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Tomas Kloucek: Playing Solid On Broadway

by Brandon LeBourveau
on
Kloucek, a 6’3 220 lbs. defenseman from Prague, Czechoslovakia, was selected by the Rangers in the 5th round (131st overall) of the 1998 draft. The season after being drafted, Kloucek came over to North America and played with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles for the ’98-’99 season, registering 4 goals and 17 assists (21 points) in 59 games, along with 162 penalty minutes. The next season, at 19 years old, Kloucek was playing outstanding as a rookie for the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL. He had 2 goals, 8 assists and 113 PIM in 73 games during the regular season, while chipping in 4 assists and 18 PIM in 23 playoff contests en route to a Calder Cup winning season for the Hartford Wolf Pack. Kloucek was a dominating presence on the Wolf Pack’s blue line, as he was voted the Wolf Pack’s most outstanding rookie and was also voted to the AHL’s all-rookie team. He came to training camp this season looking to make the team as a 20 year old, but after a long look was sent back down to Hartford to get some playing time. Through 11 games with the Wolf Pack this year, Kloucek had 1 assist and 28 PIMS. On Saturday, November 11th, when Defenseman Mike Mottau was sent down to Hartford for likely the rest of the season, Kloucek was recalled and got his first taste of NHL action.

He made his NHL debut the following day against the Phoenix Coyotes, a game in which the Rangers were shutout 2-0. Kloucek played a steady game, while not getting much ice time thanks to Brian Leetch who barely gets off the ice. Kloucek hasn’t made any highlight-reel plays, but that’s not his styl Read more »

Svatos’ Frustration Mounting

by Jeff Bromley
on
There are times when a hockey player has to sit on the sidelines instead of playing the game they love. Injuries, suspensions or the dreaded
‘healthy scratch’ keeping them out of the line-up are all the usual reasons for a player not in the game. Kootenay ICE European forward Marek
Svatos is experiencing that feeling, only not because of any of the aforementioned reasons.

The slick Slovakian center, who has only played in eleven of the twenty-six ICE contests so far this season and still occupies the seventh spot
on team scoring with sixteen points, is sitting on the sidelines for another reason, one he has little control over – bureaucratic hockey wrangling.
In order for any European hockey player to play in the North American junior leagues, a release from that players’ home country governing
hockey body or former hockey club must be obtained by the team he plays for. In Svatos’ case, the issue boils down to a contract he signed
with a Slovakian professional club before knowing he was coming to Canada and the Kootenay ICE. Svatos, who is eligible for the 2001 NHL
Draft in Sunrise, Florida is dying to get back on the ice. “I am frustrated by not being able to play,” said the native of Slovakia through teammate
Zdenek Blatny, who acted as interpreter for the interview. “I’m a little mad at my old team in Slovakia, but it’s my own fault too, I signed the
contract.” Marek is also concerned that the games missed might have somewhat of a negative affect in the possibility of being drafted by an
NHL club this June. “I’m not playing, the scouts can Read more »

Top 12 College Teams Rankings

by Erik Freeman
on

1. Michigan State

Comments: Tied with surprising Western Michigan. Faces tough test with # 2 Minnesota in the College Hockey Showcase.

2. Minnesota

Comments: Swept rival St. Cloud State while playing solid hockey. Must finish off teams and not allow them back into games. Look for a low
scoring battle with the Spartans.

3. North Dakota

Comments: Swept lowly Minnesota-Duluth. Has the top scoring line in the coutry with Bayda-Lundbohm-Panzer.

4. Western Michigan

Comments: Playing great hockey but must remain consistent. Proved it can play with the big boys as they tied the #1 ranked Spartans.

5. New Hampshire

Comments: Beat Boston College and University this weekend. Must continue to play consistent.

6. Boston College

Comments: Loss to New Hampshire hurts Boston College. Team has to improve it’s chemisty to continue to be successful.

7. Michigan

Comments: Heads into a tough test with Wisconsin and Minnesota this weekend. Must play solid defense against the Badgers Heatley and the
Gophers Pohl and Westrum.

8. Providence

Comments: Swept Northeastern and has played for the most part of the early season consistent hockey. Must continue in the rugged Hockey
East.

