The Saskatoon Blades have finally started to regain health and have put
together a nice streak. Since losing 9-4 to a the Lethbridge Hurricanes at
home, the Blades have realed off 4 straight wins including a pair this past
weekend vs the arch rival Prince Albert Raiders. The Blades began with a
4-2 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers, then followed with a 5-4 win over
the division leading Regina Pats.
The Blades continued there winning ways
this past weekend defeating the Raiders by scores of 7-2 in Prince Albert,
followed by a 9-3 win at home Saturday night. With the recent success, the
Blades now have a 7 point lead for the final playoff spot in the east and
also have 1 game in hand on the Raiders. The Blades trail the Moose Jaw
Warriors by 6 points with 2 games in hand for 3rd in the division.
The recent surge for the Blades has been led by 20 year old, 5 year veteran
Justin Kelly. Kelly has been on fire since christmas, averaging more than
2.5 points per game. During the recent four game win streak, Kelly has
notched 8 goals and 12 points. Kelly has moved into 4th in league scoring
with 67 points on 31 goals. As Justin Kelly go’s, the Blades go down the
Blade Tidbits and Prospects:
The Saskatoon Blades have several prospects looking very good for
possible roster spots next season. Blade 1st Rounder and 2nd overall pick
Joe Barnes scored 1 goal and 4 assists in the Manitoba AAA all-star game
this past weekend. Barnes has scored 45 points in 40 games as a 15 year old
this season. Read more »
Nobody said it was going to easy..
Nobody said that the path to the Calder Cup was an easy task..
And the Admirals found out why, the hard way..
If the Admirals are preparing for its game against the first place Phantoms Saturday, they sure didn’t show it Friday night against Grand Rapids.
“ We did not play a good game an it showed all night. We just could not get it together,” says assistant captain Rumn Ndur staring down at the floor in disgust.”
You cannot get behind a first place team and capture a win down by four goals by third period. The more the Admirals fought the harder and faster the Griffens moved itself to an 7-1 win behind goalie Simon Lajeunesse in front of an announced crowd of 4,362. The Admirals started in winning mode, but a hat trick from Chris Balla, and couple goals in the second period melted any chances of a comeback and ended the Admirals winning streak at five-games.
Game 1: The speed of the Grand Rapids Griffens rattled Norfolk like a bolt of lightning in first period. Skating circles around the second place team, the Griffens left Norfolk to play bang’em up bruise’em up hockey- here’s the reason. Grand Rapids in first place in the Western Conference for a reason, they are 27-15-4-0. Norfolk out shot the opponents in the first 14 minutes of play and the visitors played catch up for the remainder of the period. Both teams had two power plays apiece, but both failed to score.
Things looked good Ajay Baines who was on scoreless streak for the last several games broke lose with his second goal Read more »
Ron Hainsey -D (Drafted-00(1/13))Hainsey managed 1 goal through 3 games since our last update. Despite Québec losing 2 of 3 games this week, Hainsey still managed to raise his plus/minus from +6 to +8. Overall, the 6’3″, 200-lbs defenseman has played 33 games. He has 19 points (7-12-19), and is +8 with 12 minutes in penalties. Four of his goals were scored on the powerplay, and he’s directed 71 shots on goal. The 20-year old rookie will play for Team PlanetUSA during the upcoming AHL all-star game.
Mathieu Garon -G (Drafted-96(2/44))Garon recorded a 1-2 record through 3 games since our last update. Saturday’s game against Providence was the 24-year-old’s 21st straight start. Overall, the 6’2″, 192-lbs goalie has played 28 AHL games. He has a 13-7-7 record with 2.71 GAA, and a .916 save percentage.
Eric Chouinard -F (Drafted-98(1/16))Chouinard picked up 4 points through 3 games since our last update. He averaged 3 shots per game over the recently mentioned 3-game span. Overall, the 6’3″, 207-lbs left winger has played 36 games. He has 31 points (13-18-31), and is +2 with 12 minutes in penalties. Surprisingly, he has only one powerplay goal; which actually speaks volumes for Chouinard’s 5-on-5 play this season. He’s also directed 107 shots on goal.
