“I was worried about my participation in the Olympics”, Vauclair says when discussing the past few months. To be in Salt Lake City was a big personal goal for the young defenseman. Last summer when he signed a 3-year contract with the Ottawa Senators he made sure there was a clause in it which granted his release for the Olympics in case he would be called up. “Nevertheless I had to keep in mind I might not even would be selected. Coach Krüeger had said, at the end of last season, that he would try not to take any AHL-players in his squad. That was the risk of my move to North-America. Now I can say everything has been going for me but I did work very hard to achieve that.”
Vauclair is having a good season. The change of scenery clearly did not hurt him. In pre-season he competed for a roster spot in the Senators’ trainings camp for a long time. Just one week before the start of the season he was demoted to the minor affliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins. Vauclair:”I was really hoping I would start the season in the NHL, but I feel very good in the AHL as well now. Grand Rapids is the best team in the league at the moment. I’m progressing and can develop my game here. From Ottawa I get a lot of response on my game, and the scouts are watching every game.”
Without doubt you can say Julien Vauclair isn’t an offensive defenseman. In 269 Nationalliga A games in Switzerland he produced ‘just’ 7 goals and 21 assists. This season in the AHL he collected 14 points (4+10) in the first 46 games of the season. On the team Vauclair is one of the top 4 defenseman and therefor Read more »
February 3rd: Slovakia 4 Switzerland 1
6 Days before the start of the Olympics the Swiss team got beaten big time by Slovakia in Boise, Idaho. Since Ralph Krüeger was appointed national team coach in 1997, Switzerland hadn’t been outplayed like they ere in this game. Slovakia dominated throughout the game and outshot the Swiss 45 to 21. Goalie Lars Weibel stopped 41 shots and prevented an even more dramatic result for Switzerland. At the end of the day the main question was what this game had brought the Swiss. The answer seemed to be that this game would be used for provocation.
On the smaller North-American rink the Slovaks were far more motivated then there European coutnerparts who had only lost to Slovakia once in 6 previous meetings. It was ironical that goalie Weibel was Switzerland’s best player as he’d probably see no ice time during the Olympics as David Aebischer and Martin Gerber will be the first two goalies. Krüeger could be quoted that “not a single player could be happy about today’s performance and that the third period saw not much good from their side. Most goals were due to simple errors and them could be blamed on fatigue. We had expected that though.”
Arriving from Sweden will be goalie Martin Gerber and forward Marcel Jenni along with assistant coach Bent-Ake Gustafsson who will all be avaialble for the second game vs Slovakia. Also Martin Steinegger who was recovering from an injury and had not seen any ice yet is likely to be available.
0-1 16. Conne (Della Rossa Read more »
HF: What has been your biggest obstacle playing at this level of hockey (AHL).
BR: I wouldn’t call it obstacles, but being in and out of the line up has really given me a hard time. That is my fault. If I were doing everything right, I wouldn’t be in and out of the line up as much as I have been. Also, I need to work on my strength and my on ice vision. That has been my major downfall at this level.
HF: In what way has Trent Yawney (head coach) helped develop your skills more?
BR: He keeps telling me to do the little things right, and for the most part he lets me play.
HF: How are you adjusting to this league after playing at the ECHL level?
BR: Adjustment is a huge step, because in the ECHL you have maybe three or four guys that can play at this level. I need to work on passing better, working on my speed and being there at the right time.
HF: How do you prepare yourself for a game?
BR: I have my twenty-minute workout here, (practice) and I grab a bite to eat of chicken or pasta and nap for a few hours. [Laughing] It’s pretty standard, but that is my typical game day.
HF: Any pre-game rituals?
BR: [Pausing] I can’t say that I do, unless I score a couple days in a row and than I try to remember what I did or what skate I put on first that day.
HF: Who are your heroes off the ice?
BR: My father and mother. Without them I wouldn’t be here. As a kid, they would be up with me at five o clock in the morning for practice. Read more »
Krys Kolanos has graduated according to Hockeys Future prospects rules
#1 Jeff Taffe – Minnesota Gophers (26 GP, 22 G, 15 A, 37 P, 16 PIM, -1)
Taffe has had a career year so far as his production from last year has almost doubled. One problem with Taffe is his defensive game is not as strong as his offensive game and he needs to become a better 2-way center. Taffe was one of the key components in the Keith Tkachuk trade and his status is unknown to whether he will try to make the Coyotes roster as of next year or stay in College for his senior season.
