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Norfolk Admirals’ unsung hero.

by Corine Gatti
on

Norfolks’Unsung Hero Marty Wilford

“He has been a great surprise this season. His +13 shows he can play well on offense and defense,” said reporter David Winkelsas, of ChicagoBlackhawks.com. So, has there been an unsung hero tucked beneath the wings of the blue and gold? Number 6 may not possess the title or popularity of an Aaron Downey. He doesn’t have the lightning speed of Steve McCarthy, Geoff Peters. But when it comes to tackling defense Marty Wilford has taken the quarterback plunge. What kind of numbers has the Alternate Captain put up thus far in his first season in the AHL? The left shooter in 48 game played, has 5 goals 28 assist and has a dressing of 32 points. The Cobourg, Ontario native has cashed in ten points in his last eight games (two goals, eight assists). He has set a team record with six consecutive game assists. In addition, on December 17, against the Philadelphia Phantoms, and he became the first Admiral record 3 assists in one game. Also, he tore the ice up in the junior league. He accumulated 19 goals 43 assists in his last year with Oshawa, in 1997. “Wilford personifies the typical defenseman. His aggressiveness, no-nonsense, go for broke attitude has inspired his teammates to play through adversity in light of recent call ups including blue line mates Steve Poapst and Steve McCarthy,” said Channel 13, (ABC) Pete Potchowski.

Here’s a brief history on Chicago’s 1995 sixth round (149th overall) draft pick. 1997-98, he enrolled to play 46 games in the ECHL (Columbus) G-8, A-27, PTS-35. Next stop? Indianapoli Read more »

Playoff race heats up

by Jeff Bromley
on
In the NHL, the space of time occupying the latter half of January and the early part of February are known simply as the dog days of the hockey season. No trading deadline is in sight. The All-Star extravaganza of goals is just now behind them. Theoretically, everybody’s still in the playoff race. In the WHL, there aren’t any dog days to speak of during this part of the season. Right now, the only thing canine about the WHL is the dogfighting for position going into the post-season dance With just over five weeks left in the season, it promises to be anything but pretty.

In the Eastern Conference, the race can be best divided into two packs. The big dogs fighting for the conference title and the smaller dogs jockeying and vying for a spot in the post-season party. Unlike last season, when the Calgary Hitmen ran away with the Conference and league title, four teams this year have a viable chance at the crown. Again, unlike last season, it also seems that all four of the top dogs vying for the coveted number one seed in the conference can’t mount any type of sustainable winning streak to lay claim to the crown. Red Deer, Swift Current, Kootenay and Calgary all have legitimate shots at the top seed. Red Deer, currently at the top with 79 points and games in hand over their rivals chasing them in the standings, sits in the driver’s seat for the number one seed. But the Rebels (6-4-1in their last ten games), for all their team strengths in every category, can’t seem to pull away from their adversaries. The Swift Current Broncos (5-4-1 Last10), third in p Read more »

Penguin Prospect Reports

by Erik Johnson
on

Junior Player of the Year 1/15 – 1/21

Goalies:


Peter Hamerlik (Kingston)- 3 games, 1-1-1, 3.87 GAA, .887 SvPct


Defensemen:

Jeremy Van Hoof (Ottawa)- 3 games, 0 pts
Darcy Robinson (Red Deer)- 2 games, 21 PIM
David Koci (Prince George)- 2 games, 0 pts


Forwards:

Joel Scherban (London)- 4 games, 2 goals, 3 assists
Tomas Skvardilo (Kingston)- DNP
Steve Crampton (Moose Jaw)- 4 games, 2 goals, 7 PIM
Shane Endicott (Seattle)- 4 games, 1 goal, 3 assists
Jan Fadrny (Kelowna)- 1 game, 2 goals, 1 assist
Michel Ouellet (Rimouski)- 3 games, 1 goal, 2 assists, 2 PIM


Player of the Week

1st: Scherban
2nd: Fadrny
3rd: Endicott


Standings

Ouellet 38 (4)
Fadrny 28 (4)
Endicott 26 (4)
Hamerlik 26 (2)
Crampton 10 (1)
Scherban 9 (1)
Skvardilo 4
Robinson 1



