Grizzlies/Canadian Juniors Update

By Keith Riskey

Notebook — 12/5/2000

Utah Grizzlies Update

The Utah Grizzlies just completed two more ho-hum weeks, playing about .500 hockey (3-2-2) in their season’s longest homestand of seven games. At home, they have showcased excellent special teams placing them first in the league in penalty killing and fourth in the league in power play percentage at home. Utah (11-9-2, 25 points) now stands in sole possession of second place in the IHL Western Conference behind the impressive Manitoba Moose (13-5-2, 28 points).

Grizzlies Notes:

  • Stars forward prospect Ryan Christie has injured his shoulder and is now out indefinitely.
  • Goalie Chad Alban was returned to the Idaho Steelheads of the WCHL after Rick Tabaracci made a healthy (but losing) return against the Chicago Wolves.
  • John Purves — a Utah forward and career IHL’er — is now fifth in the IHL in scoring (9 g, 12 a, 21 p).
  • David Ling is now second in the IHL in power play goals with 7.
  • Mike Bales is third in the IHL in Goals Against Average with 2.45.

Top Utah Scorers

John Purves 22 91221
Greg Leeb 22 41418
Jamie Wright22 88 16
David Ling 20 7916
Alan Letang 22 31013
Eric Houde 21 11112
Chris Wells 22 5510
Ryan Christie 20 639
Richard Jackman 12 437

Canadian World Juniors

The list of players who may be selected for the Canadian World Juniors were announced this week, and it should come as no surprise that Windsor Spitfire forward and Dallas Stars prospect Steve Ott was named one of the potential representatives. Steve Ott has a phenomenal 21 goals and 13 assists in only 23 games this year. The terror on skates leads all Windsor Spitfire forwards in +/- (+25), power play goals (7), and penalty minutes (81 PIM), and he is currently 5th in the OHL in goals scored.

Steve Ott has been playing amazing hockey with undrafted 16 year-old wonder-boy Jason Spezza. The phenomenal Spezza is perhaps the hottest prospect available in next year’s NHL draft and has (naturally) also been chosen as a likely representative for the Canadian World Juniors team.

Unforunately, Dan Jancevski — another Stars prospect hitherto thought to have a shot at the team — was not chosen for these cuts. Jancevski will continue a fine season with the London Knights, however, where he has compiled a respectable 17 points in 28 games from the blue line. If all goes well, perhaps Jancevski will at least follow in John Erksine’s footsteps — another London Knights defenseman who fell just short of making the Canadian National team. Unable to represent Canada, Erskine went on to have a fantastic season winning the Max Kaminsky Trophy for Most Outstanding Defenceman in the OHL and making an appearance in the CHL all-star game.

Joke Backfires

Last week, when remarking about Brampton Battalion star Jeff Bateman’s very own television show special, I joked that Justin Cox compiled very similar numbers to Bateman’s but was lagging distressingly behind in television appearances.

I was quickly corrected by an informed Canadian passer-by that Justin Cox has indeed been the subject of his very own hometown television special as well.