named to Team West for the NAHL All-Star
Game in St. Louis, they would probably ask, “who?”

Even head coach Craig Heggs was surprised Rallo stepped into the
spotlight so soon, although he admitted that he was not surprised by
Rallo’s ability to score goals.

“He’s one of the hardest working players on the team,” says Heggs, who
is in his first season with the Springfield Jr. Blues. “He just had to
get comfortable playing against big, strong players and he’s done that.”


TOUGH ROAD

Rallo’s ascent to stardom in the NAHL has been a rocky one, to say the
least.

Local media, fans and everybody else who could voice a complaint
wondered if a player from the AA hockey ranks could cut it at this
level.

“I caught a lot of heat,’ says Heggs, over his decision to let the
rising star play. “I heard a lot of grumbling from a lot of different
places.”

But, coach Heggs stands by his decision and his persistence has paid
off.

The numbers don’t lie.

Rallo has 27 goals and 16 assists, for 43 points at the all-star
break. He is one of the top scorers at the moment in the NAHL.

Heggs believes in the on-the-job-t Read more »

Top german prospects – the second update

by Oliver Janz
on

German prospects – the update
A rating for the games since January, 23th till February, 9th

VERY GOOD
Good, better, Marcel Goc. The first line, ukrainian Vadim Slivchenko, czech Patrik Augusta and Marcel Goc is the only line in Schwenningen who wins the games. In the game against Mannheim he skate past all five players from mannheim and shots a sensational goal! Also in this game whe was named the best player of the game for the fourth time in this season and for the third time in the month january. In fact of this he was named the player of the month, together with DEL-top-scorer Sergej Vostrikov, goalies Mike Rosati, Chris Rogles and Sinuhe Wallinheimo.
Season Stats: Schwenningen/DEL: 46 games, 10 goals, 23 assists, 33 points, +/- 0, 12 PIM

Two very good weeks for defenseman Patrick Köppchen and his career. The München Barons signed him to a Junior-licence (german „Förderlizenz“) and he makes his DEL-debut in the 3-1 win against Augsburg. Coach Sean Simpson said he gave the team spirit and impulse in his second game against Düsseldorf, where he assist one goal.
Season Stats: Erding/2nd: 33 games, 7 goals, 11 assists, 18 points, 54 PIM
München/DEL: 2 games, 1 assist, 1 point, +1 Read more »

ECHL All-Star Game

by Parker Neale
on

The 2001 ECHL All-Star Game will take place this Tuesday, February 13th in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is the third straight year that the game will be showcased on a national television broadcast as ESPN2 is picking up the coverage. Once again, the Northern Conference all-stars are pitted against their counterparts from the south.

In terms of the starting line-up for the Northern Conference, the attack is led by Kevin Hilton. The Charlotte forward has tallied 66 points in 51 games thus far. Also up front are Scott Bertoli and Cail Maclean of Trenton. Both these Titans players have been consistent all season, notching 39 and 32 points, respectively. On defence are Calvin Elfring of Roanoke and Tom Nemeth of Dayton. Elfring has contributed 35 points and 48 penalty minutes in 50 games while Nemeth has been stellar on the offence, with 43 points in 48 games. And, in goal is Scott Stirling, who is having a sensational campaign for Trenton, with 20 wins, a 2.10 GAA and a 0.924 save percentage in 30 games.

The Southern Conference has a powerful offensive attack with Dany Bousquet of Pee Dee, Brent Cullaton of Tallahassee and Matt Demarski of Florida leading the charge. Bousquet has 32 goals in 43 games, Cullaton has dominated with 68 points in 44 games and Demarski is on a point-a-game clip with 47 in 46 games. On defence are Trevor Demmans of Pee Dee and Chris Valicevic of Louisiana. Both these defenders have been steady at both ends of the ice and have recorded 36 and 40 points, respectively. In net for the south is Kirk Daubenspeck of Sou Read more »

Czech NHL rookies – Pavel Kolarik

by Robert Neuhauser
on
It was a big surprise, the Bruins ninth round selection at the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. After
taking Zdenek Kutlak in the eighth round the Bruins grabbed Kolarik with their first pick
in the ninth round at the 268th place, a 27-year old defenseman of HC Slavia Praha of the
Czech Extraleague. Born 10-24-1972 Pavel was drafted 9 years after his draft year, 1991.

