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Jackets CHL Prospect Update: Playoff Edition

by Aaron Vickers

Jackets CHL Prospect Playoff Update

Western Hockey League

Shane Bendera – Goal – Kelowna Rockets
What can you say about the performances of Shane Bendera when something is on the line. Last year he lead the Red Deer Rebels to the Memorial Cup, and this year he’s leading the Kelowna Rockets through the WHL Playoffs. Bendera lead the Rockets to a sweep of the much hated Kamloops Blazers. Bendera came out of that series with a 1.00 GAA and a .960 SV%. The Rockets have continued to the next round, where they have played the Spokane Chiefs once, with Bendera stopping 21 of 24 shots to take his first loss of the 2002 WHL Playoffs.

Kiel McLeod – Forward – Kelowna Rockets Read more »

Sudbury Wolves look ahead to next season

by Kevin Armstrong

The 2001-2002 Sudbury Wolves season came to an end Saturday March 30th. But the season ends with great enthusiasm for next year. In his 25th year of coaching, Bert Templeton made it painfully obvious that the Wolves were under construction. September, October and November were marred with trades as young, no name players made their way to the Nickel City. Programs were the hottest item at the Sudbury Arena, as fans tried to keep up with the trades.

December rolled in and the team showed signs of improvement. Players were buying into the Templeton system, but then one road trip at the end of the month turned the Wolves upside down. Leading scorer and rookie, John Winstanley left the team, actually left hockey all together, he said he “lost the love for the game”. The Wolves continued there three game trip, and more bad news followed. Third leading scorer Rob Shilton sustained a knee injury and was knocked out for the season.

The Wolf pack slowly began to turn into a Templeton team in mid January…. a solid defense, with a veteran goalie kept Sudbury in most of their games. While the back end excelled the forwards sputtered. The Wolves finished the year with the lowest number of goals in the OHL, but still managed to finish 6th in the Eastern Conference.

15 games before the play-offs began again the injury bug made its presence felt. The Wolves 4th leading scorer, Trevor Blanchard, dislocated his shoulder, the next night leading scorer and overage centre Shawn Snider, dislocated his shoulder as well. Again the Wolves were scrambling to fill sp Read more »

RoughRiders Lose to Hot Lincoln Stars Team

by Kory Catlett

The Lincoln Stars showed why they are the hottest team in the USHL right now. After falling behind 2-0 in the second period, they fought back to claim a 3-2 victory at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.

The first period was hard-fought on both sides with the Roughriders defenseman Steve Burgess finding the back of the net with only 9 seconds left in the period to put CR up 1-0 going into the break.

Things got a little goofy in the second period. The Riders opened the scoring on a beautiful cross-ice pass from Joey Gasparini to Shawn Vinz who took it the length of the ice, switched it over from right to left and shot it off of Lincoln goalie Nate Ziegelmann’s right pad. The rebound went straight to hard-charging Chase Watson who scooped it into the empty net for a 2-0 Cedar Rapids lead. The Stars answered with one of the strangest goals ever. Chad Hontvet tried centering a pass to John Snowden while on a power play. The puck hit Snowden in the helmet bounced over Rider goalie Bobby Goepfert and into the net to bring Lincoln within one at 2-1. Goepfert said, “It’s a game of bounces and we didn’t get many tonight, I never saw the puck hit him (Snowden) and go over me.” Towards the end of the second it resembled a football game more then hockey. Riders Winger Nate Meyers took the puck and drove right through Ziegelmann with a take out block that would make any fullback jealous. With Ziegelmann pinned down in the back of the net the Stars piled on Meyers when the other CR winger Kevin Brooks went in to even up the odds a little. Brooks was hit with a match penal Read more »

Deadline to sign Balej fast approaching

by Chris Boucher
Josef Balej is arguably the most talented prospect in the Montréal Canadiens’ system. Therefore, the decision of whether or not to sign the young Slovak before the June 1st deadline can only be described as a “no brainer”. There’s just too much talent holding onto that black-bladed stick to lose.

Balej is coming off what is likely his toughest stretch in the last two seasons. The Portland Winter Hawks’ go-to-guy offensively was held to only two assists during a seven game opening round loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds. Balej was Seattle’s main focus in the series, as they keyed on him defensively throughout the seven games.

The Thunderbirds had only to look at the season series between the two teams to realize that stopping Balej was the only way to get by Portland. Balej played in 9 of the 11 games between the two teams this season; he missed two of the meetings with a pulled groin. Through those nine games Balej scored an impressive 11 goals, and added 4 assists; making Seattle’s eventual ability to shut him down in the playoffs even more impressive.

