One Giant Star Overlooked
In the infamous words of Rodney Dangerfield, some guys ‘don’t get no respect.’ In the Vancouver Giants 6-5 victory last night against the Medicine Hat Tigers and their star, Jay Bouwmeester, the difference in the game was clearly the often spectacular play of netminder Don Choukalos [Chi-call-us].
After the Giants came out of the gate like gangbusters, jumping to a 3-0 lead in the opening five minutes, the thinking was that one more unanswered goal would surely put the Tigers out of contention. But things never played out that way.
To start, Coach Dragicevic had opted to start the game with Brett Jaeger, recently acquired from the Tigers on September 28th. This was Jaeger’s Giants debut. Dragicevic’s reasonable thinking was to let Jaeger face a team he was familiar with and to give Choukalos a much deserved rest.
Although young Jaeger (b. 1983) looked sharp in the warm-up — aptly displaying a very quick glove-hand and excellent up-and-down movement — his game was shaky. Unable to hold off the Tigers, while still never relinquishing the lead, Jaeger allowed four goals on only 14 chances before the mid-point of the second period.
Not the start one would suspect Jaeger had in mind, but opening night jitters clearly played a role. And considering what the Giants gave up to acquire him — their fourth round selection in the upcoming Bantam draft and their first round selection in the 2002 European draft (a selection that netted Marion Havel this year, who has three goa Read more»
“Now I know how Custer felt”, said University of Ottawa’s head coach and UNH alumni Mickey Goulet after being routed 9-1 by the University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team Friday night in Durham, NH. Coach Goulet went on to say, in no particular order, “UNH looks incredible”, They put on one hell of a clinic tonight”, and “UNH showed experience and composure”. Not exactly comments used to describe the play of UNH in the last 12 months.
UNH wasted little time in their rejection of last season. In a display as rare as a snow free New England winter, all five UNH players rushed the net to stuff a rebound. The goal was awarded to the rejuvenated Patrick Foley, who returned this season after surgery on both knees last year. UNH went on to score three more goals in the period, produced by the usual suspects, Jim Abbott, Colin Hemingway and Lanny Gare. UNH displayed excellent puck control, tape-to-tape passing, hustle, good decision making and the one thing curiously absent from last season, the ability to finish.
Goaltending, probably the biggest question mark this season was rarely tested, with Matt Carney stopping both shots on goal. Carney did however handle the puck several times and was rock solid with decision making and skill. At times, had he not played like a professional, Carney ran the risk of falling asleep due to inactivity. Michael Ayers, the second UNH goalie, played the second and third periods. He did give up one goal, but like Carney was dangerously close to losing consciousness at times due to inactivity. Ayers prov Read more»
After a long, drawn out, miserably hot and oppressive summer without hockey and no zamboni in sight, the only thing us Devils fans could do was discuss the upcoming season and speculate on what events that could possibly unfold via the message boards. Well, all of that is finally over and after an excellent training camp and pre-season, especially for the rookies and minor leaguers, there is only one thing that the Devils HF staff can do before the season gets into full swing and start filing reports about our favorite future Devils. And that is reconsider and re-rank the Devils top 20 prospects for the upcoming season. To probably no one’s surprise, there was some movement within the rankings, but nothing major nor nothing unanticipated. The largest climb in position was about 8 spots and the largest drop was 6 places, but most other movements were, on average, only one or two spots. One player graduated and one player was removed from the top twenty. Well, without further due, we would like to present the new top 20 prospects currently in the Devils organization.
1. Ari Ahonen- Goalie- River Rats, 6’2”, 172 lbs. Previous Ranking: #1
After signing a contract with the Devils last spring, Ari has completed his first training camp in New Jersey. Ari did, however, spend some time in Albany with Jacques Caron and the rest of the Rats. Although he did not receive any ice time during the pre-season for the Devils, he did have a solid camp. Ahonen will be working closely with newly hired Rats assistant coach and former Devils’ net minder Chris Terreri for the Read more»
Well, they say that first impressions count for a lot. The first time you come home with an “A” paper. That first kiss in the tree fort out in your back yard and of course the first time you witness a credulous, proficient hockey team playing in your own rink.
Fans of the Lowell Lock Monsters got just that this past weekend. They were treated to what looks like an superbly experienced hockey club.
What’s diffrent, you might ask? Almost everything is the answer. The Lowell Lock Monsters are newly affiliated with the Carolina Hurricanes. Which means a complete new team (mostly comprised of former IHL Cinncinatti Cyclones), new uniforms (incorporates the Carolina look) a new head coach,assistant coach,trainer, front office staff..so on and so forth. Most noticible though, is a new winning attitude.
Games played this week featured division rivals Manchester Monarchs and long time foes St. John Leafs.
Lowell 6 Manchester 3
Home town hero Greg Koehler opened the scoring, taking a pretty dish from between the net from Mike Zigomanis, with a one-timer in front at 6:38. Lowell and Manchester both played with a lot of pep but Lowell seemed to get the breaks when they were needed.
Manchester scored 55 seconds apart on tallies by Jerred Smithson and Eric Healey to go up 2-1.
Newly appointed captain Byron Ritchie would put Lowell ahead. Ritchie scored the final two goals of the period, including a shorthanded tally with 10 seconds left that deflected off the stick of Tomas Zizka and between Fiset’s pads.
Ritchie’s fir Read more»