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Just Passing Through!

by Larry Bradley
on

This is a new feature I have developed to profile some of the top performers who have made their way into Mississauga in the past week. When you visit the same arena on a regular basis you have only so many prospects available to watch. These guys may be great talents, but they usually don’t provide enough material for a weekly column. You must branch out with fresh ideas to keep the hobby interesting.

Sunday, January 21, 2001

The Sudbury Wolves came into town and played hungry right from the opening face off. Their huge defensive core set the tone with a bruising barrage of hits. It must have been contiguous, as Wolves forwards installed an aggressive fore check hitting everything in sight. They took a commanding 3-0 lead after one period and didn’t look back on their way to a 5-1 victory.

Here’s a look at some of the Wolves that made an impact in Sunday’s contest.

#13 Alexei Semenov

The Edmonton Oilers have a great future in this kid. Their second round (36th overall) pick from the 1999 NHL entry draft has the all the tools to play with the big boys. He is a definite presence, one of the best all-round defenceman I’ve seen this year. Semenov is a monster (6’6” and 210 pounds) who doesn’t give the opposition a lot of room to maneuver. Loves to play the body and with his long reach is impossible to elude. Clears the front of the net as well as anyone and does not back down from trouble. Deceptive speed with long, smooth strides. He is a great asset on the point in p Read more »

2001 AHL All-Star Game – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA

by Jen McCarthy
on

AHL All-Star Skills Competition

Before a boisterous hometown crowd of 8,314, Planet USA doubled up on the Canadian All-Stars to claim the skills competition 16-8. The night was underway with the In Glas Co Puck Control Relay. Planet USA grabbed the quick lead gaining two of possible two points. The relay, consisting of two races, started with three skaters for each team, with Planet USA’s Petersen, Mottau and Kraft leading the Canadians. The individual race between Butsayev and Manlow followed with Butsayev finding the finish line first.

The VIC Ambush followed with player vs. netminder. Each netminder is faced with two different skaters. On the whistle, the first shooter starts from the blue line and picks up any one of five pucks at the hash marks and attempts to score. Shooters have 12 seconds to score as many as five goals…rebounds are allowed. In the end it was the Canadian All-Stars that edged Planet USA for the event and gained the point.

In the KOHO Fastest Skater contest, three players per squad start on opposite sides of the rink from each other and race counter-clockwise one lap around the rink. The Canadian All-Stars swept the event and gained the two possible points, edging Planet USA and taking the lead, 3-2

Undoubtedly one of the most popular events is the CCM Hardest Shot. The title of “Winner of the Hardest Slapshot” is one that any player would love to have added to his name. It could be dubbed “Coolest Event to Win”, in this writer’s opinion. There are two possible points to be won, one Read more »

Maine vs. UNH weekend

by Jeff Morton
on
“They showed why they’re in the top ten in the country, and we showed
why we’re not”, lamented University of Maine head coach Shawn Walsh
after the UNH Wildcats handed Maine their heads in a 4-1 pounding at the
Whittemore Center in Durham, NH Saturday evening. The teams skated to a
0-0 tie the night before, giving both teams reason to be optimistic for
Saturday, but Ty Conklin and the rest of the Wildcats outplayed Maine to
win the weekend and a share of first place in Hockey East.

The first game of the weekend was largely uneventful with extremely
close checking and only a few quality scoring chances. Both goalies
played well with strong defenses playing well in front of them.
Although the game had no scoring, Maine severely outplayed UNH but
could not finish, and UNH’s penalty kill looked more like a 5 on 5
situation. The moral victory went to Maine, but Saturday night was
quickly approaching and UNH had just found a jumbo can of “whoop-ass”
behind an unused jar of “offense,” both would be opened on Saturday
night.

