Prince George may have come second in the Randy Lindros Memorial Tournament, held Nov. 11- 14 in
Kamloops, but their team speed and relentless work ethic was a pleasure to watch. Kelowna, another very
good team in their own right, won in overtime after allowing the Cougars to claw their way back from a 3-1
deficit in the third period, but it was a couple of Prince George kids who really caught my eye. Paul Brown, a
fourth overall pick by the Regina Pats of the WHL in the first round of this years annual Bantam Draft and
Gary Gladue, a third round selection, taken 46th overall by his hometown WHL P.G. Cougars were standouts
all tournament long and led a well coached, disciplined team to within one goal of the tournament
championship. Speedy and slick passing Mark Nelson and Tyler Scofield were another pair of young
Cougars who stood out but it seemed when the chips were down it was Brown and Gladue that took the
team to the next level.
Paul Brown was a highly touted prospect going into the 99 WHL Bantam Draft and ended up going to the
Regina Pats, who must be delighted with their pick if this tournament was any indication of his talents. In
the five games I attended, Paul totalled 3 goals and assisted on seven others and if it weren’t for goal posts Read more»
From pros to juniors – the best Swiss players were called to the
National Teams or regional selections. Read a little series about the
different national teams’ performaces. Today I start with the A- and
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THEIR ROSTER
While the top 4 European nations played the Karjala-Cup, Switzerland had
to be satisfied with travelling to Slovakia for two games.
After a disappointing 1:6 loss in the first game, the Swiss team was highly critizized by the Swiss press.
The only Swiss goal was scored by Edgar Salis, who is more known
for his rugged defense. The team had problems adjusting to the higher
intensity on the international level. (Maybe this is also the reason why
Lugano struggles in the Euro-League?)
In the second game the Swiss were down 0:2 after the first period. But
they didn’t give up and turned the game into a 4:2 victory.
Michel Zeiter, Julien Vauclair and Mattia Baldi (2) scored the
Swiss goals. Ottawa draftee Vauclair was called to the team, cause
Marc Gianola was injured. Baldi (drafted by Montreal) seldomly scores
two goals, but he is always working hard, and when he stays healthy he
could become more than just a great forechecker and defensive safeguard.
They say “Home is where the heart is.” For the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins a homecoming was long overdue, but well worth the wait. After starting the season off in a slump, and starting the season on the road, the “Jr. Pens” finally had their chance to embrace a town which had been anxiously awaiting their arrival. To say it was love at first sight would be an understatement. The home opening game against Kentucky was sold out within an hour after tickets went on sale (Oct. 22nd). Wilkes-Barre had high hopes for this new team, and the Penguins were not about to disappoint them. Victory was inevitable.
Greg Crozier started off the scoring with a power play goal (assisted by Morozov & Bonvie) at 3:24 of the first period. From that moment forward it seemed as though the hockey gods were playing for the Penguins. At one point Kentucky tried to rally back, tying the game 2-2, but failed to keep Pomichter and Slaney from joining their determined teammate, Crozier, on the scoreboard. What better way to say, “Thank you,” and “Welcome Home,” to the fans, than with a 4-2 victory dance.
Today may seem like a normal day for Kings’ fans, but according to the hype, the greatest player in the history of hockey, Jere Karalahti, will arrive in LA today to lead the Kings to the first of several Stanley Cups. Karalahti is 7’3″ and weighs a svelte 356 pounds. His slap shot has been clocked at light speed and he had 85 goals in 36 games last season. His hip checks have nearly ended the careers of dozens of players and he posted 1,456 PIM’s last year.
While these numbers are false, Jere Karalahti comes to LA amid so much hype that it is difficult to discern fact from fiction. This column will attempt to separate what is rumor and what is truth.
Jere Karalahti was drafted by the Kings with the 146th pick in the 1993 NHL draft. This 6’2, 210 pound defenseman is now 24 after playing in the Finnish Elite League and the hockey World Cups since 93. Much of the hype surrounding Jere came a couple of years ago when Sports Illustrated disclosed that nearly every potential King trade that season hit a snag when teams would demand that this European defenseman be included in any deal. While that may have been true, Karalahti was exposed in the Nashville expansion draft. There are several reasons for that, the most likely is that Dave Taylor made side deals (Marian Cisar and Vitali Yachmenev) with the Predators so they would not take certain players, like Karalahti.
The Kamloops Blazers found another diamond in the rough, drafting Eric Christensen in the sixth round, 101st overall in the 1998 WHL Bantam Draft and the young man, who doesn’t turn 16 until mid-December, is already turning heads with his early season play. The 6’1, 170-pound winger has drawn praise for his awareness on the ice and gritty play at such a young age, leading Barry Trapp of the Canadian World Junior Team selection committee, who was attending a recent Blazer game to scout talent for the upcoming WJC, to shake his head at the unlimited potential of this guy. During an early season game against the Prince George Cougars, Christensen stood out not only for his heads up offensive play, but also for bloodying the nose of 17-year-old Jonathan Parker during a line brawl. This combination of skill and toughness is not often found in 15-year-old rookies in the WHL nevermind a sixth round pick. The Blazers also have the first and second round picks from the same draft in their line up, but Christensen is drawing most of the attention as a potential franchise player.