That was awesome. Only Czech Extraleague fans knew that this 6’0”, 185 lbs. blueliner, who
never played for the National team, exists. It looked like he’ll spend the rest of his
career as an average Extraleague player, with hope to play some games in the National Team,
maybe. Harry Sinden drastically changed this vision of the future. The Bruins, who missed
the playoffs in 1999-2000, were looking for some players who could provide immediate help.
They took forward Sergei Zinoviev and defensemen Jarno Kultanen, Zdenek Kutlak and finally
Pavel Kolarik to fight for a spot in the Bruins team. Not even Pavel believed in such a big
turnover in his career…

Born in Vyskov, Czech Republic, Pavel Kolarik broke into the Extraleague in the 1996-1997
season with HC Slavia Praha. He acquired the jersey with the number 16 after Petr Macek,
a defenseman who left Slavia before the 1996-97 season and started playing. He appeared in
half of the regular season schedule games, playing 27 of 52 games. Pavel notched 3 points
(1 goal + 2 assists) and was a +3 along with 10 PIMs in his inaugural season. He was
scoreless during 3 playoff games, in which was Slavia swept 0:3 by the future champion
of Vset Read more »

Kings: Around the System

by Tony Calfo
on
During the Rob Blake talks, one of the expenses the Kings listed was buying their own farm team. The fact of the matter is that no young player is developing at Lowell. Lowell is great for fringe NHL players like Marko Tuomained and Brad Chartrand, but the players the Kings needed to develop this season (Joe Rullier, Kip Brennan, Alexey Volkov)have floundered and even failed. If you look at other teams, the AHL is providing them with NHL talent with younger players. The Kings need to be able to do this soon.

Is Yanick Lehoux the real deal? You can’t blame Kings fans for being a little gunshy. Names like Rosa, Papineau, Perrault and Shevalier show that good numbers at that stage of development do not necessarily translate into NHL success. However, most people who have seen Lehoux think he is the genuine item.

What do the Kings need if they trade Rob Blake? Besides some new season seat holders, they need some size on wing and some ace prospect in net. Volkov’s struggles have the Kings moderately concerned, and while their is talent in net in the system, that seems an area that can never be too strong. The Kings also need a stud. There is no potential goal scorer within three years of having an impact on the NHL level. With Belanger, Reinprecht and Visnovsky, the Kings have some young point scorers, but they are badly in need of a finisher, and no one besides the young Lehoux has shown they can do that.

Top Prospects, Top Pressure

by Jeff Bromley
on
The sixth annual CHL Top Prospects game took place this past week and it didn’t fail to live up to it’s accrued billing of the showcase of top major junior players on the continent. Trouble is, it’s only one game. Take it or leave it, this game can have a major impact on where and when a player is taken in the NHL Draft come June in Sunrise, Fla. That’s of course not to say that NHL scouts haven’t done their homework and seen each and every player a couple dozen times but in a nationally televised game against your brethren who are fighting for the betterment of their own draft status, the game does take on new meaning in the eyes of scouts and players alike.

Forty 2001 draft eligible players, two teams, celebrity Coaches Don Cherry and Bobby Orr patrolling behind the bench, this game isn’t any All-Star extravaganza, it’s a stage in which to showcase your skills as a player. Think one game can’t make a difference? Think again. Last year’s prospect game is a clear example. Calgary Hitmen goaltender Brent Krahn going into the game in the draft rankings was ranked highest among goalies, save for number one pick overall Rick DiPietro who didn’t declare his eligibility until after the final rankings were released. But in the overall scheme of the things it wasn’t expected that Krahn would be picked until well into the first round, if at all. An outstanding performance at the 2000 edition of the Top Prospects game in Toronto changed all that. Krahn ended up being taken ninth overall by his hometown Calgary Flames. A surprise to some but to others not surprising at Read more »