Western Hockey League
Shane Bendera – G – Kelowna Rockets
Ben Knopp – RW – Kamloops Blazers
Kiel McLeod – C – Kelowna Rockets
Tyler Sloan – D – Kamloops Blazers
Snow out west postpones game
For those who have forgotten their geography, Albany, New York is upstate, gets plenty of snow, and provides residents and visitors (when they are not at Pepsi Arena watching the River Rats) with such winter sports as snow-shoeing, down-hill and cross-country skiing and pond hockey. Area snow blower dealers usually do quite a business each season. Department of Transportation snow plow operators usually rack up some nice overtime during the winter season.
But, in its nine years in the American Hockey League as the affiliate of the New Jersey Devils, the River Rats have never had to cancel a game on account of too much snow, or excessively icy roads. Till now. On Saturday, December 29, 2001, the roads were clear and dry in Albany. There was no snow to speak of on the ground. But the situation was a bit different three hundred miles to the west. The New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) was closed west of Rochester. Buffalo, infamous for its winter weather and setting records in 1977, once again put its meteorologists on the front page. Buffalo and western New York received amounts of snow variously estimated at seven and eight feet in four days.
Meanwhile, the scheduled opponents of the Albany River Rats for the December 29 contest, the St. John’s Maple Leafs, were stranded in Hamilton, Ontario. Having played the Bulldogs at Copps Coliseum, the Maple Leafs were scheduled to bus out of Hamilton to Albany.
Efforts on Saturday to arrange a charter flight were unsuccessful and the Maple Leafs never go Read more»
When the Calgary Flames came out of the gates like gangbusters, hockey fans alike were waiting with baited breath to see if this team was for real. Fans were apprehensive, and the citizens of Calgary decided to wait out the team, to see whether or not the hot start was an anomaly or if this team had finally turned the corner.
Calgary had a tremendous October and did some of the same in November. Jarome Iginla was setting the league afire and has yet to be dethroned as NHL leading scorer. Roman Turek was a fortress and provided stability in the net the likes of which Calgary hadn’t seen for years. Derek Morris was playing a solid all around game, the young defense core was stepping up, and the acquisitions of Craig Conroy, Dean McAmmond, and Bob Boughner were paying off.
Then the team hit the toilet. Roman Turek missed a few games, but the Flames managed to hang on with solid team play. Turek also signed a contract extension and saw his game suffer for a while, but he since played admirably, but not as he started the year. On the 29th of November, Morris went down with a wrist injury of undisclosed severity. Morris was logging close to 30 minutes a game and quarterbacking a vaunted powerplay that was striking consistently in the 20% range. That was a month ago, and since then Calgary has gone 3 for 66 when on the man advantage. The penalty killing, while anemic at the start of the year, has actually gotten worse. At the time of this writing, Calgary has given up eight powerplay goals in the past five games. Morris is expected to miss anoth Read more»
is often the most exciting event when the top two teams clash. At this year’s WJC the Russian
and Canadian teams were those two gladiators ready to enter the arena. The Russians thrashed
the USA team and defeated the Finns in an overtime battle on their way to the gold medal
game while the Canadians had to face Swedes and Swiss. Stan Butler’s guys have beaten both
of those teams to establish a final game between the two mighty warriors – Russia and Canada.
The Canadians have had a marvellous start into the game. Andrei Medvedev’s second contact