With Saturday night finally upon Durham, the crowd was restless but
definitely more excited than the night before. The arena was full by
6:30 and the students were already chanting and carrying on. The game
started with a distinctly different look, UNH had a scoring
opportunity. UNH head coach Dick Umile hoped out loud the night before
that his team could build on Friday’s performance and keep improving,
well it happened. Although the first period was scoreless, not only had
UNH goalie Ty Conklin played yet Read more »

Rangers New Prospect Update

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Week Of 1/13/01 to 1/19/01

Player         Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Pavel Brendl  Calgary   WHL    27  30  23  53   33   22
               Czech    WJC     7   4   6  10    8    8

This Week: 1 GP, 1 G, 0 A, 1 P, 9 PIM, +1


Player           Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Jamie Lundmark  Seattle   WHL    24  17  21   38  21   3
               Canada    WJC     7   4   3    7   6   4

This Week: 4 GP, 0 G, 4 A, 4 P, 2 PIM, Even


Player         Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Filip Novak   Regina    WHL    44  15  29  44   44   24

This Week: 4 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 3 P, 2 PIM, +4


Player              Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Garret Bembridge  Saskatoon  WHL    45  28  25  53   18  -18

This Week: 3 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 3 P, 2 PIM, -3


Player             Team       League   GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Evgeny Gusakov   Baie-Comeau   QMJHL   33  11   20   31  68  +5

This Week: No Games Played


Player             Team      League   GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Premsyl Duben   Baie-Comeau   QMJHL    23  0   7   7  24  -5

This Week: No Games Played Read more »

IceDogs Mid-Season Report

by Larry Bradley
on

OHL 2000 – 2001

IceDogs Mid-Season Report

The Mississauga IceDogs may not have a contending team this year, but that should not stop true hockey fans from visiting the rink. If you love hockey, like I do, you should be able to find entertainment in both the wins and loses, especially at the junior level. On any given night you have the chance to watch many talented, young players. The money you put out for tickets is not jacked-up to compensate some overpaid, underachiever who has been warming the pine all season. These guys play hard for the love of the game and the chance to develop into tomorrow’s leaders. Win or loose junior hockey is still the best bang for your hard-earned buck. Read more »

Bolts Bits – Tampa Bay Prospect Update

by Megan Sexton
on

From the moment Brad Richards was signed, just 12 short hours before the deadline last July, until his blades first graced NHL ice this fall, there was a frenzy surrounding the rookie. The media raved about the Prince Edward Island native, fans lusted over the potential of the young Rimouski superstar and cup dreams in Tampa Bay became more vivid. The high-held belief was that Richards, along with Captain and junior linemate Vincent Lecavalier, would be the one-two punch needed to send the Lightning into its’ second playoff berth in their 9-year existence. It was soon realized that Richards and Lecavalier could not carry the weight of the team alone, as the Bolts lost 8 of their first 11 games.

Richards did not let the Lightning’s misfortunes hold him back. He finished the month of October with 11 points in 10 games, earning himself NHL Rookie of the Month honors. Although his play slacked soon after, Richards has still managed to establish himself as one of the top rookies in the league. He is currently leading all NHL rookies in goals scored, assists, total points and power play points. Richards is also tied with winger Fredrik Modin for the team scoring lead, with 35 points.

Richards is in a tight race with San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov for the Calder Trophy. In 37 games, Nabokov has a 2.05 GAA and a .922 save percentage, tough competition. Due to an injury to Lecavalier, Richards should see his ice time significantly increase, as well as his scoring chances. Hopefully, this will be the break Richards needs to catch the attention of the league a Read more »

NAHL and U-M alum Mike Knuble is rising star in NHL

by Derek Berry
on

You might call Grand Rapids native Mike Knuble a late bloomer. Knuble
got a late start in hockey, learning a lot at the high school level and
then jumping right into the North American Hockey League. Knuble only
needed one year in the NAHL before moving on to the University of
Michigan, where he had an outstanding four years.

The big forward spent one season in Kalamazoo and there were a number
of reasons why he will always value what he learned there.

Besides the exposure and the close proximity to home, Knuble got to
learn a lot more about the game he loves.

“It (the NAHL) really forced you to skate or you couldn’t keep up,”
said Knuble. “It was an excellent step for me in my career because it
really got me involved in the game more.”

Not that Knuble wasn’t already involved or looked at and drooled over
by several scouts and top college hockey schools looking at this big,
young forward with such size, speed and quickness that your head would
spin. But, Knuble says the talent level from high school up to the NAHL
was significant.

“I played with guys like Brian Holzinger, Brian Rolston, and Rob
Valicevic, so I learned a lot real fast,” he says. “And our coach, Paul
Pickard, worked us very hard too.”

Knuble says he worked so hard while in Kalamazoo under Pickard’s
conditioning program, (which included running laps and intense skating)
that he lost weight before he arrived on the scene at U-M.

