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Alexander Svitov: Making Noise at 2002 WJC

by Brandon LeBourveau
on
Everything was going well for Alexander Svitov, a 6-3 199 lbs. center from Russia, as the feisty forward was selected 3rd Overall in 2001 by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Desperate for a center that could eventually shut down the other team’s top line each and every night, the Lightning and GM Rick Dudley were quick to almost guarantee Svitov a roster spot shortly after being drafted. However, the high spirits centered on the young Russian on that day, June 23rd 2001, now seemed to have dwindled at the very least.

It all started when the Tampa Bay Lightning and Alexander Svitov thought they were doing the right thing. The two agreed on a three year, entry-level contract before the deadline to sign European players passed. However, afraid that Svitov’s former team in Russia, Avangard Omsk, would get extremely upset with the player’s decision and possibly take some sort of action, the two sides figured it was best to wait a short while before announcing the deal. Out of the blue, Omsk announced that Svitov could not jump ship to the NHL and must serve time in the military. At first the Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t worry too much about Omsk’s decision, since they already had Svitov under contract. What they didn’t know, and they found this out eventually, was that Svitov was inducted into the Russian military back in December 2000. Unfortunately for both parties, Tampa Bay fans won’t be seeing Svitov in the NHL until December 2002 as he needs to serve his two year military obligation.

Fast forward to this year’s World Junior Championships in the Czech Republi Read more »

Head to Head: Rozsival vs. Melichar

by Marc Lapointe
on

Josef Melichar VS Michal Rozsival

Both were paired last year at Wilkes-Barre and at the beginning of the season this year. They were actually doing well, but Kehoe tried to shake the things up and has separated them lately.

Overall Offensive Game:

At the very beginning of the season, Rozsival was more confident and was taking more chances then his Czech partner. Melichar was the perfect example of the stay-at-home defensemen. But now, he his getting more confident and showed his offensive assets (He made Scott Stevens looks like a rookie for example). We saw Rozsi jumping on the play more then often and now, Melichar is copying him a few times. But still, Rozsival is pinching really smartly and he creates more scoring chance then his countryman.

Rozsival has also seen some ice time on the powerplay and didn’t do too bad. He is not Nicklas Lidstrom or the quarterback the Pens desperately need on the PP, but he can do his part on a second unit. As for Melichar, why did the coaching staff never gave him a chance on the powerplay? Michal Rozsival also showed more offensive number so far. 3 goals, 8 assists and 43 shots compare to the 0 goal, 3 assists and 30 shots of Melichar. Even in the WHL, Rozsival has more success offensively.

Grade: Rozsival : B, Melichar : C

Overall Defensive Game:

Try to count the mistakes made by Rozsival and/or Melichar. Both played like veteran defensemen. Melichar is rarely caught out of position and play is simple and aggressive game every night. Rozsival on the other hand is doi Read more »

A New Year, a New League: Introducing the CEHL

by Jessica Haskin
on

There is a new set of faces in the mid-west in the form of the players and personnel of the Continental Elite Hockey League, otherwise known as the CEHL.

The CEHL is based out of Fraser, MI, about a six-mile drive from the city limits of Detroit. The teams are located in the Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana areas. The league made its debut this year with six teams, the Tri-City Hurricanes, Toledo Junior Storm, Detroit Lightning, Traverse City Enforcers, Jackson Prowlers and Downriver Bombers. The Downriver Bombers changed their names to the Lumberjacks and the Tri-City Hurricanes changed ownership and became the Bay County Blizzard.

Kevin Shanahan, the league commissioner, has a strong hockey background. Shanahan played hockey through juniors and has spent the last 15 years coaching and managing youth hockey teams.

Barry Soskin, the league president and owner of the Traverse City Enforcers, is the former owner of the Toledo Storm of the ECHL, the Waterloo Blackhawks of the USHL, and the Pelham Prowlers of the SEHL. Soskin also currently owns a minor league baseball team.

