Late Midterm grades
Yes the grades come after the Christmas break and midway point of the
season, but better late than never. So without further adieu:
Goaltending: Overall grade: A-
Jason LaBarbera has all but stood on his head for the Hawks this
season. Despite a relatively high GAA (3.69 now, about where its been
all season), its the save percentage statistic that is more telling
for Jason. His save percentage is .903 now. He faces a lot of rubber
most nights, and has kept Portland in many a game. His saves have
ranged from ordinary looking from solid positioning, to spectacular
make up for defense mistakes or not clearing a rebound type. Jason
recently recorded his sixth career shutout, shutting out the Moose Jaw
Warriors, breaking a Winterhawk’s record. He was also named to the
West Conference all star team recently. Currently, trade rumors swirl
around Jason, guess we’ll all know on the tenth if he’s still a
Winterhawk or not.
Lanny Ramage has shown that he has the “stuff” to be a solid WHL
goalie, if not a excellent one. The rookie has posted a .915 save
percentage and a 3.33 GAA. He works hard in practices, and seems to be
filling the role of backup well, although with his talents, he
certainly won’t be a backup for long.
Defense: Overall Grade: C- (that might be generous)
Read more »
The Czech Republic won their first ever
World Junior Championships gold medal after beating Russia in the penalty shootout
following a scoreless and pretty boring game.
Team Ukraine (10th place, relegated):
The Ukrainian team was packed with small players, and relied heavily on technique, skating and goalkeeping. Goalkeeper Vadim Seleverstov really stood out in the first relegation game against Slovakia, but displayed an unconsistent play in the other games. He is also very small and has probably had his fifteen minutes of hockey fame. The defenders didn’t play with maturity, often making simple mistakes in their own zone leading to a scoring opportunity for the opposing team. Denis Isaenko and Evgeny Pisarenko were the two most physical defensemen, and the two most suited for play in the NHL. Artem Gnidenko scored the goal of the tournament against Slovakia, when he in the final stages of the game scored a goal very similar to the one scored by Khlebnikov against Canada. Defender Alexander Skorohod, born in 1983 was the most interesting player in the Ukranian team.
Stars: Vadim Seleverstov G – Denis Isaenko D
Team Slovakia (9th place):
Read more »
So-called experts seem to be doing nothing but condemning Canada’s World Junior hockey team. A bronze medal. That’s all the hard working juniors came back with from that icebox in northern Sweden. They ask why Canada isn’t producing the best hockey players in the world anymore. This unattainable goal that we’ve supposedly set for ourselves of coming home with the gold every year from every major tournament has become ridiculous. The one drawback to hitting gold five years in a row at this tournament (’93-’97) is that now it’s gold or nothing.
‘The Russians and Czechs are more talented players than the Canadians are now’, the experts say. ‘We produce nothing but muckers and grinders instead of talented hockey players’. Newsflash; the Russians have been pretty good since the ’50′s and the Czechs, Slovaks, Swedes and Finns aren’t exactly slouches. Witness Jaromir Jagr, Dominik Hasek, Ziggy Palffy, Peter Forsberg and Teemu Selanne. Could it be that the rest of the world has just caught up to us in the standards of hockey? After all, every time we won at whatever level all it did was breed complacency and arrogance. Nobody can win the gold every year. That’s why they play the games. And another thing, if the European system is so much better than ours, (better passers, more offence) how come the gold medal game at the WJC between Russia and the Czech Republic was a classic battle featuring all the scoring and excitement of a Ottawa-New Jersey game. That’s right, they trapped. In fact, they trapped so well that neither team scored in three periods of hockey and one more of Read more »
Andrei Maximenko has not been living up to expectations with the Soviet Wings this season. Despite playing on a line with 17 year old phenom Sergei Soin, Andrei has had almost no impact in Russia’s second league this season, with only 5 goals in 30 games.
Ryan Barnes has returned from his 25 game suspension in the OHL. He has 8 points in 11 games with Barrie, and it is hoped he will continue to develop his offensive game.
With Manny Legace in Detroit for most of December, Jason Elliott took over the starters role in Manitoba of the IHL. Despite his tremendous play, Elliott reassumes his backup role now that Legace is back with the Moose.