#2 Martin Podelsak – Lethbridge Hurricanes (32 GP, 12 G, 20 A, 32 P, 29 PIM, +9)
Podelsak has adjusted well to the North American ice style since he came over to North America in the 2000 CHL Import Draft. Podelsak 2-way game has improved greatly this year. Podelsak is also starting to use is 6’5” frame to his advantage. Podelsak’s future will most likely stay in the juniors for one more year before attmpting to transfer over the to NHL.
#3 Jason Jaspers – Springfield Falcons (40 GP, 17 G, 10 A, 27 P, 35 PIM, +3)
Jaspers is having a great year so far and has even earned a recall with the Coyotes, which he registered a point in three games played. After the Coyotes made the Lewtoski trade, it has opened a door for Jaspers who plays almost an identical style as Lewtoski did. Jaspers will have a shot at making the Coyotes although he will stay at Springfield next year at all likelihood.
#4 Peter Fabus – Dukla Trencin (22 GP, 12 G, 8 A, 20 P, 59 PIM, +12)
F Read more »
After the bronze medal game Finland’s head coach Erkka Westerlund said that team had a good tournament and he was satisfied the way his team played. I can easily understand what he said because in my opinion Finland, Canada and Russia were clearly three best teams at this tournament.
Finland’s defence was just as good Russians or Canadians, but Finns forwards were too small and weak compared to Russia & Canada, especially at wing. Finns played very well as a team and they had the tournament’s best goalie (Kari Lehtonen), but that was not enough. After the tournament Westerlund said that talent-wise the gap between Finland and Russia is big and only four-five Finnish players are good enough to play for Team Russia. I’d like to say Finns have five to six players this good, but the truth is that talent difference between Finland and Canada/Russia is obvious.
Finland had in the tournament one or two average showings (first game against Switzerland, semi-final game against the Czech Republic), but in other games they played well to very well. Their best games were the round-robin matches against Russia (win 2-1) and Canada (win 4-1). Team Finland also played well against Russia in semifinals, but unfortunately Russia played maybe their best game in the tournament. The Russians didn’t take stupid penalties and played a very disciplined defensive game. And in that game the Russians skating was superior, they really flew on the ice the whole 61 minutes. The final game was alot easier for the Finns. The Swiss were tired and the Finns, especially Tuomo Ruutu, wanted to w Read more »
TRI-CITY’S ERIC JOHANSSON IS THE CHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The CHL Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 3, 2002 is forward Eric
Johansson of the Tri-City Americans.
Johansson, 20, picked up 11 points in four league games this week, including
four goals. His goals included one power play marker, one shorthanded goal
and one game-winning goal as Tri-City managed a 2-1-1 record for the week
Johansson beat out the two other CHL league winners for the week ending Feb.
3 to become the third WHL winner of the CHL award in five weeks. Greg
Chambers of the Peterborough Petes was the Ontario Hockey League Player of
the Week while Dominic Noel of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (Offensive)
and Marc-Andre Fleury (Defensive), also of Cape Breton, were the Quebec
Major Junior Hockey League winners.
The CHL Player of the Week is selected from among the three leagues’
nominees and announced in Tuesday’s editions of the CHL Daily News. The CHL
Player of the Month for January will be announced in Wednesday’s CHL Daily
CHL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Feb. 5 – Eric Johansson, Tri-City Americans, WHL
Jan. 29 – Jason Spezza, Belleville Bulls, OHL
Jan. 22 – Jarret Stoll, Kootenay Ice, WHL
Jan. 15 – Brad Boyes, Erie Otters, OHL
Jan. 8 – Ryley Layden, Lethbridge Hurricanes, WHL
Dec. 17 – Andre Martineau, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, QMJHL
Dec. 10 – Shawn Roed, Portland Winter Hawks, WHL
Dec. 3 – Andy Chiodo, Toronto St. Michael’s Majors, OHL Read more »
FORGE SPLITS WEEKEND WITH DANVILLE
Wings 4 Forge 1 :
NEVILLE ISLAND (Friday, February 1, 2002) — The Pittsburgh Forge Junior A
hockey club lost a 4-1 decision to the Danville Wings. After Danville scored
the only goal of the opening period, Pittsburgh tied the game 1-1 at the
14:16 mark of the second period on a goal by Mike Handza. It was Handza’s
18th goal of the season — which tied him with Pat Levendusky for the team
The Wings got a goal by Marek Hornak moments later at 17:38 and led
2-1 after two periods. Danville increased its advantage to 3-1 just 38
seconds into the final period when Jeremy Hall beat Pittsburgh goaltender
Tim Heneroty. The Wings closed out the scoring for the night on a
power-play goal by Bryan Marshall with a minute and 23 seconds left in the
Forge 3 Wings 1 : Read more »
While some San Jose Shark players like Gary Suter are nearing the end of their careers, the Sharks have plenty of prospects with the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League, NCAA DI college hockey, various European leagues, and major juniors in Canada. Many readers are likely familiar with many of these prospects, but some of them are not so well known to Shark fans, and perhaps they should be.
