Goaltenders get their due
Goaltenders finally got some recognition this week for the Albany River Rats. Not that they have not played well to date, but the team’s record (one win in the first 17 games going into this week) overshadowed the performance between the pipes.
This past week, though, Devils’ prospects Ari Ahonen and Jean-Francois Damphousse both got some notice in the press. Ahonen got his first professional victory in the American Hockey League, as he stopped 38 of 39 shots on Saturday, November 24, 2001 as the River Rats beat the Rochester Americans, 3-1. It was only the second victory in the campaign through 20 games. Ahonen earned “third star” for his efforts.
J.F. Damphousse got his first start in the NHL. Though he took a loss, as the Devils were unable to score against Tampa Bay’s Khabibulin, Damphousse made 20 saves on 22 shots. One of the goals was a power play marker; the other was a rebound shot. Media reports gave Damphousse favorable grades for his NHL debut. He was credited with showing “poise”, a term that certainly reflected his AHL performance the past several seasons as he played in front of a weak Albany defense (judged historically).
Damphousse, the Devils’ 1st choice (24th overall) in the 1997 entry draft, hopes for a few more starts with the Devils, sandwiched in between Martin Brodeur’s assignments. If he does not get another start soon, he will probably be sent back to Albany, where he has split time with Ari Ahonen and Scott Clemmensen. All three are promising prospects, though Read more»
Wheeling center Chris Wells is the InGlasCo Player of the Week.
The 6-6 and 230-pound Wells scored three goals and five points while helping Wheeling score five points in three games and even its record at 8-8-1. The 26-year-old Wells scored the game-winning goal in Wheeling’s 3-2 win against Northern Conference leader Trenton on Thursday. He came back the following night and scored a pair of goals, including the game winner, and had an assist as the Nailers won 5-3 at Johnstown. He closed out the week with an assist in Wheeling’s 3-2 shootout loss against Cincinnati on Saturday. On behalf of Chris Wells, a case of pucks will be donated to a Wheeling area youth hockey organization by InGlasco, the official puck supplier of the ECHL.
Augusta’s Gregg Naumenko is the ECHL Goalie of the Week
Naumenko, who was assigned to the Lynx by Anaheim of the National Hockey League on Friday, was 3-0-0 with a 1.93 goals against average and a .935 save percentage while starting three games in three days.
The 24-year-old Naumenko made 31 saves in a 4-3 win against South Carolina on Friday and came back the following night to make 27 saves in a 3-1 win at Greenville. The Chicago native closed out his weekend with 29 saves in a 3-2 win against Southern Conference leader Pee Dee, ending the Pride’s win streak at eight games.
TEAM NOTES :
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Patrick Roy’s Olympic Meddle
The Canadian Olympic men’s hockey team was dealt a blow when Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche announced that he would not be participating in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, choosing instead to focus on the NHL season and the playoffs in the spring. The announcement came as a bit of a shock to the hockey world, but upon further examination it is not really much of a surprise when you consider the sum of the parts that make up the most successful goaltender in NHL history.
There are a few things you quickly notice about Patrick Roy as you watch him. First is his immense talent. The guy really knows how to stop a puck. He has combined lightning quick reflexes with an uncanny ability to out think a shooter to become a wall in goal. He has taken advantage of every technology change possible to keep his game at a level that few have ever managed to attain. He uses his over-sized equipment to cover as much of the net as humanly possible and makes the shooter fire at targets that aren’t there. It’s hard to believe that his six foot, one hundred and ninety pound frame, can be so intimidating to NHL snipers, but when you add on the largest pads in the game it becomes clear as to a portion of where his success stems. When you combine these features together you have a package that is the most successful goaltender that has played the game.
The second thing you notice about Patrick Roy is his competitive spirit. He hates to lose. You don’t put together the numbers he has without having the desire to go ou Read more»
Ahhh, no matter what league we’re referring to, whether it be the NHL, AHL, CHL, NCAA, the leagues throughout Europe, and all those many leagues in between, there’s always a curiosity for every true fan as to what new faces will establish themselves into household names through the course of the season. Let me get more specific considering that *new faces* can also include older, experienced players that are just new to that respective league. What I’m focusing on are the kids…the rookies…the first year players. Every year there are high expectations for kids who often crumble under the pressure. Then again, every year sees its share of kids that seem to come out of nowhere to become shooting stars. In the international realm, these types of kids often become the targets of NHL scouts who are looking to bolster the depth, and hopefully, the successfulness of their franchise by taking a flyer. This type of exuberance and the joy of discovering talent is something that, for the most part, takes place all over the hockey world, but I’d like to inform y’all about a league where this exuberance and the joy of discovering talent is all the rage at this very moment. Yep folks, there’s the DEL in Germany – a league that has pretty much become a second home for many IHL, AHL and even NHL veterans who have gotten up there in age and are looking for a last hurrah (and a few extra pennies along the way). However, this trend has been changing recently and young German born talent has been getting the chance to prove themselves as good and as profitable as the many Nor Read more»