Western Hockey League
Shane Bendera – G – Kelowna Rockets
It can be said that Shane Bendera likes his new home in Kelowna. At least his stats reflect it. In the 5 games he’s started since joining the Rockets, Bendera’s posted a 1.38 GAA and an incredible .951 SV%. Bendera is hoping to impress his new bosses by leading them into the playoffs, where it is no secret that he can come up with a big game.
Ben Knopp – RW – Kamloops Blazers
Benn Knopp continues his offensive struggles since being aquired by the Blazers. Although he sits third in team scoring behind Canadian Junior members Jared Aulin and Scottie Upshall, he only has one point, a goal, in his last 4 games, and 2 goals in his last 14. His plus/minus has remained at a –16 rating. There is no reason to think that Knopps production should’ve increased on the Blazers second line, but playing in the shadow of the two previously mentioned stars may have Knopp a little green.
Kiel McLeod – C – Kelowna Rockets
McLeod has shown that he is a mark of consistency. Over the last two-three months, his production has remained exactly the same. He has netted 14 goals and has 39 points(14-25-39) in 32 games. On the Rockets, his plus/minus is second only to Jesse Ferguson(+15), with +8. His play has been that of consistency.
Tyler Sloan – D – Kamloops Blazers
Tyler Sloan has continued to develop quite nicely, and seems to have added another dimension to his game, somewhat. In his firs Read more »
|It’s time again for Hockey’s Future to answer the question “If the Calder Trophy were awarded today,|
based on what you have seen so far this season, who would your Top 10 Rookie Finalists be?” We’ve recruited several of
HF’s finest to take part this month and totaling up their votes, here is this month’s version of ‘Handicapping the Field’:
Read more »
Leaf Prospect Rankings Redux (Part I)
Half a hockey season is a long time when it comes to developing players between the ages of 18 and 23. As such it only makes sense to take another look at the Leaf prospect ladder now and see how the yung’uns are shaping up. Are they picking up the skills they’ll need to compete in the big show according to plan? Are some lagging behind? Are some leapfrogging others? Here’s the latest:
1. Mikael Tellqvist-G: Though Mike Minard has played the majority of minutes on The Rock this year, there are just too many positives in Tellqvist’s game to say that he will be anything but a starting goaltender in the NHL once he adjusts to the North American game. Will he be in the ACC by the end of the year? Will he be there to start the next one? Will he be there in 2003-2004? Who knows. When he does arrive though, it will be as more than someone to play one game in four.
2. Brad Boyes-C: His recent WJC performance on the heels of a bout of mononucleosis has only solidified his spot at the second rung and maybe even moved him closer to the top one. He showed the ability to lead the charge to the net in the tournament which was something that hadn’t been part of his game until then. Definitely has the mean streak needed to make up for his lack of size in the pros. Demonstrated some unbelievable hand-eye co-ordination and was equally comfortable as a playmaker and a finisher. Great in the faceoff dot.
3. Carlo Colaiacovo-D: One of the big leapers, the Erie blueliner was one of the best d Read more »
Relegation game 2
07:47 BLR Kastsitsyn (Mialeshka, Siankevich) 0:1
10:04 BLR Mialeshka (Siankevich) 0:2
24:40 FRA Kevorkian (Bayon) 1:2
25:00 BLR Klimiankou (Nemirka, Grabovski) 1:3
35:23 FRA Albert (Brodin, Jestin) 2:3
Because of the French win in the first relegation game, the game went into a ten-minute
overtime. No goal was scored during that extra time so the penalty shots had to decide.
In an unprecendented series of 13 penalty shots Dmitri Mialeshka scored the series-winning
goal, saving team Belarus in the elite Group A of the WJC also for the next season.
In the post-Slovakian era, the entire St. Louis Blues organization is
struggling mightily to succeed with an ever-evolving new identity. A system
once defined by speed and finesse with a European flare has been completely
overhauled over the past couple of years. General Manager Larry Pleau
sacrificed a fathom or two of the organization’s legendary depth in his
quest to assemble a squad capable of Stanley Cup success.
