Coming 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.
In the midget league players with birthyear 1984 or younger are eligible to play this season
and the teams consist mostly of 1984 and 1985 born players. Top 1986 prospects play in the
league too, even if they still can play for Grade 9. But it is only a few of them, most of the
1986 born split this season between the midgets and Grade 9.
This year HC Ocelari Trinec and HC Slavia Praha fought their way into the finals. Trinec captain
Rostislav Sabela acquired presents from the general sponsor Nutella for the regular season’s
best team and so Trinec was said to be a slightly better team than Slavia. But the players on
the roster of Slavia won the chmpio Read more »
The most prestigious Bantam Hockey tournament in North America
gets underway in beautiful Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada,
starting on Wednesday, April 11/2001 and running through until
Monday, April 16/2001. Defending tourney champs Detroit Honeybaked
Hams return to defend their title and after a one year absence the
1999 tourney champs, the St.Louis Amateur Blues return and will
likely be one of the favorites if not one of the most watched teams
as they boast the son of former NHL’er Peter Stastny.
This tournament which started in 1967, has been a fixture for
bantam teams from all over North America and Europe, however while
it’s been a few years since any European entries have come to the
tournament, the United States is well represented again with four
teams including the St.Louis Amateur Blues, Detroit Honeybaked,
Detroit Compuware and the Michigan Ice Dogs. St.Louis, Honeybaked and
Compuware have all won titles here in the past and should be strong
while the ice Dogs make their first appearance.
A long list of National Hockey League talent has played on the
ice in Kamloops during this tourney including Mario Lemieux, Vincent
Lecavalier, David Legwand, Scott Hannan, Andrew Ference, Dimitri
Nabakov, Darcy Tucker, Mark Recchi, Brendan Morrison, Tyson Nash,
Mike Peca, Adam Foote, Keith Primeau, Daryl Sydor, Rod Brind’Amour,
Mike Modano, Joe Sakic, Jimmy Carson, Tony Twist, Murray Baron, Cliff
Ronning and many others, the list is overwhelming as is the quality
of hockey played during the six Read more »
The first round of the USHL playoffs is done. One team left behind is the Defending Clark Cup Champion, Green Bay Gamblers, who were eliminated by the Tri-City Storm in 4 games. Top seeded Lincoln swept their best of 5 series with the Sioux City Musketeers. The 4th seeded Omaha Lancers also swept their series taking 3 in a row over the 5th seeded Des Moines Buccaneers. Finally, the 3rd seed, Sioux Falls Stampede disposed of the 6th seeded Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in 4 games. That leaves 4 teams left standing, all from the rough and tumble Western Division. In the semifinal round the 2 matchups are very exciting. Anderson Cup champion Lincoln will take on the Defending National Junior “A” Champion Tri-City Storm. In the other series the smoking hot Omaha Lancers will face off against the Sioux Falls Stampede. Sioux Falls finished somewhat weak in the regular season but seemed to rise back to form against Cedar Rapids. Here is a preview of the semi-final series.
Lincoln Stars vs. Tri-City Storm
Power against skill is what this matchup boils down to. Lincoln is hands down the top team in the league and wants nothing less than the Clark Cup title. Tri-City, who is in their first year of existence after moving from the Twin Cities where they finished 2nd overall in the playoffs last year and won the Junior “A” National Championship want to continue their surprising run. They knocked off the Eastern Division Champion Green Bay Gamblers and would like to take out the Western Division Champion as well. One thing stands in the way….Li Read more »
The IHL could have a different look next year. Maybe fewer teams, maybe one conference, and maybe NHL affilation. Minor pro hockey is changing and Doug Moss the IHL commisioner knows that.
Moss is so ready for change, he believes that in two short years minor pro hockey in North America could be so different — yet so amazingly sensible — that hockey fans will wonder why it didn’t happen sooner.
“I think it would be very safe to say that minor pro hockey is going through an adjustment,” said Moss.
“In the early ’90s, people believed in the theory, ‘Build it and they will come.’ We expanded all over North America, we moved into new or different buildings, we opened the doors and expected people to show up. I remember, when I worked in Buffalo, (former Sabres owner) Seymour Knox said to me, ‘Doug, there was a time when we could hang out a shingle that read, Hockey Game Tonight, and people would come. It’s not like that anymore.’ Mr. Knox was right and it’s something we all have to accept. The way we do business in professional sport at every level is changing dramatically, and I now believe we have people at the minor pro hockey level who are of the mindset that it’s time for change.”