The mission and objective of this league you ask?

Let me share with you some quotes from the CEHL’s mission statement.

“The CEHL’s objective is to provide an excellent opportunity for our players to play hockey while providing a thriving and profitable business opportunity for our owners. “

“The CEHL will be a developmental ground for the 4 Division I NCAA collegiate leagues, as well as the National Hockey League and the numerous minor professional leagues. The Read more »

Rangers Prospects Impressive at 2002 WJC

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Filip Novak, Defenseman, Czech Republic: Novak, registering 2 assists and an Even +/- rating through the 4 games of the preliminary round, and the Czech Republic squared off against Finland in hopes of continuing their pursuit of a Gold Medal. Finland, coming off a 4-1 beating of Team Canada, finished as the top team in the preliminary round, while the Czech Republic finished an extremely disappointing fourth in Group B with a 1-3-0 record. The game was a close one from start to finish. New Jersey Devils’ prospect Tuomas Pihlman put the Finns on the board first with 1:11 remaining in the opening period. Forward Petr Prucha notched a power play goal to tie the game for the Czechs, 7:48 seconds into the second period. The game remained tied only for about ten minutes when Finnish forward Jarkko Immonen converted a pass from defenseman Joni Pitkanen, considered one of the top 2002 eligible prospects. The game stay that way until Tomi Maki, a 4th rounder by the Calgary Flames in 2001, finished it off with an empty net goal with only nine seconds remaining. The Czech Republic outshot Finland 18 to 15, but the Finns got strong goaltending yet again from Kari Lehtonen, arguably the top goaltender available for 2002, and won the game 3-1. After winning back-to-back Gold Medals, the Czechs disappointed this time around in their own country, and now are out of contention for a medal. The highest they can finish in this tournament now would be 5th. As for Filip Novak, the swift-skating defenseman registered no points in the contest and was a -1. The Czechs face Team USA tomorro Read more »

Baby Buds at the WJC

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on

WJC Mid Term Report


So we’ve seen the round robin games and some players have stood out, a few even for good reasons. But what about those drafted by Toronto? To date among the most impressive you’d have to rank Canada’s Brad Boyes. A few months ago, it was the opinion of this column that perhaps Boyes might be tried on the wing to bolster the outside scoring. Seeing him dominate in the faceoff dot as much as he has at this tourney though, it would be interesting to see what he can do against stiffer competition. He certainly has the puck smarts and defensive responsibility to play the middle. While he has so far been the clear cut #1 choice.

However after Boyes, a couple of Bud blueliners check in for a very close battle for 2nd spot in Canada’s Carlo Colaiacovo and Finland’s Markus Seikola. Both are mobile defensemen who can carry the puck up ice, both have hard shots from the point, and both like to hit. Seikola looked to be the slightly heavier hitter and shooter, but Colaiacvovo looked to be a touch more mobile. Call them 2 and 2A.

On the downside, Jay Harrison, has looked very out of place on this squad. He has been beaten to the outside repeatedly, and he has blindly fired the puck anywhere but here numerous times throughout the preliminary rounds. While it’s true, he’s not here to provide offensive fireworks, in light of his defensive play, the absence of a contribution at this end leaves little positive to talk about.

Wells-Fargo Denver Cup Report

by Christa Moore
on

It was tournament weekend in the NCAA and one of the best match ups was the 10th annual Wells-Fargo Denver cup. Third ranked DU has won their tournament 7 times and this year they invited (#5) U-Mass Lowell, Bowling Green and Harvard to the party. As expected, DU and U-Mass Lowell battled for the cup in the championship game, however the story of the tourney was maturing process of the young (#14) Harvard Crimson team.

Game one: U-Mass Lowell vs Harvard
Even though these teams are geographically very close, they had to come all the way to Denver to face each other for the very first time. A relatively inexperienced, young, under .500 goaltender, Will Crothers was matched up against the best goalie in the NCAA, Cam McCormick. McCormick’s resume includes an incomprehensible 0.62 GAA, .972 Save percentage and an 8-0-0 record.

