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Albany Week in Review

by Mike Buskus
on

Road woes continue

Nothing seems to work, as far as luck goes. On Friday night, the nuclear submarine USS Albany was in Norfolk harbor. On Sunday night, Hershey fans threw hundreds and hundreds of (stuffed) bears on the ice. Neither circumstance brought the slightest bit of luck for the Albany River Rats who, at 1-12-1 away from home, have sunk to the depths of the worst road team in the league. Quite a comedown for Rats’ fans who once boasted (just two years ago) that they had a winning record, lifetime, against every team in the American Hockey League and who were a solid road team.

In the week just past, the Rats dropped a 4-1 contest to the Norfolk Admirals and a 4-3 overtime loss to Hershey. In what was the last regular season game ever in HersheyPark Arena, the Rats had rolled up a 3-0 lead, then let in four unanswered goals, to see a road victory disappear, for a 4-3 loss. Lifetime, the River Rats are 11-7-0-2 on Hershey ice.

On Friday, in their second and final game this season against Norfolk, Albany mustered only one goal, a power play tally by Stephen Guolla, while giving up four, including two power play goals and an empty-netter. Ari Ahonen took the loss for Albany.

The road loss in Hershey should not have happened. The Rats scored the first three goals, all in the first 20 minutes. Joel Bouchard, a good puck-carrying defenseman, got his first goal of the season. Steve Guolla and Jiri Bicek combined on an odd-man rush for Bicek’s seventh goal on the campaign. Max Birbraer got his first on the season.

Th Read more »

Bendera Takes Off For Kelowna

by Aaron Vickers
on


Bendera Takes Off For Kelowna

Late yesterday afternoon Shane Bendera had his car packed, but it wasn’t to go join his new Rocket teammates for their game in Moose Jaw against the Warriors. In fact, Bendera wasn’t even aware that he was a member of the Kelowna Rockets at the time. Bendera had his car packed so he could go home for the holidays.

“I was getting ready to go home for Christmas. I had the car all packed and ready to go. Then (Rebel Coach Brent) Sutter calls me into his office told me I got traded to Kelowna,” said Bendera. “…They wanted me in Moose Jaw (right away). So I had to catch a quick flight. I didn’t have time to pack or say any goodbyes.”

The Rockets aquired Bendera in an attempt to stabilize their goaltending, which has struggled at the best of times this season. As a team, the Rockets are 14-18-2, but are almost a lock for a playoff spot after acquiring arguably the best goalie in the WHL. The acquisition of Bendera comes not a moment too soon for Rockets General Manager Bruce Hamilton. His Rockets have not been consistent in net, and as a team have a 3.36 GAA with an .879 SV%. Bendera enters the organization sporting an 11-6-3 record with a 2.28 GAA and .918 SV%.

But a team cannot aquire a goaltender of the caliber of Shane Bendera without losing a few keys to success as well. Lost by the Rockets was former starting goalie, and the man Bendera replaces, Jason Stone. Stone, in 27 games, had posted a respectable 12-9-2 record with a 2.99 GAA and .890 S Read more »

Shawn Snider Named OHL Player of the Week

by League Press Release
on

Toronto – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Sudbury Wolves
centre Shawn Snider is the OHL Player of the Week for the week ending
Sunday
December 16, 2001 after scoring four goals and two assists for six points
in
three games.

Snider, a 20-year-old native of Fergus, recorded at least one point in
each
of three Wolves wins last week. He opened the week with a goal in a 5-3
home
ice win over the Barrie Colts on December 14. He scored the game-winning
goal and assisted on another as the Wolves defeated the Kingston
Frontenacs
5-0 in Kingston on December 15 and scored two goals, including the
game-winner, along with an assist in a 4-3 road win over the Mississauga
IceDogs on December 16.

Snider leads the Wolves with 14 goals and 24 assists for 38 points in 33
games this season.

Shawn Snider
Born: Fergus, ON, February 1, 1981
Position: Centre Shoots: Right
Ht: 5.10 Weight: 170 lbs.
Sault Ste. Marie’s 5th round selection, 102nd overall, in the 1998 OHL
Priority Selection.

Where Are They Now: Part 3?

by Joeri Loonen
on

An overview of drafted players and undrafted players with an NHL-career currently active in the Swiss league(s).

