2000-2001 USHL Playoffs – Semi-Finals

by Jason Shaner
on
The first round of the USHL playoffs is done. One team left behind is the Defending Clark Cup Champion, Green Bay Gamblers, who were eliminated by the Tri-City Storm in 4 games. Top seeded Lincoln swept their best of 5 series with the Sioux City Musketeers. The 4th seeded Omaha Lancers also swept their series taking 3 in a row over the 5th seeded Des Moines Buccaneers. Finally, the 3rd seed, Sioux Falls Stampede disposed of the 6th seeded Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in 4 games. That leaves 4 teams left standing, all from the rough and tumble Western Division. In the semifinal round the 2 matchups are very exciting. Anderson Cup champion Lincoln will take on the Defending National Junior “A” Champion Tri-City Storm. In the other series the smoking hot Omaha Lancers will face off against the Sioux Falls Stampede. Sioux Falls finished somewhat weak in the regular season but seemed to rise back to form against Cedar Rapids. Here is a preview of the semi-final series.


Lincoln Stars vs. Tri-City Storm

Power against skill is what this matchup boils down to. Lincoln is hands down the top team in the league and wants nothing less than the Clark Cup title. Tri-City, who is in their first year of existence after moving from the Twin Cities where they finished 2nd overall in the playoffs last year and won the Junior “A” National Championship want to continue their surprising run. They knocked off the Eastern Division Champion Green Bay Gamblers and would like to take out the Western Division Champion as well. One thing stands in the way….Li Read more»

The Weekend Warrior

by Randy Nicholson
on

House an AHL All-Star: St. John’s Maple Leafs right winger Bobby House has been selected to the American Hockey League’s Second All-Star Team for the 2000-2001 season … House is currently the Baby Leafs’ team leader with 69 points (T-8th in AHL) on 36 goals (T-2nd in AHL) and 33 assists in 65 games … House also leads the team with 11 powerplay goals, 289 shots on goal (3rd in AHL) and is tied for the team lead in plus-minus with a plus 13 rating … earlier this year, House was selected to the starting lineup of the 2001 AHL All-Star Game held in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA where he picked up 3 points (2G-1A) … House joins a list of other St. John’s Maple Leafs selected to the First or Second AHL All-Star Teams … these include; Felix Potvin (First Team, 1991-92), Joel Quenneville (Second Team, 1991-92), Jeff Serowik (Second Team, 1992-93), Chris Snell (First Team, 1993-94), Rich Chernomaz (First Team, 1993-94), Patrik Augusta (Second Team, 1993-94), Jamie Heward (Second Team, 1995-96) and David Cooper (Second Team, 1997-98) … House became a member of the St. John’s Maple Leafs as a free agent in July of 1999 … though he recently signed a new 3-year NHL deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs, House has unfortunately been lost to the organization for the remainder of the season due to a serious hand injury …

Roy joins Baby Leafs: You may have missed this story when first reported 2 weeks ago … the St. John’s Maple Leafs have signed pivot Jonathan Roy from the QMJHL’s Moncton WildCats … Roy, who is signed to an amateur try-out contrac Read more»

Young Snipers

by Drew Bennett
on
When most people think of the Islanders 1999 Entry Draft, they think of
Tim Connolly, Taylor Pyatt, Brandislav Mezi, and Kristian Kudroc. The three
players that most people forget about are Justin Mapletoft, Mattias
Weinhandl, and Juraj Kolnik.

After having four picks in the first round, the Islanders next pick was
in the 3rd round. With that pick, 78th overall, they chose Mattias
Weinhandl. In 2000, he was high-sticked in the left eye by Michal Travnicek,
and had minimal vision. After a recovering enough to return to the line up
for MoDo, his team in the Swedish Elite League, he finished the season strong
while playing with Daniel and Henrik Sedin. This season, while playing for a
rebuilding MoDo team, Weinhandl has 14 goals, 30 points, and 10 penalty
minutes in 44 games.

In the next round, with the 101st overall selection, the Islanders were
thrilled to have to chance to draft Juraj Kolnik. Although he doesn’t have a
great skating stride and he isn’t the most physical player, his scoring
ability and potential was well worth the draft choice. In 2000 Kolnik had a
break through season, where he registered 53 goals and 53 assists in 47
games, for a total of 106 points. After struggling in the beginning of the
year playing for the Lowell Lock Monsters, General Manager Mike Milbury moved
Kolnik to the Springfield Falcons where he regained his form of 2000, and
registered 14 goals and 16 assists for a total of 30 points in 26 games. Due
to the Islanders lack of scoring and amount of injuries, Ko Read more»

Pardubice win Czech Junior Extraleague

by Robert Neuhauser
on
The Czech junior Extraleague finally came to the championship battle. Every team, who wants
to compete for the title, muss pass a long way. First there is the regular season, which
consists of 38 games. The teams are divided into two groups, Group A for the teams from the
western cities of the Czech Republic and Group B for the eastern cities’ teams.
Each Group consists of 10 teams. During the regular season the teams meet only opponents from
their own group. Then comes the Final group. To this group advance the top 6 teams from every
Group. In the Final group the teams from group A play only the teams from Group B and every
team meets his opponent twice – home and away. Also the Final group is divided into two parts.
After that the top four teams from every Final group create four quarterfinal pairs and then
it is a regular playoff, the games are best of three.
This year the juniors of HC Pojistovna Pardubice fought their way into the finals, where they
had to face the juniors from HC Slovnaft Vsetin. The Pardubice team seemed to be the favorite
as they were ruling the Extraleague for the whole season. They have an excellent goalie in
Martin Barek, who was the starter for all junior teams of the 1982 born players, the defense
mixes experienced players like overager Petr Mocek or Pavel Dvorak along with young prospects
like Martin Vagner or Tomas Linhart, both 1984 born. Up in the front Pardubice boast an
excellent scoring line of Josef Vitek, captain Albin Podstavek and Jan Kolar, a player with
some experience with the senior Extraleague. Besides Read more»

Disappointment reigns for Dynamiter coach

by Jeff Bromley
on
For those close to the Kimberley
Dynamiter organization, the
announcement that the club would cease
operations only hours before the
opening faceoff of game two of their
AWHL quarter-final playoff against the
Bismarck Bobcats, came with all the
surprise of terminally ill patient. You
know that the prognosis isn’t good, but
still remain upbeat and optimistic that
patient can make the miraculous
recovery and live a normal life. The
Kimberley Dynamiters were in such a
position all season long, struggling to
cover expenses, wondering if at the end
of the day there would still be hockey in
the Bavarian City. There were whispers
and innuendo of the team’s forecasted
demise, but as in any small town – they
were written off as only rumors and you
would hope that the club would survive
to see another game.

For Nitro’s Head Coach Nels Ecklund,
who’s seen more than his fair share of
the Dynamiter’s off-ice troubles this past
season including covering the teams
expenses while on the road on different
occasions and is still awaiting his last
paycheck, the biggest disappointment is
not for himself but for the club’s hockey
players who worked hard all season long
to get to the AWHL playoffs only to
have the rug pulled from under them.
“It’s still something that is very difficult
to accept,” said Ecklund. “I still look at
the fact where the biggest people who
were affected in it all were the 24
players who put so much effort into
their season and were looking forward
to their playoff run and having that
opportunity for a championship ta Read more»

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