Regardless of Balej’s lack of scoring in the playoffs, he still showed an unwavering desire to work through the dry-spell. He continued to go to the net as the series wound down. He blocked shots, finished checks, and drew penalties throughout the series. Despite what can only be described as a frustrating seven games.

Thankfully the regular season was rewarding rather than frustrating for the 20-year-old right winger. He set career-highs in goals (51), assists (41) and points (92 Read more »

Trinec won Czech Midget Extraleague

by Robert Neuhauser
In early April, there is the final series of the Czech midget Extraleague on the schedule. The
playing scheme is the same as in the junior Extraleague and the playoff games in both leagues
are played the same day. Like in juniors, the regular season consists of 38 games. The 20 teams
are divided into two Groups, called A and B. Group A is for the teams from the western cities
of the Czech Republic and Group B for the eastern ones. During the regular season every team
meets opponents only from their own group. The top 6 teams in every group create then two
Final groups. During the Final group teams meet opponenets only from the other Final group
and play them twice – home and away. Once the Final group games are finished, the top four
teams from every Final group create four quartefinal pairs and from then now it is a regular
playoff, with quarterfinal and semifinal series and the championship series. Read more »

Swiss 2002 Draft Eligible Players’ Stats Overview

by Joeri Loonen

More info on these players can be found on the Switzerland country page on Hockeysfuture.

Patrick Bärtschi F (EHC Kloten)

Regular Season: 25 4 4 8 8

Playoffs: 11 2 2 4 2

Lukas Baumgartner D (EHC Kloten)

EHC Kloten Juniors: Stats unavailable as of yet

Romano Lemm F (EHC Kloten)

Regular Season: 0 0 0 0 0

Playoffs: 11 5 2 7 0

Tobias Stephan G (EHC Chur)

Regular Season: 23 0 0 0 2 3.32

Playouts: 10 0 0 0 0 3.63

Florian Blatter D (HC Davos)

Regular Season: 3 0 0 0 0

Playoffs: 0 0 0 0 0

Thomas Nüssli F (Rapperswil-Jona)

Regular Season (EV Zug): 19 2 1 3 8

Regular Season (EHC Basel/Kleinhüningen, Nat.Liga B) 15 3 1 70

Playouts (Rapperswil-Jona): 5 1 1 2 2

Emanuel Peter F (EHC Kloten)

Regular Season: 39 1 7 8 14

Playoffs: 3 0 0 0 0

Cyrill Bühler F (EHC Kloten)

Regular Season: 1 0 0 2

Playoffs: 0 0 0 0

Matthias Schoder G (ZSC Lions)

Regular Season: 3 0 0 0 0 2.53

Regular Season (GCK/Lions, Nationalliga B): 30 0 1 6

Playoffs: 0 0 0 0 0

Playoffs (GCK/Lions, Nationalliga B): 2 0 0 0 0

2002 Kings System- A Huge Step

by Tony Calfo

The 2001-2002 season has brought prosperity for the Kings both in the system and on the NHL level. The Kings were able to do some key things that they have not been able to do in year’s past-

1) The Kings were able to develop some top prospects that they acquired in trades and from drafts. Alex Frolov has emerged as a potential NHL star and Jared Aulin, Yannick Lehoux and Mike Cammalleri have all had seasons that have pushed them into the legitimate prospect category. The Kings have also seen defense prospects Joe Corvo and Tomas Zizka emerge as potential NHL defensemen as soon as next season. Add the improved play of Jens Karlsson and the Kings system is deep heading into a draft where they have a first round pick and two first round picks the following year.

2) The Kings were able to develop their own affiliates in Manchester and Reading. The Monarchs have been a monumental success. All of their prospects have been able to develop under their own coaching and the team has been successful as well. The franchise is a hit in Manchester and the players have prospered there.

