They came so close. As in one goal, one period, one shot from glory
that this Michigan Technological University hockey team and 15 or 16
others have never known…the glory of a Great Lakes Invitational title.
Perhaps one shot could have gone their way in a thrilling overtime match with the No. 1 ranked Michigan State Spartans, but that was not the case, as MSU collected their fourth consecutive GLI championship with a 3-2 OT win over the Huskies.
The loss was devastating for the young team, only because they had done so well all weekend, beating one of the top five teams in the nation (handing No. 4 Michigan their worst loss in the GLI and maybe anytime in the recent past with a 7-3 pasting in the first round) and outplaying the Spartans in the tournament final.
These Huskies made a major statement and were looking to start a streak that MSU and U-M have had ahold of for the last decade or so…at least since those outstanding John MacInnes-coached MTU teams that won five consecutive GLI titles from 1976-1980 and nine GLI championships total from the late 1960′s until 1980.
In fact, the Huskies hadn’t even appeared in the GLI final since 1991. This group of Michigan Tech hockey players rose to the occasion and played like champions all the way through.
MTU head coach Mike Sertich called the weekend a major steppingstone for the program.
“This is a process that a program takes to become a top-notch college hockey program,” said Sertich, who replaced fired head coach Tim Watters in November. “Commitment is po Read more »
The Wolf Pack of Hartford, Connecticut are also struggling thanks to a myriad of injuries and call ups and to yet stiffer competition but there are some bright spots in Hartford.
THE SCORING: AHL journeyman Derek Armstrong who was so close to signing a contract to play in Europe to start the season is the Pack`s leading scorer with 14 goals and 44 points through 36 games. Brad Smyth continues to hit the net with 26 goals and 40 points through 36 games while center Mike Harder has registered 10 goals in 33 games. Mike Mottau leads the way on defense with 5 goals and 21 points while fan favorite Kenny Gernander with 7 goals and 20 points lead the way. Looking through the roster…defender Burke Henry continues to play better hockey registering a tough 87 penalty minutes, 4 goals and 14 assists. Newcomer Jeff Ulmer(7-10-17) and veteran Tony Tuzzolino(7-9-16)have also been noteables. Veteran defender Drew Bannister (4-14-18) has been positive. Ryan Bast acquired waivers from the New York Islanders started out quickly but then has down a major slump registering only one goal in 29 games.
THE NETS: Have seen many pucks this year due to the call ups and injuries to Jason Doig but Vitali Yeremeyev (6-5-1 1.94gaa 2sho) has shined in the pipes. With the bright play of Vitali, Swedish import Johan Holmqvist has posted (10-5-2 2.71 1sho) totals.
OTHER NEWS AND NOTES: The Pack have struggled a bit this year at the gate average just over 6000 per game. For those who would wish to catch a glimpse of a few prospects take the trip up to Hartford for Read more »
Cherneski calls it quits
A promising young career came crashing to an end as the year 2001 hit when Rangers prospect Stefan Cherneski called it quits after trying to battle back from a serious knee injury. Simply put it was a career ended before it could fully get started and an example of just how hard it truly is to make it to the big show.
A first round pick back in 1997, Stefan had all the makings of a solid, if not star winger for the Rangers. A physical force with skills he was projected as a player part John LeClair and part Adam Graves, he would become neither. A devastating knee injury two years ago put Stefan’s career on hold and though for a while it seemed hopeful he would make it, in the end there was no happy ending. Missing two whole seasons would throw anyone’s career off a cliff but it was Stefan’s heart and soul that lead many to believe that maybe, just maybe he could make it.
Though he trained hard, the lost development time proved too much to overcome and Stefan decided he should take a 2 million dollar insurance option and move on. Though his playing days are done, Stefan’s legacy may just be the work ethic he instilled in blue chipper Pavel Brendl who worked harder then ever before in his life this past summer with Cherneski and winger Adam Graves. So though there will be no 35 goal, 140 pim seasons from Stefan we might want to send him a thanks if Brendl ever becomes the 40 or 50 goal sniper scouts believe he can be.
Lundmark: Destination the Show
Read more »
Every kid growing up thinks about playing for his favorite team while playing street hockey or watching them from the stands but very few receive such a gift.
Well the three year deal at nine million which includes incentives is the belated christmas present Mike Comrie has been waiting for since he was drafted in the fourth round 91st overall in the 1999 draft.