Henrik Zetterberg, the leader of Sweden’s second line, had a strong WJC. Zetterberg was a +3 and finished with 3 goals and 2 assists in 7 games.
Tomek Valtonen was a -2 and finished with just 1 goal on 14 shots in 7 games for Finland at the WJC. He was benched in the last game.
Aren Miller recorded his second career shutout recently, stopping 34 shots for Cincinnati after missing 9 games with a broken finger. He has stopped 69 of his last 70 shots.
Philippe Audet, after a horrendous start, has 18 points in his last 18 games with Cincinnati of the AHL. Audet averaged around 3 shots per game through December.
Jiri Fischer, who was assigned to Cincinnati on a two-week conditioning stint, has 2 assists, is a -2, and has taken 8 shots in 4 AHL games.
Maxim Kuznetsov, playing with Cincinnati, will miss at least four weeks undergoing knee surgery. Read more »
IHL RECAPS FOR WEDNESDAY JANUARY 5, 2000
Utah Grizzlies 3
Detroit Vipers 2 (shootout)
Cincinnati Cyclones 2
Michigan K-Wings 3
Cincinnati’s Steve Bancrofts next point will be his 400th point of his pro career.
Detroit Vipers are the highest penalized team in the IHL with 1138 PIM.
David Ling is the IHL’s top goal scorer with 21 goals in 34 games.
Manitoba Moose: Reassign centre Cory Cyrenne to Flint of the UHL
IHL TV SCHEDULE
Friday January 7:
Milwaukee at Michigan 7:30 pm Midwest Sports Channel
Utah at Cleveland 7:30pm FSN (Ohio)
Long Beach at Houston 7:30pm Aeros TV
THE IHL LOCKEROOM A LOOK INSIDE
When you walk into the Manitoba Mooses dressing room its nothing spectacular like you would see at the Molson Centre with the Montreal Canadiens
or at the ACC with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Once you open the big blue door leading inside the dressing room, your first glimpse inside you cannot help but to
notice the pictures around the room of past Moose players. Everything is placed in the stalls nice and neat courtsey of equipment manager Dale
Coulthard who puts in countless of hours seeing that all aspects of the equpiment is ready to go. To your left is the gatorade machine and the coaches Read more »
Boy oh boy is Milan Kraft looking like a draft jewel! He shows up at the World Junior Championship and dominates. Kraft ended the tourney with 5 goals 7 assists in 6 games. He helped the Czech Republic win gold, and he is a major piece in the building of the future for the Pittsburgh Penguins who seem to be rejuvenated with new coach Herb Brooks. Jaromir Jagr loves the offensive freedom. Kraft can be the total package when he adds weight to his frame, and a little knowledge defensively. Other than that, he is one year away from playing with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL for a few games before a call up to play with the best there is, Jagr. Alexander Zevakhin has been playing superb hockey also, collecting 5 points in 5 games, with fairly limited ice time. Alexander needs to mature up and play harder, he seems out of shape at times gasping for air after a bad shift. He plays like Pavel Bure at times, and Andrei Kovalenko at others.
It seems as though Craig Hillier is never going to get his chance like J-S Aubin. He needs more confidence and ice time in the parent league. Hillier plays like Martin Brodeur when he is confident, but most of the time no one has confidence in him, thus leaving him no confidence in himself. He can be a regular goalie when and if he is called on. Hillier should just wear number 13, because that is how his career has turned out to be. Lucky at times and unlucky at times sums it up nicely.
Read more »
I was impressed by the smarts and the work-ethic of Canadian winger Chris Neilsen. He is very versatile, gives his all for the team and doesn’t ignore any part of the game. 16-year-old defenseman Jay Bouwmeester certainly looks like someone who can evolve into a world-class player. It is very rare that a player who’s 6’4″ can be such a magnificent skater.
Jason Spezza also looked good in the spot duty he got and in hindsight maybe he should have got all the icetime Mike Ribeiro, who was very disappointing, got. Josef Vasicek was a more consistent contributor that Milan Kraft, and deserved the All-Star nod ahead of the more inconsistent Kraft. The choice of Rick DiPietro as best goalie was right on. He was very solid, a true star in this tournament.
