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AJHL Division Finals (March 20th)

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Lloydminster 4 at St. Albert 3 (2OT)
The one that got away. That’s how the St. Albert Saints will view this game when they look back. Now, instead of being in a comfortable position before Game Two the Saints are down a game and in a must-win situation.
The game was a tough battle all night – on the ice and in the stands. A loud Lloydminster contingent cheered wildly for their club and often drowned out “Go Saints Go” chants with “Go Blazers Go.” They also sarcastically chanted Saints forward Jeebo Manah’s name all night and whenever their team scored they erupted into Garry Glitter’s “Rock ‘n Roll Part II”

The game was fairly even early on before St. Albert’s leading scorer in the regular season, Ron Grimard netted his second of the playoffs. It was a hard shot from the left faceoff circle that barely trickled through goaltender Ray Fraser’s pads and past the goal line. A couple of minutes later, Pavel Beranek scored a powerplay marker but it was decided a player was in the crease and the goal did not stand. Lloydminster then began to take over the game this period as first Paul Esdale scored a powerplay goal from the point as it deflected off of several bodies before finding the mesh behind Scott Kabotoff. Several minutes later Kyle Werner scored as he put home a rebound on a two-on-one.
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AJHL Division Finals Preview

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SERIES ‘G’ Olds Grizzlys (28-30-4) vs Calgary Canucks (50-8-4)
Season series (Canucks won 6-2): Canucks 6 at Grizzlys 4; Grizzlys 3 at Canucks 8; Grizzlys 2 at Canucks 11; Olds 6 at Canucks 3; Grizzlys 3 at Canucks 1; Canucks 4 at Grizzlys 3; Grizzlys 4 at Canucks 8; Canucks 9 at Grizzlys 4
Olds’ Last Round (Olds won 4-2): Olds 7 at Royals 6; Royals 7 at Olds 8 (OT); Olds 3 at Royals 7; Royals 6 at Olds 5 (OT); Olds 4 at Royals 3; Royals 2 at Olds 6

Canucks’ Last Round (Canucks won 4-0): Camrose 0 at Canucks 5; Canucks 4 at Camrose 3; Camrose 1 at Canucks 3; Canucks 5 at Camrose 1

Olds players to watch: F Dana Lattery had 69 points and 224 PIM in 48 games, F Ryan Melbourne and F Joel MacAuley were 2-3 in team scoring but only combined for 12 PIM in 123 games. However, although Lattery has been a premiere performer in the playoffs thus far – leading the league with 13 points – Melbourne and MacAuley have been relatively quiet with nine and six points respectively. Two players who have done very well this post-season are Colen Pappas (10 points) and Greg Davis (7 goals).
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AJHL Quarter Finals (March 18th)

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[ Exclusive 2000 Draft Eligible Player Profiles and brief Scouting Reports. Click Here!!! ]
Fort Saskatchewan 1 at Lloydminster 4 (Blazers win 4-3)
The Lloydminster Blazers came back from being down 3-2 in the AJHL best-of-seven quarterfinal to beat the Fort Saskatchewan Traders 4-3. On this night, home ice advantage would come in to play as almost 2000 fans cheered the home side on to victory.
Lloydminster’s Travis Barnes opened the scoring with four minutes remaining in the first period as he took a Mark Hallam pass and netted his second of the playoffs. Fort Saskatchewan’s Nick Boucher has been phenomenal throughout the series and was again in the first period tonight stopping 17 of 18.

With about four minutes left in the second period, Hallam scored one of his own – his third of the post-season – assisted by Paul Esdale to give the Blazers a more-comfortable 2-0 lead. Lloyd blew it wide open with just over a minute left as Barnes scores his second of the game, third of the playoffs to give his club a commanding 3-0 lead. Hallam assisted on the goal, his third point of the game. Boucher was very good again this period, stopping 13 shots.

Early on in the final frame Trevor Baker gave the Traders some life as he made the score 3-1. This would be Ray Fraser’s period to shine, however, as the Lloydminster goaltender stopped 14 of 15 shots directed at him. Mark Hallam scored a powerplay goal with about nine minutes remaining to ice the game and 4-1 was how it would end.

