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IHL: Competitive Parity

by Parker Neale
on
Offence has been pretty hard to come by this year in the IHL. Goals,
shots and power-play goals are all quite low, as a whole. This decrease
can be attributed mainly to the strong goaltending now present in the
league. As opposed to many previous seasons, goaltenders have stepped
up to be valuable contributors of their teams this year. The
backstopper who has really gotten off to a torrid pace is Mike Fountain
of the Grand Rapids Griffins as he has sparkled in the absence of
now-Senator Jani Hurme. Fountain has produced a 1.75 GAA and 0.933 save
percentage in 10 starts thus far. While Fountain has provided the
defence, Todd White has been the sparkplug on the offensive end for the
Griffins. Grand Rapids is not alone as the majority of IHL teams have
certain players that are leading them in their quest towards the Turner
Cup.

In Cleveland, Christian Matte has had no problems in his transition from
the AHL to the IHL as he has tallied 12 goals in his first 18 games. He
has been assisted by Brian Bonin, who has 19 points thus far. In net
for the Lumberjacks, Zac Bierk has been stellar, registering 8 wins and
a 0.913 save percentage.

In Orlando, Curtis Murphy has had to step up his play in the absence of
Mark Beaufait and has 18 points in 20 games. The Solar Bears have also
received top-notch goaltending from Norm Maracle, who already has 9 wins
to go along with his 0.912 save percentage.

It has been a different story in Cincinnati in terms of goaltending, as
they do not have a netminder within the top ten in the league
sta Read more »

Michal Sivek-a rising star

by Ivana Paulova
on
Michal Sivek is considered to be one of the biggest talents of Czech hockey (1998 draft 29th position). Not only is he very intelligent and clever but is down to earth and he is very polite. He is the player who is worth your attention. His play does not lack in courage and enthusiasm. All his abilities help him to create his smart style of play. He has a good hockey sense which has been developing from the age of 3 when he started with hockey. He has a brother who is 2 years older and he played for Sparta so Michal has been going there with his brother. He was always in contact with the older players so he knew how to play against them

He has been criticized by some observers for returning to the Czech republic but this criticism is unfair. Players not only need good hockey conditions but also good living conditions. He is still very young and he has family and friends in Prague. He is very happy that he plays for an excellent team at home and being at home means he can spend his free time with his parents or friends. We have to remember that players have to play on ice but that doesn’t mean to say they have to live on ice also! For the rest of the time they need to feel good and secure and these circumstances are best provided at home. Michal missed this in North America.

If he had made the first team of Washington Capitals he would have stayed in there but he did not want to play on the farm. The reason is not that he finds it less attractive there but AHL and IHL are mostly the leagues where the players show off for their NHL teams. So fighting i Read more »

Ohio State Report

by Josh Caton
on
Ohio State won’t play again in the friendly confines of Value City Arena
for another month, but the Buckeyes gave fans a performance to remember
in their last home game of 2000. The Bucks pasted Findlay 10-0 Nov. 28.
That’s no misprint: Ten goals for Ohio State, zero for Findlay. The
score is what happens when a fledgling Findlay program (the school is at
the front end of a two-year transition to Division I hockey status)
collides with a Buckeye team that’s starting to put it together. And
with the next six games on the road, Ohio State (8-4-0, 5-3-0 CCHA)
couldn’t have picked a better time to get a shot of offensive
confidence.

Freshmen center R.J. Umberger had his run of the rink, creating space
for himself and his teammates with his wheels and blowing by Findlay
checkers for a pair of breakaways. He fanned on the first attempt and
was stoned on the second, but Umberger still finished with 2-1-3 for the
game. Meanwhile, the hot line of C Dave Steckel, LW Jean-Francois
Dufour and RW Paul Caponigri continues to torment opposing goaltenders
with a combined 2-5-7 against Findlay. The trio has racked up 23 points
in the last five games.

Of course, with ten goals on the board, everybody gets in on the action.
Thirteen players tallied at least one point. Four goals came from
defenseman, including two by sophomore blueliner Eric Skaug, playing in
just his fifth game of the season after sitting out a year and eight
games because of eight games of he played in major junior hockey.
Captain Andre Signoretti netted his third of the Read more »

New CHL All-Star Format Announced

by Jeff Bromley
on
In keeping up with the changing times of All-Star exhibitions of hockey, the Canadian Hockey League announced that it has changed it’s format in dramatic fashion. In a bold move to increase both interest and exposure of all three leagues under the CHL umbrella organization, President David Branch announced this past week that the tried and true format of conference vs. conference within each league would be changed to envelope an inter-league, conference vs. conference model. The three leagues (WHL, OHL, QMJHL) will still hold All-Star games but the respective leagues will now host a conference from one of the other Major-Junior loops. Held on three consecutive Wednesdays starting January 17, 2001, the action will start with the QMJHL’s LeBel Conference hosting the OHL’s Eastern Conference in Montreal’s Molson Centre, January 24 with the OHL’s Western Conference hosting the WHL’s Eastern Conference in Guelph, Ontario and on January 31 in Kamloops when the Western Conference All-Stars of the WHL host the Dilio Conference of the QMJHL. “The Canadian Hockey League and its member leagues are excited about this new format for the three All-Star games. The format will give fans across Canada the opportunity to see the top stars of the CHL go head to head in the three interlocking games,” stated CHL President David Branch by conference call in joint press conferences held in Kamloops, Guelph and Montreal. Branch further added “this new format is another illustration of the continuing growth of the Canadian Hockey League.”

