2000-2001 USHL Top Prospects List – The Men in the cage

by Jason Shaner
on

In the USHL as in any hockey league, goaltending is the key to winning games. If you get a good, solid goaltender then you can ride them all the way through the playoffs on to glory. Here is the 2000-2001 USHL Top Prospects list, this season it will come in 3 sections consisting of goaltending, offense and defense. The USHL has had a history of having some fantastic goaltenders in the past and this year is no exception. Here is a list of the top 5 goaltenders in the USHL in my eyes.


1. Jure Penko Green Bay Gamblers –
When it comes to talent, hands down Jure Penko takes the prize as the top goaltender in the league this season. Jure is a tall, slender goaltender that is very agile and just continues to get better with each game. Penko loves a challenge and has been a top performer all season long. The Gamblers have played 54 games to date and Penko has shown he is a trooper as he has played in 44 of them. During those 44 games Penko has posted a 26-8-10 record. Penko has compiled a sparkling 2.39 GAA to go along with a .914 saves percentage on over 1,000 shots this year. Jure is a player who has nerves of steel and does not back down to the pressure as the Gamblers have played in some close games this season. He has been the horse of their team and will be a key for them in the post season.


2. Bobby Goepfert Cedar Rapids RoughRiders –
Good things come in small packages, that is a perfect description of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders superstar goaltender. Bobby is small if you look at his size but if you watch him play, Read more»

Belleville’s Incredi-Bull Season

by Bill Thompson
on
Welcome to the end of the regular season report for the Belleville Bulls. It has truly been an incredi-bull season as the media likes to say. Picked by many prognosticators to come last in the very tough eastern division, the Bulls stepped up and took their first ever division title in their 20th year. With the departure of Jonathan Cheechoo, Justin Papineau and coach Lou Crawford for the AHL and then the trading of Cory Campbell (Memorial Cup MVP – 1999) at the beginning of the season, it looked bleak for the Bulls to say the least. However, little did people know, the Bulls head scout Floyd Crawford and his subordinates had stocked the team with young talent over the past couple of years.


THE SUPRISES

I am proud to say I called Wellwood a superstar last year when I first saw him play. He just takes control of the game in the offensive end and the result has been an OHL scoring title in his second year in the league. He beat Jason Spezza (the #1 prospect for the upcoming NHL draft) by 2 points, 118 to 116. Randy Rowe was an overager this year and he made the most of his final year in the OHL, tying a 16-year-old Bulls record with 64 goals. This guy has NHL tools, but needs to get a little more feisty on the ice. The other sniper on the bulls top line was Branko Radivojevic who put on some weight since last year and up’d his point total by 30 points. I believe we will see him in a Colorado Avalanche jersey in the near future. The second line also played well with young Matthew Stajan centering Nate Robinson and Mike Renzi, which g Read more»

Western Conference heats up

by Corine Gatti
on
The Tight Race in the Western Conference Continues

While the Nor’Easter (winter hurricane) was blowing out side. The tight race continues in the Western Conference. The three teams in the Western Conference: Norfolk, Cincinnati, Kentucky will continue to battle for its throne in the Southern Division.

The first place Cincinnati Mighty Ducks came to the Scope hoping to add miles between its counterparts for the race for the Kelly Cup. But they fell 4-1 in front of a pleased crowed of 4,488.

“There is no place like home? ” Norfolk is 24-10. The last time the Admirals lost at home was February thirteenth against the Syracuse Crunch. On the Road? The road has not been that kind.

“Some say it was a terrible road trip, we’re young and we have to learn. We don’t have the best road record but we have the best home record and that is the bottom line, said Aaron Downey.

That’s an understatement. Norfolk has found itself 10-17on the road. They recently snapped a seven game losing streak on the road. Norfolk is currently hanging in third place with seventy-nine points.
“ Home ice is our bread and butter,” said Matt Henderson who secured the final goal.

The Admirals scored on two of three power plays for the lead and added another making it 3-0. Norfolk is 2 for 56 on there power plays. The Ducks who are fifteenth in the league in power plays only capitalized on one of four in the second round at 2:24. There were a total of nine points from different players contributed to the first period. Read more»

Comrie/Van Ryn Rule Haunting the CHL

by Jeff Bromley
on
The continual posturing and infighting that goes on between the NHL and the player’s union, the NHLPA, has now spilled over and is directly affecting the CHL and the three leagues under its umbrella; the WHL, OHL and QMJHL. A press release was issued recently by the National Hockey League Player’s Association that the union had filed suit in court to stop the Ontario Hockey League from restricting overage players from playing in that league unless they had signed a USA Hockey or a Canadian Hockey Association playing card. In essence, the rule restricts players making the jump from the NCAA to the CHL because American College players don’t sign USA Hockey playing cards, as only players in American junior leagues are required to do so.

The rule put in place by the OHL and the subsequent litigation filed by the NHLPA is the recent fallout over a decision last year by former NHL arbitrator Lawrence Holden who ruled that Michigan Wolverine rearguard Mike Van Ryn would be eligible for free agency if the New Jersey Devils who drafted him and held his rights didn’t sign him by the NHL Draft deadline, two years past the day they were drafted, as is the rule for all drafted junior players. Van Ryn left college to join the Sarnia Sting of the OHL as a twenty-yr-old and argued that now that he was a junior hockey player, the signing deadline/free agency rules should also apply to him. The NHL arbitrator agreed with Van Ryn and when the New Jersey Devils didn’t sign him, he signed with the St. Louis Blues as an unrestricted free agent last summer. Similarly, Mike Comrie Read more»

Finnish regular season ends

by Mikko Vuori
on

SM-liiga regular season ended last weekend and the
playoffs start today (03/22/01). Here are the regular season numbers for NHL draftes players and some undrafted juniors.

Name – drafter stats – since last update

W Frank Banham 56 24+27=51 +9 70 – 14 5+8=13 +2 18

Banham’s role wasn’t as big as in the beginning of the season,
maily because of Shayne Toporowsky’s arrival. Still he finished
with very good numbers.

W Teemu Elomo – Stars 56 2+10=12 +9 44 – 15 0+1=1 -2 6

This season must have been a disappointment for speedy winger.
Elomo was able to scro onl two goals despide playing last games
in team’s top line with Kimmo Rintanen and Niko Kapanen.
Elomo is going to play for Lukko Rauma next season.

D Ray Giroux – Islanders 46 7+18=25 +10 50 – 16 2+5=7 +6 12

Giroux wasn’t able to produce as much as when he joined Jokerit
but with his +6 in last games he was able to help his team
to clinch the reagular season win.

C Riku Hahl – Avalanche 55 3+9=12 -4 32 – 15 1+3=4 +1 8

Hahl’s last part of the season was pretty good.
He still hasn’t made his breakthrough, maybe next season?

W Niklas Hagman – Panthers 56 28+18=46 +1 32 – 15 9+8=17 +4 6

Hagman had a very strong last last part of the season. He finished
3rd in goal scoring after Jaroslav Bednar (32) and Vladimir Machulda
(29). Hagman is going to move to TPS Turku next season.

W Jukka Hentunen – Flames 56 27+28=55 +15 24 – 16 7+8=15 +7 2 Read more»

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