Calgary Canucks 4 at St. Albert Saints 3
After a second heartbreaking defeat in a row, the St. Albert Saints find themselves in a familiar position – down three games to none.
The Saints started the game on a high. On a delayed penalty call, Andrew Gibson ripped a puck past Canucks netminder Mike Gilhooly. His goal was assisted by Joey Bastien and Pavel Beranek. Three minutes later, only ten seconds after Mike Buchan went to the box Dany Heatley ripped the puck underneath the cross bar from the right faceoff circle.
The Canucks made it 2-1 early in the second as Ryan Manitowich ripped a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that somehow eluded Scott Kabotoff. St. Albert tied it up with two minutes to go in the period, however, while up two men on the powerplay. Rob Ziemmer picked the top corner on Gilhooly to even the game up.
In the third, it looked as if the Saints would win as they came out flying. Ron Grimard scored a goal from Joey Bastien and Pavel Beranek 3:16 into the period to give the Saints a 3-2 lead but the Canucks battled back. The club put on a lot of pressure late in the period. The turning point was likely when Ron Grimard broke in on a partial break with about eight minutes to go, but instead of him scoring his chance was negated by a Pavel Beranek interference call. The Canucks scored on the ensuing powerplay (Heatley unassisted) to tie the game up. From that point on it truly looked like the teams were headed for overtime.
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Can Lightning Strike Twice?
It has not been a banner season for the Tampa Bay Lightning. For the second consecutive year, the Lightning will finish with the NHL’s worst record. They also are the league’s worst defensive team. They are now going on their third ownership in the last two years. They are the only team in the NHL whose general manager is also its coach. Things couldn’t look bleaker…or could they?
After finishing last overall in 1998, the Lightning took its first step towards respectability in drafting centre Vincent Lecavalier. The 6-4 rookie is obviously going through some growing pains with the league’s doormat. However, he is progressing nicely since the all-star break and looks every bit the franchise player he was selected to be. Similarly, Pavel Kubina just might be the best-looking rookie defenseman in the NHL this season. Furthermore, the trade deadline was a fruitful exercise for the Lightning this season, acquiring two young players with promise: defenseman Sergei Gusev and left winger Colin Forbes. In goal, after a few seasons of frustrating veterans Daren Puppa and Bill Ranford, the Bolts now have an interesting combination of Corey Schwab and newly-acquired Kevin Hodson.
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St. Albert 5 at Calgary Canucks 6 (OT)
The St. Albert Saints put in a courageous effort against the Calgary Canucks Saturday night but fell just a little bit short.
It was the Canucks who picked up where they left off in the blowout the night before, however, as Moe Halat scored a goal from Roger Leonard 50 seconds in. The Saints then struck for three quick goals. Rob Ziemmer and Joey Bastien, both on the powerplay at 4:22 and 6:12 respectively and Bastien with his second of the night even strength at 9:13 from Ron Grimard and Pavel Beranek.
Calgary – or, more precisely Dany Heatley – tied it up early in the second. Heatley scored a powerplay goal 2:45 in to bring his club within one and then scored the equalizer several minutes later. The Saints regained the advantage shortly thereafter, however, as Brent Robertson scored a minute after Heatley had tied it up. But then, with 30 seconds remaining in the period the Canucks scored a late goal. Almost all of their victories so far this post-season have involved a goal in the last minute of either the first or second period and Drew Norman scoring here was not a good sign for the Saints.
The Saints did continue their hard work well into the third period despite the small setback as they pressed for the go-ahead goal one more time. In the period they outshot Calgary 13-10 and it looked for awhile like they would outscore them too. Saints captain Mike Buchan scored a powerplay goal from Marc Collins and Chris Lane with 9:48 to go to put his club ahead 5-4.
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Player: Remi Royer
Birthdate: Febuary 12, 1978
Hometown: Donnacona, Quebec
Weight: 200 lbs
SEASON TEAM LGE GP G A PTS PIM
1994-95 Victoriaville QMJHL 57 3 17 20 144
1995-96 Victoriaville QMJHL 43 12 14 26 209
1995-96 St-Hyacinthe QMJHL 19 10 9 19 80
1996-97 Rouyn-Noranda QMJHL 29 3 12 15 87
1996-97 Indianapolis IHL 10 0 1 1 17
1997-98 Rouyn-Noranda QMJHL 66 20 48 68 205
1997-98 Indianapolis IHL 5 0 2 2 4
1998-99 Chicago NHL 18 0 0 0 67
1998-99 Indianapolis IHL 49 4 14 18 158
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Playoffs have began in Canadian junior hockey and several Islander prospcts have picked up their games for a big playoff push. Chris Nielsen has recorded 7 goals and 10 points in 7 games and is one of Calgary’s leading contributors as he continues his excellent defensive play as well. Jeff Zehr has also had a strong start to his post season with 3 goals and 7 points in 6 games with 27 PIM to go along. This is Zehr at his best, he plays big and has a nasty mean streak along with a good goal scoring touch.
The NHL trade deadline has come and gone and the Islanders didn’t pull off the firesale that many expected. However their deadline deals did pick up a couple of talnted young players as well as some picks in the upcoming draft. The Islanders obtained Brad Isbister from Phoenix and Mats Lindgren from the Oilers. Isbister is a big physical winger with good hands and a nose for the goal. Phoenix insiders have reported that the Coyotes were reluctant to give up Isbister because some within the organization feel he can be as good as Keith Tkachuk. With the pick up of Isbister, only 21, and Zehr and Rupp in the system, the Isles should have at least one solid power forward who can score some goals while providing Palffy with some protection.