Apart from the traditional big 5 (Finland, Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia) in Europe, Switzerland has made some siginificant progress the past few years and has established themselves as a genuine A-pool country. This upbeat is not only displayed on the national team level but as well in the Swiss Leagues (National Liga A and National Liga B). There are currently around 60 players which are either drafted or have had an NHL career playing in Switzerland, most of them being North-Americans. Where exactly are they playing now and what happened to them after they crossed the pond? An overview per NHL team

Montreal Canadiens:

Paul di Pietro
Drafted 1990, 5th rnd, 102nd overall
Current team: EV Zug

Di Pietro was drafted in the 5th round and he won the Stanley Cup in his 2nd pro season. Not a bad record. Being traded to the Leafs straight from the Habs makes it all a bit more spicy. He never really was able to lock a spot on the Leafs roster though and despite a short 6-game stint with the Kings Di Pietro found himself in the minors again. In the 1997-98 season he came over to Europe and got some good money in Germany where he had a good season and drew attention of the Swiss teams. With Ambri-Piotta he had an excellent season and Di Pietro was getting big money offers from around the league. He decided to move to EV Zug. This s Read more »

New Rankings for Avalanche Prospects

by Brandon LeBourveau
on
By taking a quick look at the old rankings, one thing was clearly obvious: These rankings haven’t been updated in a while. Well, the wait is finally over. Here are the new rankings for the Top 20 prospects, as well as a little bit of a scouting report for the guys who cracked the top 10. However, before you take a look at these rankings, I just want to make one thing clear. I made these rankings from my opinions and observations of each player. Producing a Top Prospect ranking is a very difficult thing to do. If I asked five people to rank these prospects, I know for a fact I would get five very different rankings. These rankings will likely not be 100% accurate 10 years from now, so do not think that if a prospect that is ranked low and you think they should be ranked higher, it’s not the end of the world. Please leave all comments, positive or negative, at the bottom of the article. Anyway, enough of the gibberish and on to the rankings!

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Sabres Report: An Interview with Doug Janik

by Ken McKenna
on

This past summer, the Buffalo Sabres signed defensive prospect Doug Janik to his first pro contract. Janik, a 2nd round pick of the Sabres in ’99, played in the U.S. national program before attending the University of Maine for 3 years. He is currently playing for the Rochester Americans of the AHL.

I had a chance to speak with Doug following Rochester’s 12/14 game vs. Cleveland. The following is a transcript of that conversation, with “HF” representing yours truly, and “DJ” being Mr. Janik.

HF

: Tonight’s game- frustrating. For 2 periods, you guys played pretty well, but you’re down 4-1.

DJ

: Yeah, coming off last week, we hoped to have a little better effort and outcome than we had tonight, definitely. So, it’s a disappointing game for us.

HF

: The whole season’s been like that, basically- getting some chances, but not burying the puck.

DJ

: We had a lot of chances tonight; we also had some defensive breakdowns, and it’s just been kind of up and down like that all year.

HF

: Personally, how do you feel you’ve progressed so far this season?

DJ

: Not too bad. Just kind of learning as I go. The older guys and the coaches have been really good so far. I’m very appreciative of that, and I hope to just get better every day.

HF

: You played at Maine the last 3 years, right?

DJ

: Yes.

HF

: You left school early- do you think that was a good move? Was that something Buffalo wanted you to d Read more »

ICE caught looking ahead, now find themselves behind

by Jeff Bromley
on

ICE caught looking ahead, now find themselves behind

Perhaps I was erroneous in last week’s column in the statement that the ICE had yet to find any consistency after the big trade. The ICE have indeed found consistency – of the losing kind.

Barring the excuse of having arguably their two best players off at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Jarrett Stoll and Marek Svatos, the ICE haven’t played well even with the two sharpshooters in the lineup in going 1-4 in their last five games. Coincidentally the Swift Current Broncos are 5-1-0-1 since the trade and Jason Jaffray has scored 11 pts (7g, 4a)good for seventh in the WHL scoring race and seems bent on sending a message of why the ICE shouldn’t have traded the gritty forward. Some other telling stats since the trade; the club’s leading scorer, Tomas Plihal has but one goal; the club’s power-play, once the best in the league, has gone 1/24 since the deal, good for a 4 percent success rate. Now, usually five to seven games are not nearly enough to judge a major deal such as this. But one can’t help but think that the deal will be the major turning point in the ICE season – one way or the other. Right now, it’s the other . . .

While you were sleeping – Here’s the good news – Shane Bendera doesn’t play for the Red Deer Rebels any longer. Now for the bad news – the 19-yr-old Columbus BlueJacket draft pick and most recent ICE-melting nemesis was just traded to Kelowna for 19-yr-old goalie Jason Stone and a 19-yr-old high-scoring forward for the Rockets, Carsen Germyn. Kelowna, in case you’ve forgotten, is t Read more »

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