Crothers weathered a storm of 36 shots on goal until the last few minutes of the third period when Laurent Meunier finally got one past him on a rebound. Mark Concannon shot one though the five hole a few minutes later to seal the win. Crother’s solid goaltending kept his team in the game until the very end and would give them even more confidence in the consolation game on Saturday.

Game two: Denver University vs Bowling Green Read more »

ECHL Update

by Ron Valerino
on

By : Ron Valerino — 12/31/01
valerino.ra@mellon.com

ECHL REPORT


LOUISIANA ICEGATORS Read more »

WJC games recap – Day 5

by Robert Neuhauser
on

Group B

Switzerland-France 8:0

1st Period

02:32 SUI Gerber (Monnet, Forster) 1:0 PP
08:43 SUI Monnet (Camenzind, Helfenstein) 2:0
19:16 SUI Nussli (P.Bartschi, Ramholt) 3:0

2nd Period

21:44 SUI Raffainer (Sutter, Gerber) 4:0 PP
23:44 SUI Camenzind (Monnet, Back) 5:0 SH
37:19 SUI Raffainer (Gerber, D.Bartschi) 6:0
37:52 SUI Nussli (Ambuhl) 7:0 SH

3rd Period

53:30 SUI P.Bartschi (Ambuhl, Nussli) 8:0

About the winner of this game was decided very soon. After the
first four minutes the Swiss players were enjoying a 2:0 lead
and were totally over the team of France. After two periods
the score was already 7:0 and for the third period the French
team changed the goalies and tactics. It was obvious that they
can´t do anything with the result, the Swiss players were
in control of the game and they didn´t allow almost any shot
at Matthias Schoder in their net. The French team played
a totally defensive game in the last period in order to get
ready for the relegation games, but couldn´t avoid a 8:0 loss.

Canada – Russia 5:2

1st Period

04:09 CAN Stoll (Ott) 1:0 SH
14:04 CAN Weiss (Spezza, Kobasew) 2:0 PP

2nd Period

20:50 RUS Knyazev (Chistov) 2:1 PP
27:11 CAN Cammalleri (Boyes) 3:1 PP
38:19 RUS Polushin (Frolov) 3:2 PP

3rd Period

48:09 CAN Aulin (Hamhuis) 4:2 PP Read more »

Albany Week In Review

by Mike Buskus
on

By Mike Buskus

Holiday week

The Albany River Rats enjoyed a holiday, of several days duration, following Saturday night?s 3-2 overtime victory over the Providence Bruins. It was the first time this season that the Rats emerged victorious when trailing after two periods (1-14-1).

The overtime game-winning goal, notched by Joel Bouchard, came on a 2-on-1 break featuring Bruce Gardiner setting up Bouchard. It was only the second overtime victory (Syracuse was the other) in twelve contests this year to go to the extra session.

The week began on the road in Hamilton, at Copps Coliseum. In the Rats? most offensive outburst in 20 minutes this season, Albany scored five times in the first period and took a 5-3 lead into the first intermission. Two periods later, the Rats emerged victorious, 8-6, to score the most goals since last spring when Albany scored 8 while hosting the Bulldogs at the Pepsi Arena.

For Albany fans who remember Walt Kyle?s Bulldogs as being a particularly stingy and cautious defense, this year?s Hamilton team is different. The Bulldogs led the league, through games played on December 22, with 125 goals, or 3.91 per game. For an Albany team that was at the bottom of the league (2.33 per game), the 8-goal outburst in Hamilton may have revived the confidence of some players who had not scored.

At Copps Coliseum, Albany collected two of the three stars, with defenseman Mikko Jokela garnering third star (1G; 2A) and forward Christian Berglund bagging first star (2G; 1A). Mike Rupp (1G; 2A) scored for Read more »

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