The defending Turner Cup Champion Chicago Wolves took the IHL All-Stars by surprise Monday night, shutting out the All-Stars 4-0 before 11,131 at the Allstate Arena in Chicago. It was the first ever shutout in an IHL All-Star Game.
The Wolves got on the board late in the first period, when Steve Maltais took a feed from Steve Larouche and Robert Petrovickey at 18:01 and put it past All-Star netminder Mike Fountain. That would eventually be the game-winner as the All-Stars were not able to find the back of the net.
In the second period, Chicago again struck late, this time at 16:31 with a goal from Guy Larose. Also in the second, Wolves netminder Rick DiPietro made his return to the Wolves lineup, posting 10 saves on 10 shots. His efforts helped him earn the Bud Light Rising Star Award, which is annually awarded to the player who is making his first appearance at an IHL All-Star Game and contributes best to his team’s efforts.
The Wolves came away with two goals in the final stanza, as Kevin Brown scored early at 4:52 on a pass from Steve Larouche. That wouldn’t be the end of it for Larouche either, as he added his third point of the night, a goal, at 11:30 of the period. Maltais assisted on that goal, giving him the all-time lead in IHL All-Star scoring. With eight All-Star appearances, Maltais now has six goals and six assists. He passes Stan Drulia who had previously held the top spot with 11 points on 3 goals and 8 asssits. Maltais’ six goals also tie him for the most goals in IHL All-Star history.
With three points o Read more »
Donald Choukalos is backstopping his way to a career year as the starting goaltender for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. With 39 games under his belt, he’s posted a respectable 3.44 GAA and 2 shutouts. Choukalos admits he got off to a bit of a slow start to this season, but part of that has to be attributed to the team he had in front of him. With the recent additions the Regina Pats have made to bolster their lineup in anticipation of hosting the Memorial Cup this year, and with Choukalos’ own continuing development, he is positioned to have a golden opportunity to really shine in this major tournament and get his stock soaring as he battles to move his way up the Bruins depth chart in the nets.
Choukalos was the Bruins sixth choice, picked 179th overall in the 1999 draft. When asked for the highlight of his career so far, he didn’t need to think long before answering “just getting drafted.” In a way it was a bit of a surprise choice on the Bruins part in that they had just drafted OHL goaltender Seamus Kotyk with their previous pick and had drafted Andrew Raycroft the year before. Choukalos said he didn’t know that the Bruins were seriously interested in him, “they only talked to me once the day before the draft.” Perhaps it would have been just a little more of a dream come true if he had followed former Calgary Hitman teammate Brent Krahn to getting drafted by the Flames since he was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. It isn’t in the fates though for an NHL hopeful to always be able to play for the team he grew up chearing though.
Chouk Read more »
Edmonton prospect Jani Rita played surprisingly good.
Eight goals in the tournament gives a big boost to his
confidence. Rita has 2+2 in 3 games for Jokerit after
the WJC. Before the tournament he had 5 points in
2001 eligibles Tuomo Ruutu and Mikko Koivu
were centering two top lines. These two players are considered the future leaders of Finnish hockey. Another 2001 eligible forward Tuomas Pihlman wasn’t able to get any points, but he isn’t supposed to be a scorer.
Ville Hämäläinen was the biggest surprise. Second line
winger had a very good tournament. Hämäläinen had 7 points in seven games. Hämäläinen is still undrafted, but he might get picked in next draft.
Another Edmonton prospect Tony Salmelainen missed
last season with injuries. Salmelainen is a small player, but he really has good speed. He was third in team’s scoring.
Tuukka Mäntylä (5 points +8) took the leading role
in defense. Mäntylä hasn’t been drafted yet, mainly
because of his size (5’9). Mäntylä is good with the
puck and is also good skater. Mäntyla was selected to
play for Team Finland in Swedish Hockey Games.
Arto Tukio’s injury during team’s carting session
really hurt Finnish defense. Markku Paukkanen
was able to step up. He had two points and was a +7
in the tournament.
Ari Ahonen had a good tournament. He outgoaled
Maxim Oullette in the semifinal game. In the finals he
let in two goals, but he can’t be blamed for them.