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Washington traded veterans Joe Juneau, Tom Chorske, Dale Hunter and Craig Berube and the only body they received back was highly touted Sabres prospect Alexei Tezikov. These trades opens up four roster spots which the Caps filled by recalling forwards Matt Herr, Benoit Gratton, Trevor Halverson, and defenseman Steve Poapst. All four had spent various time split between the Portland Pirates and the Caps this season.
On March 28, Washington also called up defensemen Patrick Bolieau from Indianapolis of the IHL. All five call up have been playing since they were brought up so the Caps are now a much younger a very inexperience hockey team.
Tezikov was assigned to Cincinnati of the IHL. Not clear why they would send him to the I instead of the Portland (AHL), though maybe the presence of the heavy number of Chicago prospects in Portland may have played a part in the decision.
In other Caps news; Washington announced they have signed defenseman Dean Stork. Dean played this past year at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. A junior who recently completed his third collegiate season, helping the team to a 12-21-2 overall record.
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Born: July 26, 1979
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Weight: 187 lbs
When a junior hockey player wins one scoring championship, it’s pretty impressive, but when a player wins back-to-back championships, it’s almost unheard of. This season Peter Sarno of the Sarnia Sting became the second player in OHL history, and first since 1970-71, to do so. The last player to win back-to-back scoring titles was Marcel Dionne with St. Catharines (1969-70, 1970-71).
Sarno has had a pretty illustrious OHL career. Sarno was drafted by the Windsor Spitfires in the fifth round of the 1996 OHL midget draft. His totals in Tier 2 Junior A with North York were impressive. He scored 39 goals and 96 points in 52 games with North York.
In Sarno’s 3 seasons in the OHL he has looked more like a first round draft pick then a fifth round pick. His playmaking skills make watching him fun. Adding a great scoring touch to his playmaking skills make him a threat every time he comes onto the ice. In his rookie season (1996-97), Sarno won the Emms Family Award as the OHL rookie-of-the-year. His rookie season was very successful as the creative centreman scored 20 goals and 83 points in 66 games. The 63 assists that Sarno picked up were the fifth highest total in the league.
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St. Albert 1 at Calgary Canucks 7
After coming off a great high only two days earlier, the St. Albert Saints simply didn’t have it in them Friday night. The Calgary Canucks were fresh, having defeated the Olds Grizzlys in five games a week earlier while the Saints had just completed four straight victories en route to a come-from-behind 4-3 series victory against the Lloydminster Blazers.
Drew Norman, who is eligible for this year’s draft, opened the scoring for Calgary twelve minutes in as he scored a powerplay goal assisted by Roger Leonard and Miles Hunter. The Canucks outshot the Saints 11-6 in the first.
In the second, it looked as if the Saints would take control as they put a lot of pressure on Canucks netminder Mike Gilhooly. Brent Robertson scored 1:43 in, assisted by Andrew Gibson and Rob Ziemmer. However, before the period would end, Calgary’s top line of Ryan Manitowich, Moe Halat and Dany Heatley would strike several times. Manitowich would get both goals, the first with 11:38 remaining and the second was in the last minute of the period. The Canucks have made a habit of shifting momentum in games with last-minute goals.
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Player: Petr Franek
Birthdate: April 6, 1975
Hometown: Most, Czech Rep
Weight: 190 lbs
Height: 5′ 10″
SEASON TEAM LGE GP W L T AVG SP
1996-97 Hershey AHL 15 4 1 0 3.02 .911
1996-97 Quebec IHL 6 3 3 0 3.02 .900
1996-97 Brantford CoHL 6 4 1 0 2.61 .930
1997-98 Hershey AHL 43 19 14 2 2.71 .906
1998-99 Utah IHL 8 1 6 1 3.50 .896
1998-99 Las Vegas IHL 33 16 10 2 3.19 .907
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Guide: 1 star – awful
2 stars – dissapointing
3 stars – did what was supposed to do, nothing more nothing less
4 stars- exceeded expectations
5 stars – created new expectations
1- Michel Riesen
After a rocky start with the Hamilton Bulldogs in which Riesen recorded only 13 points in 45 games Riesen has begun to pick up the pace. In his past nine games Riesen has recorded seven points, not much to get excited about however at the start of the year Riesen was playing with fear. His fear has dissipated and he now looks as though he has regained the confidence that he once had. He no longer shies away from contact and the corners are a place he will venture to. It appears as though the fear that he played with may have been brought on by his vast amount of injuries in the past year. He seems to be getting over that and the Oilers organization is very glad. They are looking for him to step up to the team next season as either Pat Falloon, Rem Murray or Alex Selivanov will be claimed by the expansion Atlanta Thrashers. He will be looked upon to make the team and possibly be the second line right winger, and maybe even fill in the first line left wing spot that for the most part of this season has been a revolving door of players.
LEA GP G A PTS PIM PP SH GWG
AHL 54 5 15 20 6 3 0 1
WJC 6 0 4 4 4
Season Rating- 2 out of 5 stars
2- Micheal Henrich
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