The Wester Read more »

Liv Joins Zetterberg as Rookie Nominee

by Jessica Haskin
on
Stefan Liv joined Henrik Zetterberg as the second player to be nominated
as rookie of the year for the Sweden Elite League. There will be four
nominations before the seasons end.

The winner will have the honor of the title and his team will receive
$5000 (US dollars) and the same to his home team, which in Liv’s case is
HC Dalen.

The jury unanimously voted on Liv as the second nominee. “Stefan Liv
has handled strong pressure during this fall. Even when his team lost
seven games in a row he played well. He has already made his debut in
the national team Tre Kronor, keeping in mind that he never before
played in any junior national team.”

The nineteen year old goalie is third in the league for his goals
against average at 2.10. His save percentage of .902 is sixth best in a
league that some consider to be the second best league in the world
after the NHL.

Liv commented on his nomination saying “Of course I am honored to be
nominated, but as far as I am concerned it´s my team HV-71 and what we
can do in the Elite League that is number one for me.”

Last season Liv began as the third string goalie for HV-71. He was
loaned to Tranas AIF in Allsvenskan where he posted exceptional numbers
in nine games. His 2.17 GAA and .920 save percentage impressed the
coaches who gave him the nod for HV-71 in the Swedish Elite League.

By the end of the year Liv had taken over the starting position playing
27 games. He posted a 2.09 GAA and .919 save percentage in that time.

Former Philadelphia Flyer, Mi Read more »

Lindros risking another comeback

by Jeff Bromley
on
The news that Eric Lindros has been cleared to make his return to NHL hockey after suffering the sixth concussion of his oft-injured career is disturbing at best. Not that any hockey fan worth his or her weight in pucks wouldn’t salivate at the site of the big, hulking center returning to the game that he loves, it comes down to the question of priorities.

In his career, Eric Lindros has been the center of attention. Whether it’s coming out of junior as the highly touted ‘Next One’ or admittedly refusing to report to the Quebec Nordiques both when and after the club drafted him first overall in 1990, being traded to two different teams at the same time (New York Rangers and Philadelphia), there definitely hasn’t been any shortage of copy or water-cooler talk on the big ‘E’ since he emerged as a hockey force over ten years ago. Now Lindros suffers attention of another kind, mostly of the medical variety. In a drama that’s playing out eerily similar to that of the fate of Eric’s younger brother Brett, who had to retire after two seasons with the New York Islanders due to Post-Concussion syndrome the elder Lindros is tempting fate by refusing to succumb to the many knocks to the noggin he has suffered in his nine-year career.

The strained relationship that has developed between himself and the Philadelphia Flyers or more appropriately, Flyers G.M. Bob Clarke has deteriorated to such a state that Lindros is openly courting the Toronto Maple Leafs to trade for the rights to sign him. A restricted free-agent, the talks between the Leafs and Flyers are movi Read more »

November CSB lists

by pbadmin
on
EUROPE, Preliminary ranking country-by-country, November 2000

CZECH REPUBLIC

    NAME             LEAGUE   TEAM             BIRTHDATE     HT     WT  POS SH
 1  Jiri Novotny       CZE    Budejovice       12 Aug 83    6.2    187   C   R
 2  Martin Kasik       CZE    Sparta jr        28 Jan 83    6.2    176   W   R
 3  Petr Puncochar     CZE    Karlovy Vary     08 Jun 83    6.1    200   D   R
 4  Tomas Micka        CZE    Slavia jr        07 Jun 83    6.2    176   W   L
 5  Zbynek Novak       CZE    Slavia jr        23 Jul 83    6.3    198   W   L
 6  Tomas Plihal       CZE    Liberec sr       28 Mar 83    6.1    176   W   L
 7  Lukas Dobry        CZE    Zlin jr          15 Apr 83    6.2    172   W   R
 8  Tomas Plekanec     CZE    Kladno jr        31 Oct 82    5.9    172   W   L
 9  Petr Domin         CZE    Karlovy V. jr    02 Jan 83    6.2    196   C   L
10  Ondrej Malinsky    CZE    Sparta jr        07 Apr 83    6.2    183   D   L
11  Radek Simecek      CZE    Zlin jr          04 Apr 83    6.0    176   D   L
12  Martin Soucek      CZE    Trebic sr        08 May 83    5.11   176   D   R
13  Jan Rehor          CZE    Budejovice jr    30 Apr 83    6.0    178   W   R
14  Lukas Chmelir      CZE    Karlovy V. jr    15 Apr 83    5.11   190   D   L
15  Jan Dresler        CZE    Vitkovice jr     12 Mar 83    6.0    185   D   L
16  Petr Haluza        CZE    Zlin jr          23 Jul 83    6.0    202   C   R
17  Ondrej Tatarcik    CZE    Vitkovice jr     05 Sep 83    6.3    194   W   L
18  Marek Tlamka       CZE    Trinec jr        20 Jun  Read more »