The Devils wanted Ahonen to play for Albany this
season but he stayed in Finland. He should Read more »
Maxime Ouellet has continued to shine after his early season demotion from the Flyers to Rouyn-Noranda. Apart from a rough outing against Finland
in the WJC semi-finals, he also had another strong WJC tournament. Max’s most notable accomplishment at the WJC was outplaying Rick DiPietro head-to-head when Canada met up with the USA in the medal round
quarterfinals. Given Ouellet’s excellent play this season and the struggles of Brian Boucher, Ouellet may figure into the Flyers NHL goaltending picture
as soon as next year; although a season in the AHL would probably be the optimal plan for the young keeper.
Jason Beckett has had a rock solid rookie season for the Philadelphia Phantoms. He shows a lot of maturity and poise for a first year pro. Beckett
is an aggressive defender, yet he is rarely caught out of position. To date, he is the Plus/Minus leader on the Phantoms, sporting a +11 for a .500
Antero Niittymäki had his work cut out for him before this season. He had to try to top his sensational rookie campaign for TPS Turku. Unfortunately, he has not been able to do so. Niittymaki has split time in goal with Fredrik
Norrena and Norrena has, on the whole, been the more consistent performer. That’s not to say that Niittymäki has had a bad season, however. While
Niittymäki has let in a few bad goals and been beaten at some inopportune moments, it’s unfair to classify any goalie with a 2.02 GAA and .924 save percentage in 17 games as a failure. If Niittymäki has h Read more »
Volchenkov was arguably Russia’s top defenseman. Even though the entire Russian squad was a predictable disapointment, he played pretty decently finishing with 4 assists in 7 games. He is a good two-way player and will surely be in North America soon.
Sainomaa played for the Silver-medal winning Finnish team that was the surpirse of the tournament. He was a role-player and didn’t get much ice time, but displayed good speed and two-way prowess in his limited appearences. Finished the tourney with 2 assists in 7 games and surely needs some refining in both Finland and Grand Rapids before he hits the Sens.
Event: IHL All-Star Game
Where: Allstate Arena
City: Chicago, Illinois
Date: January 15, 2001
Time: 5:00 pm
The IHL’s annual All-Star game goes under way tomorrow afternoon at the Allstate Arena in Chicago home of the defending Turner Cup Champions Chicago Wolves. Tomorrow afternoon the defending champions Wolves take on the IHL All-Star team. You can catch all the live action by logging on at www.theihl.com for a live cybercast of all games. This year the IHL will have mic on the coaches, players benches, ref’s, players and the ref’s dressing rooms. Here at Hockeys Future we will have all the stats and a few stories from the all-star game. So log on at Hockeys Future on Tuesday for all the stories and recaps of the IHL classic. Here is a list of the starting lineups for both teams:
Goalie: Wendell Young
Defence: Glen Featherstone
Defence: Chris LiPuma
Forward: Niklas Andersson
Forward: Steve Larouche
Forward: Brian Noonan
Goalie: Mike Fountain - Grand Rapids
Defence: Travis Richards - Grand Rapids
Defence: Bubba Berenzweig - Milwaukee
Forward: Todd White - Grand Rapids
Forward: Yves Sarrault - Orlando
Forward: Mark Beaufait - Orlando
On Febuary 10, 1998 Kip Miler scored the fastest 2 goals in an All-Star game. He scored at the 3:52 mark of the first period then 18 seconds later at the 4:10 mark.
TODAY IN HOCKEY
January 14, 1922 an NHL record is set whe Read more »
Other than the dismal 99-00 season one has to look far back to when the Rangers gave their young netminders a shot at ice time in New York with the big club. Over the last couple seasons we have seen J.F.Labbe, Milan Hnilinka, Jason Labarbera, Johan Holmqvist get a shot which is negative and positive. The negative is that the must be a reason why the Mike Richters and Kirk McLeans of of the world are not playing…perhaps injury, perhaps poor performance. But this has opened the door a host of new to the NHL netminders to get that call everyone outside of the NHL dreams of… top play in the NHL.
Johan Holmqvist, a native of Tolfta, Sweden began his international journey at a young age…playing for the Swedish National Junior program against the Russian Bears, The Attacking Finns and the free wheeling Czechs. Holmqvist quickly established himself as a future NHL prospect and with the help of Christer Rockstrøm (old Rangers Scandinavian scout), the Rangers selected him with their 7th round pick in the 1997 draft. Holmqvist played well for Brynås of the Swedish Elite League earning a national title as well as 8 shutouts a 2.67 goals against in 117 matches. In his other non championship season, Johan guided Brynås to a second place finish and a participated with the National Junior Team in the 1998 World Junior Tourney.
