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Albany Week in Review

by Mike Buskus

Goaltenders get their due

Goaltenders finally got some recognition this week for the Albany River Rats. Not that they have not played well to date, but the team’s record (one win in the first 17 games going into this week) overshadowed the performance between the pipes.

This past week, though, Devils’ prospects Ari Ahonen and Jean-Francois Damphousse both got some notice in the press. Ahonen got his first professional victory in the American Hockey League, as he stopped 38 of 39 shots on Saturday, November 24, 2001 as the River Rats beat the Rochester Americans, 3-1. It was only the second victory in the campaign through 20 games. Ahonen earned “third star” for his efforts.

J.F. Damphousse got his first start in the NHL. Though he took a loss, as the Devils were unable to score against Tampa Bay’s Khabibulin, Damphousse made 20 saves on 22 shots. One of the goals was a power play marker; the other was a rebound shot. Media reports gave Damphousse favorable grades for his NHL debut. He was credited with showing “poise”, a term that certainly reflected his AHL performance the past several seasons as he played in front of a weak Albany defense (judged historically).

Damphousse, the Devils’ 1st choice (24th overall) in the 1997 entry draft, hopes for a few more starts with the Devils, sandwiched in between Martin Brodeur’s assignments. If he does not get another start soon, he will probably be sent back to Albany, where he has split time with Ari Ahonen and Scott Clemmensen. All three are promising prospects, though Read more »

Cellar-dwelling in Seattle

by Jeff Arnim

Seattle Thunderbirds

2001-02 record: 6-21-1-0
4th place U.S. Division, 9th place Western Conference
This week: 0-2-1-0

With a weekly schedule that included the Tri-City Americans and Vancouver Giants, the Thunderbirds had a good chance to gain ground on two important Western Conference rivals, but ultimately ended the week in the conference cellar, and the worst record in the WHL. Also this week the team saw two of its players ranked for the 2002 NHL Draft by NHL Central Scouting, and loaned no-show import Andrei Mukhin to the East Division’s Saskatoon Blades.

November 21 – Tri-City 4, Seattle 2
A four-goal explosion staked the Americans to a hefty lead after two periods of play. However the Thunderbirds responded with two goals within the first two minutes of period three, one each from Greg Black and defenseman Tomas Mojzis. Yet despite the quick offensive output, Seattle posted only five shots on goal in the final frame, failing to close the gap. Nick Pannoni made 26 saves in the loss.

November 23 – Vancouver 5, Seattle 5 Read more »

Velebny a Work in Progress

by Stephen J. Holodinsky

Summing up Lubos Velebny’s play to date, Hockey’s Future’s Analyst for the London Knights Jason Ahrens does not hesitate to say he is “disappointed with his performance so far.” While it is true, the Slovak is in the top pairing and plays heavy minutes with the club in all situations, the Knights are presently in last place in the OHL’s West Division so one might wonder where he might fit into a rotation such as Plymouth’s who are currently in first. Something that stands out to Ahrens are the lack of results offensively. “I thought he would have far more points at this stage of the season, as he plays on every power play and usually starts it. He no doubt leads the Knights and maybe the OHL in shots that are blocked, so his decision making hasn’t improved much from last year.”

Ahrens goes on to say that the rearguard “reminds me a bit of Igor Ulanov, a guy who gets too cute in his own end sometimes and gets burned as Oiler fans saw last year in playoffs several times. But has some good abilities like Ulanov and has the ability to make the big hit too. (He) definitely has big league tools, size, shot, skating are (they are all) there, (but he) needs to work on (the) tool box.”

As the Knights have been playing with only five defensemen in a few contests lately this naturally means more icetime for all of the blueliners. As with the Waterloo Blackhawks last year, Velebny looks to be struggling somewhat with the mental aspect of the game at this point and perhaps moving him up to the CHL might have been a bit too much too soon. That said, there is still over half Read more »

