Western Hockey League
Shane Bendera – G – Kelowna Rockets
It can be said that Shane Bendera likes his new home in Kelowna. At least his stats reflect it. In the 5 games he’s started since joining the Rockets, Bendera’s posted a 1.38 GAA and an incredible .951 SV%. Bendera is hoping to impress his new bosses by leading them into the playoffs, where it is no secret that he can come up with a big game.
Ben Knopp – RW – Kamloops Blazers
Benn Knopp continues his offensive struggles since being aquired by the Blazers. Although he sits third in team scoring behind Canadian Junior members Jared Aulin and Scottie Upshall, he only has one point, a goal, in his last 4 games, and 2 goals in his last 14. His plus/minus has remained at a –16 rating. There is no reason to think that Knopps production should’ve increased on the Blazers second line, but playing in the shadow of the two previously mentioned stars may have Knopp a little green.
Kiel McLeod – C – Kelowna Rockets
McLeod has shown that he is a mark of consistency. Over the last two-three months, his production has remained exactly the same. He has netted 14 goals and has 39 points(14-25-39) in 32 games. On the Rockets, his plus/minus is second only to Jesse Ferguson(+15), with +8. His play has been that of consistency.
Tyler Sloan – D – Kamloops Blazers
Tyler Sloan has continued to develop quite nicely, and seems to have added another dimension to his game, somewhat. In his firs Read more»
Snow out west postpones game
For those who have forgotten their geography, Albany, New York is upstate, gets plenty of snow, and provides residents and visitors (when they are not at Pepsi Arena watching the River Rats) with such winter sports as snow-shoeing, down-hill and cross-country skiing and pond hockey. Area snow blower dealers usually do quite a business each season. Department of Transportation snow plow operators usually rack up some nice overtime during the winter season.
But, in its nine years in the American Hockey League as the affiliate of the New Jersey Devils, the River Rats have never had to cancel a game on account of too much snow, or excessively icy roads. Till now. On Saturday, December 29, 2001, the roads were clear and dry in Albany. There was no snow to speak of on the ground. But the situation was a bit different three hundred miles to the west. The New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) was closed west of Rochester. Buffalo, infamous for its winter weather and setting records in 1977, once again put its meteorologists on the front page. Buffalo and western New York received amounts of snow variously estimated at seven and eight feet in four days.
Meanwhile, the scheduled opponents of the Albany River Rats for the December 29 contest, the St. John’s Maple Leafs, were stranded in Hamilton, Ontario. Having played the Bulldogs at Copps Coliseum, the Maple Leafs were scheduled to bus out of Hamilton to Albany.
Efforts on Saturday to arrange a charter flight were unsuccessful and the Maple Leafs never go Read more»
When the Calgary Flames came out of the gates like gangbusters, hockey fans alike were waiting with baited breath to see if this team was for real. Fans were apprehensive, and the citizens of Calgary decided to wait out the team, to see whether or not the hot start was an anomaly or if this team had finally turned the corner.
Calgary had a tremendous October and did some of the same in November. Jarome Iginla was setting the league afire and has yet to be dethroned as NHL leading scorer. Roman Turek was a fortress and provided stability in the net the likes of which Calgary hadn’t seen for years. Derek Morris was playing a solid all around game, the young defense core was stepping up, and the acquisitions of Craig Conroy, Dean McAmmond, and Bob Boughner were paying off.
Then the team hit the toilet. Roman Turek missed a few games, but the Flames managed to hang on with solid team play. Turek also signed a contract extension and saw his game suffer for a while, but he since played admirably, but not as he started the year. On the 29th of November, Morris went down with a wrist injury of undisclosed severity. Morris was logging close to 30 minutes a game and quarterbacking a vaunted powerplay that was striking consistently in the 20% range. That was a month ago, and since then Calgary has gone 3 for 66 when on the man advantage. The penalty killing, while anemic at the start of the year, has actually gotten worse. At the time of this writing, Calgary has given up eight powerplay goals in the past five games. Morris is expected to miss anoth Read more»
Looking Back: The 1998 NHL Entry Draft
By Joy Kim, December 2001, Read more»