WBS 3 Stars of the Week 1/15 – 1/21

1st star:

Milan Kraft- Started his stint in the AHL with a 4 goal, 3 assist weekm earning himself the AHL Player of the Week Award. Goals in all 3 games, multiple goal game in the loss to Philly


2nd Star:
Martin Sonnenberg- Benefitted from having Kraft as a linemate as he racked up 2 goals and 3 assists with multiple point games against Philly


3rd Star:
Sebastian Caron- Started only one game, but made it count with 24 save shutout against Philly


Games:
Philly 4, WBS 3; WBS 3, Hershey 1; WBS 4, Philly 0


Standings
Read more »

NOJHA-BCJHL Showcase set

by Brad Coccimiglio
on
The site has been selected, the coaches have been named and the rosters
are set, now it’s game on for the NOJHA-BCJHL All-star game. The site
for the game will be the Memorial Gardens in Sault Ste. Marie, home of
the Soo Thunderbirds.

The game will feature some of the best talent from the two Jr. A
leagues. The players participating in the game include NCAA, OHL and
eligible players. You can be sure that there will be a tremendous number
of scouts in the audience for the game.

The NOJHA squad will be led by the coaches of the league’s top 2 teams
as Rayside Balfour Sabrecats coach Ken MacKenzie and Soo Thunderbirds
coach Jim Capy will lead the charge.

The NOJHA roster is dominated by members of the Sabrecats and
Thunderbirds. In goal will be Frank Novello of the Soo and Espanola
Screaming Eagles starter Josh Siembida.

The defensive corps will include Dave Csumrik, Jason Michelutti and
Eric Simmons of Rayside as well as Jeff Cochrane, Seth Vinocur and Josh
Chase of the Thunderbirds.

Representing the NOJHA at forward will be Chris Shamess and Matt Shank
of the Sudbury Northern Wolves;Sean Spencer of the Sturgeon Falls Lynx;
Fred Coccimiglio, David Borelli, Ryan Corcoran and Josh Thompson of the
Thunderbirds;as well as Nevin Patterson, Justin Carre, Matt Barnhardt,
Joey Belanger and Rico Dicarlantonio of Rayside Balfour.

The alternates for the team include netminder Joey Biasucci of the
Thunderbirds, defenceman Todd Rayne of the Sudbury Northern Wolves and
centre Eric Paquette of the Iroq Read more »

USHL Update – Des Moines Buccaneers

by Jason Shaner
on
The 2000-2001 season has been a roller coaster of ups and downs for one of the most storied franchises in the USHL. The Des Moines Buccaneers hoist a number of banners in the stadium that is called by many as the “Madhouse on Hickman”. Des Moines is coming off a 4th place finish last season after being the dominant team in the league the prior several years. Some Buccaneers fans may have considered last season a down year for the team. This season there was much concern about how the mighty Bucs would turn out. Several new faces took the ice and early on Des Moines struggled to get things going. It appeared they may take another step down in the league until some key transactions and top-notch goaltending has taken this team back to where they feel they belong. Currently Des Moines is 24-14-2 good for 50 points. That gets them 4th in the rough and tumble Western Division but good for 5th in the USHL overall in the playoff standings. The Buccaneers are chasing their archrival Omaha Lancers along with the Sioux Falls Stampede and league leading Lincoln Stars in the quest for home ice advantage. Currently the Buccaneers are one of the leagues hottest teams as they recently had a 7 game winning streak put together. That streak was capped off with road wins at League leading Lincoln and over 2nd place Sioux Falls.

On the offensive side Des Moines had a lot to replace. Losing scoring champion Peter Sejna last season along with rookie of the year Troy Riddle Des Moines had a lot of questions to answer. Des Moines definitely got the season off slo Read more »

The Lewiston Rocket?

by Nicolas Gaudreau-Dupuis
on

After only one year of existence, the Montreal Rocket has accumulated a deficit of 800,000$; and the low attendance has put pressure on the owners to find alternatives. The Montreal Rocket is currently in negotiations that would allow them to move in the Molson Centre, something the president of the team, Mario Messier, has called a “last resort” change for the franchise.