The majority of the incentives could be picked up in the second and third years of the contract which will be cheques Kevin Lowe would love to sign because it means his search for a second line center will be over. Future success now lies in Comrie’s hands and how quickly he adapts to the National Hockey League coming from the the Western Hockey League and U.S. College Hockey. However the impact in Mike’s development will come from Doug Weight’s mentorship and guidance over the second half of this season.
The similarities on the ice are sometimes uncanny and it is like watching Dougie play his first season in New York. Subtle body movements each make against defenders and the knack for finding the open man are attributes both players possess, but will the master teach the apprentice all his tricks remains to be seen.
At this point in time Comrie could not have stumbled onto a more perfect opportunity in that he will play for a team who’s style is complimentary to his skills and attitude, the door is virtually wide open to make place for himself in the line up.
In retrospect the decision to leave Michigan University and play for the Kootenay Ice this year may have benefited his gam Read more »
In the eighth round of the 1999 draft, Anaheim selected Petr Tenkrat from the Czech Republic. Selected 230th overall, the Ducks weren’t expecting him to pay dividends anytime soon. But on Wednesday night in only his tenth game in the NHL, he scored the overtime game-winning goal to give the Ducks a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers. The Ducks looked destined to lose, trailing 2-0 with only seven minutes left, but Selanne and Titov set the stage for the young rookie. Adding an assist on Titov’s goal, Tenkrat now has four goals and four assists for a total of 8 pts. This places Petr 29th amongst NHL rookies in points, with only 4 players above him playing less than 30 games. He is 19th in goals amongst rookies and only Tomi Kallio of Atlanta at 28 games has played less than 30. He is 9th in shot percentage amongst rookies, shooting more than anyone else above him on the list. Petr has points in six of his last eight games.
With the depth, or lack of depth, the Ducks have at right wing, Tenkrat might have just found a new home in Anaheim, and might have to miss the AHL All Star Game on January 15th. The Ducks will play Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins that night.
Petr Tenkrat in 24 games played for the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks had 9-8=17 points with 24 penalty minutes.
In 1999-2000 Petr played 53 games with HPK and Ilves-Tampere in Finland, scoring 35-14=49 points. His 35 goals ranked him third overall in the league, 15 more than anyone else on his team.
Went scoreless on 0 sho Read more »
The 2001 World Junior Championships, which took place in Moscow, Russia, have wrapped up, with the Czech Republic repeating as gold medallists as they defeated Finland 2-1 in the gold medal game. While the Sabres had some representation in this tournament, the performances of those prospects was largely forgettable.
had the most productive tourney of the 3 Buffalo prospects taking part in the WJC, but most of his production came in one game against a lesser opponent (Belarus). Ziggy was on a line with Raffi Torres in the Belarus game, a game in which Mike tallied a goal and two assists. Mike’s performance so overwhelmed the Canadian coaches that they decided to make Zigomanis the 13th forward for the remainder of the tournament. Mike scored just one goal the rest of the way, leaving him with 4 points in 7 games.
There were some Canadian fans that complained about Mike’s lack of playing time, as he seemed to make things happen when he was in the game, so it is somewhat of a mystery as to why he didn’t play more. I’m sure it was disappointing for Zigomanis, as he missed a chance at playing for Canada last year due to an injury.
and his Russian teammates had high hopes as the host team, but their tournament ended in disappointment as they could only muster a 7th place finish. Denisov was paired with Alexandre Selouianov throughout the tournament, a partnership that did not go nearly as well as his combination with Karil Safranov in last year’s WJC. The Russian def Read more »
1. Milan Kraft, C
Has done nothing to remove himself from the top spot in the Pens prospect list. Very solid player, makes very few mistakes. Reminds a lot of people of a young Ron Francis with a better scoring touch, although he’s not the playmaker that Francis is.
2. Sebastian Caron, G
Sebastian has been hot and cold for the Pens in his rookie season. Named AHL Goaltender of the month for November, but has had some bad performances in Oct and Dec. A .886 SvPct isn’t great, but for a rookie, it’s not bad and he’s learning on the job.
3. Konstantin Koltsov, LW
When he plays for his Russian squad, he’s played well. A bit inconsistant, which causes him to be benched (or scratched) at times. Played well for a very bad Belarus team in the World Junior Championships.
4. Josef Melichar, D
Played well enough in camp to eearn a spot with the NHL club, but after the first few games, was in and out of the lineup. Sent back to Wilkes-Barre after the Pens acquired a few “veteran” defenseman and Kasparaitis and Laukkanen came back from injuries. He’s still quite young and has plenty of time to get himself back into the lineup. Will defintely be a part of the Pens future on defense, along with Ference and Rozsival.
