The Saskatoon are playoff bound for the first time in 2 years. They
will face the division champion Brandon Wheatkings in the first round of the
Eastern conference Playoffs begining Saturday night in Saskatoon. The
Blades will host the first pair of games at home due the Royal Manitoba
Winter Fair. Games three and four will be in Winnipeg, game five in
Saskatoon followed by games six and seven in Manitoba with game six in
Winnipeg and game seven in Brandon.
The series is likely to be a very low scoring series if regular season
head to head games are any indication. In nine meetings during the season
the Wheatkings outscored the Blades 28-19 or just over 5 goals being scored
per contest. The Blades were 3-6 vs Brandon this season including a 2-2-0-0
home road while only going 1-4 in the Keystone Centre. With the first pair
of games slated to take place at Sask Place, the Blades may have a better
opportunity to jump on the Wheatkings and perhaps win a couple if not
atleast split heading to Winnipeg. With the games likely to be very tight
checking and low scoring specialty teams could become a huge factor.
Blades were 9 for 53 vs the Wheatkings on the power play this season while
the Wheatkings were 8-45 vs the Blades on the power play. Although through
the course of the season the Wheatkings had a very successfull power play
finishing 4th in the league this season at 21.4 while the Blades opporated
at 18.3 which ranked them only 14th. Brandon also owns the leagues best
penalty kill unit at 85.0% Read more»
PITTSBURGH FORGE NAHL JUNIOR A …… NEWS :
Find all the info you need on Pittsburgh’s new Junior A team at:
Third Period rally lift Forge over Team USA
Forge 5 USA 2 : Read more»
Norwegian hockey which has from time to time almost fallen off the earth finally has some positive news stemming from their younger players who are making a splash in the international scene. Among them are Per Åge Skroder who plays for semi-finalist HV71 in the Swedish Elite Series along with NHL prospects Johan Davidsson, Anders Huusko and Peter Ekelund. Skroder registered 20 goals and 33 points this season for HV71 and was the only 20 goal scorer on his club. Skroder a 5-10 185 pounder formerly of Sarpsborg, Norway is opening the eyes of NHL scouts with his quiet but steady play. A trip to a NHL camp just may be in the works.
Martin Knold also of Norway is playing defense for Linkøping of the Swedish Elite Series posting(1-9-10) but a poor -9 +/-.
Meanwhile in Germany, Norwegians Trond Magnussen, Tore Vikingstad (St.Louis Prospect) and Tommy Jakobsen are battling it out in the playoffs. Jakobsen`s club the Panthers of Augsburg are set for a position in the finals while Magnussen and Vikingstad were knocked out in the semi-finals. Both play for DEG Metro-Stars.
Back in Sweden the Trygg brothers Marius and Mats have improved their games greatly and look to be long time Swedish League Professionals and National Team stalwarts.
Over the border Frisk Asker led by youngesters Lars Nagel & Rene Sethereng are ready for Norwegian Final. Their opponent is to be decided between Storhamar and VIF Hockey.
The Buffalo Sabres in recent years have built up solid depth at the right wing position via trades and good drafting. Some of this talent is already on the Buffalo roster, but there are still a couple of good prospects in the pipeline. One of those prospects, Norm Milley, is currently playing for the Rochester Americans of the AHL.
Norm was selected by Buffalo in the 2nd round of the 1998 NHL Draft, one of three 2nd round picks the Sabres made in that draft. The Toronto native starred for the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL, where he spent four seasons prior to turning pro in the summer of 2000. Milley set or tied several team records in Sudbury, and finished his junior career as the second-leading scorer in Wolves history. While the gentleman one point ahead of Norm on Sudbury’s scoring list (Jamie Matthews) may not be familiar to a lot of hockey fans, the two names directly after Milley’s, Ron Duguay and Mike Foligno, should be a little more recognizable to long-time NHL followers.
Milley turned in a solid first season in the AHL last year, earning Rochester’s Rookie of the Year award. His second season with the Amerks got off to a bit of a slow start, but Norm has come on in the season’s 2nd half to remind the organization why he was a high draft pick. Milley’s strong play recently earned him his first call-up to the NHL, where he picked up his first NHL point.
I had a chance to interview Norm following a recent Amerks practice. Below is a transcript of that conversation, with my questions bein Read more»