The Canadian Hockey League’s Player of the Week for the week ending March 3 is forward Eric Johansson of the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League.
The CHL Player of the Month for the month of February, 2002 is forward Cory Pecker of the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League.
Johansson becomes just the second player to win the CHL Player of the Week Award twice this season. He previously win both the WHL and CHL honours on Feb. 5, joining Brad Boyes of the Erie Otters as the only player to win the awards twice. Boyes was OHL and CHL Player of the Week on Oct. 22 and Jan. 15.
Johansson had five goals and four assists for nine points in four games, all of them on the road, to beat out the other league nominees: Martin St. Pierre of the Guelph Storm of the OHL and Pierre-Marc Bouchard of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL (Offensive) and goaltender Ghyslain Rousseau of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar (Defensive).
Pecker gets the CHL Player of the Month honours as he continues to make a tremendous comeback after suffering a serious arm injury. It’s his second consecutive Molson OHL Player of the Month Award as well.
Pecker scored 13 goals and nine assists for 22 points in 10 games last month, leading the Otters to a 7-2-1-0 record. The 20-year-old Montreal native recorded points in nine of 10 January games, including a five-point game (four goals, one assist) against Ottawa on February 15. He scored the game-winning goal three times last month.
Information on all the league winners of both Player of the Week and Player of the Mo Read more»
The race for a WHL playoff spot creates teams that play desperation hockey. For about four and a half periods over the two games against the Lethbridge Hurricanes and the Kelowna Rockets, Kootenay ran into two clubs in desperation mode and it almost cost them four points. Points that’ll come in handy if Kootenay wants to open the 2002 edition of the WHL playoffs at the Cranbrook Rec./Plex.
Although secure in the fact that the Kootenay ICE have a B.C. Division playoff spot wrapped up, where exactly they will finish is still up for grabs. With only six games remaining in the regular season and the ICE seven points back of Wednesday’s visitors, the Division-leading Kamloops Blazers, first place is all but out of reach. Concentrating on keeping their ominous hold on second place, and thus home-ice advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs, is now of paramount importance. Saturday’s effort against the Hurricanes, a 2-0 loss, was only overshadowed by the effort produced by the club the next night against the Rockets. Putting Coach Ryan McGill in a precariously better mood than just twenty-four hours prior. “It’s a good thing you didn’t,” said McGill of the fact he reserved comment until after Sunday night’s game against Kelowna, a 4-2 win, a decidedly better result. “Two playoff-type games that we’ll talk about this week and the fact that teams are trying to slow us down as far as the game tempo is.
“We like to play a high-tempo game and both teams (Lethbridge and Kelowna) tried to slow the face-offs down and tonight they (the Rockets) did a good job of Read more»
The Kids are Alright
Who’d a thunk it? The Leafs went into Washington playing with two minor league defensemen and Cory Cross (who should be there given his present form) standing in for the two most experienced blueliners on the roster in Dimitry Yushkevich and Jyrki Lumme as well as Wade Belak. Then of course there was Paul Healey taking Alexander Mogilny’s spot in the line-up and Cory Schwab trying to replace Curtis Joseph (see below). Meanwhile the Caps were finally entering a game with loaded guns having all three of Jaromir Jagr, Adam Oates, and Peter Bondra in the lineup, not to mention the heart and soul of the team in Steve Konowalchuk. The latter had missed a good chunk of the season with a bum shoulder. This one looked like it had payback written all over it from two meetings earlier in the year when the situations were reversed and Toronto came away with 3 of 4 points.
However, that wasn’t the way it turned out. Backed at times by some sparkling goaltending courtesy of Schwab the three understudies held there own enough that the regulars didn’t have to scurry hither and tither trying to cover for their miscues. True, Shayne Corson et al could be seen backing up Karel Pilar when the latter pinched in from the blueline, but that’s part of the plan. In any case, what the Czech rookie was doing was no worse than what a typical night of Jyrki Lumme would hold in store. In fact on one such excursion, he nearly had his first goal, but missed trying to bank the puck in off a forest of legs in front of the net on a great pinch off the rush.
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