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Interview with Mikko Koivu

by Robert Neuhauser
on

Mikko Koivu, a TPS Turku forward, is one of the brightest prospects
in the Minnesota Wild organization. Selected in the first round
of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Mikko now performs for Finland
at the WJC. Here are his answers at my questions, Mikko was kind
enough to answer them after the game against Russia.

When did you start playing hockey?

I was about five or six when I started playing.

Where was it?

In my hometown Turku, of course. I was born there, began my hockey
career in this city and I live there till now.

Who brought you to the game?

My brother Saku was one of the main forces, but besides him also
my friends influenced me a lot. We were playing hockey games in the
yard and it was a natural thing for me to play hockey.

Who is your hockey role model?

Saku teaches me a lot, he gave me many tips, but Peter Forsberg
is a great player, too. I watch him a lot.

Your favorite team in Europe?

I don´t have to take a long time to think about it. No doubt,
TPS Turku.

And in the NHL?

Another simply question, Minnesota Wild.

Were you happy that Wild has drafted you or would you prefer
to be selected by the Montreal Canadiens?

It would be great to have the opportunity to play with Saku, but
I´m extremly happy to be drafted by the Wild. It´s a great organization
and I think they can build a very strong squad quite soon. I have
my own play and it is good for me that I´m not always connected
with Saku.

When do you think you will be NHL Read more »

A Look Around the Farm Heading into the New Year

by Michael Theodore
on
With 2002 approaching fast, the Rangers farm system finds itself ranked in the top half of the NHL but not within the top ten. Even though 2001’s first rounder Dan Blackburn has made the jump, the Rags still have half a dozen or so prospects worth mentioning and a few others who are appearing on the horizon and turning some heads. With the exception of several players, many of these kids are still a few seasons away from making any kind of professional noise. It is however interesting to point out that many of them were later draft picks who have been pleasant surprises.

First off we have to start with perhaps the Rangers best player outside the NHL at the moment, Rico Fata. Yes, the same Rico Fata who was claimed on waivers a couple of months ago and yes the same Rico Fata who was taken sixth overall by Calgary in 1998. If people could just put their pre-’98 expectations out of their way for a second they’d notice that Rico Fata is making tremendous strides in his third professional season. Granted he will never be the 100 point center everyone suggested he’d be as a 15-year-old playing in the OHL, but he still has the talent to be an effective two way winger. Despite being two months away from even turning 22, Fata has already double the experience most players his age have. Away from lofty expectations in Calgary, Fata is quietly scoring at a hundred point pace for the Hartford Wolfpack. He’s played every situation, has been solid defensively and has taken the body regularly. He’s been Hartford’s most consistent forward and also one of the AHL’s best over t Read more »

WJC games recap – Day 4

by Ivana Paulova
on

Group A

Belarus – Czech Republic 1:9

1st Period

00:37 CZE Hudler (Hemsky, Krajicek) 0:1
04:26 CZE Vondrka (Blatak) 0:2 PP
16:35 CZE Skelnar (Bohac, Novak) 0:3
19:47 BLR Hlinkin (Maslenikov) 1:3 PP2

2nd Period

24:24 CZE Blatak (Hemsky, Krajicek) 1:4 PP

3rd Period

48:21 CZE Hemsky (Horava) 1:5
49:01 CZE Chvojka (Sklenar, Novak) 1:6
52:51 CZE Hanzlik (Plekanec) 1:7
53:27 CZE Horava (Hudler, Hemsky) 1:8 Read more »

Rastislav Stana Stands Tall for Renegades

by Seth Keggins
on

Richmond Renegades top goaltender Rastislav Stana was a bit of a chance, having been selected in the late rounds of the 1998 NHL entry draft. However, Stana has been strong thus far for the ECHL Richmond Renegades. The 6 foot 2, 180 pound goaltender is the owner of a .917 save percentage as of December 19th. His stellar play has recently been rewarded a brief call-up with the parent Portland Pirates (AHL) with the ankle injury of Olaf Kolzig.

However, Stana should return to the Renegades this week and await the possibility of being selected to the ECHL All-Star team. Rastislav continues to keep strong numbers again this season with the Renegades. Recently in a pair of games, he stopped a combined 84 shots to improve his record to 11-6. Despite apparently not being well liked by the Reading fans, where a fan threw a beer on him earlier this week…”Ratty” continues to ignore the critics and surprise the scouts.

STANA NAMED TO ECHL ALL-STAR GAME-12/20/01

Princeton,N.J. (Edited by Seth Keggins)… The East Coast Hockey League on Thursday announced the Northern Conference roster for the 2002 Sovereign Bank/ECHL All-Star Game to be played at 7:30 p.m. ET on January 22 at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, N.J.

