Rookie centre Chris Thorburn of the North Bay Centennials just completed his first season in the OHL. I had the opportunity to sit down with him and ask him a few questions.
Hockey’s Future: What are your thoughts on your rookie season?
Chris Thorburn: “It was a pretty good experience. The guys that I was with showed me the ropes. They took care of me. As a rookie going in I thought there would be a lot of hazing, a lot of peer pressure but I was proven wrong. On the ice I wasn’t too happy with my points overall but I thought I did have a good season progressively. At the beginning of the season I didn’t get too much ice time but throughout the season when the injuries came around I started to get a little more so, overall, I enjoyed my first year.”
HF: What are your thoughts on how the Centennials season finished up?
Thorburn: “Team wise, I think we did better than we expected, especially in the playoffs. We took Barrie to 6 (games). I was very pleased with the outcome and I’m hoping next year we can make a run with 15 returnees, possibly 18.”
HF: What do you think about the Centennials future in the next couple of seasons?
Thorburn: “Like I said, next year we’ve got 15 returnees for sure, possibly 18 depending on what our o/a’s (overagers) decide to do, but next year we’re supposed to make a run in the playoffs, so hopefully we can achieve that and maybe even go to a Memorial Cup in the next few years.”
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Long Beach goalie Nikolai Khabibulin was suspended by the IHL Thursday April 27, for spearing a fan after a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Wolves.
The fan was standing along the rail on the side of the tunnel area as the teams headed for their dressing rooms. Officers interviewed Khabibulin
in the Long Beach coach’s office and said he admitted striking the fan with his stick. Khabibulin told police he saw something in the fan’s hand
and was defending himself. Gary Como an IHL official who saw the whole incident, told police he did not see any object thrown in Khabibulin’s
direction from the fan.The fan sustained a minor injury to his right inner thigh and refused medical treatment.
IHL PLAYOFF RECAPS FOR SUNDAY APRIL 30, 2000
Grand Rapids Griffins 4
Cleveland Lumberjacks 3 (overtime)
Grand Rapids leads series 2 games to 1 game.
IHL PLAYOFF RECAPS FROM SATURDAY APRIL 29, 2000
Lane Lambert scored 2:10 into overtime and Frederic Chabot turned away 25 shots to register his second straight shutout as the Houston Aeros
Utah Grizzlies 0
Houston Aeros 1
Houston leads series 2 games to 1 game
edged the Utah Grizzlies, 1-0, to take a two games to one lead in their playoff series. Lambert was assisted by Mark Lamb and Dave Hymovitz on Read more »
Brian Kilrea, affectionately called ‘Killer’ by some, is the Head Coach and GM of the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s. Kilrea, has just finished his 25th season behind the bench with the club, and in the high pressure world of junior hockey, that qualifies him for Gordie Howe status in terms of longevity. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Coach Kilrea following his team’s demise in a tough six game series vs the Belleville Bulls.
Hockey’s Future: Outside of the fact that you failed to defend your Memorial Cup how was the Ottawa 67’s year?
Brian Kilrea: We had a good team but we’re a bit snakebit in the playoffs with injuries. Belleville, at that time, were the better team.
HF: Did any players take a big step forward?
BK: Biggest step forward would have to have been our goaltender, Levente Szuper. His overall game jumped to a new level and became a difference-maker for us
HF: Try to define the following players on your team by matching them up with the NHLer their style is closest to:
Dan Tessier – Peter Zezel. Great on face-offs.
Joe Talbot – Keith Acton. Pesky, in your face type player.
Jonathon Zion – Phil Housely. Smooth handling the puck.
Lance Galbraith – Wendel Clark. A battler, never say die attitude.
Miguel Delisle – Has the release to be a Mike Bossy type-sniper
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POS HT/WT DOB DRAFTED
Marc-Andre Thinel (F) 5'11"/170Lbs. March 24/80 D-Mtl99(5/145)
GP G A PTS +- PIM PPG SHG
1999-00 Victoriaville 71 59 73 132 +2 55 19 2
- Offensive prowess
Thinel averaged 1.86 points per game for the season. Up from last years mark of 1.58 points per game. Marc-Andre showed more consistency this year, although he continues to fall into periodic scoring slumps. His plus/minus is very low for someone who contributes so much offensively. This stat demonstrates Thinel’s need to focus on the defensive side of his game. Something he hasn’t been able to do as Victoriaville’s “go to guy” offensively.
Thinel was named the QMJHL’s offensive player of the week on 2 different occasions this season. He scored 5 points in a game 5 different times, and he registered 4 points in a game 8 times. Marc-Andre also had and amazing 18 game point scoring streak which lasted January 30th through March 11th. Nobody in the Canadiens’ organization doubts Thinel’s offensive abilities. What is questioned is his ability to play both ends of the ice surface, as well as his size and strength. Only time will tell with Thinel.
-Anywhere from second line player to career AHLer.
Current Stock Status- On the rise.
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Hitmen on the Ropes
In the land of make-believe and movies, rarely does the sequel ever live up to the billing of the original blockbuster or the hype of the ensuing
drama posed by the second installment of a hit. If the first four games of ICE/Hitmen II – The WHL Freezes Over, are any indication, somebody
should call Hollywood because we’ve got a genuine hit on our hands.
