The cold weather that swept over Scandinavia this week is the perfect
climate for looking at the Elitserien scoring race. It has never been
colder, with no one at the top averaging over a point per game.
The players who were supposed to score have either had rough seasons or have
been injured. That is the main reason that players such as veterans Ulf
Söderström of Färjestad and Mikael Wahlberg of MoDo is forming the top duo
in league scoring. Granted, they are good playmakers, but the scoring race
this season looks very pale compared to last season when Huselius was
scoring in every rink in Sweden, and Jörgen Jönsson and Mikael Renberg, now
with the Toronto Maple Leafs, battled to catch up with him.
Jörgen Jönsson, a team mate with Ulf Söderström in Färjestad, had a slow
start but is coming to life as he has now scored 28 points in 32 games. He
should be over a point per game when the season’s over. Henrik Zetterberg,
perhaps the players that most anticipated would take over the torch passed
on by Huselius has been living in a mightmare offensively in Timrå. Zetter
has scored only three goals and 14 assists in 31 games, but it seems nobody
in hockey is disappointed with his contribution. It is claimed that he has
taken a more defensive role this season, and because his team is struggling
he doesn’t get a lot of opportunities to score either. Zetterberg has had a
lot of success offensively internationally with Team Sweden – he even scored
four times in a game against the pesky Finnish team in the Sweden Hockey
Ga Read more»
FOLLOW CHL STARS AT THE WORLD JUNIOR HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS STARTING DEC. 25
Once again this year, the best junior hockey players in the world will be on
display at the World Junior Hockey Championships and therefore once again,
so will the top stars from the Canadian Hockey League.
The final roster for Canada’s National Junior Team was announced recently
and of the 22 players on the team, 21 of them are Canadian Hockey League
players. The breakdown of Team Canada: 10 players are from the Western
Hockey League, nine players are from the Ontario Hockey League, two players
are from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and there is one player from
the U.S. college ranks.
The World Junior Hockey Championship will be held from Dec. 25, 2001 to
January 4, 2002 in the Czech Republic. Numerous other CHL import players are
also participating in the event on teams from other countries.
All of Team Canada’s games from the World Junior Hockey Championship will be
broadcast live on TSN. Team Canada plays two exhibition games, Dec. 20
(against Liberec, a Czech Republic Division 1 team) and on Dec. 22 (against
Finland), before opening the World Junior Hockey Championship tournament
Christmas Day against France.
You can also follow the exploits of Team Canada at www.canadianhockey.ca,
which will contain up to date information on the WJHC throughout the event.
WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE
There are three games in the WHL Friday night. Prince George (3) plays in
Vancouver, Kelowna is at Saskatoon and Portland visits Tri-City.
2002 U.S. NATIONAL JUNIOR TEAM
29 Jason Bacashihua 6-1 165 9/20/82 Dearborn Hts.
Mich. Plymouth (OHL) (DALLAS STARS)
1 Dwight LaBrosse 6-1 170 10/6/83 McMurray,
Pa. Guelph(OHL)(2002 DRAFT ELI.)
2 Keith Ballard 5-11 200 11/26/82 Baudette,
Minn. Minnesota(WCHA)(2002 DRAFT ELI.)
31 Joey Hope 6-0 174 1/1/82 Anchorage,
Alaska Portland(WHL)(NOT SELECTED 2001 DRAFT)
8 Mike Komisarek 6-4 230 1/19/82 Islip Terrace,
N.Y. Michigan(CCHA) (MONTREAL)
26 Bryce Lampman 6-1 193 8/31/82 Rochester,
Minn. Neb.-Omaha(CCHA) (NY RANGERS)
13 Brett Lebda 5-10 186 1/15/82 Buffalo Grove,
Ill. Notre Dame(CCHA) (2002 DRAFT ELI.)
