Tellqvist shines in final two games of road trip;
Pilar returns to St. John’s
The St. John’s Maple Leafs salvaged some pride in the
final two games of their road trip against the Saint
John Flames, thanks to some outstanding goaltending
from Mikael Tellqvist as they earned three points out
a possible four against the Flames, with a 4-2 win
Saturday and an 3-3 tie Friday.
Tellqvist’s weekend against the Flames looked
impressive. 95 saves on 100 shots for a .950 save
percentage, a 2.40 GAA and two first star selections.
The effort was especially needed after the Leafs had
lost their previous five on the road.
Saturday’s 4-2 Leafs win had 49 saves from Tellqvist,
and Paul Healey and Alex Ponikarovsky had a goal and
an assist each to lead the Leafs to their first “W”
since October 25th, despite the fact some vets were
out of the lineup. Captain Craig Mills is out til
December with a broken finger after a fight with
Hartford’s Billy Tibbetts, Bob Wren was a scratch
after suffering a concussion Friday while Josh Holden
was recalled to Toronto.
The power-play accounted for three of the Leafs four
goals but the Leafs hadn’t been getting a lot of shots
on the Flames net with the man advantage, while the
Flames peppered Tellqvist with more rubber than
Michelin sees in a week throughout the game.
After Garrett Bembridge opened the scoring for the
Flames in the first, the Leafs tallied two powerplay
markers in the second. Paul Healey’s 6th from Chris
Chartier and Ponikarovsky at 13:05 and Brad Leeb’s 8th
from Nathan Barrett and Chartier at 17:54. The Leafs
padded their lead 4:19 into the third with Brad Boyes
4th of the year from Aaron Gavey, but the Flames made
it close with Robert Dome (the former Pen)got his 1st
of the year at 9:19. However, Ponikarovsky iced it at
19:18 with a power play empty netter with his 5th from
Friday’s contest saw a see-saw contest which ended up
in a 3-3 draw. Former Leaf Ladislav Kohn tallied for
the Flames but it was Oleg Saprykin who scored the
game tying goal 14:40 into the third on a powerplay to
add with the game’s first goal that he scored.
Brad Leeb (his 7th), Chris Chartier (his 2nd), and
Aaron Gavey(his 3rd) tallied the goals for the Blue
and White with Chartier’s being the only powerplay
marker for the Leafs. Tellqvist made 46 saves for the
tie, while Dany Sabourin only handled 23 shots.
The Leafs ready themselves for a weekend series at
home against newly demoted goalie Curtis Sanford and
the Worcester Ice Cats. Karel Pilar has been
reassigned to the team from Toronto so the club will
have nine defencemen, which is the equivalent of
healthy forwards available. Perhaps Allan Rourke, who
played wing late in the year last season could be
moved up from the D if needed. He may be if Wren is
still suffering the effects of that concussion and no
other players are brought in.
With Craig Mills out, Aaron Gavey will be wearing the
Leafs captaincy. Gavey, who was with the Minnesota
Wild last year, has a wealth of experience and will be
a help. It’s a little interesting that Leafs players
that were here last season weren’t considered for the
The Toronto Star made a big booboo in a recent article
saying that the Leafs, who may be interested in
reacquiring Dmitri Yushkevich, said that two St.
John’s Maple Leafs scouts were at the Panthers-Flames
game. Those “scouts” were the Leafs senior manager of
hockey operations, Chris Schwartz, and Rob Mullowney,
the team’s marketing co-ordinator, who were not there
to scout players but to see how NHL teams conduct
game-day operations. The Baby Leafs do not have any
scouts, and the coaching staff were in St. John, NB.
Schwartz told the Telegram that “We never even took a
note about a player. In fact, a lot of the time we
weren’t paying attention to the game. We were
interested in how they ran things during the game.”
The confusion might have been caused by the press box
listing in Florida that they were representatives of
the St. John’s Maple Leafs and not what their
positions were. Oh well, sometimes people will do
anything for a headline.
After the Leafs games this weekend, they head to
Hamilton for a couple of games against the Bulldogs
and then back again for a six game homestand.
Glenn Stanford, Coach Lou Crawford and assistant Russ
Adam, along with some Leaf players, were in attendance
November 13th at the Canadian Paraplegic Association
had a fundraising event dinner featuring CBC
broadcaster Ron MacLean and local writer Ed Smith, who
is a paraplegic. MacLean was very nice in person,
signing autographs (especially for one Hockey’s Future
reporter) and recollected some of his unique
experiences being the side man to the ever omnipresent
Don Cherry on CBC’s Coaches Corner. Over 400 people
attended the dinner, with a $100 per plate pricetag.
The Leafs also donated some memorabilia for the silent
auction. Unfortunately, the Boston Bruins jersey was
not signed by Crawford, who had a brief stint in
Beantown in the 1980’s after a successful minor league
stint with the Maine Mariners.