Unheralded Rookie Makes Early Impact

by Chris Kitching
on

When the Minnesota Wild signed left-wing Pascal Dupuis as a free agent on
September 18, 2000, they knew they were getting a hard-nosed winger who
would one day provide them with the two-way defensive style they apply.

Little did they know, he would deliver so soon.

In his rookie National Hockey League season, Dupuis has adjusted comfortably
to the NHL level after spending the majority of last season in the
now-defunct International Hockey League with the Cleveland Lumberjacks.
Dupuis, who saw action in four games with Minnesota a season ago, recorded
19 goals and 24 assists with Cleveland.

Heading into training camp in September, the 22-year-old’s chances of making
the team were seen by some as very slim. The Wild had an abundance of depth
on the left wing, but with a potential season ending concussion suffered by
Cam Stewart during the pre-season and several players shifting positions,
room on the roster opened up for Dupuis and he has taken advantage of a
golden opportunity.

Dupuis, one of two rookies with the Wild, now patrols the left wing on the
Wild’s first line with eleven-year veteran Jim Dowd and sophomore sensation
Marian Gaborik, giving Dupuis the opportunity to play his gritty style while
contributing on the scoresheet at the same time. Dupuis is making $350,000
this season, and is ranked 11th in rookie scoring with ten goals and ten
assists in 58 games played, as of March 6.

The Laval, Que. native split his junior career between the Shawinigan
Cataractes and Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Majo Read more»

Boxma burns Blazers

by Jeff Bromley
on

If there were any reservations left about the Kootenay ICE goaltending capabilities they can be put firmly to rest. B.J. Boxma is doing just fine thank-you very much.

That reality was never more evident Wednesday night as the twenty-yr-old Free Agent turned aside 26 shots and shut-out the Kamloops Blazers 2-0. The victory kept the slim hopes of Kootenay catching the Blazers for first place in the B.C. Division alive as the magic number for Kamloops remains at two Blazer wins and/or ICE losses for the division pennant.

The shutout, Boxma’s fourth of the season and third in the last two months reaffirmed the fact that the reserved goaltender seems to be getting steadily better between the pipes as the season wears on. Better not in the aspect of ability, Kootenay fans will remember well of the Swift Current Broncos’ edition of B.J. Boxma that beat the ICE in the seventh game of the Eastern Conference semi-finals last season, but in the department of confidence. Confidence in himself, his abilities and perhaps most of all, in his teammates around him. And in turn, their confidence in him.

It started at the beginning of a topsy-turvy season says Boxma. One that will no doubt be filled with even more peaks and valleys. “When I started the year in Swift Current I got off to a bad start. I didn’t have a lot of confidence,” said Boxma. “When I got traded my confidence went down even more. I was thinking ‘why did they trade me? Am I doing that bad?'”

“Lately it’s been going really good. I’ve had a lot of confidence and the team’s played really well in fron Read more»

Czech goaltending prospects: Marek Schwarz

by Robert Neuhauser
on
Quality goalies don’t grow on trees. First you have to recognize the talent and then develop
it patiently into the future diamond. Only then you can from a kid make the next cornerstone
of your franchise. The best of them compete for a NHL job and often became the stars of the
senior national teams. One of the biggest talents to come out from the Czech goalie developmental
system can be Sparta Praha midgets standout Marek Schwarz.

Marek was enjoying first a non-hockey childhood like millions of other kids, he didn’t seem
to be on the beginning of a hockey career at all. He just liked sports, that was it. Sons
of hockey coaches or players often make their first strides immediately after the first normal
steps and have hockey all around them. Not Marek Schwarz. None of his relatives played hockey
and a career in pro hockey wasn’t one of Marek’s first dreams. He laced up the skates in the
small Czech village Piskova Lhota for the first time, he was regularly visiting his granddad
there. And one day he took him skating on a frozen pond. Marek was a quick student and soon
he was capable of making all the skating moves and turns.

He started attending elementary school in his native city Mlada Boleslav, the ‘Czech Detroit’.
The well-known Czech car factory Skoda is based there and almost nobody knows the city for
hockey. Only for cars. Even if most of the kids start playing the game when they are about
five or six, not Marek. His time didn’t roll around until he was eight years old. By this time
kids often have two or three years of experience with organ Read more»

Albany Week in Review

by Mike Buskus
on

By Mike Buskus

Albany Week in Review #22

Rough road.

The road woes continue. Despite support from about 80 members of the Albany River Rats Booster Club, who made the trip to Portland, Manchester and Saint John (New Brunswick), the Albany River Rats failed to win a game on their recent road trip. The Rats took an overtime loss in Portland (3-2), tied in Manchester (4-4), and were soundly defeated at Harbour Station in Saint John, New Brunswick (6-2).

The current road troubles bring the winless streak away from home to ten games, the second time this season that the River Rats have traveled 10 games in a row without a win. The earlier winless on the road streak ran from October 5, 2001 (the season opener in Providence) to December 1, 2001. The current streak, of equal length, started on January 26 and, at the moment anyway, continues. Only the Cleveland Barons (at 11 in a row without a win) and the Hershey Bears (same number) have had worse road winless streaks this season. However, it is the second time this season for the Rats in the winless-in-ten situation.

The game in Portland went into overtime thanks to a late third-period goal by Steve Guolla (his 21st, leading the team). Jiri Bicek had opened the scoring early in the first, but a pair of Portland goals gave the Pirates the lead. With only seven seconds left in overtime, Trent Whitfield of the Pirates got his second of the night, to send away the Rats, 3-2.

In Manchester, at the new Verizon Arena, pairs of goals by Richard Rochefort and Jiri Read more»

U20 WJC 2002 Team Russia Player Review

by Eugene Belashchenko
on






U20 WJC 2002 TEAM RUSSIA PLAYER REVIEW

U20 WJC 2002 TEAM RUSSIA PLAYER REVIEW

PART II: Forwards

By: Eugene Belashchenko (Special thanks to Robert Neuhauser and a Finnish
observer for their assistance on preparing this article.)

http://www.russianprospects.com

 

 

FORWARDSRead more»

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