After gaining a well-deserved split of the first two games of the series in Calgary, thus gaining home-ice advantage away from the Hitmen, the
series shifted back to the cozy, hostile confines of the Memorial Arena. Needless to say, more than 10.000 fans in the Canadian Airlines
Saddledome does not compare to 1703 fans jam-packed into the ‘Silverdome’. No, it does not compare in the obvious shear numbers advantage
enjoyed by the Hitmen faithful in the Saddledome. No, it does not compare with the comfortable seats, $5 beverages and popcorn and a
Jumbotron that tells you when you can cheer. Where it also doesn’t compare is it’s sheer ability to add another dimension to the home team’s
effort against the opponent.
Consecutive sellouts of 1703 screaming faithful (ok, hands up everybody who thinks that just 1703 were crammed into the joint on both nights.
Mr. Fire Chief you can put your hand down) were on hand to witness what was in all likelihood the two most exciting games seen in these parts Read more »
Game 1 – SWEDEN BASH LOUSY SWISS
Switzerland got of to a good start in front of the home crowd. Sweden got an early opening goal through power play by Jungbeck, but the hosts reacted quickly! Monnet notched the first Swiss goal in these championships just 2 minutes later. From then on the home team was closer to the lead than their Nordic opponents.
But Martin Samuelsson had something against these annoying Swiss and recorded a shorthander at beginning of the 2nd. The game turned to Swedens favour and the Swiss started to make everything wrong one possibly can: defenders didn’t move up, forwards forgot to backcheck, bad passing, orientation problems in own slot or just pure lack of concentration! Two quick goals in the 6th minute sealed their fate and gave Sweden a comfortable win!
Luckily the Swiss will face the inferior Ukrainians (18-1 loss against Russia in opener) tomorrow. Hopefully it will bring back the spirit and put the team back on track.
SWITZERLAND 2 - SWEDEN 8
1st 2nd 3rd TOTAL
Switzerland 1 0 1 2
Sweden 1 5 2 8
Scoring: 1, SWE, A Jungbeck (power play) (M Hedlund, P Andersson), 1:00. 2, SUI, T Monnet (S Helfenstein), 2:48.
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Montreal Canadiens’ Prospects
1999-2000 Year-End Review
Class of ’98
POS HT/WT DOB DRAFTED
Eric Chouinard (c) 6'4"/192 Lbs. July 8/80 D-Mtl98(1/16)
GP G A PTS +- PIM PPG SHG
99-00(final)Quebec 50 57 47 104 +23 105 16 6
- Scoring ability
#1 Weakness- Doesn’t use size
Chouinard was unable to match his point total of last year. But, he
finished the season with an average of 2.08 points per game. Up from
1.76 the year before. Eric had a 25 game point scoring streak October
12th through December 11th. The streak ended when
Eric went to the Canadian World Junior Team evaluation camp. He returned
after the tournament to add 3 more games to the streak. Chouinard’s play
at the world tournament was less than stellar. Although he scored 3
goals, he was unable to register an assist, and finished the tournament
-1. He proved to be a defensive liability and was not used in any key
Chouinard was twice named the QMJHL’s player of the week, and was
once named player of the month. He scored 4 goals on 3 different Read more »
PLYMOUTH, MI-Even the most passive hockey watcher knows that it’s not good to give the opposition nine power play opportunities-in one game.
But that’s what the Soo Greyhounds did in their third-round Western Conference series opener against the Plymouth Whalers at Compuware Sports Arena last Saturday night, falling to the Whalers 4-1 before 2,987.
The gloves were dropping in this Ontario Hockey League contest and the penalty box door was constantly swinging open-especially Soo’s. But, was referee Dean Morton calling this one a little one-sided in favor of Plymouth?
“No, I don’t think so,” said Greyhounds head coach Paul Theriault. “We only had one full power play half way through the game, but I’m not going to question the job the officials did. It’s a good crew.”
Theriault did say, however, that he expects his team to win and play a bit more disciplined than their Game One showing.
The first period was even, in terms of the score. The Greyhounds got on the board first with a goal more than halfway through the first period. Chad Spurr, one of the team’s top scorers, notched a goal at 13:58 to make it 1-0. Then, the boxing matches broke out. Read more »
The Los Angeles Kings season has to be regarded as a big step forward. The Kings posted one of their highest point totals in their history and developed two solid scoring lines and two effective defensive lines. Rob Blake had an outstanding season and the Kings played well despite some shaky goaltending. Then the Kings seemingly erased all those positives by relying on one scoring line and going 0 for the playoffs on the power play. So where do the Kings go from here?
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Hello and welcome to the latest Washington Capitals Prospect Update. Today I will give you
up-to-date playoff statistics on all of the players on the top 50 list as well as their final
regular season stats.
In what has to be described as an incredible disappointment, both the Capitals and the AHL
Portland Pirates suffered first-round upsets in the playoffs this season. The Capitals won their
division and finished second in the Eastern Conference, but were beaten by the seventh seeded
Pittsburgh Penguins in five games. Portland finished second in their division and third overall
but lost to the Worcester IceCats three games to one.
Not all is lost for the Capitals prospects, however. There are four players still alive in
post-season play. Scott Swanson and Houston (IHL) start their playoffs tonight, while in the WHL
- Calgary (Kris Beech & Rastislav Stana) and Spokane (Roman Tvrdon) are currently playing in
separate semi-final matches. The ECHL’s Hampton Roads Admirals lost their best-of-five
quarterfinal to Trenton last night, 3 games to 2.
Misc. Notes: Three players on the top 50 list missed the post-season, all due to injury:
Forwards Miika Elomo (shoulder) and Trevor Halverson (concussion) as well as Defenseman Alexei
Tezikov (broken foot). Forward Kris Beech suffered a broken finger early on in Calgary’s playoff
run, but should be back soon. So far, only two Capitals prospects have won their league Read more »