As an organization, the Blues have done an outstanding job in recent history
with player development, turning several marginal prospects into legitimate
NHLers. Although the knock against the system has been their failure to
produce a single legitimate superstar, they were working with some fairly
low draft positions. Jochen Hecht, Michal Handzus, Marty Reasoner, and
Ladislav Nagy were developed into good enough NHL players to be used as
trade bait in the acquisitions of superstar forwards Keith Tkachuk and Doug
Now, it would seem, the desired attribute is an intangible characteristic
known as “grit.” All hockey clichés aside, (standing up for a teammate,
never taking a shift off, taking your lumps to score a goal) in the grand
scheme things, grit is simply the willingness to do whatever it takes to win
the Stanley Cup.
There are several players currently in the system who seem to embody this
rather nebulous concept and thereby represent the visible future of the
Pepperpot center Eric Boguniecki, continues to light up AHL goaltenders,
maintaining a point-per-game pace and could certainly see a call- Read more »
Looking Back: The 1998 NHL Entry Draft
By Joy Kim, December 2001, Read more »
The championship title. The goal of every team involved in some sport. And the final battle
is often the most exciting event when the top two teams clash. At this year’s WJC the Russian
and Canadian teams were those two gladiators ready to enter the arena. The Russians thrashed
the USA team and defeated the Finns in an overtime battle on their way to the gold medal
game while the Canadians had to face Swedes and Swiss. Stan Butler’s guys have beaten both
of those teams to establish a final game between the two mighty warriors – Russia and Canada.
The Canadians have had a marvellous start into the game. Andrei Medvedev’s second contact
with the puck came as he had to put it out of his net. The first Canadian raid was a
succesfull one. Jarret Stoll raced with it into the Russian zone, fired a shot at Medvedev
who made the save, but he deflected it in front of him. He couldn’t reach it with his glove
and the defense couldn’t clear Brian Sutherby from the crease. Sutherby didn’t have a problem
to pop the puck into the Russian net with only 22 seconds played.
A cold shower for the Russians, now they faced the fact that they have to cut the Canadian
lead from the very beginning of the game instead of building their own lead. And the
Canadians didn’t look as they would be willing to let their lead cut. During the first
minutes they forechecked hard, played well aggresively and handled the pace of the game
with poise. Pascal Leclaire wasn’t under a huge pressure and the Canadians looked better. Read more »
There is the old adage said among mountain climbers when asked why they risk their lives to climb grand peaks: “Because it is there”. It seems that answer really is the subconscious driving force in most humans, to answer that call to accomplish something that simply “was there” and moved them to action.
Remember when you were a small child playing in some setting where there was a tall hill? Whether it was a large dirt-pile at a construction site or a natural slope that was formed naturally by the earth, the odds are that you climbed that hill. Sweating and breathing heavy, remember that feeling when you got to the peak and stared down at everything below, that feeling of accomplishment, solitude, and peacefulness?
With that being said, Mountain climbing has become one of the most talked about and followed activities for the professional and amateurs alike. When Sir Edmund Hillary became the first Man to summit on Everest in 1953, Mountain Climbing became a source of national pride for England and a world-wide phenomenon was born. Since than, countless books, movies, documentaries, and companies have came into existence to fuel this global obsession with Mountain Climbing.
There is one site on the Internet that has fast become the pre-eminent place to get virtually almost any kind of information on Mountain climbing, EverestNews.com
Read more »
I’m all for the concept of parity that has inundated the Western Hockey League but as far as trade deadline deals, speculation and innuendo goes, she just ain’t what used to be.
In just over a week’s time, on January 14, the WHL’s trade deadline will have past and with the emerging trend of too much demand, not enough supply, this year’s round of poker will have lots of players, all wanting to draw some cards, but few wanting to meet the ante.
Every year the Christmas wish list gets extended a few weeks in the WHL because of the multitude of G.M.’s still searching for that elusive cog that could push their club over the top, put them into contention to make some noise in the playoffs or augment an already powerful lineup. Looking for the bargain deal, most of the gifts this year have been opened early in the season long before the economics of supply and demand had put their prices into the stratosphere.
B.C. Division -In the B.C. Division, where four of the five clubs have a legitimate shot of reaching the Western Conference final, the shopping could be all but done. Teams such as Kootenay, Kelowna and Kamloops have all made deals that are designed to address certain needs. Kootenay and Kelowna both revamped their goaltending situations by adding B.J. Boxma and Shane Bendera, respectively. Kelowna also tinkered with their defensive corps with the addition of former ICE blueliner Jesse Ferguson and Kevin Young out of Portland in October. In continuing the trend of adding former Kootenay players, Nick Marach joined the Rockets in a deal from Vanc Read more »