Of the 2000-prospects, Marian Gaborik shined, but also his smart all-round center Tomas Kopecky. Dany Heatley will surely be a high-pick in Calgary this summer. He looked better than highly-touted Jamie Lundmark and Mark Bell, picked 11th and 8th respectively, did. Heatley can put the puck in the net and has a deadly shot.
The two semi-finals (USA-Czech Republic; Canada-Russia) were both even and entertaining. The Czech Republic got a very early goal by Michal Sivek against Team USA, and then showed off their defensive skills to keep the americans from tying the game. The Czech defense was easily the best of all the teams. With two goals seperated by only a minute and a half in the second period, the Czechs killed all american dreams of a place in the final. Still the americans fought bravely, and managed to get a goal early in the third period, but the Czechs scored the winning 4-1 goal in the empty net after a very foolish attempt to dribble on his own blue-line by american defender Jeff Jillson. Team USA owned the game, but the result wasn’t unfair, as the Czechs played an outstanding defensive game, and had a great goaltender in Zdenek Smid, who won MVP honours for his performance.
Canada vs. Russia was the second semi-final, some considered it to be the “real” final, saying that the team that won this game would have no trouble at all defeating the Czech Republic in the final. The game was the best of the tournament. Brilliant technique from the russians faced off against the physical Team Canada. Valeri Khlebnikov scored the important first goal for the russians after a magnificent display of technique. Oleg Smirnov made it 2-0 on a breakaway, but the canadians refused to give up and clawed one back by Dany Heatley, brilliantly assisted by Brandon Reid. 3-1 to Russia came early in the third period and decided the game for the russians. It finally ended 3-2. Read more »
The Czech Republic won the goldmedal after a penalty-shootout in the most
boring game ever played in the Skellefteå Isstadion. Congratulations to the
Czechs for winning, but seeing two teams prioritize defense above all and in
doing so decide not to forecheck, not to hit, not to attack with more than
two forwards at the time is so boring that I, and surely most of the people
attending, wished that I had just stayed at home and watched a Jeopardy
rerun. The highlight of the game was when the music-guys played
Elvis-impersonator Eilert Pilarm during a stoppage of play.
The bronze game was more entertaining, with Canada pulling off a
well-deserved win after a shootout. The Canadians looked disinterested in
the first period and didn’t have much emotion after the Americans had earned a
1-0 lead after the first period. Checking winger Willie Levesque scored the
goal shorthanded after Canada made some sloppy plays during their powerplay.
The Canadians looked more fired up for the second period, and they started
hitting the Americans more frequently, but also ran into penalty-trouble.
The Canadian penalties in the first period came from laziness and not being
up for the game, but those in the second period came from being aggressive,
though it should be noted that Swedish referee Christer Lärking sent
Canadians to the penaltybox for clean hits as well. The Americans got their Read more »
IHL TOP ROOKIE SCORERS
PLAYER TEAM GP G A PTS
Petr Schastlivy Grand Rapids 31 13 7 20
Nils Ekman Detroit 23 11 7 18
Dieter Kalt Long Beach 36 9 9 18
Kyle Calder Cleveland 36 5 12 17
Vlad Serov Manitoba 37 9 8 17
Bryan Adams Orlando 29 8 9 17
Dale Rominski Detroit 36 6 7 13
IHL TOP ROOKIE PLUS-MINUS
PLAYER TEAM +/-
Vlad Serov Maniotba 17
Philippe Plante Grand Rapids 14
Brad Williamson Houston 13
Kyle Calder Cleveland 7
IHL PENALTY SHOT RESULTS
November 19,1999: Chris Herperger of Cleveland vs Randy Petruk (goalie) Cincinnati at 19:47 of
the 1st period. Result was no goal.
December 11, 1999: Aaron Gavey of Michigan vs Chris Mason (goalie) Milwaukee at 8:00 of the
3rd period. Result was no goal.
IHL RECAPS FROM JANUARY 3, 2000
Orlando Solar Bears 3
Detroit Vipers 6
IHL RECAPS FROM JANUARY 2, 2000
Orlando Solar Bears 3
Cincinnati Cyclones 0 Read more »