For what it’s worth, Game One of the WHL’s Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Kootenay ICE and the Swift Current Broncos was probably one of the most technically perfect games the ICE have played this season which showed on the scoreboard as a 7-1 shellacking by the ICE. That of course was only one win of a best of seven series and last time I looked, it took four wins to dispose of an opponent. The Kootenay ICE might have lost track of that theory for game two of the series the following evening at the Rec./Plex and it showed in a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Broncos that evened the series at a game a piece.
If the 7-1 ICE victory in Game one of the series was an exhibition of everything that can go right for a hockey club, game two was its Bizzarro equivalent on the effort scale and Kootenay ICE Head Coach Ryan McGill was none too happy about it. “From a Coach’s standpoint and I’ll know that the players will agree, we didn’t show up tonight,” said a visibly annoyed Ryan McGill. “We had a lack of respect for B.J. Boxma and the Swift Current Broncos and they played a patient hockey game and it showed in the third period.”
Whereas in Friday night’s contest the ICE seemingly had everything going their way from the bounces to the spectacular goal-tending provided by Dan Blackburn and a hat-trick by Marek Svatos. Saturday’s return bill contained nothing of the night before, with the notable exception of Dan Blackburn doing his best contortionist imitation to foil the Bronco’s attack until the 13:39 mark of the third period when Speedy Creek agit Read more»
The most prestigious Bantam Hockey tournament in North America
gets underway in beautiful Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada,
starting on Wednesday, April 11/2001 and running through until
Monday, April 16/2001. Defending tourney champs Detroit Honeybaked
Hams return to defend their title and after a one year absence the
1999 tourney champs, the St.Louis Amateur Blues return and will
likely be one of the favorites if not one of the most watched teams
as they boast the son of former NHL’er Peter Stastny.
This tournament which started in 1967, has been a fixture for
bantam teams from all over North America and Europe, however while
it’s been a few years since any European entries have come to the
tournament, the United States is well represented again with four
teams including the St.Louis Amateur Blues, Detroit Honeybaked,
Detroit Compuware and the Michigan Ice Dogs. St.Louis, Honeybaked and
Compuware have all won titles here in the past and should be strong
while the ice Dogs make their first appearance.
A long list of National Hockey League talent has played on the
ice in Kamloops during this tourney including Mario Lemieux, Vincent
Lecavalier, David Legwand, Scott Hannan, Andrew Ference, Dimitri
Nabakov, Darcy Tucker, Mark Recchi, Brendan Morrison, Tyson Nash,
Mike Peca, Adam Foote, Keith Primeau, Daryl Sydor, Rod Brind’Amour,
Mike Modano, Joe Sakic, Jimmy Carson, Tony Twist, Murray Baron, Cliff
Ronning and many others, the list is overwhelming as is the quality
of hockey played during the six Read more»
Coming April, there is the final series of the Czech midget Extraleague on the schedule. The
playing scheme is the same as in the junior Extraleague and the playoff games in both leagues
are played the same day. Like in juniors, the regular season consists of 38 games. The 20 teams
are divided into two Groups, called A and B. Group A is for the teams from the western cities
of the Czech Republic and Group B for the eastern ones. During the regular season every team
meets opponents only from their own group. The top 6 teams in every group create then two
Final groups. During the Final group teams meet opponenets only from the other Final group
and play them twice – home and away. Once the Final group games are finished, the top four
teams from every Final group create four quartefinal pairs and from then now it is a regular
playoff, with quarterfinal and semifinal series and the championship series.
In the midget league players with birthyear 1984 or younger are eligible to play this season
and the teams consist mostly of 1984 and 1985 born players. Top 1986 prospects play in the
league too, even if they still can play for Grade 9. But it is only a few of them, most of the
1986 born split this season between the midgets and Grade 9.
This year HC Ocelari Trinec and HC Slavia Praha fought their way into the finals. Trinec captain
Rostislav Sabela acquired presents from the general sponsor Nutella for the regular season’s
best team and so Trinec was said to be a slightly better team than Slavia. But the players on
the roster of Slavia won the chmpio Read more»
The IHL could have a different look next year. Maybe fewer teams, maybe one conference, and maybe NHL affilation. Minor pro hockey is changing and Doug Moss the IHL commisioner knows that.
Moss is so ready for change, he believes that in two short years minor pro hockey in North America could be so different — yet so amazingly sensible — that hockey fans will wonder why it didn’t happen sooner.
“I think it would be very safe to say that minor pro hockey is going through an adjustment,” said Moss.
“In the early ’90s, people believed in the theory, ‘Build it and they will come.’ We expanded all over North America, we moved into new or different buildings, we opened the doors and expected people to show up. I remember, when I worked in Buffalo, (former Sabres owner) Seymour Knox said to me, ‘Doug, there was a time when we could hang out a shingle that read, Hockey Game Tonight, and people would come. It’s not like that anymore.’ Mr. Knox was right and it’s something we all have to accept. The way we do business in professional sport at every level is changing dramatically, and I now believe we have people at the minor pro hockey level who are of the mindset that it’s time for change.”
Perhaps the saddest reality in hockey is that Gary Bettman is the commissioner of the NHL while Doug Moss is the commissioner of the IHL. Bettman doesn’t get it. Although he has a complete and total appreciation for money and what it can do, Bettman still doesn’t understand that hockey is a regional game and that hockey fans are raised, not coerced.