Junior Hockey struggles in Montreal
The
Montreal Rocket is not the first QMJHL located in the Montreal area that is having difficulties with attendances and survival. Previous teams located in
Verdun, Laval or Longueil all had similar problems in the past, and none of
them has survived to this day. If the Montreal Rocket cannot redress the situation
in the Molson Centre, they could be forced to move to a new location. Since
the last QMJHL expansions have developped most available markets in the province
of Quebec and in the Maritimes, the franchise could go south of the boarder.

The Lewiston Rocket? Read more »

The Weekend Warrior

by Randy Nicholson
on

Another in a series of weekly articles summarizing activity in Leafland during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations, commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.

A new angle on the Lindros stalemate: Veteran hockey writer Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun (January 29th) offered an interesting solution to the Lindros deadlock this week … he hypothesized that the Maple Leafs might obtain Eric Lindros for as little as two first-round draft picks … this price would be based upon an offer sheet that starts relatively low but increases with the number of games played … the Leafs could put together a contract paying Lindros $1.4 million a year for three years … bonus clauses that would pay him $1 million for every 10 games and $600,000 at the end of the season would also be included … the total package represent a total of $10 million over a full season – but with only the base salary guaranteed … under the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement, this would be a legal contract … although a team is forbidden from starting at $10 million and working down, there is nothing that prevents starting at $1.4 million and working up … the attraction of this arrangement is that, because the guaranteed salary in the deal is relatively low, the compensation required is correspondingly small … at the $1.4M level, the Leafs would have to surrender only two first-round picks instead of the five usually needed to acquire a player of Lindros’ calibre … the catch, of course, is that the Flyers would have Read more »

Coyotes Update: Catching Up On Some News

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

- Czech defenseman Robert Schnabel was released by the Coyotes earlier this month at his request. Schnabel was struggling a lot this season and wanted a change of scenery. He will now be playing for Timra of the Swedish Elite League.

- The Future Considerations sent to Vancouver in return for Brad May this summer was announced a couple of days ago. The Coyotes will send a 3rd round pick in the 2001 Entry Draft to the Vancouver Canucks.

- The pending takeover of the team by an ownership group that includes Wayne Gretzky appears that the deal will get done before the February 15th deadline that current Coyotes owner Richard Burke and hopeful new owner Steve Ellman agreed upon in December.

- The Coyotes had 2 players participate in the 2001 World Junior Championships in Moscow, Russia earlier this month. Sami Venalainen had 1 goal and 1 assist in 7 games for Silver medal winning Finland and Jason Jaspers had 1 goal and 6 penalty minutes in 7 games for Bronze Medal winning Canada. Krys Kolanos was one of the last players cut for team Canada. Many believe that he should have definitely made the team.

2001 USHL All Star/Prospects Game

by Jason Shaner
on

Speed, agility, intensity and courage, those words emulate the USHL player. The United States Hockey League is by far the premier Junior Hockey League and the players prove it every season. Only the top players are selected to participate in the All Star/Prospects game. Not everyone obviously gets a chance to be part of this major event, so the ones that do certainly take advantage of it. This year’s game will take place in Cedar Rapids, home of the RoughRiders. The Cedar Rapids Ice Arena welcomes the opportunity to let their city see the endless talent these players possess. Team USA consists of some of the best talent in the league in the eyes of the coaches. Team World is comprised of the best-imported talent as well as potential NHL draftees. Year in and year out some of the league’s top stars are drafted into the NHL and many more get their wish of a college scholarship and move on to the next level to continue to hone their skills with the dreams of making it to the big show one day. Below is a list of the players who made the rosters of Team USA and Team World.

Team World

Jure Penko Goaltender – Jure has been one of the top goaltenders in the league since his arrival a couple of seasons ago for the Green Bay Gamblers. His tall frame intimidates his opponents and his quick reflexes make him the goaltender he is. So far on the season Jure has compiled an 18-5-7 record with a 2.37 GAA and a .912 saves percentage.

Keith Ballard Def Read more »