Open Season on Moose Jaw

by Jeff Bromley
on
It was opening weekend of the WHL
Eastern Conference Quarter-final this
past weekend and the Kootenay ICE
decided to do a little moose hunting and
take a commanding 2-0 series lead over
the Moose Jaw Warriors. Overtaking
the Warriors by scores of 6-2 in game
one and 4-0 in the return bill Saturday
night in game two as the series shifted
back to the Saskatchewan city for games
three and four on Tuesday and
Wednesday nights, the two games
belonged to ICE goaltender Dan
Blackburn as solid performances on both
nights continued to stymie the Warriors
on almost every opportunity.

The Warriors, trying to employ different
tactics on successive nights in order to
find some success against the defending
WHL Champions, didn’t have much
luck. In Game One of the series the
Warriors maintained that a physical
presence against the ICE would be the
plan of attack. That theory ended up
putting the Warriors in the penalty box
most of the night and defending against
Kootenay’s number one ranked power
play in the league. When the Warriors
finally did get some momentum going,
they ran into a brick wall named Dan
Blackburn and besides the two markers
that the Warriors did get from Brian
Sutherby, it was inconsequential as the
ICE played almost flawlessly in the 6-2
win with Zdenek Blatny notching a goal
and four assists to set an ICE playoff
game record for most points in a game
and garnering first star honors.

On Saturday the Warriors entertained
the idea of getting in Dan Blackburn’s
face most of the night in hopes that the
Read more»

Avalanche Future and Prospects Update

by Mike Kretschmer
on

While the season is still in full effect, all is good in the state of Colorado. Yet, few fans want to think about the future. Many fans shutter to think about next season, as the Avs could lose 2 to 3 of it’s star players…

Rob Blake is an Av, as Pierre Lacroix once again pulled off a ‘the’ blockbuster deal of the season in order to solidify an injury prone defense. Yet, a somewhat serious injury has left Blake looking to rejoin the Avs sometime during or before the first round. This is the same injury that took Ray Bourque out during last year’s playoffs.

The Kings recently announced that they have chosen to claim Jared Aulin of the Kamloops Blazers in order to complete the Rob Blake trade. Aulin has been having a monster year this season, and has been making scouts look foolish for overlooking him in the first round of last year’s draft. Last season, Aulin was averaging around a point per game until injuries slowed his season down. During training camp this year, Aulin fared quite well, and would have been in heavy consideration to make the team had Chris Drury not been signed.

While I was very impressed with Aulin’s play during training camp, I have been very impressed with the acquisition of Steven Reinprecht from Los Angeles. Reinprecht has become a great asset to both the second and third lines, and looks like he is more comfortable with the type of role that former Av and current Bruins winger Brian Rolston was unable to settle into. His energetic play has breathed new life into the Yelle-Podein-Hinote-Reinprecht combination, Read more»

Pittsburgh Penguins Prospect Report 2/19 – 3/12

by Erik Johnson
on

Junior Player of the Year 2/19 – 2/25

Goalies:


Peter Hamerlik (Kingston)- 2 games, 0-2, 4.20 GAA, .841 SvPct


Defensemen:

Jeremy Van Hoof (Ottawa)- 2 games, 0 points
Darcy Robinson (Red Deer)- 4 games, 1 assist, 2 PIM
David Koci (Prince George)- 3 games, 7 PIM


Forwards:

Joel Scherban (London)- 3 games, 1 goal, 2 assists
Tomas Skvaridlo (Kingston)- 2 games, 1 assist
Steve Crampton (Moose Jaw)- 3 games, 4 PIM
Shane Endicott (Seattle)- 1 game, 1 goal
Jan Fadrny (Kelowna)- 1 game, 0 points
Michel Ouellet (Rimouski)- 3 games, 1 goal, 6 assists


Player of the Week

1st: Ouellet
2nd: Scherban
3rd: Robinson

Standings
Ouellet 46 (5)
Fadrny 36 (5)
Endicott 32 (5)
Hamerlik 32 (3)
Crampton 13 (1)
Scherban 12 (1)
Skvardilo 4
Robinson 2
Van Hoof 1



Junior Player of the Year 2/26 – 3/4

Goalies:


Peter Hamerlik (Kingston)- 3 games, 0-1, 3.72 GAA, .897 SvPct


Defensemen:

Jeremy Van Hoof (Ottawa)- 4 games, 1 assist
Darcy Robinson (Red Deer)- 2 games, 4 PIM
David Koci (Prince George)- 2 games, 1 assist, 17 PIM


Forwards:

Joel Scherban (London)- 3 games, 0 points
Tomas Skvaridlo (Kingston)- 2 games, 4 assists, 4 PIM
Steve Crampton (Moose Jaw)- 4 games, 3 goals, 1 assist, 14 PIM
Shane Endicott (Seattle)- 5 games, 1 goal, 4 assists, 2 PIM Read more»

The Weekend Warrior

by Randy Nicholson
on

Another in a series of weekly articles summarizing activity in Leafland during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations, commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.

Playoff redemption: Maple Leafs fans everywhere are left searching for answers after yet another disturbing week of pathetic efforts turned in by the team … though it has long been said that this year’s club was constructed to achieve greater post season glory, even this tiny shred of hope is becoming increasingly difficult to trust … the overall lack of defensive commitment and team cohesion evident lately is appalling and certainly doesn’t suggest the likelihood of anything positive happening this spring … the much ballyhooed grit added to the team prior to the beginning of this season was nowhere to be seen when the Sabres made them look like a group of frightened children in Buffalo earlier this week … its true that there are still many talented players on the roster and several veterans known for their leadership qualities … Pat Quinn remains an excellent bench coach (recent calls for his dismissal are patently insane) and Cujo has won playoff rounds single handedly on several occasions in the past … the Stanley Cup playoffs may offer a final chance for redemption to a squad that has underachieved badly since Christmastime but, based on recent developments, it would be foolhardy to actually expect that this will happen …

Rumours: Toronto fans disappointed by the team’s failure to add a marquee name or two prior to th Read more»

2000-2001 USHL Top Prospects List – The Men in the cage

by Jason Shaner
on

In the USHL as in any hockey league, goaltending is the key to winning games. If you get a good, solid goaltender then you can ride them all the way through the playoffs on to glory. Here is the 2000-2001 USHL Top Prospects list, this season it will come in 3 sections consisting of goaltending, offense and defense. The USHL has had a history of having some fantastic goaltenders in the past and this year is no exception. Here is a list of the top 5 goaltenders in the USHL in my eyes.


1. Jure Penko Green Bay Gamblers –
When it comes to talent, hands down Jure Penko takes the prize as the top goaltender in the league this season. Jure is a tall, slender goaltender that is very agile and just continues to get better with each game. Penko loves a challenge and has been a top performer all season long. The Gamblers have played 54 games to date and Penko has shown he is a trooper as he has played in 44 of them. During those 44 games Penko has posted a 26-8-10 record. Penko has compiled a sparkling 2.39 GAA to go along with a .914 saves percentage on over 1,000 shots this year. Jure is a player who has nerves of steel and does not back down to the pressure as the Gamblers have played in some close games this season. He has been the horse of their team and will be a key for them in the post season.


2. Bobby Goepfert Cedar Rapids RoughRiders –
Good things come in small packages, that is a perfect description of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders superstar goaltender. Bobby is small if you look at his size but if you watch him play, Read more»

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