As always there have been many recent development among Islanders’ prospects. The Islanders had seven players representing four countries at the recent World Junior Championship. Mathieu Biron led the way as an assistant captain on the Bronze medal Canadian team. Biron logged almost 30 minutes a game, seeing time in all situations. Mathieu’s all around play was stellar and he was honored as a member of the All-Tournament Team. Fellow Canadian Chris Nielsen was also played a key role. He was extremely versatile, was excellent defensively and scored huge goals including the game tying goal in the bronze medal game that forced a shoot-out. Nielsen was among Canada’s leaders in plus minus at plus 4.
The Isles had three players on the Slovakian team, Juraj Kolnik, Kristian Kudroc, and Branislav Mezei. Kolnik has a quiet tournament until erupting in the final game with two goals and three points to finish second in team scoring. Kolnik and Kudroc led the Slovak squad with plus 4 ratings. Kudroc was a dominant physical force while playing solid in both ends. Mezei scored a rare goal for the Slovaks and was their top defenseman.
Rounding out the Islanders representatives were Swede Bjorn Melin and American Brett Henning. Melin started off strong with three points in his first two games then did not register another point. Henning performed well in a checking role for the US squad, but failed to get on the scoring sheet.
In a tourney that answered the question "What would happen if a hockey tournament was held in Skelleftea, Sweden and no one showed up?", the Buffalo Sabres had ample representation amongst several teams taking part in the 2000 World Junior Championships. In total, five Buffalo Sabre prospects- LW Barrett Heisten and D Doug Janik (USA), RW Jaroslav Kristek (Czech Republic), D Matt Kinch (Canada) and LW Milan Bartovic (Slovakia)- took part in this year’s WJC. Unlike last year’s stellar showing by Sabre rookie Maxim Afinogenov, there were no spectacular performances put forth by these prospects, although a couple of the players played solidly enough to merit some mention.
IHL RECAP FROM THURSDAY JANUARY 6, 2000
Kansas City Blades 2
Orlanado Solar Bears 7
Kansas City Blades lead the IHL with 57 major penalties.
Utah Grizzlies lead the IHL with 9 shorthanded goals which have been scored by 7 different players.
Mike Crowley of the Long Beach Ice Dogs is 2nd among IHL defenceman with 4 goals and 21 assists for 25 points.
THE IHL LOCKEROOM: THROUGH THE EYES OF A PLAYER
For some the dressing room is just another room to get changed into your hockey gear and go out on the ice and play hockey. For the players its more
than just a place to change. “Its kinda like going to the office everday only thing is you wear hockey gear instead of a three piece suit.” said Moose
defenceman Brett Hauer on describing the dressing room. Going to the office and play hockey all day. How many of you can say that? For most
players its a way to relax and get away from everday life. ” I love coming here and just relaxing on the huge couch and watching the tv and talking with
the guys.” said Moose winger Jimmy Roy. For Moose goalie Jason Elliot just coming to the rink everyday is exciting enough. ” I love coming to the
rink everday and playing hockey, hanging out with my teammates, being in the dressing room is like a getaway from everyday life.” All players regard
it as a home away from home. For some players it just holds a special something. Read more»