News & Features
Switzerland is drawn into a group along with Canada, Finland, Russia and France. ´83-born Player Beat Forster plays on Switzerland´s top line which also holds New York Rangers´ prospect Sven Helfenstein. Severin Blindebacher is skating on the 2nd line and is paired up with 84-born Tim Ramholt of ZSC Lions. Both players were so kind to answer some questions right after the game vs Canada today.
HF: Switzerland had a big win over Finland on the first day. Did that surprise you?
HF: What did you expect for today´s game vs Canada?
HF: Switzerland lost 6-1 today, what you feel went wrong?
Tobias Stephan:2002 draft eligible Stephan who got a 17-save shutout in the first game against Finland played well in the game vs Canada as well despite finding the puck behind him 6 times. This was mainly due to a fatigued Swiss defense in the third period. Stephan prevented the Candians to go into double figures with some excellent saves. The EHC Chur goalie was especially quick with covering up rebounds and closed his legs in time to prevent 5-hole goals. He
Rene Back: This EHC Chur defenseman logged a lot of ice time on the first line and played well for the first two periods were he showed his capabilities
Beat Forster: The Phoenix Coyotes prospect showed himself as a physical presence as well along with Back on the Swiss first line defence. Forster won’t score many points but is steady on his feet and uses his body well.
Thibaut Monnet: Speedy forward that needs to add some strength. He is to become a top sniper in the Swiss league, but hasn’t been drafted. He didn’t have
Andreas Camenzind: Captain of team Switzerland and he showed today that he deserved to be so. He showed lea Read more »
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)
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 »
Eastern Conference GPWLTOTLGFGAPtsLast 10Streak
Written by Ivana Paulova and Robert Neuhauser
Another playing day in Pardubice and Hradec Kralove ended by disappointment for Czech players.
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.
After 20 years, the city of North Bay is losing their junior hockey franchise.
The announcement was made this morning at an 11 a.m. news conference. Centennials co-owner has sold the team to a Saginaw, Michigan group that is headed by Wren Blair and Richard J. Garber.
Garber is the owner and president of Garber Management Group, which operates Garber Buick as well as seven other car companies in Michigan, Illinois and Florida.
Through their first 15 home games this season the Centennials have reportedly lost around $5000 per game and over the past several seasons have lost more than $200,000 per season. The team was averaging 2,298 fans per home game through the end of November. Only the Kingston Frontenacs, Toronto St. Michael’s Majors and Brampton Battalio have averaged less fans per game.
The Centennials will play out of the 6,000 seat Saginaw County Event Center next fall. The arena underwent a $14 million American renovation project recently as well.
This isn’t the first time that the Centennial franchise has been sold or re-located. The franchise entered the OHL as the St. Catharines Blackhawks in 1973-74, then moved to Niagra Falls before the 1976-77 season before moving to North Bay in 1982-83.
New co-owner Wren Blair had initially attemted to bring an expansion OHL franchise to the city of Saginaw but was turned down. The city was reportedly on a list of possible sites for the OHL to expand to but when Blair attempted to bring a franchise to the city the OHL was not yet ready for another expansion.
Blair has been involved i Read more »
Red Deer Rebels center Mikhail Yakubov was selected 10th overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. This is his first year in North America. He previously played for Lada Togiatti in Russia.
Hockey’s Future: What were your thoughts about being drafted by such a classic team like Chicago?
Mikhail Yakubov: I was just happy to be selected, it really didn’t matter which team.
HF: Many Russians stay at home in Russia and play before trying to crack an NHL roster, why did you come over to North America?
MY: I signed with Chicago and they sent me to Red Deer, they felt I would get more playing time.
HF: How so enjoy playing in Red Deer?
MY: It’s been a lot of fun, the team is good and I get to play a lot. The long road trips are tough though.
HF: Being that this is your first season in North America, how has the lifestyle adjustment affected you?
MY: It’s been a very easy transition. The lifestyle in Canada is a little different than Russia but not that much.
HF: What do you feel the strongest/weakest parts of your game are?
MY: I’m not really sure. I’m always trying to improve both offensively and defensively.
HF: The Blackhawks never even interviewed you prior yo the Draft because they didn’t think you would be there at Number 10, were you surprised they selected you?
MY: I didn’t try to guess who would take me. I just figured I would go in the first round and that’s what happened.
HF: You had Read more »
Finnish coach Erkka Westerlund showed his players that he wasn’t fooling around. Top draft prospect Kari Lehtonen didn’t play real well against the Swiss , so Westerlund decided he wouldn’t play at all against Russia. So enter Juha Kuokkanen. Kuokkanen didn’t get much help from his Finnish teammates , but he got just enough to win 2-1. Finland’s powerplay which had a ton of chances couldn’t get anything done all night. Yet with 1:02 left in a tied third period , Jyri Marttinen beat Andrei Medvedev to give his team the lead for good. Marttinen got the feed from San Jose prospect Tero Maatta to beat Medvedev who belongs to the Calgary Flames. Russia opened the scoring when Los Angeles’ first round pick in the 2000 draft Alexander Frolov scored. Tampa property Alexander Polushin got the assist. Oddly enough, the Finns tied it on a early third period shorthanded goal from Jarkko Immonen. The game remained tied until Marttinen’s game winner with just over a minute left. Kuokkanen stopped 15 of 16 Finnish shots. Medvedev was exceptional as well stopping 33 of 35 that came his way. But in the end the penalties taken by the Russians ended up costing them the game.
2nd Per. RUS – Alexander Frolov (Alex Polushin) 33:30
3rd Per. FIN – Jarkko Immonen (Jussi Jokinen) SHG,42:54
FIN – Juha Kuokkanen (16 Shots , 15 Saves) 1-0-0