5. Andrew Ference, D
They all said he was too small. Fortunately for the Pens, they forgot to tell Andy. It unfortunate that they can’t find a spot for him on the NHL squad, because he deserves it. Solid offensively, solid defensively. Strong power play pointman. 1 of 4 WBS Read more »
With the loss of ICE captain Mike Comrie to the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, many detractors would say it is a blow that the ICE cannot overcome. Not so says ICE G.M. Bob Tory.
Proving the club depth over the weekend double header against the Brandon Wheat Kings, with at least ten regulars out of the line-up, the team managed to capture three of a possible four points against the Wheaties. Throw in another big win with nine regulars out of the line-up against the Tigers on Wednesday, the ICE have begun the second half of the 2000-01 season answering soundly the question of whether or not the ICE will be the force they were in the first half of the season. “Sure it’s a setback when you lose the leading scorer on your team and the leading scorer in the league, but that’s all it is, a setback, you adjust. It doesn’t mean that the team won’t work harder and give everything we got,” said Tory. “I don’t thing anything changes with Mike leaving. There’s some opportunities for some guys to increase their role with the hockey club but it’s no different than when Steve McCarthy got injured last year going into the playoffs. It’s a little bit of adversity and we have to try and deal with it and not let it affect us and I thought we did a good job of it this weekend with the number of guys at the World Juniors, the under-17 tournament and the injuries.”
With Comrie gone to the NHL, it raises some key issues with the ICE. Namely, who’s going to fill the captaincy on the club and, with Comrie being a twenty-year-old player, it reduces the number of overage players on th Read more »
The most attractive part of the WJC was scheduled on Friday, January, 5th, 2001 to the
Luzhniki Arena in Moscow. The final battle of the WJC, one of the two teams will always
remain in the history of hockey as the winner, remembered by the fans, the other won’t be
well known after some time. Of course each of the teams wanted to be the “unforgetable” and
celebrate the victory, what can be better? On one side the Czechs, a team led by
strong personalities and future NHLers, on top with the super first line consisting of
defensemen Rostislav Klesla and Libor Ustrnul and forwards Pavel Brendl – Vaclav Nedorost -
Zdenek Blatny. Those five guys combined for nearly 60 per cent of the goals scored by the
The Finnish side presented top WJC sniper Jani Rita, one of top 1982 born
defensemen in the world, Tero Maatta, and all three top 2001 Finnish prospects, Tuomo Ruutu,
Saku Koivu’s younger brother Mikko Koivu, and left winger Tuomas Pihlman. Pihlman and Ruutu
played on the first line along with the sniper Rita, Mikko Koivu was the center of the line
with wingers Ville Hamalainen and Tony Salmelainen. And one had the teams the same. Great
goaltenders. Well-known New Jersey Devils prospect Ari Ahonen in the net for Finland and
undrafted HC Sparta Praha goalie Tomas Duba playing for the Czech Republic. So this were the
top Under-20 teams of the 2000-2001 season, now competing for gold.
Both of the teams have built their strategy on defense. The Finnish players forechecked hard,
but after they felt, that they can’t win the puck, th Read more »
Every semifinal game is a battle. Now it time for all teams to be serious. It’s time to play
for the medals. This game will decide who will play for gold and who can eventually finish
without a medal. The Czech team realized that. They’ve had only about 20 hours after the
quarterfinal game to prepare for the semifinal game against Swedes, who sent the host Russians
to play for the fifth place best when they defeated them 3:2 in their quarterfinal game. Both
teams met in the first game of the tournament and the Czechs have won that tight defensive game
2:1 when Martin Erat scored the game winner with just three minutes left in the game. It was
obvious that this game won’t be different, it’ll be a serious playoff game with defense first.
The Czechs have great defensive corps and so do the Swedes. They’re led by Detroit Red Wings
draftee Nicklas Kronwall, who already played for the senior national team at the Pragobanka Cup.
Fowards are very good on the Swedish team, too, and the eyes of the NHL scouts would probably
focus on Fredrik Sjostrom, a highly touted 2001 prospect, who already scored twice during the
tournament. Both teams are equally good, have excellent goaltending provided by Tomas Duba
and Henrik Lundqvist, mobile defensemen and scoring forwards. In a game like that can every
detail decide. A very bad thing for the Czech team happened the night before this match when
three forwards, Ivan Rachunek, Marek Tomica and Ladislav Vlcek felt sick and the doctor sent
them back to bed because of a flu. But the Czechs are used to play on three lines so th Read more »