A wise broadcaster and probably a Vezina trophy winner once said, “a
goaltender sees the game differently.” In the case of Soo Indians head
coach Joe Shawhan, that is definitely true.
It’s no secret that Shawhan is a goalie by trade. The locals up in
Sault Ste. Marie know him well. Shawhan rose to stardom playing high
school hockey for Sault Ste. Marie High School, where he led his team to
the state finals one year, only to fall to Trenton High School. He
played goal under two exceptional coaches at Lake Superior State
University – Frank Anzalone and Jeff Jackson, both of whom would lead
the Lakers to NCAA championships.
And in between, Shawhan also played for an earlier version of what is
now the North American Hockey League’s Soo Indians, in the Northern
Ontario Hockey League, which churned out such stars as Denny Lambert and
But, why goaltending? What compelled Shawhan to want to play a position
that takes a special individual to play?
“When I started playing, the guys were older than me,” says Shawhan, now
in his sixth season as head coach of the Indians. “I like the position
and I never played another one again.”
Shawhan didn’t take the traditional route of playing travel hockey when
he was growing up. Instead, he learned more in high school and at the
college level. He certainly was not a naturally gifted goaltender, as
he says, but had to work harder.
When Shawhan arrived on the scene at Lake Superior, he immediately won a
starting job and helped the Lakers win a Read more»
(GUELPH – January 16)……..A Tuesday night match-up between the
The game also featured the two premier power-forward prospects
Guelph Storm and the visiting London Knights promised plenty of
fireworks as a fight-filled game earlier this season between the
two clubs led to allegations that London coach Lindsay Hofford
was instructing his players to start fights. He would ultimately
receive a 12-game suspension for his actions that night.
from the OHL for the upcoming NHL Draft. Both right-winger Aaron
Lobb of the Knights and left-winger Colt King of the Storm came
out of the gates trying to establish a physical tone. Lobb
wasted no time in lining up Frank Burgio for a hit, but the
sturdy Guelph defender withstood the body check well. King spent
his first shift in the game’s third minute colliding with Lobb,
and after getting the better of that exchange, just missed an
open-ice hit on a London player trying to go east-west through
the neutral zone.
With both teams determined to set a physical tempo, London’s
Daniel Bois let his exuberance get the better of him as he
needlessly roughed up a Guelph blue-liner after the defender had
cleared the puck out of his own zone.
The ensuing power-play saw Knights goaltender Aaron Molnar make
a great save on Brian Passmore after a nice cross-ice feed from
Charlie Stephens, but eight seconds after the penalty expired, a
Steve Chabbert knuckler from the point was re-shot rather than
re-directed by teammate Martin St. Pierre past Molnar to give
the Storm a 1-0 lead.
< Read more»
The CHL being what it is, a massive umbrella organization covering three leagues containing fifty-five teams operating from coast to coast, it is not often a small town sports writer from the west gets to see clubs from one of the other leagues. Having the chance to see how one of the other thirds of the CHL operates, naturally I jumped at it.
The North Bay Centennials operate out of the Ontario Hockey League’s, Eastern Conference Central Division and on this night I had the pleasure to take in a game between the hometown Centennials and the storied Peterborough Petes. The first thing you notice when you walk through the doors to Memorial Gardens (Capacity – 3523 plus 500 more for standing room) in North Bay is it’s age. Built in 1954, it’s a far cry from the state of the art facility we enjoy in Cranbrook but it’s not inadequate in the manner that the old Memorial Arena was for housing a major junior club. This old girl had a lot of character and history to it. From its high, sloped bleachers that seemed to go on forever, the sizeable picture of the Queen on one end and a big blue curtain at the other. To its trophy cases and historical hockey and building pictures that adorned the corridors in its wooden innards, it was clearly evident that building had seen some true hockey memories over the years.
The game between the Cents and the Petes was as entertaining they come. The Peterborough squad did seem to have the jump in their skating for most of the night as they clearly dominated the Centennials who were coming off their third game in as Read more»
By the time when all the hockey world watched NHL players of the near future competing at the
WJC in Russia, the NHL players of a more distant future played their tournament in Truro and New
Glasgow. The top Under-17 teams had their meeting there and have spent there a week full of high-
quality hockey, the best that 16 year old kids can play.
The Czech Republic presented a strong squad, who is hoping to make a medal at the Under-18 teams
WJC in 2002, loaded with 2002 and 2003 NHL draft prospects. Jiri Hudler, a potential top 5 pick
in the 2002 draft, missed this tournament because he attended the Under-20 team selection camp,
from where he was scratched. He spent the following days with practicing with his HC Slovnaft Vsetin
team, before being moved to the HC Havirov Panthers in mid-January. But other 2002 top prospects
made the trip to Canada. Hudler’s teammate Robin Kovar, a sized winger with great scoring touch,
Petr Kanko of HC Sparta Praha, a speedy winger with some games already played in the Elite
league or Marian Havel, brother of WJC champion Lukas Havel and current captain of SK Jihlava
junior team. The defense boasted the likes of Ondrej Nemec or Martin Vagner, aggresive mobile
defensemen, both serious 2002 prospects. When we look even more into the future, we see the
2003 NHL draft coming. And it’s most likely that the names of defensemen Jiri Drtina and
Lukas Pulpan will be called along with forward Kamil Kreps of Litvinov. Pulpan and Drtina are
1985 born prospects and Kreps was born in late 1984, so 2003 eligible. The Czechs w Read more»
In Northwestern Ontario in the small town of Sioux Lookout on a cold Saturday afternoon it is Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. In goal is a young Jimmy Roy who stops shot after shot in the overtime until his team finally scores the game winner. Roy once again is a Stanley Cup winner. It is the dream of every young Canadian boy growing up playing hockey to win the Stanley Cup and for Jimmy Roy the dream is still alive.
Born in Sioux Lookout, Ontario Roy, began his hockey career like any other Canadian boy on the outdoor rink. “We used to play alot of hockey on the outdoor rinks and alot of street hockey, but I usually played in goal.” Roy said. “All the neighbour hood kids would come down to our place and we would play for hours. I think most of the time they would come and see me and my brother fight, but we all had fun.”
Like many young Canadian boys Roy left home at an early age to pursue a career in the sport he loved. ” I moved to Kenora, Ontario where I played triple A midget for 3 years then moved to Thunder Bay, Ontario and played junior A tier 2 with the Thunder Bay Flyers for a year in the USHL.”
After his one year stint in the USHL Jimmy took a different route in his hockey career. Instead of going to playy major junior A, Jimmy opted to go try the college route with Michigan Tech in the WCHA. After 2 years with Michigan Tech a new door opened for Jimmy when the opportunity to represent Canada on the Canadian National Team. “Anytime you have an opportunity to represent your country and put a maple leaf jersey on, its an honour and I want Read more»