Moral victory comes at a high cost
It wasn’t a win, but it sure felt like one. Both players and fans alike came away from Wednesday’s 1-1 tie game with Red Deer feeling like it was a moral victory in that it provided some pluses for a club sorely in need of good things to build on. It also proved to be very costly.
A couple of weeks ago in an interview with Rob Vanstone for The Hockey News, Jarrett Stoll lamented the bout of bad luck he’d suffered over the summer and into the beginning of the season. Referring the wrist surgery, a case of strep throat before the Calgary Flames training camp and the freak kitchen knife accident that sliced the hand of the Yorkton, Sask. native that will see him sidelined for at least another month, his mother had always told him that things happen in threes. Being prophetic about her son is one thing, being clairvoyant about predicting the early season mis-fortunes of the Kootenay ICE is quite another.
But you could use any cliche here. Bad things always happen in threes, when it rains it pours, pick one, in the recent fortunes of the Kootenay ICE, almost any apply.
Marek Svatos, the club’s leading scorer and offensive catalyst in the absence of Stoll received the worst possible news when the slick Slovak suffered a dislocated shoulder that will sideline the Colorado Avalanche draft pick indefinitely. Adding to bad news of Stoll cutting himself and Dan Blackburn sticking with the New York Rangers, losing Svatos was not a possibility that the club wanted to ponder.
Coach Ryan Mc Read more»
The United States Hockey League is rich in tradition and history. Although the Eastern Division is tough, the Western Division is usually tougher. Last season saw all six Western Division teams make the eight-team field in the playoffs with the Omaha Lancers and Lincoln Stars playing for the Clark Cup title. Things are changing a bit though as the Des Moines Buccaneers have taken their legacy back to the East while the West welcomes two new editions to the league. The Tulsa Crude and Topeka Scarecrows make their USHL debuts this season. Tulsa, who previously played in Dubuque, Iowa as the Fighting Saints, will struggle the most out of the two. Lincoln and Omaha do not appear as invincible as in recent years, although that always changes when it comes gut check time. Tri-City in the second year may not fare as well as hoped by the faithful in Kearney, Nebraska. All in all, the Western Division usually is a fight to the finish and this season will be no different.
1. Sioux Falls Stampede
Stampede is an appropriate name for this team. Since they entered the league in the 1999-2000 season, Sioux Falls never dealt with the usual problems of an expansion team. If you thought they were not able to reload then you were wrong. The Stampede is my pick to win the Western Division and my preseason pick to win the league this year. A lot can change, but this team is stocked. Thomas Vanek is the key superstar to the team this year. His cast is full of many though and although he may win the league scoring title, he won’t be at the top of the lis Read more»