9. St. Cloud State

Comments: Needs to get things fixed after being swept by the Gophers. Offense must step it up for the Huskies.

10. Colorado College

Comments: Splits with Wisconsin after being swept by St. Cloud State. Someone nee Read more »

Making the Grade – ICE Report Card

by Jeff Bromley
on
With over one-third of the 2000-01
season already in the books, the
Kootenay ICE encountering some
adversity of late and crucial tests coming
up in the next two weeks with two home
dates against Red Deer and games
against Regina, Kamloops and Calgary,
these next two weeks will be a good
indicator of just how good a club the
Kootenay ICE are. That being said, here
is a player by player, coaching and
management report card of performance
so far this season. There are some raving
reviews, some needs to be addressed
and concerns to be dealt with and some
question marks. Play along at home and
see who’s making the grade.

Management – Bob Tory
Have to admit that the ICE headman has evolved
into one of the shrewdest traders within
the WHL and his record proves it. The
solving of the ICE twenty-yr-old
situation by bringing in DeCecco and
Evans establishes definite foresight.
Evans will prove to be the steal in the
deal. Questions still remain about
another big d-man and protection for the
skilled forwards – I don’t think that
Tory’s trading days for this season are
done yet.
Grade – A-

Coach – Ryan McGill Read more »

Recap of the tournaments of the Czech Under-16 and Under-17 teams

by Robert Neuhauser
on
In the first half of November it’s time for the junior national teams to challenge the teams from other countries to a series of games or a tournament. This is a chance welcomed by the NHL scouts, who can see the future stars together on the ice, competing against top prospects from other countries. And how were the Czechs doing?

The Under-16 team
The 1985 born guys had 3 games against the Under-16 team of Switzerland on their schedule. The event took place in small Czech cities Trutnov, Nove Mesto and Lomnice and the games were attended mostly by the parents of the players. Although the senior national team of Switzerland isn’t sometimes taken seriously by the other teams, the junior teams have to be. So has the new Under-16 team. The young guys have beaten the Czechs with a 2-1 record, proving they are a top team. They won the first game 5:3, the second the 3:1 and just in the third game the Czechs recorded a victory, 4:3, on goals by Petr Vrana and Ivo Kratena, each scoring two. The whole Under-16 team is led by the star first forward line with Olomouc “twins” Vrana and Kratena and scoring wonder Vojtech Polak of HC Becherovka Karlovy Vary (registered 7 goals in the last Under-16 team game in the series against Slovakia!) Also in this series Kratena and Vrana combined for 7 of the 8 goals overall scored by the Czechs (Kratena 3, Vrana 4). The first line is absolutely dominating in the Under-16 team and all three forwards can be taken as serious 2003 NHL draft prospects. It’s likely that they’ll have some size at that time (Polak is 5’11”, 160 lbs. by now, Read more »

Flyers Minor League Report

by Bill Meltzer
on

Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL) Report:

The Phantoms have really scuffled this season. Goals and wins have been hard to come by. Going into Saturday night’s game against Norfolk, the club sported an unsightly 6-11-0 record and had scored a paltry 37 goals (to 51 goals against) in the 17 games played.

After encouraging wins on Saturday and Sunday, however, Coach John Stevens is breathing a little easier. The goals came in bunches on Saturday, as the Phantoms blew out Norfolk 8-2. On Sunday, goaltender Brian Regan and the defense stepped forward, recording a 2-0 shutout.

Comings and Goings

Struggling backup goalie Dan Murphy has been demoted to Trenton (ECHL). Brian Regan , who was a perfect 8-0 and had a stellar .933 save percentage for the Titans, has been called up in Murphy’s place.

Since our last update, Petr Hubacek was recalled to the Flyers. He played one game before being sent down again. Hubacek has been battling the effects of a slight groin pull that kept him out of two games before his Flyers recall. The same problem led to one injury-related scratching for the big club before he was returned to the farm team. He has not missed any action since coming back to the Phantoms. For the AHL season, Hubacek has 1 goal and 2 assists in 8 games. The two helpers came on Saturday against Norfolk.