3) The Kings were able to dip into the system when needed and were the beneficiaries of some positive results. When enforcer Ken Belanger went down, they were able to call on Kip Brennan and new fan favorite Ryan Flinn who combined to give the Kings the punch the Kings were missing for much of the season. In fact, their inspired play lit a fire under Ken Belanger who has played his best hockey since returning. When Eric Belanger went down the Kings were able to go to Brad C Read more »

Rallo Honored as Jr. Blues Scoring King

by Ron Valerino

Springfield Jr. Blues (North American Hockey League) forward, Greg Rallo was
honored before the teams final regular season home game Wednesday night at
the Nelson Center in Springfield, IL. Rallo, who will be attending Ferris
State University (CCHA) on scholarship next season, has set the Jr. Blues
All – Time Goal Scoring Record with 83 goals in two seasons. The Jr. Blues
honored the NAHL’s 2001 Rookie of the Year with an award during a pre game
ceremony before a game against their West Division rivals, the Chicago
Freeze. The Jr. Blues have also retired Rallo’s number 27, never to be worn

“It was something our organization felt needed to be done for Greg”, said
new Jr. Blues Head Coach and GM Nick Pollos. “Greg has meant a great deal to
our club the past two seasons, and we wanted to show him and his family our
appreciation”. Rallo, who is a candidate for the USA Hockey Jr. Player of
the Year award, stared for Team USA at this years Top Prospects Viking Cup
Tournament held in Alberta, Canada. Rallo was selected First Team All Star
at the prestigious Viking Cup Tournament. “Greg has been a tremendous leader
both on and off the ice the past two seasons. He works his tail off to best
the best player he can be and it shows.” says Pollos, “I wont be surprised
to see Rallo playing Pro Hockey some day very soon”.

This is the first number ever to be retired in Springfield Jr. Blues

ECHL Playoffs Update

by Ron Valerino

Tonight the Johnstown Chiefs and the Peoria Rivermen meet for Game #3 of the Northwest division semi-finals. The Rivermen lead the series 2-0 in the best of five series.

In Game 1 Chad Starling’s power play goal 4:50 into the second period broke a 1-1 tie and lifted the Peoria Rivermen to a 2-1 win over the visiting Chiefs. Eric Schneider scored the lone goal for the Chiefs on the power play. Chiefs goaltender Dany Sabourin made 38 saves, including 18 in the first period. Peoria goaltender Phil Osaer made 27 saves in the contest.

In Game 2 Peoria Rivermen forward Tyler Rennette’s second period power play goal, lifted the Rivermen to a 1-0 win Wednesday night and take a 2-0 series lead. Peoria rookie goaltender Phil Osaer posted his first profession playoff shutout as he made 20 saves. Chiefs goaltender Frederic Deschenes made 28 saves in the contest.

Playoff Notes:

Johnstown Left Wing J.F. Boutin was the 2000 Kelly Cup MVP along with current Rivermen head coach Jason Christie, when the Rivermen defeated the Louisiana IceGators in six games. Boutin had 17 goals and 15 assists in 18 post season games for Peoria in 2000

Dan Carlson led the Chiefs with 3 goals, all game winning goals, and 4 assists (7 PTS) in 6 regular season games vs. Peoria this season.

Rivermen goaltender Phil Osaer is 2-0 with a 0.50 GAA and a 0.979 save percentage in
the two games thus far and going into tonight’s game, Osaer and the Rivermen have not allowed a goal in 107:49

Player assistant coach Bret Myers lead the Rivermen in scoring this season with 34 goals Read more »

Phantoms Update/Weekend Preview

by Al Alven

The 2001-02 regular season will not be remembered as a glorious one for the American Hockey League’s Philadelphia Phantoms. Though the team held the
first place position in the Southern Division for a decent portion of the campaign, a terrible midseason slump temporarily put the team’s playoff
hopes in jeopardy. The Phantoms were able to recover and, with a 4-2 victory over the Norfolk Admirals last Saturday, clinch a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs
for the sixth consecutive season. The team has now reached the postseason every year since its
inception in 1996.

In many ways, this has been an up-and-down season for Philadelphia. The team received typically solid seasons from its veteran players (Mark Greig,
Mark Freer, John Slaney, Neil Little) and steady play from some youngsters (Bruno St. Jacques, Guillaume Lefebvre) this year. On the other hand, there
were some disappointments along the way (Pavel Brendl, Tomas Divisek, Vaclav Pletka), a rash of injuries (particularly to Slaney and fellow defenseman
Brad Tiley) and great deal of player movement. The 2001-02 season saw the Phantoms part with many popular players, including Joe DiPenta, Francis Lessard, Petr Hubacek and goaltending prospect Maxime Ouellet.

Recently, the team welcomed veterans Yves Sarault, Greg Koehler, Jarrod Skalde and goaltender Corey Hirsch (on loan from the Washington Capitals)
for the stretch drive. (Note: Be sure to check this space next week for the “Philadelphia Phantoms regular season report card”)

As they prepare to enter the final weekend of the regular se Read more »