Perhaps the saddest reality in hockey is that Gary Bettman is the commissioner of the NHL while Doug Moss is the commissioner of the IHL. Bettman doesn’t get it. Although he has a complete and total appreciation for money and what it can do, Bettman still doesn’t understand that hockey is a regional game and that hockey fans are raised, not coerced.
Read more »
House an AHL All-Star: St. John’s Maple Leafs right winger Bobby House has been selected to the American Hockey League’s Second All-Star Team for the 2000-2001 season … House is currently the Baby Leafs’ team leader with 69 points (T-8th in AHL) on 36 goals (T-2nd in AHL) and 33 assists in 65 games … House also leads the team with 11 powerplay goals, 289 shots on goal (3rd in AHL) and is tied for the team lead in plus-minus with a plus 13 rating … earlier this year, House was selected to the starting lineup of the 2001 AHL All-Star Game held in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA where he picked up 3 points (2G-1A) … House joins a list of other St. John’s Maple Leafs selected to the First or Second AHL All-Star Teams … these include; Felix Potvin (First Team, 1991-92), Joel Quenneville (Second Team, 1991-92), Jeff Serowik (Second Team, 1992-93), Chris Snell (First Team, 1993-94), Rich Chernomaz (First Team, 1993-94), Patrik Augusta (Second Team, 1993-94), Jamie Heward (Second Team, 1995-96) and David Cooper (Second Team, 1997-98) … House became a member of the St. John’s Maple Leafs as a free agent in July of 1999 … though he recently signed a new 3-year NHL deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs, House has unfortunately been lost to the organization for the remainder of the season due to a serious hand injury …
Roy joins Baby Leafs: You may have missed this story when first reported 2 weeks ago … the St. John’s Maple Leafs have signed pivot Jonathan Roy from the QMJHL’s Moncton WildCats … Roy, who is signed to an amateur try-out contrac Read more »
The Czech junior Extraleague finally came to the championship battle. Every team, who wants
to compete for the title, muss pass a long way. First there is the regular season, which
consists of 38 games. The teams are divided into two groups, Group A for the teams from the
western cities of the Czech Republic and Group B for the eastern cities’ teams.
Each Group consists of 10 teams. During the regular season the teams meet only opponents from
their own group. Then comes the Final group. To this group advance the top 6 teams from every
Group. In the Final group the teams from group A play only the teams from Group B and every
team meets his opponent twice – home and away. Also the Final group is divided into two parts.
After that the top four teams from every Final group create four quarterfinal pairs and then
it is a regular playoff, the games are best of three.
This year the juniors of HC Pojistovna Pardubice fought their way into the finals, where they
had to face the juniors from HC Slovnaft Vsetin. The Pardubice team seemed to be the favorite
as they were ruling the Extraleague for the whole season. They have an excellent goalie in
Martin Barek, who was the starter for all junior teams of the 1982 born players, the defense
mixes experienced players like overager Petr Mocek or Pavel Dvorak along with young prospects
like Martin Vagner or Tomas Linhart, both 1984 born. Up in the front Pardubice boast an
excellent scoring line of Josef Vitek, captain Albin Podstavek and Jan Kolar, a player with
some experience with the senior Extraleague. Besides Read more »
When most people think of the Islanders 1999 Entry Draft, they think of
Tim Connolly, Taylor Pyatt, Brandislav Mezi, and Kristian Kudroc. The three
players that most people forget about are Justin Mapletoft, Mattias
Weinhandl, and Juraj Kolnik.
After having four picks in the first round, the Islanders next pick was
in the 3rd round. With that pick, 78th overall, they chose Mattias
Weinhandl. In 2000, he was high-sticked in the left eye by Michal Travnicek,
and had minimal vision. After a recovering enough to return to the line up
for MoDo, his team in the Swedish Elite League, he finished the season strong
while playing with Daniel and Henrik Sedin. This season, while playing for a
rebuilding MoDo team, Weinhandl has 14 goals, 30 points, and 10 penalty
minutes in 44 games.