Ruslan Fedotenko and Todd Fedoruk are still on recall to the Flyers. Both have been impressive. Fedotenko, in fact, has played so well that may not be coming back to th Read more »

Thoresen Shines

by Evan Andriopoulos
on
Patrick Thoresen lead Storhamar to a 4-1 win over arch rival Valerenga(VIF-Oslo) before more than 4000 in Hamar. Thoresen just 17 has been very very impressive he scored a goal and assisted on player coach Alexander Smirnov`s goal. Smirnov at 36 is the elder statesman and Thoresen at 17 the future.

Swedish Teammate Jocke Persson said “he is out of the ordinary”… refering to the young Thoresen. It was Persson who cleared the way for Thoresen`s goal to make it 2-0 Storhamar.

Patrick…one to watch!

Rangers Weekly Prospects Update

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Week Of 11/12 to 11/18

Player         Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Pavel Brendl  Calgary   WHL    17  21  16  37   12   19

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


Player           Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Jamie Lundmark  Seattle   WHL    10  10   6  16  17  -2

This Week: 3 GP, 3 G, 2 A, 5 P, 8 PIM, -2


Player         Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Filip Novak   Regina    WHL    21   9  16  25   17   11

This Week: 2 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 P, 0 PIM, -1


Player              Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Garret Bembridge  Saskatoon  WHL    21  13  13  26   12   -6

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


Player             Team      League   GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Evgeny Gusakov  Baie-Comeau   QMJHL   23   6   12   18  60  -1

This Week: No Games Played


Player             Team      League   GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Premsyl Duben   Baie-Comeau   QMJHL   17   0   6   6   20  -6

This Week: 1 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, 0 PIM, N/A


Player            Team      League  GP   G  A   P  PIM  +/-
Nathan Martz  New Hampshire  HE     10   1  3   4   6   -1

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


Player              Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Patrick Aufiero   Boston U.   HE     8   1   2   3   6   -1 
 Read more »

The Weekend Warrior

by Randy Nicholson
on
Another in a series of weekly articles summarizing activity in Leafland during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations, commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.

Nik’s Return Nears: Nik Antropov should return to the Maple Leafs’ line-up in time for their game with Edmonton on the 22nd … apparently, an assessment will be made after one or two NHL starts in order to decide whether or not the Khazakh prodigy would benefit from a short conditioning stint on the “Rock” … the 6-foot-6 centerman (who had 30 points in 66 games last season) has been practising full contact with his team mates for a couple of weeks now … the Leafs have an open spot on the 23-man roster and an extra pivot in Alyn McCauley and so have felt no need to rush Antropov’s recovery … whenever he begins playing again, it will inevitably launch another round of trade rumours (likely involving McCauley, Yanic Perreault, Dimitri Khristich and Igor Korolev) as the local media attempts to help Coach/GM Quinn keep his roster neat and tidy … in any case, a serious analysis of Toronto’s potential to succeed this season cannot be made until big Nik returns to form – he is just that essential to this club …

Leafs’ Legends Back in Town: A team of graying and slightly rounder Maple Leafs’ veterans put on the blades once more last week and recorded a 7-4 win over a group of Hockey Hall of Famers before about 9,000 patrons at the Air Canada Centre … old linemates Paul Henderson and Ron Ellis teamed up once more (altho Read more »

Griffins Rolling Early

by Chad Cranmer
on
The Grand Rapids Griffins are on top of the IHL standings with an impressive
11-1-1 record. The Griffins have the best record in the top three pro
leagues despite having some of their top players like forward John Emmons
and goalie Mathieu Chouinard in the NHL with the parent Ottawa Senators.
The Griffins have been using a balanced scoring attack led by center Todd
White (5 G 8 A 13 Pts.) to overcome their opponents. 17 different Griffins
have scored at least one goal, and four more have at least 5 goals through
the season’s first 13 games. The defense has also been jumping into the
scoring, led by Mike Crowley with 2 goals and 9 points.

The Griffins have been getting strong goaltending from Mike Fountain,
Chouinard and Chad Alban. Alban was on loan to the Griffins from the Utah
Grizzlies and posted a 2-1 record with the Griffins. He has since been
returned to Utah.

The Griffins have also been playing solid team defense. The 29 goals that
they have allowed are the fewest in the IHL, and their 19 goals for and
against differential is also the best in the league.