Winger Brad Church began the season down with the ECHL’s Richmond Renegades, but since he was called up, has continued to play some of the best hockey we have ever seen from him here in Portland. He works incredibly hard and knows how to get in the other team’s face without drawing an unnecessary penalty. The Pirates just finished a run of seven games in nine days and it was admirable to see Church continue working at 100% despite the visible fatigue the entire team was feeling.
When defensemen Dean Melanson joined the Pirates late last season, I used my usual wait-and-see approach. On paper, he looked to be a good match. But, as any hockey fan knows, past numbers and playing styles can also mean nothing. It did not take too long for me to decide that he was a good fit and I liked him a lot. When I read that the Capitals signed him to a proper contract over the summer, I was excited. I do not know what has happened, but he is not the same player he was last year, and play like we saw this weekend, especially from a team’s captain, is unexcusable. Dean Melanson can be a good player – he has proven this many times – but right now his play is sloppy, half-hearted (at best), irresponsible and the whole team is suffering for it. I am not out to get the guy; I want nothing more than a chance to stand up and cheer for him. But right now, that is just not the case.
Defenseman Nate Forster suffered a concussion last week and will be out until at least the beginning of March. Wingers Chris Corrinet (Achilles’), Marti Read more »
Jason Spezza Named OHL Player of the Week
Toronto – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Belleville Bulls
centre Jason Spezza is the OHL Player of the Week for the week ending Sunday
February 10, 2002. Spezza recorded three goals and five assists for eight
points in the Bulls’ lone game last week, an 8-2 win over the visiting
London Knights on February 9.
Spezza’s eight point game equaled a team record established by Dan Quinn in
1983 and equaled by Jason Lafreniere in 1985, co-incidentally also against
the Knights, and Brad Gratton in 1987.
In the 10 games since joining the Bulls in January, Spezza, the second
overall pick of the Ottawa Senators in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, has scored
11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points. He has been named OHL Player of the
Week three times this season, including January 29 when he scored 10 points
in three games for the Bulls.
Spezza, an 18-year-old native of Etobicoke, improved his season totals to 30
goals and 46 assists for 76 points in 37 games. He is currently tied for
seventh among OHL scorers this season.
Born: Etobicoke, ON, Birthdate: June 13, 1983
Position: Centre Shoots: Right
Height: 6.03 Weight: 200 lbs.
OHL – Mississauga’s 1st round choice, 1st overall, in 1999. Read more »
On January 18, 1958 Fredericton, NB’s Willie O’Ree stepped onto the ice
at the Montreal Forum and became the first black to play in the NHL. As
a member of the Boston Bruins being black wasn’t the only challenge for
Willie, he also was blind in his right eye. A fact he kept hidden from
management and his fellow players. Willie played over 1,200 games as a
professional in the NHL and Western Hockey League.
Willie presently works with the NHL/USA Diversity Task Force and in
Youth Development. He has also served as a role model for many present
day NHLers such as Jarome Iginla and Anson Carter.
Willie has been recognized in his adopted hometown of San Diego and just
recently received a standing ovation at an NHL game in St Louis as part
of Diversity Week. He also was asked to carry the Olympic Torch as part
of the Salt Lake City Olympic Games.
Despite being recognized elsewhere the City of Fredericton, New
Brunswick has done next to nothing to honor Willie. The present Mayor of
Fredericton, Les Hull, when a Provincial Cabinet Minister was involved
in having Willie inducted into the New Brunswick Hall of Fame – this
brings with it an automatic listing on the Fredericton Wall of Fame.
There are a number of us who feel that the City of Fredericton has not
done enough for Willie O’Ree and are suggesting that a Statue, Bust,
Street Name or the old York Arena (where many old timers got their
start) be renamed in his honor. It has also been suggested that a local
fredericton artist be commissioned to do the statue.
If you think Willie s Read more »
GUELPH STORM SLIP INTO BANK OF MONTREAL MASTERCARD TOP 10 RANKINGS
The Guelph Storm, the host team of the 2002 MasterCard Memorial Cup, slipped
into the Bank of Montreal MasterCard Top 10 rankings for the first time this
season in Week 17 of the CHL’s ranking of top 10 teams, as selected by a
panel of National Hockey League scouts.
The Storm has won four consecutive games and moved into second place in the
Western Conference standings and third overall in points in the Ontario
Hockey League. That surge was enough to nudge Guelph into 10th spot in the
weekly rankings, as the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors are dropped from the
list after two weeks in the number 10 position.
The rest of the Bank of Montreal MasterCard Top 10 remains the same as last
week, with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey
League leading the way for the 10th consecutive week.
Acadie-Bathurst managed just one point from two games this week, an overtime
loss, but the Titan managed to cling to top spot over the Plymouth Whalers
of the OHL, who remain in second place after a 2-2 record in four games this
week. The Red Deer Rebels of the WHL, on a 14-game winning streak, are still
third after winning another two games this week.
The remainder of the list is identical to last week’s. The Shawinigan
Cataractes of the QMJHL won a pair of games and they stay in fourth; the
Barrie Colts of the OHL were 1-2 but still held on to fifth spot, and the
Swift Current Broncos of the WHL went 1-1-1 and remain in sixth spot.
Rounding out the Bank of M Read more »
On Feb.6 Owen Fussey skated all over the Lethbridge Hurricanes with a five-point night. Fussey had four goals in the third period alone and one assist in the second for a final of 7-3.
Sebastien LaPlante and Hurricanes golatender Blake Ward held the game scoreless for half of the first when Ryan Getzlaf finally broke the ice after a centering pass by Chad Wolkowski.
