The Spokane Chiefs have bolted from the starting blocks and it looks like they’ll be a tough lot to handle. With a rock solid defence, a skilled and gritty group up front as well as a pleasant surprise in the play of Barry Brust between the pipes. Many a hockey forum saw Spokane fans calling for management to bolster the goaltending, however Chief management appears to have known what they were doing as Brust has been solid. They’ll need for him to be continue his solid play as the Chiefs are currently holding onto a slim one point edge with fourteen points from a 7-1 start over the Portland WinterHawks thirteen points from a 6-2-0-1 record.
Led up front by a group of skilled and hardworking forwards, the Chiefs bring their lunch buckets to every game. Skilled forwards Jeff Lucky, Tim Krymusa, seventeen year old Brad Schell, Mason Wallin and Matt Keith all share in the Chiefs scoring depth, however none take a night off when it comes to their defensive duties either. Brandon Cote is a rock solid defensive forward who brings a lot of leadership and heart to the chiefs line up while others like Joff Kohler, Jevon Desautels and Justin Keller play solid two way hockey. The Chiefs have a waft of young forwards on the roster as well, which bodes well for the future. Also, the Chiefs should be getting second year winger/centre Barry Horman, who should add some more depth to the Chiefs current crop of forwards. Ganchar has the entire group playing solid two way hockey and all I can say is, “it must be fun to play up front on a team as strong on the back end as the Chi Read more»
Kamloops was expected to be strong this season two seasons, but such is the nature of major junior hockey. The patience shown by management during those seasons, allowing the young guns to gain experience, sees it paying off early this season as the Kamloops Blazers currently hold the top spot in the division with a 7-1 record good for fourteen points. While the Prince George Cougars, who have played two more games, are only two points in arrears with twelve points from a 5-3-1-1 record (the extra “1” coming from an overtime loss for those not familiar with the WHL’s points format). The Blazers have compiled there record against all sub five hundred hockey clubs, except for their lone loss, which came at the hands of a Lethbridge Hurricanes hockey club that invaded Kamloops with a six game win streak and left with the streak at seven.
The Blazers are about to test their mettle however, as starting Friday night in Saskatoon against the hometown Blades, the Blazers will play six games in nine nights on their longest road trip of the season. While most of the eastern clubs are sub-five hundred, the six game in nine nights will take it’s toll, with the biggest test likely to come at the end of the trip against the high flying Swift Current Broncos. The Blazers leave with some positive signs emerging from the last three games played however, as they cut down their shots allowed by an average of about ten per game, going from just over thirty five shots a night to about twenty five. Kamloops has the ability to come at teams in waves with the offensive fire power they b Read more»
What’s wrong with the Penguins? They lost 3 games since my last report and are now 0-4-0-0. Let’s see what happens game by game.
Saturday, October 6th, Anaheim Mighty Ducks VS Pittsburgh Penguins: The Pens played well against Kariya and the Ducks. The difference in this game was simply in front of the net. Shields played like a #1 goalie and Hedberg showed why he stayed in the minors for a long time. Matt Cullen scored twice in the first period and Jason York completes the score for the “Mad” Ducks. Then, Kraft scored his first of the season with a good wrist shot, and in the third period Lacouture showed his impressive speed when he scored on a breakaway. After that, The Penguins were inspired and really cracked the Duck’s defense. But guess what happens, Johan Hedberg ruins all the hopes of the Pens with a really really bad move on a 2 on 1. Ducks 4-Penguins 2.
Wednesday, October 10, New-York Islanders VS Pittsburgh Penguins : The new Islanders were in town to play the Penguins to achieve a 3 game winning-streak. After 2 losses, “The Moose” was benched and “Seabass” got a chance to show what he can do. Hard to believe but Pittsburgh was out shot a 3rd consecutive time on a 3rd consecutive loss. The “Arbitration line” scored three times in the second period and the Pens looked that they found the way of the victory. But the Islanders were not down yet and applied more and more pressure against the young defense. First, Mike Wilson put himself out of position in the second period and Jason Blake scored on a 2 on 1. After, Peca scored a powerplay go Read more»
The Calder Corner
Heatley: 1 Assist, +1, 2 Shots
Kovalchuk: 1 goal (2), +1, 5 Shots
Tjarnqvist: 1 Assist, +2
Klesla: 1 Goal, -2, 1 Shot
Huselius: 1 Goal (2), +1, 2 Shots
Arkhipov: 1 Assist, -1, 1 Shot
Petersen: Hat Trick, 7 Shots, +1
Kolanos: 1 Assist
Bradley: 1 Assist, +1, 2 Shots
Jillson: 1 Assist, +1, 2 Shots
As a general rule, I will always list goals and assists and other noteworthy stats. If there is more to be noted, HF encourages our readers to talk about them below!
In sports, the schedule is often your best friend one week and your nemesis the next.
For the Ottawa 67’s, they’ve already experienced the friendly aspect with a well-spaced schedule of games while the team tried to gel as a unit. The real test in just on the horizon though, with a total of four games this week and three of those on consecutive days.
“We’ve had a pretty light schedule, as far as workload is concerned,” says defenceman Carter Trevisani. “This is really kicking our season off and it’s going to be tough.”
The 67’s will travel to Kingston to face the Frontenacs on Tuesday and then have a short break until the busy weekend. Friday is a home game against the Sarnia Sting, and then the 67’s will hit the road again to play the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors on Saturday and Don Cherry’s Mississauga Ice Dogs on Sunday.
Though the Sarnia Sting are the only opponent playing above .500 hockey this season, 67’s coach Brian Kilrea warns against taking any of the teams lightly.
“You don’t look at a team as being weak or good or bad… if you don’t come ready to play, it’s not going to matter,” says Kilrea. “You have to play well to get your points.”
Though the Frontenacs are the team the 67’s will be preparing for first, captain Zenon Konopka says the busy weekend is in the back of everyone’s mind.
“All the guys have been working out hard at the gym and this is why we do it,” he says. “These three game weekends really push your body, but we’re Read more»