Francois Beauchemin -D (Drafted-98(3/75))Beauchemin was shutout through 2 games since our last update. He suffered a concussion during a game against Manchester, and is out indefinitely. Overall, the 6’0″, 201-lbs defenseman has played 28 games. He Read more »
The Calder Corner
This week’s HF’s Calder Corner Prospect of the Week goes to Vancouver netminder Alex Auld, who made his NHL debut in stopping 20 shots to earn his first NHL win in his first NHL game. Not content with that, Alex also assisted on a goal, thereby getting his first NHL point, a feat that takes most goalies some time to accomplish.
McDonald: 2 Assists (12,13)
| ||2 Games|
Heatley: 1 Assist (24)
Kovalchuk: 1 Goal (25), 1 Assist (21)
| ||4 Games|
Girard: 1 Assist (3) Read more »
New Jersey Devils Prospects Updated
Newcomers- D Mikko Jokela(13), D Viktor Uchevatov(19), LW Andrei Posnov(20)
Biggest Jump- D Paul Martin: From 12th to 6th
Biggest Fall- RW Temmu Laine: From 5th to 10th
Dealt Away- RW Anton But, D Sascha Goc, D Josef Boumedienne
Permanent NHL Jobs- D Mike Commodore, G JF Damphousse
New Top 20 Prospect List
Stats through games of January 24th, 2002
1) G, Ari Ahonen (8.5), Albany (AHL)
The Finnish netminder is currently in his 1st pro season. He has split the goaltending chores with fellow prospect Scott Clemmensen. Even though he has only won 4 games so far in Albany, he has a respectable GAA of 2.91 and a sparkling SV% of .914 for a weak Albany squad. Ahonen is able to keep his team in many games that they shouldn’t be in. Has had to face 35 to 40 shots on many occasions. Quick and agile, Ari is the goalie of the future for the Devils
2) LW/RW, Christian Berglund (8), New Jersey (NHL)
The gritty Swedish winger has adapted to the North American game with ease. Started the season in Albany where he posted 23 points (9 goals and 14 assists). He was called up on January 9th for his first NHL game and has made a big impression in the swamp with 6 points through his first 9 NHL games. Berglund plays a strong two way game, and is not afraid to crash and bang in the corners. He should stick in New Jersey for the rest of the season and shoul Read more »
Before the season most people believed that Robert would have no problems making Leksand’s team
in the SEL. The team was relegated from the Swedish Elitserien and was now to play in the 2nd-tier league.
As the season got starting Robert got ill and missed the first couple of games. Then he was back on the team
only to see very limited ice-time. This isn’t/wasn’t very surprising really. Despite Robert’s excellent skills, he is still very young and Leksand’s squad is without any doubt the strongest in the 2nd-tier league. The player material
is most likely even stronger than what several of the SEL teams can show up.
With forwards like Jens Nielsen, Mikael Karlberg, Stefan Hellkvist, Sami Ahlberg, Chris Goverdaris, it’s not
easy for an 16-year old kid to have great impact. Not to forget all the other talented prospects in Leksand
(Jonas Norduist – Chicago, Daniel Widing – Nashville, Johan Eneqvist – Montreal)..etc.
So instead of being a regular on the team, Robert found him self in a role where he was part time a member
of the senior team, and part time with Leksand’s junior team in the Swedish J-20 league.
This is the way it has been most of the season for Robert.
If he would have played for another team he could easily have had quite an impact, but with the strong competition
in Leksand it’s more or less impossible.
He has so far played 14 games with in the 2nd-tier league (Allsvenskan) and he has been registered for 1 goal
and 4 assists (5 points). Read more »
The Canucks are in the midst of their best run of the season, and are, as a write this, in a tie for the eighth and final play-off spot in the Western Conference.
I attended the Toronto-Vancouver game last night, and, it was probably the best game I’ve taken in at the Garage since the building opened back in ’95. A complete offensive and defensive effort on both sides of the ice, and Peter Skudra, when tested, was more than equal to the challenge posed by the now-anemic Leaf offense. Brent Sopel, who is a shadow of his former self, (in a good way, though) is producing offensively, and being responsible defensively. He’s gone a long way to help a defensive corps which was severely hurting going into the Christmas Break.
