The 2002 World Junior Championships have come and gone, with the Russian team taking home the gold medal as a result of their 5-4 victory over Canada in the WJC finale. While the Russians can bask in the fleeting feeling of glory days gone by, another former Eastern Bloc nation, the WJC host and defending champ Czech Republic, were left to ponder a disappointing 7th place finish.
As luck would have it, the Buffalo Sabres sported just 2 prospects participating in the WJC, with both of those players playing for the Czech squad. C Jiri Novotny and LW Michal Vondrka were both 2001 draft choices for Buffalo, with Novotny being the more high profile of the two due to his status as a 1st round pick. Both players also play for the same organization, Budejovice, with Novotny playing in the top Czech league and Vondrka splitting his time between the elite and junior squads.
If one were to judge strictly by statistics, it could be said that neither player had a particularly good showing at the WJC. Both players notched just 2 points in 7 games, with Novotny logging 2 assists, and Vondrka netting 1 while adding a helper. Both players were a minus for the tournament (Novotny –3, Vondrka –2), while also sporting nearly identical shots-on-goal numbers (Novotny 12, Vondrka 11).
In the case of Vondrka, at least, the statistics didn’t lie. As reported to me by Robert Neuhauser, the Czech Editor for Hockey’s Future, Michal’s performance was largely disappointing, mainly due to the fact that he didn’t see a Read more »
WHEELING NAILERS WEEK IN REVIEW
Monday, December 31 Roanoke 3 @ Wheeling 4
This was the second meeting of the season between the Express and the Nailers with the Express winning the first game 4-1 in Wheeling on October 27. In this game the Express opened up a 1-0 lead on a Mike Peron goal at 5:43 of the first period. Wheeling tied the score at 1-1 at 7:13 on a Mark Major goal with Dylan Gyori and Mike Hurley assisting. Roanoke would score two more times in the first period and lead 3-1 through the first 20 minutes. In the second period the Nailers would get back to within one on a Ken Tasker goal at 8:21. Derek Ernest and Doug Schmidt assisted of the goal. The Nailers tied the game 3-3 at 13:14 of the second period on Major’s second goal of the game with Hurley and Kurt Drummond assisting. The Nailers took their first lead of the game at 4-3 just :40 into the third period on a Hurley goal. Major and Gyori assisted on the game winning goal. Tyler MacKay made 32 saves on 35 shots for the win.
Friday, January 4 Peoria 1 @ Wheeling 3
In the season series with the Rivermen, the Nailers were 1-3-0 entering this contest. Jeremy Brown gave the Nailers a 1-0 lead in the first period with a power play goal at 11:31. Chris Wells and Mike Hurley picked up the assists on the only goal scored in the first period. Dmitri Doulebenets increased the Nailers lead to 2-0 at 2:45 of the second period with Bruce Watson and Arpad Mihaly assisting. Peoria scored their only goal of the game at 7:16 of the second period to make it a 2-1 game. B Read more »
Two games; two wins; four points
Since the first of the year (hey, the loss in Syracuse on New Year’s Eve was last year’s news), the Albany River Rats have played two games at home. They won them both (Manchester, 5-1; Hartford, 6-5).
Though still in the league’s cellar, along with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and while still 14th in the 14-team Eastern Conference, at least the Albany River Rats got off to a good start for the new year. On Friday last, the very respectable Manchester Monarchs came into town, adorned in their royal purple jerseys. The Monarchs scored first, but had no answer to five consecutive Albany goals.
Manchester featured a skilled veteran first line of Steve Kelly (a former River Rat and New Jersey Devil, now with Los Angeles & Manchester), Dane Jackson and Ted Donato. Bob Carpenter’s Rats matched lines, sending out the checking line of Stan Gron, captain Sylvain Cloutier and Richard Rochefort. The strategy worked just fine, limiting the Monarchs’ top line to seven shots, while keeping them off the scoreboard. The Kelly-Jackson-Donato grouping finished a collective “-6″ on the evening.
With Rochefort, Cloutier and Gron nullifying Manchester’s top offensive unit, the top Albany line of Christian Berglund, Steve Guolla and Brian Gionta went to work. Gionta scored one and assisted on two; Guolla had one of each; and Berglund had a pair of assists. Max Birbraer and Bruce Gardiner also scored for Albany in a one-sided 5-1 victory. In the opinion of Albany Week in Review, this was the Rats’ best Read more »
|R#||Read more »|
Calgary – The Canadian Hockey League and Western Hockey League today
announced the players that will represent the WHL’s Eastern Conference for
The Hershey Cup CHL All – Star Series. The WHL Eastern Conference All-Stars
will host the OHL Western Conference All-Stars. The game will be played on
January 23, 2002 at the Enmax Centrium in Red Deer, Alberta.
The WHL Eastern Conference All-Stars team was selected by a panel of three
WHL General Managers from teams which had the best record at the 30 game
mark in the 2001-02 WHL schedule. The selection committee consisted of
Brent Sutter of the Red Deer Rebels, Brad McEwen of the Swift Current
Broncos and Kelly McCrimmon of the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Brent Sutter of the Red Deer Rebels has been named head coach while Brad
McEwen of the Swift Current Broncos and Dallas Gaume of the Red Deer Rebels
will serve as assistant coaches.
