The Calder Corner
Continued excellence is the game that the two fine rookies playing for the Thrash bring consistently every week. For that reason, the Calder Corner has its first shared HF Prospect of the Week by naming Ilya Kovalchuk and Dany Heatley as co-winners. The big question is, how do you choose just one for the Calder Trophy?
By : Ron Valerino — 12/31/01
By : Ron Valerino — 12/31/01
LOUISIANA ICEGATORS Read more»
It was tournament weekend in the NCAA and one of the best match ups was the 10th annual Wells-Fargo Denver cup. Third ranked DU has won their tournament 7 times and this year they invited (#5) U-Mass Lowell, Bowling Green and Harvard to the party. As expected, DU and U-Mass Lowell battled for the cup in the championship game, however the story of the tourney was maturing process of the young (#14) Harvard Crimson team.
Game one: U-Mass Lowell vs Harvard
Even though these teams are geographically very close, they had to come all the way to Denver to face each other for the very first time. A relatively inexperienced, young, under .500 goaltender, Will Crothers was matched up against the best goalie in the NCAA, Cam McCormick. McCormick’s resume includes an incomprehensible 0.62 GAA, .972 Save percentage and an 8-0-0 record.
Crothers weathered a storm of 36 shots on goal until the last few minutes of the third period when Laurent Meunier finally got one past him on a rebound. Mark Concannon shot one though the five hole a few minutes later to seal the win. Crother’s solid goaltending kept his team in the game until the very end and would give them even more confidence in the consolation game on Saturday.
Game two: Denver University vs Bowling Green Read more»
While watching the preliminary round of the 2002 World Junior Tourney, I found myself with the distinct feeling that the Canadian entry was going to win first seed as their play over Russia and other competition was dominant. Two LA prospects, small centre Mike Cammalleri and Rw Jared Aulin along with the likes of Jason Spezza, Steven Weiss, and top two 2002 projected draft picks Rick Nash and Jay Bouwmeester were methodical, smart players who were able to penetrate with scoring chances while never sacrificing defense.
Their game against Team Finland, led by Ruutu, Mikko Koivu, and top five pick number one ranked goaltender Kari Lehtonen showed Canada could be dominated. Ruutu was the main cog at both ends of the ice, with a fine continued performance that have to bring smiles to the Hawk fans everywhere.
Could we trust that Mike Smith and his penchant for Europeans over North Americans was correct this time, when the Hawk “farm” was desperately in need of a future stopper? Compounding our second guessing is the fact Blackburn showed enough to the New York Rangers to keep him around as an 18-year-old back-up and continues to excel at the major league level.
Will Ruutu be a bigger impact to the Hawks? At this point, it would be pure speculation as Tuomo Ruutu must do his military service and will not get a chance for possibly 2003-04 season.
The things we can say are what we see: He is a dominant player at World Junior, a head above the rest. He went where he wanted and did want he wanted to. He was force inside the team game.