Summaries of Shark prospects with the Cleveland Barons will be available at a later date. Of some Cleveland news: Ryan Kraft, Mike Craig, and Jonathan Cheechoo have all been selected to play in the AHL All-Star Game. (Cheechoo as a starter) However, Cheechoo has missed the past 16 games due to injury.
Some prospects that are considered “graduated” are included within the report, and are among those that are probably the least known among the Sharks prospects. Some prospects who do not have their own profile at Hockey’s Future will also feature career stats along with their current season stats. As follows is a report by position of the 40+ San Jose Shark prospects.
All Stats as of February 2, 2002
5’10” 160 lb. Catches: Left
6/16/75 Stockholm, Sweden Read more »
Goaltender Corey Hirsch was in net on Sunday for the first time in nearly two months and walked away with the shutout as the Pirates crushed the Manchester Monarchs, 5-0. Last night, he had 30 saves on 32 shots. Prior to his injury, Hirsch had been having a somewhat disappointing start to the season and these back-to-back wins could mark a turnaround for him.
Veteran defenseman Patrick Boileau continues to have the best season he has ever had to date with the Pirates. He brings a lot to the team and among his most important contributions is his work on the power play. The Pirates are notoriously bad when they have the man advantage, but Boileau is among the few exceptions.
I have received an incredible amount of e-mails regarding the development of Jakub Cutta this season. Whilst he still has a long way to go, he truly has made consistent improvement all season long. He is much more mature he is on the ice. He was thrown out of a game very early on this season after a stupid and unnecessary spearing incident and know that now he would be a lot smarter about it. With plenty of structure, playing time and another year or two of experience, Cutta could be a great defenseman. Portland may not be the best place for him to be at this stage – some time with the Pirates’ ECHL affiliate the Richmond Renegades might do him a world of good.
Rob Skrlac recently joined the Pirates on loan from the Albany River Rats. He was sent here to fill the injured Mel Angelstad’s place and will be with the team through the end of Read more »
Lowell remains in first in the AHL’s North Division with 63 points, 3 ahead of Manchester. The Lock Monsters pulled off an impressive 4-3 win over the Monarchs yesterday, then beat Providence 3-1 today while Manchester lost 5-0 to Portland.
Florida is in 5th place in the ECHL’s competitive Southeast Division with 54 points, 7 points behind Greenville.
Updates for all of the Hurricanes’ prospects are provided in the tables below. The statistics are for the games played since the last update (up to Feb. 1st).
As can be seen, Zigomanis, Svoboda, MacDonald and MacNeil continue to be solid contributors for Lowell while Heerema and Ritchie lead the team offensively each and every game. Moss and Pelletier continue to provide a stellar goaltending tandem for the Lock Monsters. Apparently, Ritchie was loaned back to Lowell after being traded to the Florida Panthers and spending some time with the big club.
In the collegiate ranks, Bayda and Fast are key pieces of the North Dakota and Michigan State offences while Malec, Newman and Surma are putting up some offensive numbers in junior. Due to his lack of play, it is unclear whether Daniel Boisclair is injured or was traded from Cape Breton to another QMJHL team.
Everblades goaltender Randy Petruk has the distinction of being called up directly from the ECHL to the NHL. This past week, with the Hurricanes playing in nearby Tampa Bay and Tom Barrasso out with an injury, Petruk got the call to backup Irbe. His solid season is apparently being noticed by the top brass.