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AJHL Quarter Finals (March 16th)

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[ Exclusive 2000 Draft Eligible Player Profiles and brief Scouting Reports. Click Here!!! ]
Lloydminster 4 at Fort Saskatchewan 1
The Lloydminster Blazers will live to see another day as the stage was set for Game Seven Thursday in Lloydminster.
Paul Esdale opened the scoring for the Blazers with 34 seconds remaining in the first period. Jamie Weiss and John Davidson assisted the goal. Lloydminster’s netminder Ray Fraser stopped 11 Fort Saskatchewan shots in the period.

In the second, the Blazers put an immense amount of pressure on the Traders’ end. They ended up with 17 shots on Fort Sask goaltender Nick Boucher but were only able to dent the twine once. Scott Pratt scored his team-leading fifth of the playoffs to make it 2-0 Blazers.

In the third period, Kyle Werner extended that lead to 3-0 11 minutes in and Brandon Denham scored his first of the playoffs – on the powerplay – with two minutes remaining to ice the game.

Fort Saskatchewan’s Ryan Campbell spoiled Fraser’s shutout bid by scoring with 23 seconds left, but that was all the 1,414 fans at Jubilee Rec Centre in Fort Saskatchewan would have to cheer about on this night.

Calgary Royals 2 at Olds 6 (Grizzlys win 4-2)
The Olds Grizzlys will now have the pleasure of facing the Calgary Canucks in the AJHL semi-finals as they completed a stunning upset of the Canucks’ cross-town rivals, the Calgary Royals. Read more »

Jeff Farkas: From College to the Pros?

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You are ranked the 25th top North American skater by the Central Scouting Bureau in your NHL draft-eligible year. You are ranked the 40th top prospect by The Hockey News that same year, which would project you somewhere in the top two rounds of the NHL draft. Some scouts have even projected you into the late first round of the draft. You wait and you wait and you wait, until finally your name is called in the 3rd round, the 57th overall pick of the 1997 NHL entry draft. No one doubts your skills, but some doubt your size and your instincts. You just might have a chip on your shoulder. You might just have some real motivation to prove the “experts” wrong. Jeff Farkas, a Boston College junior and a Toronto Maple Leafs draftee in that 1997 NHL draft, has taken some big steps to “prove them wrong”.

As a college freshman, Jeff Farkas was 6-0, 162 lbs. and the oldest player in that 1997 draft. “Has great skills, great speed, but is simply not big enough or strong enough to be an effective one-on-one player in the NHL. He is fast, but too fast, as he doesn’t use his speed effectively within the flow of team play. His speed is faster than his mind can work,” said those scouts in 1997. “He’s a project at best”, said others. There is a good chance that the Toronto Maple Leafs will someday soon be happy with that project they took on.
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Montreal Canadiens Top junior Prospects Update

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POS HT WT AGE DRAFTED
Jose Theodore G 5-10 180 20 D-Mtl94 (2/44)

GP W L T Avg Sv%
98-99 Stats 21 10 9 2 2.49 .927 (AHL)
98-99 Stats 13 3 10 0 3.35 .887 (NHL)

#1 Strength- Winner’s attitude.
#1 Weakness- Inconsistency.
With the trade of Thibeault and the arrival of Hackett, Theodore was surprised and angered by his demotion to Fredericton. The main reason for his demotion was his inconsistent play. He has recently come to accept his demotion and was recently named the AHL’s player of the week. Barring injury, Theodore is guaranteed a large workload down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Theodore finished the week 1-0-1, with a GAA of 3.00. He stopped 36 shots in a 4-4 tie with Portland, and stopped 30 shots in an 8-2 thrashing of St.John’s. (Week ending 3/13/99)

Projection at NHL level- Star.
Current Stock Status- On the rise.

POS HT WT AGE DRAFTED
Mathieu Garon G 6-1 175 21 D-Mtl96(2/44)

GP W L T AVG Sav%
98-99 Stats 34 10 21 1 3.21 .897 (AHL)

#1 Strength- Lateral Movement.
#1 Weakness- Goes down too early. Read more »

Buccaneers Breeze to Anderson Cup

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Three wins by Des Moines over the weekend clinch regular season title
The Des Moines Buccaneers took their first step to a National Championship over the weekend by clinching the Anderson Cup for winning the regular season title. The wins also assured them a place in the upcoming Gold Cup playoffs for the National Junior Hockey Championship.