The Youngins are the Talk of the League

by Chapin Landvogt

Ahhh, no matter what league we’re referring to, whether it be the NHL, AHL, CHL, NCAA, the leagues throughout Europe, and all those many leagues in between, there’s always a curiosity for every true fan as to what new faces will establish themselves into household names through the course of the season. Let me get more specific considering that *new faces* can also include older, experienced players that are just new to that respective league. What I’m focusing on are the kids…the rookies…the first year players. Every year there are high expectations for kids who often crumble under the pressure. Then again, every year sees its share of kids that seem to come out of nowhere to become shooting stars. In the international realm, these types of kids often become the targets of NHL scouts who are looking to bolster the depth, and hopefully, the successfulness of their franchise by taking a flyer. This type of exuberance and the joy of discovering talent is something that, for the most part, takes place all over the hockey world, but I’d like to inform y’all about a league where this exuberance and the joy of discovering talent is all the rage at this very moment. Yep folks, there’s the DEL in Germany – a league that has pretty much become a second home for many IHL, AHL and even NHL veterans who have gotten up there in age and are looking for a last hurrah (and a few extra pennies along the way). However, this trend has been changing recently and young German born talent has been getting the chance to prove themselves as good and as profitable as the many Nor Read more »

Game Misconduct: Patrick Roy’s Olympic Meddle

by Tony Bryson

Patrick Roy’s Olympic Meddle

The Canadian Olympic men’s hockey team was dealt a blow when Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche announced that he would not be participating in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, choosing instead to focus on the NHL season and the playoffs in the spring. The announcement came as a bit of a shock to the hockey world, but upon further examination it is not really much of a surprise when you consider the sum of the parts that make up the most successful goaltender in NHL history.

There are a few things you quickly notice about Patrick Roy as you watch him. First is his immense talent. The guy really knows how to stop a puck. He has combined lightning quick reflexes with an uncanny ability to out think a shooter to become a wall in goal. He has taken advantage of every technology change possible to keep his game at a level that few have ever managed to attain. He uses his over-sized equipment to cover as much of the net as humanly possible and makes the shooter fire at targets that aren’t there. It’s hard to believe that his six foot, one hundred and ninety pound frame, can be so intimidating to NHL snipers, but when you add on the largest pads in the game it becomes clear as to a portion of where his success stems. When you combine these features together you have a package that is the most successful goaltender that has played the game.

The second thing you notice about Patrick Roy is his competitive spirit. He hates to lose. You don’t put together the numbers he has without having the desire to go ou Read more »

The ECHL Report

by Ron Valerino

Wheeling center Chris Wells is the InGlasCo Player of the Week.

The 6-6 and 230-pound Wells scored three goals and five points while helping Wheeling score five points in three games and even its record at 8-8-1. The 26-year-old Wells scored the game-winning goal in Wheeling’s 3-2 win against Northern Conference leader Trenton on Thursday. He came back the following night and scored a pair of goals, including the game winner, and had an assist as the Nailers won 5-3 at Johnstown. He closed out the week with an assist in Wheeling’s 3-2 shootout loss against Cincinnati on Saturday. On behalf of Chris Wells, a case of pucks will be donated to a Wheeling area youth hockey organization by InGlasco, the official puck supplier of the ECHL.

Augusta’s Gregg Naumenko is the ECHL Goalie of the Week
Naumenko, who was assigned to the Lynx by Anaheim of the National Hockey League on Friday, was 3-0-0 with a 1.93 goals against average and a .935 save percentage while starting three games in three days.
The 24-year-old Naumenko made 31 saves in a 4-3 win against South Carolina on Friday and came back the following night to make 27 saves in a 3-1 win at Greenville. The Chicago native closed out his weekend with 29 saves in a 3-2 win against Southern Conference leader Pee Dee, ending the Pride’s win streak at eight games.


WHEELING : Read more »

Canadiens’ weekly prospects update

by Chris Boucher

Ron Hainsey -D (Drafted-00(1/13))

Hainsey remains unable to play. He suffered a wrist injury on October 24th, and could return to action within the next few days. Overall, the 6’3″, 200-lbs defenseman has played 7 games. He has 6 points (3-3-6), and is +3 with 6 minutes in penalties.

Mike Ribeiro -C (Drafted-98(2/45))

Riberio managed 3 points through 3 games since our last update. His best offensive game came against St. John. He scored 1 goal and added 1 assist during the 3-2 win. Overall, the shifty center has played 12 AHL games. He has 12 points (5-7-12), and is +7 with 18 minutes in penalties. One of his goals was scored on the powerplay, while another was scored shorthanded. He’s also directed 29 shots on goal.

