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Thoroughblades, Hart Beats For Charity

by Rich Herles
on
Kentucky Thoroughblades fans team up with Hart’s Dry Cleaning along with
their co-sponsors WVLK-AM Radio and WKYT-TV for their Twelfth Annual Coat
Drive. This drive is to help those who are in need of warm clothing and
runs from the beginning of October until the end of January each year.. All
that people had to do was drop off coats that they had out grown or no
longer used to Hart’s Dry Cleaning. The cleaners would clean them and turn
them over to the Salvation Army and any organization that needs them at no
cost. The quantity of coats that are turned in has grown to 6,000 coats a
year.

This is the second year that the Kentucky Thoroughblades Charities has
chosen to get behind this coat drive. Every game prior to Thanksgiving an
announcement asking fans to help those who are less fortunate by donating
their old coats was made and fans were told that on game nights they could
bring coats to the game and drop them of there.

That plea didn’t fall on deaf ears. One season ticket holder who is also a
preschool teacher brought that plea back to her students and their parents.
Beckey Herles told it this way. “Our House Pre-School in Nicholasville
(Kentucky) has about 120 students. Every year we have a food drive that the
school donates to a local church to be handed out to the needy, but I wanted
my class to do something as a class project. When the Coat Drive came up I
brought it to my class and they were excited to do it.” Miss Beckey, as
she’s referred to by her students, started gathering the coats that students
brough Read more »

Tigers too tough to tame for the ICE

by Jeff Bromley
on
In what amounted to be a game of paramount importance for the Kootenay ICE if they have any hope of catching the WHL leading Red Deer Rebels and staving off the surging Calgary Hitmen, the ICE were looking for the automatic two points on Sunday night against the Medicine Hat Tigers. If parity throughout the WHL means anything, two points are never automatic, no matter who you’re playing. Playing against a team that up until Sunday night’s contest had only four wins on the road all season long, the ICE melted in front of the hometown crowd suffering a 4-3 defeat.

In perhaps thinking that a game against the Central Division cellar-dwellers would be an automatic ‘W’ in the standings, the ICE were missing one glaring aspect of their game – defense. Struggling to find the outlet pass out of their own zone all night, turnovers, resulting in at least two of Medicine Hat’s four goals played a key role in the Tiger win. Looking like a man visibly frustrated on the lack of defensive play of his charges, Coach Ryan McGill didn’t have to think hard to find reasons for the loss. “I thought we as a team had a lot of chances to score goals – we just didn’t and I thought our defensemen as a group struggled tonight”, said McGill. “That was the bottom line. Our forwards gave us the chances to win the game and we really struggled behind our blueline. It’s mental breakdowns. As a group we didn’t make any direct passes, we panicked with the puck, we just weren’t focused as a group.”

Due to somewhat of a quirk in the schedule, this game was only the third in the season Read more »

Just Passing Through!

by Larry Bradley
on

This is a new feature I have developed to profile some of the top performers who have made their way into Mississauga in the past week. When you visit the same arena on a regular basis you have only so many prospects available to watch. These guys may be great talents, but they usually don’t provide enough material for a weekly column. You must branch out with fresh ideas to keep the hobby interesting.

Sunday, January 21, 2001

The Sudbury Wolves came into town and played hungry right from the opening face off. Their huge defensive core set the tone with a bruising barrage of hits. It must have been contiguous, as Wolves forwards installed an aggressive fore check hitting everything in sight. They took a commanding 3-0 lead after one period and didn’t look back on their way to a 5-1 victory.

Here’s a look at some of the Wolves that made an impact in Sunday’s contest.

#13 Alexei Semenov

The Edmonton Oilers have a great future in this kid. Their second round (36th overall) pick from the 1999 NHL entry draft has the all the tools to play with the big boys. He is a definite presence, one of the best all-round defenceman I’ve seen this year. Semenov is a monster (6’6” and 210 pounds) who doesn’t give the opposition a lot of room to maneuver. Loves to play the body and with his long reach is impossible to elude. Clears the front of the net as well as anyone and does not back down from trouble. Deceptive speed with long, smooth strides. He is a great asset on the point in p Read more »

2001 AHL All-Star Game – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA

by Jen McCarthy
on

AHL All-Star Skills Competition

Before a boisterous hometown crowd of 8,314, Planet USA doubled up on the Canadian All-Stars to claim the skills competition 16-8. The night was underway with the In Glas Co Puck Control Relay. Planet USA grabbed the quick lead gaining two of possible two points. The relay, consisting of two races, started with three skaters for each team, with Planet USA’s Petersen, Mottau and Kraft leading the Canadians. The individual race between Butsayev and Manlow followed with Butsayev finding the finish line first.

The VIC Ambush followed with player vs. netminder. Each netminder is faced with two different skaters. On the whistle, the first shooter starts from the blue line and picks up any one of five pucks at the hash marks and attempts to score. Shooters have 12 seconds to score as many as five goals…rebounds are allowed. In the end it was the Canadian All-Stars that edged Planet USA for the event and gained the point.

In the KOHO Fastest Skater contest, three players per squad start on opposite sides of the rink from each other and race counter-clockwise one lap around the rink. The Canadian All-Stars swept the event and gained the two possible points, edging Planet USA and taking the lead, 3-2

Undoubtedly one of the most popular events is the CCM Hardest Shot. The title of “Winner of the Hardest Slapshot” is one that any player would love to have added to his name. It could be dubbed “Coolest Event to Win”, in this writer’s opinion. There are two possible points to be won, one Read more »

Maine vs. UNH weekend

by Jeff Morton
on
“They showed why they’re in the top ten in the country, and we showed
why we’re not”, lamented University of Maine head coach Shawn Walsh
after the UNH Wildcats handed Maine their heads in a 4-1 pounding at the
Whittemore Center in Durham, NH Saturday evening. The teams skated to a
0-0 tie the night before, giving both teams reason to be optimistic for
Saturday, but Ty Conklin and the rest of the Wildcats outplayed Maine to
win the weekend and a share of first place in Hockey East.