Recap of the tournaments of the Czech Under-20 and Under-18 teams

by Robert Neuhauser
on

The Under-20 team

The Under-20 teams of Czech Republic, Russia and Finland headed to Sweden in the second week of November to participate in a tournament held in Uddevalla, Sweden. This 4-nations tournament was scheduled as the last chance to meet the opponents from the top Euro countries before the WJC in Russia, beginning Dec., 26th. Every country built a strong squad, where most of the players are projected to play in Russia, especially the players from the Sweden and Finland rosters. But for example the Czechs are going to invite up to 8 players, playing in the CHL this year. The last season’s team invited 5 – and it won the championship. The team in Sweden was good, too, even if it missed injured Michal Sivek of HC Sparta Praha (Washington Capitals draft pick) and Vaclav Nedorost of HC Ceske Budejovice, drafted by the Colorado Avalanche. The players of the Under-20 team don’t see a lot of ice time in their respective Elite league teams (mostly on powerplay and penalty killing units) and they split time between the Extraleague and the Junior league. Two NHL draftees competed in Sweden, Ivan Rachunek, a Tampa Bay Lightning prospect and Ladislav Vlcek, draft choice of the Dallas Stars. 4 serious NHL prospects showed their skills for Sweden, 2001 eligibles Tomas Plekanec of HC Vagnerplast Kladno and Petr Puncochar of HC Becherovka Karlovy Vary along with 2002 top talents Jiri Hudler of HC Slovnaft Vsetin and Marian Havel of SK Jihlava.

The Czech guys started out the tournament playing very well. Goalie Tomas Duba of HC Sparta Praha Jr. had a Read more »

Blue Jacket First Quarter Findings

by Bill Drake
on
The first quarter season of Blue Jacket hockey has seen some surprises. Robert Kron finally has scored after an 0-23 game slump. Geoff Sanderson is finally rediscovering his Hartford Whaler scoring touch. Lyle Odelein has been a steadying force and is everything that management expected as the team’s first captain.

Alex Selivanov, Phil Esposito’s streaky-scoring son-in-law, agreed to a contract with Columbus. He has yet to register a point in two games, but will not hit his stride until after the All-Star break.

David Vyborny has played spirited hockey thus far. He has cooled off since the opening ten games, but he 5-5-10 in 24 games and is a +2; only he and Kevyn Adams are +2.

Espen Knutsen, all 5-11 172lbs of him, works well in the corners and creates solid scoring chances for his line mates like Sanderson. This play is something that Anahiem never motivated Knutsen to do.

Petteri Nummelin has played well on the Power Play eventhough he rarely shoots the puck, only 39 shots in 24 games. He lacks a true sniper to set up, although Selivanov could be that man. At even strength he often is pushed around, that is what Fran Kucera is for, but makes good outlet passes and possess good speed.

Marc Denis, current backup goaltender, is a mirror image of the Blue Jackets: streaks of brillance followed by allowing soft goals. Positionally, he is very sound but his glove hand often is a little slow in trapping the puck. Twice against Dallas he allowed goals that hit off the bottom of his glove hand.

In t Read more »

Norwegian Junior Team Selected for World Jr.B`s

by Evan Andriopoulos
on

The following is the roster for the Norwegian National Team to play in Landsberg and Fussen, Germany in the start of December.(Dec.10)


GOALTENDERS:
Halvor Haarstad Evje    (Frisk Asker)
Mats Johansen           (NTG/Lillehammer)

DEFENSE:
Petter Bart Hansen      (Stjernen)
Kim Brandvold	        (Manglerud Star)
Marius Fredriksen	(Stjernen)
Erik Haugom	        (NTG/Lillehammer)
André Høibyhagen	(Vålerenga)
Anders Helgesen	        (Stjernen)
Ola Johannessen	        (Lillehammer)
Petter Skolla	        (Manglerud Star)


FORWARDS:
Morten Bakkene	        (Frisk Asker),
Bjarte Bjønnes	        (Sparta Sarpsborg),
Anders Fredriksen	(Tingsryd, SWE),
Lasse Fredriksen	(Furuset),
Lars Peder Nagel	(Manglerud Star),
Truls Navestad	        (Stjernen),
René Sethereng	        (Frisk Asker),
Eirik Skadsdammen	(Storhamar),
Knut Henrik Spets	(NTG/Lillehammer),
Inge Stokvik	        (Trondheim),
Patrick Thoresen	(Storhamar),
Christian Thygesen	(Vålerenga)

GAMES:
Norway will play Poland, Austria and the Ukraine in hopes of making the final round.