The weekend started at home for Des Moines with a 6-1 win against the North Iowa Huskies. The Buccaneers Peter Sejna figured in on 5 of the 6 Des Moines goals with one assist and 4 goals, one of which came on the power play. The Buccaneers then traveled the 103 miles North to Waterloo and finished clinching the cup with an easy 7-3 win against the Waterloo Black Hawks. Kelly Miller got the game-winning goal while Jerrid Reinholz, Pete Fregoe, and KC Caudill each added 2 goals apiece. Des Moines then added another 5-4 win against North Iowa, this time coming in Mason City.
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AJHL Quarter Finals (March 14th)

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[ Exclusive 2000 Draft Eligible Player Profiles and brief Scouting Reports. Click Here!!! ]
Fort Saskatchewan 4 at Lloydminster 3
The Fort Saskatchewan Traders regained home ice advantage Sunday night with a 4-3 victory over the Lloydminster Blazers in Lloydminster.
John Findlay opened the scoring for the Traders 3:14 in on an unassisted, even strength goal. Kyle Werner tied it up for the home side only minutes later, however, as he scored his first of the playoffs. In the second, AJHL MVP Matt Gorman gave the Traders their second lead of the game on the powerplay assisted by John Findlay. Dan Gilbertson then made it 3-1 for the Fort with 2:15 to go in the period.

In the third, Mark Hallam brought the Blazers to within one with his second of the post season only 1:19 in, but the Traders regained their two goal advantage as Brent Popadych netted his first of the playoffs. A couple minutes later Paul Esdale made it close once again for Lloyd, but it was as close as they were going to get on this night.

Fort Saskatchewan goaltender Nick Boucher was phenomenal once again. He stopped 13 of 14 shots in the first, all 17 he faced in the second and 17 of 19 in the third. His counterpart Ray Fraser wasn’t as busy, facing seven, six and 10 shots in the three periods respectively.

Calgary 5 at Camrose 1 (Canucks win 4-0)
The Calgary Canucks became the second team to advance into the AJHL semi-finals and will play the winner of the Calgary Royals-Olds Grizzlys series. Read more »

AJHL Quarter Finals (March 13th)

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[ Exclusive 2000 Draft Eligible Player Profiles and brief Scouting Reports. Click Here!!! ]
Olds 4 at Calgary Royals 3
The Olds Grizzlys, heavy underdogs heading into the series, moved one step closer to the biggest upset of the AJHL playoffs in the past several years.
Unlike the previous four games, the bulk of the scoring in this one took place in the early going. Midway through the opening period, Craig Bezjack scored for the Grizzlys to make it 1-0. The assists went to Tyler Brosz and Mike Gerstenbuhler, who is eligible for this year’s draft and recorded his first point of the post-season. Just over a minute after the Olds goal, Ben Knopp tied the game up on the powerplay for the Royals and three minutes after that Krys Kolanos scored an even-strength tally. Both goals were assisted by David Evans, who increased his playoff point total to 8 points. Colen Pappas tied the game up before the period would end as he scored a shorthanded goal at the 15:27 mark.

In the second period, Greg Davis gave the Grizzlys the lead on the powerplay 8:22 in. However, Calgary didn’t take long to tie it up as Ben Knopp, who has been having a terrific playoff thus far, scored a goal assisted by Scooter Smith and Krys Kolanos to knot the game at three. Under a minute later, Tyler Brosz scored what would turn out to be the winner, assisted by Ryan Watson and Joel Macauley.
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Chocolate Factory: The Beginning

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Hershey Kisses line the light poles as you drive through Hershey. No matter where you turn, there always seems to be something to remind you of the tastiness of anything “Hershey” made. Be it the chocolate they produce or the park and museum they run, the company always seems to present quality products to the public. Their factory produces some of the best chocolate one can buy and probably one of the biggest selections one can find. Goes to show you that Hershey knows how to create a tasty “treat”, but when it comes to hockey the treats can taste even sweeter.

Located between Hershey Park and the Hershey Museum, Hersheypark Arena sits and has done so for many years. It is a relic to most, being that it is the oldest arena in the AHL not to mention, on most days, it houses two outstanding “treasures” inside of the arena, the Hershey Bears and the arena’s zamboni driver. Zamboni driver? Yes, Hersheypark currently employs the longest working zamboni driver in hockey and like him the Bears are a priceless treasure to enjoy.
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