RED-HOT TITAN STILL LEADS THE PACK IN BANK OF MONTREAL MASTERCARD TOP 10
The red-hot Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
continues to lead the way in Week 10 of the Bank of Montreal MasterCard CHL
Top 10 rankings.
Acadie-Bathurst won four more games this week, extending the club’s unbeaten
streak to 19 games and winning streak to eight games, to easily stay on top
of the weekly rankings, selected by a panel of NHL scouts. The Titan now
boasts a CHL best record of 27-4-4-1, for 59 points.
The 19-game unbeaten streak is the longest in the CHL this season. The Titan
has appeared in the Bank of Montreal MasterCard Top 10 for seven of the
first 10 weeks of the season and took over top spot from the Red Deer Rebels
of the Western Hockey League three weeks ago.
Holding on to second place in Week 10 of the Bank of Montreal MasterCard CHL
Top 10 rankings are the Plymouth Whalers, who won two of their three games
this week to remain atop the OHL overall standings. The Whalers have a
22-5-4-1 record and have been ranked no lower than third for the first 10
weeks of the rankings, while also being the OHL’s number one ranked team
every week so far this season.
The top ranked team in the WHL and third ranked in the Bank of Montreal
MasterCard CHL Top 10 rankings for Week 10 are the Kamloops Blazers of the
WHL, who split a pair of games this past week. The Blazers are in a
dog-fight for first place overall in the hotly contested WHL overall
standings, as the top eight teams in the WHL are just five p Read more»
This weekend, the state of Colorado was the center of attention in college hockey. The three top teams in the NCAA battled for WCHA points and rankings. Colorado College took on the mighty (#1) St Cloud State Huskies. After CC lost on Friday, they rebounded for a commanding 5-1 victory on Saturday. SCSU’s only two losses have come against the under .500 CC Tigers. However, the big battle was fought at Magnuss Arena as the (#2-t) Denver University Pioneers hosted the (#2-t) Minnesota Golden Gophers.
GAME ONE: Minnesota’s resume includes 6 draftees, 1 WJC invitee, 4 players ranked on the CSB preliminary rankings and one 2001 Hobby Baker finalist. With this impressive list, DU seemed to be a bit intimidated on Friday night. Both teams played a tight checking defensive game and neither team seemed to achieve good puck control thought out the evening. Both goaltenders made some incredible save and kept their respective teams in the game until the end. Minnesota’s goalie Adam Hauser was especially impressive, stopping 30 of 31 shots.
Minnesota was up 2-0 when the game finally opened up for a while during the second period with both teams exchanging break away attempts. DU’s Wade Dubielewicz made a spectacular save against Troy Riddle. Soon after that, Connor James also had a break away but could not convert. Also during this on slot, DU’s Jesse Cook blasted one that rang off the post. Finally in the 3rd period, Aaron MacKenzie’s shot from the blue line was redirected in by Luke Fulghum. DU pulled their goalie but could not tie it u Read more»
Kari Lehtonen will be the starting goalie. Joni Puurula would have been the 1st choice for the backup position, but he has been out for almost the whole season so far.
On defence 2002 eligble Joni Pitkänen has a big role. Tero Määttä, Markus Seikola and Olli Malmivaara are other TOP-4 defenceman on the team.
The two scoring lines are almost set. Mikko Koivu will center Tuomo Ruutu and Tuomas Pihlman. Jarkko Immonen will have Toni Koivisto and Jussi Jokinen on his wings.
Center Harri Suutarinen has a broken jaw and can’t play.
Coach Erkka Westerlund says that other teams will have more talented players on their teams and Finland has to play as a team again. When selecting the players Westerlund has tried to find ambitious, brave and disciplined players.
1 G Kari Lehtonen Jokerit 11-16-1983 6-3 190
30 G Juha Kuokkanen SaiPa 01-26-1982 5-10 170
3 D Topi Jaakola Kärpät 11-15-1983 6-1 179
4 D Joni Pitkänen Kärpät 09-19-1983 6-3 194
5 D Mikko Viitanen Jukurit 02-18-1982 6-3 221
6 D Olli Malmivaara Jokerit 03-13-1982 6-4 205
8 D Jyri Marttinen JYP 09-01-1982 5-11 179
21 D Tero Määttä Blues 01-02-1982 6-1 214
22 D Markus Seikola TPS 06-05-1982 6-1 185
9 F Mikko Koivu TPS 03-12-1983 6-2 174
10 F Sean Bergenheim Jokerit 02-08-1984 5-11 190
11 F Kim Hirschovits HIFK 05-09-1982 6-1 181
12 F Jarkko Immonen Ässät 04-19-1982 6-0 190
13 F Tomi Mäki Jokerit 08-19-1983 5-11 172 Read more»
Ryan and his MSU teammates entered the 01-02 season as the top-ranked team in both the CCHA and NCAA. Holding onto the top position in the NCAA has proven difficult (12-3-2 overall, 6th in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll), but the Spartans 10-3-1 conference record has them in first place in the CCHA.
While there is no question that MSU’s current standing is a direct result of both solid defensive play and good coaching, having a certain award-winning goaltender makes things that much easier for the Spartans. Miller is not without his detractors, however, as there are some observers who are of the opinion that Ryan benefits more from MSU’s strong defense than do the Spartans from Miller’s solid goaltending. Perhaps this case can be made, but the statistics don’t necessarily back up these claims.
After 17 games, Ryan leads the CCHA in goals-against average (1.55), save percentage (.944), and wins (12). His 6 shutouts are tops in the NCAA, while he continues to add to his NCAA-record career total, which stands at 24 shutouts. Miller is ranked 3rd in the nation amongst Division I goalies, but the two players in front of Ryan have appeared in just 8 and 4 games, respectively.
Perhaps the best indicator of Ryan’s importance to his team is the number of shots he faces per game. Miller has faced an average of 27.2 shots per game so far this season, which would put MSU in the middle of the pack in the CCHA for that category. While there are goaltenders on some lesser teams that face more rubber-per Read more»