Viking Cup 2000: AJHL versus Sweden. Could the Swedes defeat the undefeated?

by Kelly Holtz
on
I was all ready for a fast paced and high scoring game when I sat down in
the 5th row of section A today. The undefeated AJHL All-Stars versus the
Under 18 Swedish National Team. Players I was set to watch out for were:

Team AJHL

#9-Riley Riddell- Riley is a local boy from Camrose, he is the 2nd leading
scorer in the AJHL this season. He is fast, has got soft hands, very agile
and great speed but also he is one of the smallest players in the league.

#19-Connor James- I wasn’t quite sure what to look for in this guy because I
had only noticed he was leading the AJHL All-Stars in scoring.

Team Sweden

#12-Tim Eriksson- Very fast, has incredible puckhandling abilities and is
probably the best playmaker in the Viking Cup.

#13-Jens Karlsson- Possibly the best player on the team. Has great size,
great stickhandling, cannon for a shot, and also has very soft hands.

The 1st period started out with the AJHL throwing some big checks and getting some early
penalties. The AJHL took a lot of unnecessary penalties resulting in good
scoring chances in front of the AJHL net. You could tell that the Albertans
were getting on the the Swedes nerves, everytime the Swedish goalkeeper
covered the puck there was an AJHL player there to crowd the net, this
resulted in a lot of pushing and small skirmishes around the net. For Read more»

SLOVAK ELITE – Statistics of Juniors

by Daniel Kysel
on

While Slovak Elite (Extraliga) has a Christmas break, Slovak national team under 20 struggles against very good teams in Group A, with scoring misery as well as with fever epidemic. Coach of national team Dusan Zizka nominated 12 players form CHL – one goalie, three defensemen and eight forwards. It looked like the team had very strong offence but reality is completely different. Team cannot score. If you know a mentality of Slovaks you can be sure that first game against Czechs influenced other performance of national team. Failure of Slovak team is not such surprise for me. I remember 9th place of Slovaks on JWC 1998 as well as Zizka’s interview full of alibism before start of JWC in Sweden. Bronze medal team was coached by Jan Filc (actually he is coach of national senior team) on last year championship. Zizka did not learn anything from Filc. By the way, do you know who coached team two years ago? You right, Dusan Zizka. In that time national team had to save Pool A only after two victories over very weak German team and finally earned 9th place. As we can see Mr. Zizka leads the team to the same “success“ or to Pool B.
I wish to call your attention to other parallel. On JWC 1998 Slovak team had big troubles to score although Marian Hossa, Ladislav Nagy, Stan Gron, Andrej Podkonicky etc. were in line-up.
O.K. I am very sarcastic but I was not any optimist either week ago. Do you remember Jes?
Read more»

Viking Cup 2000 (Finland vs Czech Rep.)

by pbadmin
on
Finland VS Czech Rep. A hard nosed big body czeching game!

1.Saku Koivu’s not-so-little brother, Mikko, plays for Finland.

2.Finland plays a hard hitting in your face type of game

3.Czech Republic also plays a hard hitting style.

4.To watch out for a player by the name of Jiri Novotny.

So I went into the game with expectations of a hard hitting affair and lots
of scoring, well at least one of those expectations was right.

The 1st period started off pretty quick. The Finns were all over the
Czechs. Hitting and checking them off of the puck but the Czechs didn’t back
down. There wasn’t much scoring during the 1st period. One goal near the end
of the period by Finland’s Toni Koivisto. In the first period, the Finns outshot the Czechs
9-8..
The 2nd period started out with a bang. 9 seconds into the 2nd frame
Semir Ben-Amor put the puck behind Czech keeper Jaroslav Hubl. But the Flyin
Fins weren’t done there. 31 seconds after that goal, Janne Jokila, Team
Finlands leading scorer, put another goal in. That spelt the end of the game
for Hubl. In came Martin Barek, who kind of reminded me of dominek hasek
with his full screen-cage helmet. The Goaltender change must’ve put a little
more gas in the tanks for the Czechs because after that they played like it Read more»

An Inside Look at Henrik Zetterberg

by pbadmin
on

Not since the early 1990′s have the Detroit Red Wings had a top offensive prospect in their system. With Fedorov, Shanahan, Yzerman, and Larionov all over the age of 30, the only young offensive star on the team is Slava Kozlov. And until the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, the Red Wings had no legitimate offensive prospects in their system, which has been cluttered with big defenseman and role playing forwards.

However, with their selection of Timra’s Henrik Zetterberg at 210th overall in the 1999 draft, the Red Wings appear to be doing their homework. This season, Zetterberg has emerged as one of Sweden’s brightest young offensive stars.

Known as “Z” to Timra followers, Zetterberg was not highly ranked entering the 1999 draft, and his low selection was partly due to his size. At 5’11″ and 180 lbs., many now feel Zetterberg’s size is no longer a concern. The young prospect has tremendous balance and agility, which makes him very difficult to knock off the puck. Zetterberg’s straight ahead speed is only slightly above average, but he possesses great quickness and is very shifty with the puck. He is an intelligent offensive player with good instincts and playmaking ability. Zetterberg also has great hands, and his wrist shot has improved tremendously since his draft year. He plays a spirited game, working very hard, and he is alert defensively. Zetterberg plays a comparable game to current Red Wing Slava Kozlov.
Read more»

JWC – Group A Day 4

by Peter Westermark
on

For the first time in the tournament the USA came to a game with less than
100% to give. They looked sleepy-eyed to start the game and were not as good
playing a team-defense as they have been in the past. Perhaps it is a needed
reality check for the Americans – they won’t beat opposing teams on skill,
but they can do it, and do it good, with a committed team effort. That being
said, the smallish Finns also came out with more jump than they had against
Canada and Slovakia as they faced a must-win situation. Finland switched
goalie from Antero Niitymäki (Philadelphia) to Ari Ahonen, a New Jersey
Devils firstrounder, and Ahonen looked very good under pressure. He made the
saves when the Finns needed it the most, although he wasn’t called upon to
make big saves until the Finns were ahead 3-0 in the third. The Finns also
got a good game from big defenseman Ossi Vännänen (Phoenix) who used his
body well and showed that he can make a very good first pass and unleash a
good one-timer from the blueline. Up front, smallish speedy 17-year old
Teemu Laine had a good game creating chances offensively along with tricky
forward Tomek Valtonen, drafted by the Red Wings. Valtonen scored the vital
first Finnish goal on a nice high wrist-shot. Centers Riku Hahl (Colorado)
and Mikko Kaukokari are dependable performers aswell, although they showed
little flash.

The Americans aren’t that skilled offensively when you get past Jeff Taffe Read more»