The first game of the weekend was largely uneventful with extremely
close checking and only a few quality scoring chances. Both goalies
played well with strong defenses playing well in front of them.
Although the game had no scoring, Maine severely outplayed UNH but
could not finish, and UNH’s penalty kill looked more like a 5 on 5
situation. The moral victory went to Maine, but Saturday night was
quickly approaching and UNH had just found a jumbo can of “whoop-ass”
behind an unused jar of “offense,” both would be opened on Saturday
night.

With Saturday night finally upon Durham, the crowd was restless but
definitely more excited than the night before. The arena was full by
6:30 and the students were already chanting and carrying on. The game
started with a distinctly different look, UNH had a scoring
opportunity. UNH head coach Dick Umile hoped out loud the night before
that his team could build on Friday’s performance and keep improving,
well it happened. Although the first period was scoreless, not only had
UNH goalie Ty Conklin played yet Read more »

Rangers New Prospect Update

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Week Of 1/13/01 to 1/19/01

Player         Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Pavel Brendl  Calgary   WHL    27  30  23  53   33   22
               Czech    WJC     7   4   6  10    8    8

This Week: 1 GP, 1 G, 0 A, 1 P, 9 PIM, +1


Player           Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Jamie Lundmark  Seattle   WHL    24  17  21   38  21   3
               Canada    WJC     7   4   3    7   6   4

This Week: 4 GP, 0 G, 4 A, 4 P, 2 PIM, Even


Player         Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Filip Novak   Regina    WHL    44  15  29  44   44   24

This Week: 4 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 3 P, 2 PIM, +4


Player              Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Garret Bembridge  Saskatoon  WHL    45  28  25  53   18  -18

This Week: 3 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 3 P, 2 PIM, -3


Player             Team       League   GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Evgeny Gusakov   Baie-Comeau   QMJHL   33  11   20   31  68  +5

This Week: No Games Played


Player             Team      League   GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Premsyl Duben   Baie-Comeau   QMJHL    23  0   7   7  24  -5

This Week: No Games Played Read more »

IceDogs Mid-Season Report

by Larry Bradley
on

OHL 2000 – 2001

IceDogs Mid-Season Report

The Mississauga IceDogs may not have a contending team this year, but that should not stop true hockey fans from visiting the rink. If you love hockey, like I do, you should be able to find entertainment in both the wins and loses, especially at the junior level. On any given night you have the chance to watch many talented, young players. The money you put out for tickets is not jacked-up to compensate some overpaid, underachiever who has been warming the pine all season. These guys play hard for the love of the game and the chance to develop into tomorrow’s leaders. Win or loose junior hockey is still the best bang for your hard-earned buck. Read more »

Bolts Bits – Tampa Bay Prospect Update

by Megan Sexton
on

From the moment Brad Richards was signed, just 12 short hours before the deadline last July, until his blades first graced NHL ice this fall, there was a frenzy surrounding the rookie. The media raved about the Prince Edward Island native, fans lusted over the potential of the young Rimouski superstar and cup dreams in Tampa Bay became more vivid. The high-held belief was that Richards, along with Captain and junior linemate Vincent Lecavalier, would be the one-two punch needed to send the Lightning into its’ second playoff berth in their 9-year existence. It was soon realized that Richards and Lecavalier could not carry the weight of the team alone, as the Bolts lost 8 of their first 11 games.

Richards did not let the Lightning’s misfortunes hold him back. He finished the month of October with 11 points in 10 games, earning himself NHL Rookie of the Month honors. Although his play slacked soon after, Richards has still managed to establish himself as one of the top rookies in the league. He is currently leading all NHL rookies in goals scored, assists, total points and power play points. Richards is also tied with winger Fredrik Modin for the team scoring lead, with 35 points.

Richards is in a tight race with San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov for the Calder Trophy. In 37 games, Nabokov has a 2.05 GAA and a .922 save percentage, tough competition. Due to an injury to Lecavalier, Richards should see his ice time significantly increase, as well as his scoring chances. Hopefully, this will be the break Richards needs to catch the attention of the league a Read more »

NAHL and U-M alum Mike Knuble is rising star in NHL

by Derek Berry
on

You might call Grand Rapids native Mike Knuble a late bloomer. Knuble
got a late start in hockey, learning a lot at the high school level and
then jumping right into the North American Hockey League. Knuble only
needed one year in the NAHL before moving on to the University of
Michigan, where he had an outstanding four years.

The big forward spent one season in Kalamazoo and there were a number
of reasons why he will always value what he learned there.

Besides the exposure and the close proximity to home, Knuble got to
learn a lot more about the game he loves.

“It (the NAHL) really forced you to skate or you couldn’t keep up,”
said Knuble. “It was an excellent step for me in my career because it
really got me involved in the game more.”

Not that Knuble wasn’t already involved or looked at and drooled over
by several scouts and top college hockey schools looking at this big,
young forward with such size, speed and quickness that your head would
spin. But, Knuble says the talent level from high school up to the NAHL
was significant.

“I played with guys like Brian Holzinger, Brian Rolston, and Rob
Valicevic, so I learned a lot real fast,” he says. “And our coach, Paul
Pickard, worked us very hard too.”

Knuble says he worked so hard while in Kalamazoo under Pickard’s
conditioning program, (which included running laps and intense skating)
that he lost weight before he arrived on the scene at U-M.

It was during that year in the NAHL that U-M’s hockey program took a
liking to Knubl Read more »

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