Michael Ryder -W (Drafted-98(8/216))

Ryder was shutout through 3 games this week. Overall, the 6’1″, 195-lbs winger has played 13 games. He has 4 points (2-2-4), and is +2 with 2 minutes in penalties. He’s also managed 13 shots on goal.

Eric Chouinard -F (Drafted-98(1/16))

Chouinard was shutout through 3 games this week, and is currently on a season-high 3-game scoreless streak. Overall, the 6’3″, 207-lbs forward has played 18 games. He has 18 points (7-11-18), and is +3 with 2 minutes in penalties. He also has a team leading 52 shots on goal.

Francois Beauchemin -D (Drafted-98(3/75))

Beauchemin scored 1 goal through 2 games since our last update. Overall, the 6’0″, 201-lbs defenseman has played 7 games. He has 4 points (2-2-4), and is -1 with 8 minutes in penalties Read more »

Home Sweet Home for the Monarchs

by Kristy Gleason

The long-anticipated arrival has occured, and the results have been very promising. The Manchester Monarchs finished their extended season-beginning road trip with a dismal record of
2-8-2. The team’s new arena, the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH, was christened on November 16, 2001 with a renewing of the Monarchs-Lock Monster rivalry. Before the first game puck was dropped, the Monarchs and Kings’ banners were raised to the rafters. Then the Monarchs and the fans paid tribute to our every day local heroes, the police and fire department, who unfurled a huge American flag that covered almost the entire space between the blue lines, which the Lock Monsters and Monarchs lined, and received a long and well-deserved standing ovation. A lengthy moment of silence was held in memory of Garnet “Ace” Bailey and Mark Bavis, both of whom were scouts with the LA Kings organization, and the thousands of others who lost or gave their lives in the September 11th tragedies in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC. All 27 teams in the AHL have dedicated the 2001-02 season in their memory. Rene Rancourt serenaded the masses with a dramatic rendition of the national anthem… and then it was game time.

The Monarchs began the season in the Lock Monsters’ arena, and had lost to them twice in their 14-game journey on the road. The tables were turned, however, on that night of firsts for the Monarchs and their fans. They soundly beat the Lock Monsters, 3-1, in the home opener. The first goal ever to be scored in the VWA was by Monarchs defenseman, Joe Corvo. Read more »

The Pittsburgh Forge Update

by Ron Valerino

Find all the info you need on Pittsburgh’s new Junior A team at:

The Pittsburgh Forge had a very busy 3 game week playing a rare Wednesday
night road game in Cleveland and hosting the USA National Under-17 Team in a
weekend series.

Forge 5 Cleveland 8 :
The Forge trailed 6-2 after 2 periods with Carson Strang and Andy Cote
netting goals. In the third Ken Trombetta netted his sixth goal of the
season to cut the deficit to 6-3. Andy Cote and Carson Strang both added
their second goals of the game, but the rally wouldn’t be enough. The Barons
scored a late goal and added an empty net score with a little over a minute
left. The newest Forge acquisition, Larry Sterling, relieved starter Tim
Heneroty and stopped 17 of 19.

Forge 2 USA 3 (Shootout) : Read more »

Jackets AHL Player Update

by Aaron Vickers

First, transactions that have taken place between the Blue Jackets and their AHL affiliate the Syracuse Crunch. The Jackets have reassigned goaltender Karl Goehring to Syracuse(from Dayton). Goehring, finished up his NCAA career last season, posting an 80-20-13 record in the NCAA ranks, setting a new record. Goehring replaces Gardner, who is reassigned to Dayton.

Columbus has returned forward Mathieu Darche to Syracuse of the AHL after being called up on November 1st. Darche tallied for one goal (1-0-1) in 7 games with the Jackets.

Defenseman Darrel Scoville is still expected to miss 4-6 weeks after suffering a 3rd Degree shoulder separation a few weeks ago.

Stats as of Thursday, November 22nd

Mathieu Darche(LW) – Darche was just recently relocated to Syracuse after an unsuccessful stint with the Jackets. Darche had 7 points (6-1-7) in 9 games before being recalled. What has he done since being returned? About as much as I have in Syracuse…nothing. He’s only played 2 games since his return, but has yet to put up any points.
Read more »

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