“There were some tough decisions to be made but with the group of players
that were chosen we feel that our conference will be represented very well,
” stated Brent Sutter, Head Coach of the WHL’s Eastern Conference All-Star
The team includes the current top three WHL scorers, Nathan Barrett,
Lethbridge Hurricanes (1st – 68 Pts), Tyler Beechey, Calgary Hitmen (Tied
2nd – 59 Pts) and Matt Hubbauer, Regina Pats (Tied 4th – 57 Pts). Leading
the defence will be Ian White of the Swift Current Broncos, the Western
Hockey League’s leading scoring defencemen with 52 points. Also included on
the team are four members of Canada’s Silver Medal Nat Read more »
INSIDE THE CHL RETURNS WITH NEW EDITION ON FRIDAY
The latest edition of Inside the CHL will be available at the official
website of the Canadian Hockey League, www.chl.ca, on Friday afternoon.
Inside the CHL is a look around the Canadian Hockey League, the largest
hockey league in the world. The show is posted at www.chl.ca. and is also
heard on junior hockey radio broadcasts across the country.
On Edition number 5, host Roger Lajoie previews the upcoming Hershey Cup CHL
All-Star Series of Games, along with the Home Hardware CHL Top Prospects
Game as well. CHL commissioner David Branch is among the guests on the show,
which CHL radio stations are invited to download and use during their
Inside the CHL is produced every two weeks, with the next edition after
Friday’s available Friday, Jan. 25.
WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE
There are five games in the WHL on Wednesday night. Saskatoon is at Calgary,
Prince Albert travels to Lethbridge, Medicine Hat is at Red Deer, Kelowna is
at Spokane and Prince George (8) plays in Brandon.
There were two games in the WHL Tuesday night as Medicine Hat doubled Prince
Albert 6-3 and Portland beat Vancouver 6-3.
At Medicine Hat, Ben Thomson scored two goals and added two assists to lead
Medicine Hat to victory. Joffrey Lupul added two goals and one assist to the
winners’ attack, while Jeremy Colliton had one goal and one assist for the
losers. Sean Connors made 28 saves in goal for Medicine Hat.
At Vancouver, Josef Balej scored three goals to lead Portland to Read more »
It has been quite a season already for the Kings and their system, but despite an average record for the Big Club, the Kings’ farm system has never stood taller.
The big news around the Kings’ system is the play of their prospects at the World Junior Championships. The Kings owned the rights to three of the top six point scorers in the WJC’s. Gold Medal winner Alexander Frolov is the real deal and the hockey world seems to know it now. Rave reviews about his blend of smooth skating and power around the net are still coming in. Frolov’s walk-out goal in the final game was huge and started the rally that won the game for Russia. Frolov has the potential to be the impact rookie that the Kings have not seen since Luc Robitaille. Frolov could arrive as soon as next season, which would allow him to play with Jason Allison. The Kings must be drooling at the prospect of pairing a playmaker like Allison with a potential finisher like Frolov. In any case, Frolov is emerging as the crown jewel of the Kings’ system.
Another riser is the diminutive Mike Cammalleri. Cammalleri lead the WJC’s in goals and points and emerged as a leader on Team Canada. Cammalleri is not real big, but is an intriguing player due to his scoring and leadership abilities. Mike’s success at Michigan and the WJC’s has him rising up the charts of Kings’ prospects.
Jared Aulin’s 9 points put him third among the scoring leaders at the WJC’s. Aulin is am NHL caliber player who can play both center and wing. Aulin continues to impress as well and caught the eye of the hockey world.
Read more »
HF: The Russians just beat Switzerland 4-0. What were your impressions of that game?
Ramholt: We started out pretty well against them, but the Russians techically are a very good team. We got this unlucky goal against, which I thought was kicked in and shouldn’t have counted, and that was a mental blow for us. Quikcly after that the Russians scored their 2nd and the game was not in our hands anymore and the Russians dominated.
HF: What about Switzerland’s performance so far in this tournaments. It has been with ups and downs.
Ramholt: We qualified for the quarter finals. That’s what is most important. We played very well against Finland. So far I’ve got a good feeling about our performance.
HF: And what are the expectations for the quarter finals?
Ramholt: We must take it game by game. It’s the only way to approach it really since this will be a knock out round. We just have to give 150% every game since our team is probably the less talented team of the quarter finalists.
HF: Are you satisfied with your own performance so far?
Ramholt: I feel I played well so far. During the game vs Canada I didn’t though, as was the case for more players, but overall I’m satisfied. I always seem to play well at tournaments. You could say I’m a sort of tournament guy.
HF: Why is it that Switzerland always struggles against North-American teams?
Ramholt: I don’t know. It is just a fact. They play a different style and we always have trouble to cope with that. For some players facing a North-American tea Read more »
PITTSBURGH FORGE NAHL JUNIOR A …… NEWS :
Find all the info you need on Pittsburgh’s new Junior A team at:
http://www.pittsburghforge.com/ Read more »