5 Erik Reitz 6-0 192 7/29/82 Plymouth,
3 Ryan Whitney 6-4 192 2/19/83 Scituate,
Mass. Boston U.(HE) (2002 DRAFT ELI.)
23 Dustin Brown 6-1 203 11/4/84 Ithaca,
N.Y. Guelph(OHL) (2003 DRAFT ELI.)
9 Ben Eaves 5-8 176 3/27/82 Faribault,
Minn. Boston College(HE) (PITTSBURGH)
18 Rob Globke 6-3 205 10/24/82 W. Bloomfield,
Mich. Notre Dame(CCHA) (2002 DRAFT ELI.)
24 Dwight Helminen 5-10 184 6/22/83 Brighton,
Mich. Michigan(CCHA)(2002 DRAFT ELI.)
21 Chris Higgins 5-9 160 6/2/83 Smithtown,
N.Y. Yale(ECAC) (2002 DRAFT ELI.)
11 Ryan Hollweg 5-11 185 4/23/83 Downey,
Calif. Medicine Hat(WHL) (NY RANGERS)
16 Gregg Johnson 5-11 183 6/18/82 Windsor,
Conn. Boston Univ.(HE) (OTTAWA SENATORS)
Contrary to popular opinion, Kootenay ICE forward Jarrett Stoll making the 2001-02 edition of the Canadian World Junior Hockey team wasn’t an automatic. Although one would be hard pressed to find the last junior national team veteran who was cut from the following year’s squad, a fait accompli it wasn’t. Still, Stoll wasn’t making any assumptions that he would be a lock whatsoever and would accept any spot available for him. “I’m excited to go and play any role,” said Stoll before the Yorkton native left for the Jr. Nat’s training camp in North York, Ontario. “There’s not very many guys that get a chance to do this so, I’ll take any role they give me, I’ll pack the bags if they want me to.”
It is sufficed to say that Kootenay’s leading point-getter last season won’t have to do any bag packing over the holidays. For the second time in as many seasons, a member of the Kootenay ICE (present or former) will wear the ‘C’ above the red Maple Leaf as captain of the National Junior team. Head Coach Stan Butler designated Stoll for the job at the Canadian Olympic team announcement on the 15th of December.
Of course as with anything to do with hockey in this country, wearing the Maple Leaf ensign on your chest, never mind the captaincy, carries with it responsibility and pressure. Responsibility to represent your country admirably and the accompanying pressures that goes along with it in the chase for gold. It’s an urgency that seems to be mounting after four years without the shiny yellow medal around their necks.
Undaunted, Stoll takes up the challenge. “I don’ Read more»
It has become something of a Christmastime tradition for the rookie 16-yr-olds of the Kootenay ICE. Adam Taylor and Andy Thompson played last year, and Dan Blackburn and Duncan Milroy played the year prior and Jarrett Stoll the year before that. This season isn’t any different as a record three members of the ICE first-year player club have been selected to represent their respective regions at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge held this year in Selkirk and Stonewall, Manitoba. Nigel Dawes (Team Western), Dale Mahovsky and Bryan Bridges (Team Pacific) will all be competing for the gold medal signifying the best 16-yr-old players on the planet the week of Dec. 29 – Jan 4.
The tournament is one of the most heavily scouted by NHL talent finders – a fact made more clear because the players at the World Junior Hockey Tournament have all, for the most part been drafted. A prospect that now makes the tournament that much more important for the NHL possibilities of the three players.
For first year goaltender Bryan Bridges, it’s a pressure that he tries not to focus on. “Yeah, but you know there’s going to be some pressure with all the media, TV and scouts,” said Bridges before the Christmas break. “I don’t know, I guess all I can do is play my best and hope the scouts like what they see.”
Dawes sees it somewhat different. For him he’ll play it almost identical to what it looks like when he’s playing at the Cranbrook Rec/Plex, that is, just have some fun. “Not really,” said Dawes of being under a microscope. “I’m sure when I get out there I’ll be a little ne Read more»