In the next round, with the 101st overall selection, the Islanders were
thrilled to have to chance to draft Juraj Kolnik. Although he doesn’t have a
great skating stride and he isn’t the most physical player, his scoring
ability and potential was well worth the draft choice. In 2000 Kolnik had a
break through season, where he registered 53 goals and 53 assists in 47
games, for a total of 106 points. After struggling in the beginning of the
year playing for the Lowell Lock Monsters, General Manager Mike Milbury moved
Kolnik to the Springfield Falcons where he regained his form of 2000, and
registered 14 goals and 16 assists for a total of 30 points in 26 games. Due
to the Islanders lack of scoring and amount of injuries, Ko Read more »
Since being drafted 14th overall in 1997 Michel is the Oiler’s David a potential masterpiece a project which takes time and patience. After coming over to North America for the 1998-99 season it has taken over 200 games in the American Hockey League for him to realize what it takes on a nightly basis to make the leap forward. The largest improvement has come in his willingness to take responsibility for his defensive assignments in neutral and defensive zones.
As ice time increased for him with a more dilligent work ethic the offensive stats began to appear as well with 56 goals over the last 140 games with a multitude of different linemates as well. At the begining of the season Michel had the chance to secure a roster spot with the Oilers but after 12 games he was sent back down. His demotion was not due to lack of effort in either offensive of defensive areas but having been paired up the two other rookies for the majority of the time did not allow him to showcase his talents.
Pure and simple he is a goal scorer and perhaps he does not have the grit and physical presence that the Oilers ideally look for but does however possess talents that could help them become a more well rounded team. Next training camp will tell if the Oiler’s management and coaching have the forsight to place Michel on Doug Weight’s line with Dan Cleary. With Dan Cleary’s game rounding out and Doug Weight’s ability to make players around him better thier may not be a better place for Michel in the league.
At the start of next season Michel will be 22 yrs of age wh Read more »
Currently on the roster including the return of injured Josh Green thier will be 21 players next training camp competing for 13 spots. It seems at the moment that at least 11 are a lock with 8 forwards fighting it out for the two remaining positions. At the end of the regular season the line up should look something like this.
Line #1 Green/Zholtok – Weight – Cleary
Line #2 Smyth – Comrie – Carter
Line #3 Moreau – Marchant – Grier
Line #4 Horcoff – Murray – Laraque
Spare – Pittis
However next year you throw in this list of players and things become a lot more crowded.
RW/LW Michel Riesen,
LW Jani Rita,
C Brian Swanson,
RW/C Paul Comrie,
C Jason Chimera,
C Peter Sarno,
LW Tony Salmelainen
Of the remaining six it seems Michel Riesen has the best chance of making the squad since the Oilers have a need for winger with goal scoring ability. Zholtok and Pittis may both be pushed aside by younger players since both are good utility players neither have the ability to command regular duty. Zholtok and Pittis could be both moved for defensive depth or picks and allow Green and Riesen to take thier spots and have the remainder return to Hamilton for a year without hurting the deveopment of the players or the team.
The battles between the players to make the club will be interesting for the media and fans and difficult for the coaches and managment since thier decisions could alter the direction of the organization over the next couple seasons. But everyone involved can take heart that Read more »
The Kimberley Dynamiters are ceasing operations at the cusp of their 2001 AWHL playoff run.
A club so entrenched within the psyche
of the Bavarian City that the Dynamiters
themselves predate the moniker
adoption of the now-famous Bavarian
theme by some 40 years. Save for
perhaps the Sullivan Mine, that enabled
Kimberley’s existence in the first place, it
was the Dynamiters hockey club over
the span of almost 75 years
that most identified the city Kimberley
It would be easy to dwell on the many
reasons and theories for the demise of
the AWHL Junior A Dynamiters. An
attendance ceiling that could seemingly
never be surpassed, the economic reality
of the Sullivan Mine on the verge of
closure in the city, the glaringly obvious
economic discrepancy for the Nitros
playing in a league populated with
mostly American clubs and even the
arrival of the Kootenay ICE to the
region three years ago could all be
counted as reasons for the folding of the
Dynamiters. Instead we can remember the stories, anecdotes and
players of all incarnations of the Nitros
that wore proudly the stick of Dynamite
emblazoned on their jerseys. The fierce
rivalry of Cranbrook Colts/Royals and
the Kimberley Dynamiters that on many
occasions and in many different eras
required police escorts for fans and
players alike returning back to their
respective cities. The RMJHL
Dynamiters becoming the first club to
even win a game against the BCJHL
Champions in the Doyle Cup in more
than eight years of trying. The great
Nitros club of 1997 who only Read more »