The second goal for the Hitmen came when Scott Borders of the Hurricanes was injured on the ice. The ref failed to blow the play down and the Canes already had a man in the box.
With the five on three the Hitmen capitalize on a scramble in front.
The score was growing and so was the tension when finally Wes Rypien of the Hitmen jumped a Cane’s player and received five for fighting and a game misconduct.
22 seconds into the major the Cane’s made it a one goal deficit when WHL leading scorer Nathan Barrett put in his 34th goal of the year. He would add another goal and assist for a point total of 86.
Also scoring for Lethbridge was Jackson for his 29th of the year.
Early in the third period the game was blown wide open when Fussey hacked at a rebound until it finally found the back of the net, shorthanded.
Less than five minutes later with the score 4-3 Fussey let a rocket go from just over the blueline for his 31st of the year.
Less than two minutes later Fussey scored again for his third of the night. Still he wasn’t finished,in front of 5109 fans at the Dome, he picked up a rebound and scored his fourth of the night with only 38 seconds left in the game.
T Read more »
BOMBERS TOP CHIEFS TWICE TO HALT MINI-SKID; DIVISIONAL GAMES CONTINUE: Read more »
Wednesday, February 6Cincinnati 1 – Wheeling 3
The Cyclones made their final visit of the season to Wheeling and the Nailers looked to avenge a 1-0 home loss to Cincinnati just six days earlier. Dylan Gyori started the scoring for the Nailers at 1:44 of the opening period to give the Nailers a 1-0 lead. J.P. Soucy and Chris Wells assisted on the goal. In the second period the Nailers extended their lead to 2-0 on a Chris Wells goal at 10:51. David Koci tallied his first point as a Nailer this season by picking up an assist on the Wells goal, Arpad Mihaly got the other assist.
At 16:45 of the second period the Cyclones scored their lone goal of the game to get the score to 2-1. The Nailers began the third period with a two-man advantage power play and took advantage by scoring the final goal of the game. Gyori scored his second goal of the game to give the Nailers a 3-1 lead and eventual win. Kurt Drummond and J.C. Ruid assisted on the goal. Joel Laing made 31 saves on 32 shots for the win.
Saturday, February 9Wheeling 4 @ Atlantic City 2
This game marked the last visit of the regular season for the Nailers to Atlantic City. The Nailers won for the first time in Boardwalk Hall their last visit, 4-3 in a shootout. Atlantic City took a 1-0 lead just 3:35 into the game on a power play goal. Mark Moore tied the game 1-1 for the Nailers at 15:19 of the opening period with J.C. Ruid assisting. The Boardwalk Bullies out shot the Nailers 14-8 in the second period but neither team managed to break the 1-1 tie. Atlantic City took their second and fi Read more »
HF’s Draftee of the Month
Frank Appel (Defender, Calgary Flames)Moskitos Essen (DEL): 34 GP, 1 A, 1 PT, -2, 28 PIM
Germany: 3 GP
Christian Ehrhoff (Defender, San Jose Sharks)
Krefeld Pinguine (DEL): 37 GP, 5 G, 12 A, 17 PTS, +5, 44 PIM
Germany U20: 8 GP, 3 G, 7 A, 10 PTS, 18 PIM
Germany: 6 GP, 1 A, 1 PT, 2 PIM
*German Olympic Team
Robert Francz (Forward, Phoenix Coyotes)
Frankfurt Lions (DEL): 37 GP, 2 G, 3 A, 5 PTS, -8, 94 PIM
Marcel Goc (Forward, San Jose Sharks)
Schwenninger Wild Wings (DEL): 45 GP, 8 G, 9 A, 17 PTS, -7, 24 PIM
Adler Mannheim (DEL): 0 GP
Germany U20: 8 GP, 4 G, 1 A, 5 PTS, 2 PIM
Germany: 5 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 PTS
*German Olympic Team (Call-Up-List)
Erich Goldmann (Defender, Ottawa Senators)
Moskitos Essen (DEL): 49 GP, 1 G, 14 A, 15 PTS, -3, 32 PIM
Germany: 9 GP, 1 A, 1 PT
*German Olympic Team
Torsten Kienass (Defender, Boston Bruins)
Düsseldorfer EG (DEL): 50 GP, 2 G, 4 A, 6 PTS, -2, 18 PIM
Robert Müller (Goalie, Washington Capitals)
Adler Mannheim (DEL): 14 GP, 617 Min., 25 GA, 1 SO, GAA 2,43, Sav.% .889
Germany: 7 GP, other stats not available Read more »
Walker Needs To Be Moved, But Not to Another Team
The emergence of Scott Walker, an original Predator expansion draft choice, was one of the more bright spots of last season. The Preds were counting on Walker to repeat, and perhaps even better, the success that he achieved last season. At the halfway point in the NHL season Walker has missed a significant number of games, but missed even more opportunities to shine as a star for the Predators. Walker has 4 goals, 5 assists putting him on pace for a whopping 18 total points this season.
He had more total goals last season. So many ask, why such a drop-off in terms of offensive production – the nemesis of the Nashville team? One reason could be injuries. Everyone gets injured at some point in time in the NHL and time is honestly the only healing power. Another reason could be teams focusing in more on him this season after a breakout season last year.
These two points are valid, but I believe there is different reasoning behind this nagging problem for the Preds and I also have the solution. Okay, it’s story time. Way back before the Predators even existed as a franchise there was an undersized, hardworking defensemen named Scott Walker. Walker worked his way up through the Vancouver Canucks system and eventually earned a spot on the team on the checking line and as an emergency defensemen. When the Predators brought Walker to Nashville, they stuck to the recent and left him alone at forward. I propose the team at least try him out on the blueline. First-of-all, he has had experi Read more »