It was during that year in the NAHL that U-M’s hockey program took a
liking to Knubl Read more »

Prospect news and notes

by Randy Nicholson
on

News from Sweden: A brief update regarding Mikael Tellqvist’s progress this week followed by some news on a lesser known Leafs’ prospect currently playing in Sweden … at the beginning of the week, Djurgarden’s head coach Nilsson announced that he will be utilizing his back-up goalie more often in upcoming games … Djurgarden remains comfortably atop the SEL and Nilsson would like to have his #1 stopper well rested for the play-off grind that is now just around the corner … Tellqvist is also expected to play for the Swedish National Team at the Swedish Hockey games in mid February and so some extra days off would be well advised … Mikael, meanwhile, was solid in a 4-2 victory against Timra … it was tough game for Tellqvist in terms of concentration as there were many long periods when he did not see any action at all … in his second appearance the week, Tellqvist led his team to a hard-fought 4-3 victory over Malmo … this time, Mikael stopped 26 of 29 shots but his defensemen ably cleared almost every second attempt … The Maple Leafs actually have a second prospect playing in the SEL … Pierre Hedin was selected by Toronto in the 8th round of the 1999 Entry Draft … Hedin has been playing for MoDo, a very good hockey team in northern Sweden with very long tradition and glorious past, since 1997/98 season … Pierre is a solid defenceman, perhaps No. 2 on his team … he is very good defensively and yet able to produce some offence as well … although somewhat prone to commit giveaways when caught up ice on the attack, Hedin is a workhor Read more »

Joe Shawhan learned to coach from a goalie’s point of view

by Derek Berry
on
A wise broadcaster and probably a Vezina trophy winner once said, “a
goaltender sees the game differently.” In the case of Soo Indians head
coach Joe Shawhan, that is definitely true.

It’s no secret that Shawhan is a goalie by trade. The locals up in
Sault Ste. Marie know him well. Shawhan rose to stardom playing high
school hockey for Sault Ste. Marie High School, where he led his team to
the state finals one year, only to fall to Trenton High School. He
played goal under two exceptional coaches at Lake Superior State
University – Frank Anzalone and Jeff Jackson, both of whom would lead
the Lakers to NCAA championships.

And in between, Shawhan also played for an earlier version of what is
now the North American Hockey League’s Soo Indians, in the Northern
Ontario Hockey League, which churned out such stars as Denny Lambert and
Chris Simon.

But, why goaltending? What compelled Shawhan to want to play a position
that takes a special individual to play?

“When I started playing, the guys were older than me,” says Shawhan, now
in his sixth season as head coach of the Indians. “I like the position
and I never played another one again.”

Shawhan didn’t take the traditional route of playing travel hockey when
he was growing up. Instead, he learned more in high school and at the
college level. He certainly was not a naturally gifted goaltender, as
he says, but had to work harder.

When Shawhan arrived on the scene at Lake Superior, he immediately won a
starting job and helped the Lakers win a Read more »

Knutsen`s Success: Will it Bring More Norwegians to the NHL?

by Evan Andriopoulos
on
As Espen Knutsen`s toils with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks seem to fade away they are still in the picture of the Norwegian sports scene. After Knutsen`s orignal drafting by the Hartford Whalers and then his subsequent demotion as a member of the Mighty Ducks… still the Norwegian Media and young players flocked to the sport of hockey. After his failure and countrymate Anders Myrvold`s return to Swedish Hockey after a failed Bruins effort the sport lost great deals of interest. Coupled with the loss of Norwegian “Stars” to the Swedish Leagues and other European Leagues the fans started to turn their back on the sport. If not for the occassion “bad news” of the Norwegian League or another loss at various international tourneys…the youth avoided the sport and sponsorship money began to fade.

Hopes that Espen Knutsen`s solid play this time around and countrymates Anders Myrvold(Islanders)return to the NHL and the drafting of Tore Vikingstad(Blues)would have bouyed the interest…. but to date the only additional notes are the media`s additional coverage, covering Espen`s daily toils, the fans have been more skeptical perhaps due to the fact that Knutsen`s last voyage failed so miserably.

However in the pipeline players like Vikingstad and Patrick Thoresen, Christian Thygesen and Lasse Fredriksen lead the way…

The problem seems to lie within the organizations. The teams are loading up with lesser Swedish players and stunting the growth of Norwegian players. Former NHLer Serge Boisvert has been a champion of the cause the raise the level of t Read more »