News & Features
Filip Novak, Defenseman, Czech Republic: From all accounts, Novak has played extremely well, although the team certainly isn’t. This year’s WJC is taking place in the Czech Republic, and the hosts are off to a surprising 0-2 start after winning back-to-back gold medals the last two years. The Czechs have been firing a ton of shots, but they have had bad luck when it comes time to put the puck in the net. So far, only Tomas Plekanec, a forward drafted in the 3rd round this past summer by Montreal, has been able to put the Czechs on the board. They suffered a 3-1 loss to team USA, and were shutout today 1-0 by Slovakia, largely in part to a brilliant 45 save performance from goaltender Peter Budaj, a draft pick of the Colorado Avalanche. Through the 2 games, Novak has no goals or points, and is a -1. He also has registered 8 shots on goal. The Czechs have 1 game remaining in the preliminary round, which is against Sweden on December 30th. Since Slovakia is already 2-0, even if the Czechs win and Slovakia loses, Slovakia will still be the top team in Group A. However, weird things have happened in the past once the medal rounds start, so there still may be hope for the Czech Republic to bring home a 3rd straight gold medal. However, they better turn things around fast.
Garth Murray, Center, Canada: Murray may be off to the best start out of all the Rangers’ prospects currently participating in this years WJC. Through 2 games, a 15-0 win over France and a 6-1 win over Switzerland, Murray is tied for fourth in scoring among all players in the tournament 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
DANVILLE WINGS NAHL JUNIOR A …… NEWS :
Find all the info you need on Danville’s Junior A team at:
Wings Sweep out the Year
Whats coming up: The Wings will return in 2002 to face division leader
Kari Lehtonen is expected to be a top 5 pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft , but on this day he was outplayed by Switzerland’s Tobias Stephan. Stephan stopped all 17 shots he faced , leading the Swiss to the 3-0 victory. Stephan was named Switzerland’s best player in the contest. Finland took penalties at the 1:18 and 1:52 mark and at 2:17 the Swiss cashed in. Andreas Camenzind converted on the power play with the assist going to Rangers prospect Sven Helfenstein.
With 4:55 left Raffaele Sannitz put the Swiss up 2-0. Lehtonen was pulled with just over a minute left , and Andrei Ambuhl hit the empty net. The assist on Ambuhl’s goal went to Phoenix’s 3rd round pick in the 2001 draft , Beat Forster. In the end Switzerland beat the Finns 3-0 , in a penalty filled matchup. Finland took 10 minor penalties , while Switzerland took 6. Finland’s coach Errka Westerlund praised the Swiss for playing a great defensive game and ripped his own team for taking some dumb penalties. Switzerland did a great job shutting down Finland’s two stars , Mikko Koivu and Tuomo Ruutu. Westerlund said his team created some good chances but just weren’t able to finish. He expects a better effort next time out.
Here are the complete results of the first playing day of the World Junior Championship taking place in Pardubice and Hradec Kralove.
25.12.01 France – Canada 0:15
02:42 CAN Kobasew (Spezza) 1:0 PP
22:03 CAN Aulin (Colaicovo, Cammalleri)
40:55 CAN Cammalleri (Aulin)
25.12.01 Switzerland – Finland 3:0
02:17 SUI Camenzind (Helfenstein) 1:0 PP
55:05 SUI Sannitz (Deruns) 2:0 Read more »
The Calder Corner
Andy McDonald of the Mighty Ducks takes home the HF prospect of the week by scoring 3 goals and 2 assists, to help the Ducks go into the holiday break by going 3-1.
In addition to Andy McDonald taking home the weekly award, a special award goes out to all the parents of hockey playing children everywhere. Without there countless hours and dollars spent driving to tourney’s and upgrading the equipment seemingly every 2 months, no child who has played hockey past the “learning stage” would have been able to get to where they are.
A special holiday thanks goes out to the parents!
in the opening game of the WJC. This was an usual meeting of both opponents, those two
teams met in the regular group also in the previous two years. On the Czech side there
was a change in the net, starter Lukas Hronek was suddenly sidelined with a flu, so backup
Michal Fikrt stood between the pipes and Plzen juniors netminder Petr Sulan was called
back to the team to serve as the backup. Quite surprisingly was hulking Atlanta Thrashers
prospect Libor Ustrnul selected the Czech captain, Tomas Plekanec captained the Czech
squad on the previous tournaments, but finished with only an ‘A’ on his jersey.
The US team was as usual build mostly of college players, with some already drafted players
on the team along with bright prospects. The second cathegory consisted of the likes of
defenseman Ryan Whitney or winger Dustin Brown, a Guelph Storm standout.
So USA captain Richard Umberger and Czech Tomas Plekanec took the opening draw of the
another top bunch of junior-aged players fight for gold. The excitement is even increased
by the fact that the host Czech Republic won the last two WJC titles. People want to see
their players win gold again.
To fulfill the wish, head coach Jaroslav Holik, father of New Jersey Devils’ Bobby Holik,
selected 22 top 1982 and 1983 born players along with one 1984 born, tremendously talented
Jiri Hudler. Among those players are nine CHL players which is an unprecended number. CHL
additions showed to be a huge boost to the team both on and off the ice in the previous
seasons and so this number leaves most likely nobody to shake his head. This year’s team
is solid in goal with Lukas Hronek and Michal Fikrt, the defense corps boosted with five
CHLers look to be the biggest weapon of the team and the forward lines look balanced, too.
From skyscrapers like Martin Podlesak or Jiri Jakes to smallish speedsters like Jiri Hudler
or Frantisek Lukes. Read more »
Steve Bernier , Right Wing – A feisty, physical player is turning heads in the Quebec hockey league.
Dustin Brown , Right Wing — 32 goals in 35 OHL games this year.
Braydon Coburn , Defense – A Saskatchewan kid is a combination of size and skill with the Portland Winter Hawks of the WHL.
Denis Ezhov , Defense – A stay Read more »