The starting lineup and the roster for the Northern Conference All-Stars were determined in a vote of Northern Conference coaches. The Northern Conference roster features 17 players that are making their first appearance in an ECHL All-Star Game, including seven rookies.

Each Northern Conference coach was asked to select t Read more »

OHL Mid-Season Review

by Brad Coccimiglio
on

The first half of the OHL season produced some surprises and changes but for the most part it gave fans an idea that anything can happen in the OHL. Here’s a team-by-team review of the first half of the OHL season. (Note: Teams are listed in order of the standings)


Eastern Conference

1. Barrie Colts (35 Games Played, 21-10-4-0 record, 46 points)

The Colts are rebounding from an off-season and have been playing well this year. The Colts have played well enough to put themselves in a position to bid for the Memorial Cup. Goaltender David Chant has the lowest Goals Against Average in the OHL with a 2.09 mark. He has come on in the latter part of the first half and could be a threat in the Colts goal come playoff time.

2. Peterborough Petes (37 Games Played, 16-12-5-4 record, 41 points)

The Petes entered the break having gone 2-6-2 in their last 10 games but suffered an overtime loss in North Bay to move 1 point ahead of Ottawa the East Division. Greg Chambers and Eric Staal have been key to the Petes success and have put up solid numbers in the first half. They will need to continue their solid play through the rest of the season.

3. Toronto St. Michael’s Majors (36 Games Played, 19-11-6-0 record, 44 points)

Goaltenders Peter Budaj and Andy Chiodo, despite being involved in trade talks almost all season, have put up solid numbers as the Majors continue to play good hockey. With Budaj holding the 2nd best GAA in the OHL at 2.37, goaltending will be the key to any second half suc Read more »

Western Hockey League – Standings and Scoring Leaders

by HF Staff
on

WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE – STANDINGS AND SCORING LEADERS



Eastern Conference GPWLTOTLGFGAPtsLast 10Streak

East Division

Regina Pats 3921113413096498-1-11T Brandon Wheat Kings34211102127105447-3-03W Moose Jaw Warriors41162041125140374-5-11L Prince Albert Raiders37132013119150306-4-02W Saskatoon Blades37112042101134281-8-11W

Central Division

Swift Current Broncos38231032140113516-4-01L Red Deer Rebels 3621105011988473-6-13W Lethbridge Hurricanes36181260132107423-5-22L Calgary Hitmen 36171810135139357-3-01L Medicine Hat Tigers40152311141181325-5-01L

Western Conference

B.C. Division

Prince George Cougars352193213093475-4-11L Kamloops Blazers34211012133109455-5-01W Kootenay Ice 38191630138121414-6-03L Kelowna Rockets 36141723123123333-7-05L Vancouver Giants369232 2107171224-6-01W

U.S. Division

Spokane Chiefs 39221232127113494-4-21W Portland Winter Hawks35171233137117405-4-11L Tri-City Americans37161830122135353-6-11W Seattle Thunderbirds36102321106157234-4-22L LEADING SCORERS Player, Club GPGAPts+/-PIMPPGSHGGWGGTG Barrett, Nathan, LET362433576529351 Kopecky, Tomas, LET3221284916587121 Balej, Josef, POR33262248122212220 Jo Read more »

WJC games recap – Day 3

by Ivana Paulova
on

Written by Ivana Paulova and Robert Neuhauser

Another playing day in Pardubice and Hradec Kralove ended by disappointment for Czech players.
Czechs lost to Slovakia 0:1, USA tied with Sweden 2:2, Canada beaten Switzerland 6:1 and Finland
won over Russia 2:1. Team Canada is performing extremly well where as young Czechs are still
struggling. You can read more about each of these games in our report.

Group A

Czech Republic – Slovakia 0:1

33:12 SVK Kopecky (Pohanka, Velebny) 1:0

Czech team started the game with offensive pressure which was due to a high number of Slovak fouls.
But the Czechs were not able to take advantage of three five on three power plays. Goalie of the Slovak
selection Peter Budaj had a great day and thanks to his unbelievable saves none of the Czech 45
shots ended in goal, Peter Budaj’s comment: “The whole team performed really well, we all
promised to work for the team and we were able to do it for the whole game. It was probably the
best game in my career and I’m happy that it was heplful for the team”
. The only goal of the
game was scored by Tomas Kopecky who performed really
well and he appears to be in a great shape at this tournament. On the Czech side Ales Hemsky was
awarded the best player and he responded to the game: I think we played well but didn’t
have luck on our side. We didn’t score so we couldn’t win. During power plays we missed
explosiveness. We were a bit nervous as well”
. He had couple of good opportunities but did not
manage to score Read more »

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