This week, Alex Auld made his first start for the Canucks against the former juggernaut in Dallas, and did very well for himself, turning aside twenty-two of twenty-four shots in a win. He reminded me a great deal of Phoenix goaltender Sean Burke, big, lanky, not much of a flopper, and always was at a good angle to make the save. I enjoyed watching the youngster play, and the more I saw, the more I liked. When Dan Cloutier gets back, Canuck management might have a decision to make, but I would let Auld play at least once more before they make it.
Down on the farm, recent acquisitions Tyler Bouck and Read more »
Hockey’s Future recently caught up with Adam Henrich of the Brampton Battalion after the team’s practice last Saturday. Henrich, an 18-year-old left winger from Thornhill, Ontario, is ranked 12th among North American skaters in the CSS’s mid-season prospect rankings. Henrich, with 21 goals and 26 assists in 46 games, is having a breakout second season in the Ontario Hockey League and is headed to Saskatoon for this week’s CHL Top Prospects Game. Here’s what he had to say.
HF: First of all, Adam, a big win last night, going into a pretty crazy barn (London) and getting two points against a team you’ll be fighting with for a playoff spot. What’s the feeling in the dressing room now, when the team getting on a roll late in the season, especially with a few key players out of the lineup?
AH: Well, you know, we’ve got about four injuries, and all four guys are really important parts of our team, so these two last games were a big four points. We went into London last night, London’s a really good team and we got the win. We needed that; it was a four-point game and we’ve moved ahead of them now. It was a big win, hopefully we can continue that streak, everyone will keep going and do whatever we have to do to get the two points every game.
HF: So you’re playing in the CHL Top Prospects Game this week, a game where you’ll no doubt be watched by a lot of scouts and GM’s. What’s going through your mind about playing in that game?
AH: Well yeah – that’s coming close, and you always get a little nervous before big g Read more »
Ever wondered how it feels to be tossed around like a hacky-sack?
Just ask Mathieu Biron. The 21-year old has been passed back and forth between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Springfield Falcons four times already this season.
Frustrating? Hardly. Biron takes the transition in stride. “It’s not what I prefer, but it’s part of the business,” he explains. A business that might require the young defenseman to take stock in Dramamine. As if being traded three times in three years weren’t strain enough, Biron has spent the past two seasons being juggled between his NHL teams and their affiliates.
Follow the bouncing defenseman…
He’s up: Averaging over 14 minutes of valuable NHL experience per game, not to mention the off-ice guidance he’s receiving from veteran defenseman Grant Ledyard. He’s down: Displaying offensive potential with three goals and four assists in his 23 games with the Falcons. He’s up: Disproving his critics, averaging 1.4 hits per game. He is currently ranked 10th among his teammates in hits, even though he’s played half as many games. He’s down: Fine-tuning his game while awaiting his return to the city by the bay.
While most players may view a trip to the farm as a confidence-denting demotion, Biron takes it as a challenge and utilizes his time there to improve his game. “The style in the AHL is so much different,” he said. “Here (in the NHL) it is so much more under control. When you make a mistake, you are going to pay for it.”
The more open Read more »
The cream of the crop from the WHL East and the OHL West gathered in central Alberta for the second annual Hershey Cup All-Star series.
The series consists of the best players from the QMJHL, WHL and the OHL.The League that wins the most games wins the Hershey Cup. If there are ties, the goals for/goals against tiebreaker system is in effect. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) won the first cup last year.
On Wednesday night, the aggression style of play by the WHL was exceeded by the passing and defensive plays of the OHL resulting in a 7-2 win. Western Hockey League falls in All Star Game 7-2
It looked good early for the West when Red Deer Rebel Doug Lynch scored with only 51 seconds gone in the first.
Ontario West was quick to respond when Brad Boyes of the Erie Otters snuck it past starting goaltender Josh Harding from the Regina Pats 4:48 into the period.
Coach Brent Sutter combined Brandon Segal and Tyler Beechey of the Calgary Hitmen on a line but they were unsuccessful in any points.
The first 20 minutes ended in an unlikely 1-1 tie when both tenders turned away tricky shots by doing nothing short of standing on their head.
The second half of the game was more of a one-sided goalie duo as Jason Bacashihua turned away everything in sight. Michael Garnett was not so lucky when his defense failed and was faced with many odd man rushes from the hash marks.
The contest had a player of the game for each team with the award going to Brent Kelly (OHL) of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Starting Read more »