Sweden who has produced goaltenders Pelle Lindbergh(ex.Flyers), Tommy Soderstrøm(ex.Islanders), Tommy Salo(Oilers) has been starving for a new International Hero. Holmqvist just may be it…for he knows that in his shadow fellow Read more »
The Brampton Battalion hockey club have made a bold move in their charge towards a playoff birth. Just before the 6 p.m. trade deadline on Wednesday (01/10/01), Battalion Head Coach and G.M. Stan Butler announced the acquisition of Barrie Colts veteran goaltender Brian Finley. Finley, when 100%, may be the final piece of the puzzle for an already talented Brampton club. Last years OHL Playoff MVP has been sidelined with a groin injury since early December and played in only 16 games for the Colts this season. The Sault Ste. Marie native will join his new club Thursday and may not dress for Friday’s game against the London Knights. There is no word as to when he will see his first start for Brampton. The deal also sent the Battalion Mississauga’s seventh round pick in the 2001 OHL Priority Selection and Kitchener’s fourth rounder in 2002.
In return, the Colts receive backstop David Chant, blueliner Tyler Hanchuck and pivot Matt Grennier. Chant, Hanchuck and Grennier are all expected to join the Colts for this weekend’s trio of games starting Friday night in Sudbury.
Finley’s OHL experience should be a great asset in the development of up-and-coming keeper Brad Topping. Look for Topping to take on the starting position until Finley returns from his groin injury. On paper, Brampton has one of the best looking teams in the league. Two top 10 picks in the 2000 NHL entry draft (D-Rostislav Klesla, COLM 4th / LW-Raffi Torres, NYI 5th) and two of the top 20 North American skaters projected in 2001 (D-Jay Harrison, 7th / C-Jay McClement, 20th). Read more »
Name: Jeff Whitfield
Team: Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHA)
Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Weight: 200 lbs
Many of you may remember a feature that I did around mid-October about
young defenseman Jeff Whitfield of the Soo Thunderbirds. Well, I’m back
to give you a report on his progress since then.
Whitfield has shown some steady improvement since the start of the
season, especially in the last month or so. The improvement has come
more in his defensive game than his offensive game, but both have
I believe one of the reasons for the improvement in Whitfield’s play
has to be the increase in confidence shown by Thunderbird head coach Jim
Capy. Capy has been giving the young defenseman a slight increase in ice
time and he plays in many different situations. Where some coaches may
hold their youngsters on the bench during a penalty kill or in the 3rd
period of a tight game, Capy does use Whitfield in some of those
situations. That increase in ice time from Capy also helps boost the
confidence of Whitfield.
I mentioned in my previous article that Whitfield had a short fuse.
Well, he is no longer letting his temper, and opponents, get the best of
him. This has helped Whitfield in the sense that he is on the ice more
working on his skills.
Whitfield needs to improve his upper body strength, but considering he
is so young that should come with some time as he still has time to fill
out. At. 6’2″ and 200 lbs it’s scary to think that Whi Read more »
Welcome Fans. Please meet the Rangers top 30 prospects…
1. Pavel Brendl – Premier goal scorer who is a superstar in the making. Arguably the current best prospect in the NHL, Brendl flashed his talents on the World stage, leading the Czech Republic to the gold medal in the 2001 World Junior Championships with 4 goals and 6 assists in 7 games.
2. Mike Mottau – Surefire future top 3 defenseman in the NHL. Is currently rounding out his game in Hartford. An offensive-minded defenseman who loves to hit and play physical and a future power play Quarterback.
3. Jamie Lundmark – A hardworking, high-scoring center. Lundmark was traded to Seattle of the WHL early in the season and has turned that whole entire team around and now they are on their way to becoming legitimate playoff contenders. A future captain in the NHL, Lundmark plays with a lot of heart and has a great work ethic.
4. Johan Holmqvist – Although Vitali Yeremeyev has been the most surprising Rangers goalie prospect this year, the future still remains in the hands of Holmqvist. He’s only 22 and is having a very solid year in Hartford of the AHL.
5. Tomas Kloucek – Currently playing in the NHL with the Rangers, Tomas has a bright future ahead of him. A future top 4 defenseman, Kloucek plays a steady stay-at-home defensive game and very rarely makes a mistake on the ice. Brian Leetch was quoted as saying about Kloucek, “He’s going to be one heck of a hockey player.”
6. Jason Labarbera – Don’t let the numbers fool you. Labarbera has playe Read more »