This is the first recap from the officially declared best European hockey league which is the Czech Extraleague. One of the teams that has a pretty good chance of winning the title is Sparta Praha. Club with an excellent backround and enough money to buy good players with very perspective future. Sparta’s roster is loaded with stars this season, their names won’t say much to North American hockey fans but in the Czech Republic they are well known.
There are players that are included on the national team’s preliminary roaster such as Jaroslav Hlinka (no relation to the Pittsburgh ex-coach Ivan Hlinka), Onderj Kratena, Michal Bros, Jan Tomajko, Radek Belohlav, Libor Zabransky, Jan Srdinko or Radek Hamr. This young force is strengthened by experienced players such as Richard Zemlicka and Petr Briza who spent most of their career in Sparta but were also the key figures in the national selection few years ago. There is also young blood in the presence of Jan Hanzlik and Tomas Netik. Then there is a Slovak player Robert Tomik who brought a lot of freshness to the team.
Let me just briefly tell you about the changes that took place during the summer in Sparta’s roster and not only in it. Sparta didn’t win the Extraleague last season and ended up second. But considering the poor performance in the course of the year it can still be seen as success. Sparta played different hockey in the play-offs then in the regular season but assumingly they didn’t play by their heart as much as the team around Jiri Dopita did (meaning Vsetin). Still being secon Read more»
Ales Hemsky seems to have re-adjusted to life back in the QMJHL, as he was named the player of the week on November 5th. Hemsky notched 4 goals and had 10 points in only 3 games during the week previous to his honor. He also posted a +4 rating, and now has 24 points in 15 games.
The Hamilton Bulldogs have gone on a nice roll, unbeaten in their last 6 games, and now sit second in the Canadian Division with an 8-4-2 record in 15 games. Marc Lamothe has 3 consecutive home shutouts, and may just be the next goalie that gets to open the gate for Tommy Salo. While Kevin Brown continues to lead the team in scoring, Jason Chimera and Brian Swanson are hot on his tail. Sven Butenschon may also find himself back in the “bigs” soon if his game continues to roll, posting 10 points in 15 games.
Boxma still haunting the ICE
B.J. Boxma doesn’t have anything left to prove against the Kootenay ICE. The Edson, Alberta native accomplished that goal last April when he backstopped his Swift Current Broncos to a seventh game Eastern Conference Semifinal win over the ICE to unceremoniously boot his former mates from last year’s playoffs.
Now the former 1996 Kootenay ICE 4th round Bantam pick would love nothing more than to make it a habit of waltzing into the Cranbrook Rec/Plex and strutting out with a win. Unfortunately for him or perhaps more fortunate for the ICE, the Broncos won’t visit the Key City due to Kootenay’s change of conference last summer. Unless of course, another playoff match-up is in the cards.
It this winning habit over the ICE becoming an obsession?
“Nah,” said a humble Boxma. “I think that the boys just wanted to win it for me. It’s probably my last game here ever and I wanted to go out with a victory. The guys played really well in front of me tonight.”
Both Boxma and his Bronco teammates played well-enough to get past a lack-luster Kootenay ICE squad 4-3 Wednesday night. But in the third period with the Broncos clinging to a one goal lead and Kootenay peppering 17 shots on the Bronco netminder, it was Boxma that ensured none of those shots hit the twine. It was Boxma’s second consecutive win following a 1-0 win over the Prince Albert Raiders and surprisingly enough, it was Boxma’s first shutout in his 102 game WHL career.
With the sun setting on his junior hockey career, his club a force to b Read more»
I bring terrible news to the Hockey’s Future family our Edmonton Oilers team Editor Kim Gernack passed away.
Known as Redtwilight on the message boards he brought a sense of common decency and mutual respect to our happy hockey-loving band of rogues. I will personally miss insight and passion for the game and the true appreciation he showed for everyone’s hard work.
I spoke to Kim late last week from his bed at the University Hospital in Edmonton and he was upbeat and looking forward to coming back to chat with his boys on the Edmonton page.
At this time I would like to pay our respects to his lovely wife Marilyn and his entire family.
Kim’s name will forever stay as the Editor of the Edmonton Oilers team page for the existence of this publication.
I would like to officially announce that the Hockey’s Future charity that is presently being built to help under privileged children play hockey will be named after Kim Gernack.
Please send all condolences to the Edmonton Oilers message board.
Asst. Managing Editor/Director of Media Relations
(HF prospect rankings are in parentheses)
Travis Roche (4) 14 GP 8-5-13 29 PIM +5
Clearly a class player in the AHL, and it’s only a matter of time before he cracks the Wild’s NHL roster permanently. Leads the AHL in defender goals, and is amongst the leaders in both defender and rookie scoring. Posted 1g 2a in his last game vs. Manitoba November 14. Turning in the sort of dominant performance needed to graduate to the next level. Was called up for one game vs. Nashville, on Halloween.
Kyle Wanvig (5) 14 GP 2-4-6 31 PIM -1
Has seen an up-and-down start to the start of his pro career. Scored has first AHL goal just 2 minutes in the Houston’s season opener. Took another 12 games and 5 weeks until he lit the lamp again vs. Manitoba Nov. 12. Offensive game is coming along a bit slower than expected, but his size and grit is holding him in good stead in the AHL game.
Derek Gustafson (7) 5 GP 3-1-1 2.38 GAA .920%