Ice Hockey - NHL/KHL/IIHF

Discussion in 'General Football & Other Sport' started by sonofben, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Interesting if predictable draft. Leon Draisaitl was the highest drafted European and German at number 3. Not surprising as he has been hugely impressive in the WHL and at the WC playing in the senior German team. Not surprising considering his father was a pretty decent player.

    Nathan Walker (born in Wales) is the first ever Australian to be drafted to the NHL. The Caps had been monitoring him last season but were unable to bring him over due to some contractual legislation. He has done it the hard way from impressing as a junior in the Australian league, moving as a youngster to Slovakia and working hard to move into the senior ranks. No mean feat.

    Ivan Barbashev of the Moncton Wildcats was the steal of the draft. I think he was 33rd pick ? Well below what was expected and bizarrely so considering his points record, captaincy of both Moncton and the Russian junior sides. The Blues have a real gem on their hands who should settle in well with Tarasenko and another even younger prospect in Maxim Letunov. Doug Armstrong the GM there has done a great job. Here is the full draft list for rounds 1-7. At some point Team GB may try and get their hands on Brendan Perlini although it is a long shot. Who knows ?

    As usual the fear of Russian youngsters not being allowed to leave the KHL played a significant part in once again lowering their numbers. Denmark continue to produce talent with Nikolaj Ehlers picked at nine which bodes well for Denmark in the future.
  2. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Just over a month to go and 1230 regular season games. Looking forward to seeing how the Nuke has progressed.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  3. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    The Nuke has been plagued by injuries but Tarasenko and Kucherov have excelled which is pleasing. However there have been some sad and notable losses in the global hockey community recently.

    Namely Pat Quinn, Viktor Tikhonov and Jean Beliveau. Pat Quinn was a genial giant known as the Irishman who took the Flyers and Canucks to Stanley Cup finals and Canada to the Olympic gold medal in Salt Lake City. A thoroughly down to earth man he was also a tough defenceman as a player.

    Viktor Tikhonov was also a defenceman who turned coach with CSKA Moscow the army team winning numerous domestic titles. Using the revolutionary training methods pioneered by the Russians he won 8 World Championships and 3 Olympic gold medals and beating the Canadians on their own turf in 1979 and 1981. The Red Machine turned hockey into art with a succession of legendary players at this time.


    Jean Beliveau is a Canadiens legend having won 10 Stanley Cups over a career that spanned twenty one years from 1950 until retirement in 1971. A calm, refined gentleman and highly respected player and administrator he remains one of the greatest NHL players that have graced the ice.

  4. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    was very happy to see the canucks break their 5 game losing streak.
  5. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Hard luck Opti. Another long haul this season......;)

    Semi-finalists are Sweden, Russia, Canada and Slovakia. Denmark may have been thumped by Canada last night but they have three extremely bright prospects led by Nikolaj Ehlers and just shows the benefit of a proper development program.

    Two of the top ranked prospects for next years draft Conor McDavid of Canada (Edmonton bound at this point) and Jack Eichel of the US have impressed as has Toronto draftee William Nylander. Discipline was vital in two of the matches yesterday. The US leaked penalties which enabled Russia to score two powerplay efforts and similarly Finland yielded two five on three situations on which Sweden with the most effective PP units in the competition scored on.

    Russia's prospects have disappointed with forward Tolchinsky and netminder Schestyorkin shining brightly. The absence of WHL Nikita Scherbak has been noticeable and Pavel Buchnevich has not led the team as someone like Kuznetsov and Tarasenko have done in past tournaments. On the plus side Russia is now producing some top class netminders again.
  6. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Canada won the gold thanks to some poor netminding early on from Shestyorkin (NY Rangers draftee) 5-4. Slovakia medalled for the first time in a while beating Sweden 3-1 for the bronze.

    Bob Wilkinson is the new IHUK president. I have often mentioned how shoddily run ice hockey is in this country and that we should do far better than we are at the moment. How there is a lack of rinks, decent coaching from an early age and talent spotting, and lack of ice time.

    Most of the team owners here have short sighted ideas that pull in different directions. So much so that the sport cannot event get funding from Sport GB whereas sledge hockey (a worthwhile cause in itself for disabled sport) can.

    Hopefully the new president can start to sort out the perennial mess the sport here finds itself in and move along the path Denmark has followed. One proposal that has been readily accepted and about time too is the creation of an u20 league that will allow juniors competitive ice time and develop them better.

    There are other signs that show promise although at present they are only for privileged kids. This is the Okanagan Academy based in Swindon which provides full time schooling but with a focus on ice hockey as the principal sport. It follows the models many schools in North America have which provide most of talent that ends up in the NHL.

    Indeed Okanagan Academy by itself is ready to send it's own u18 side into this new u20 league and they are already providing a consistent stream of players into the GB u20 and u18 sides. Sam Duggan a talented 18 year old centre has moved to Sweden to further his career at Vasteras in the Allsvenskan second tier of Swedish hockey and Ivan Antonov should follow the same route shortly.

    In the NHL there are some surprising divisional leaders in Nashville and the Islanders while Buffalo and Edmonton despite their strong drafts continue to struggle. In the KHL the Western division is dominated as expected by CSKA and SKA St.Petersburg but with Jokerit Helsinki making a real fist of fighting for the top spot while Ak Bars Kazan as usual dominated the Eastern division.
  7. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    canucks break another three game losing streak with two consecutive shutout wins.
  8. Fitz

    Fitz Squad Player

    Watched the Kings lose to the Ducks in a shoutout last night. I read the Kings have failed to score in their last 22 SOG in shootouts through the loss....
  9. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Chicago Blackhawk legend Slovakian born Stanislav Mikita (part of the Waynes World film franchise) diagnosed with dementia. Now it may be because he is getting on a bit at 74 but like other heavy contact sports there is growing concern and a desire to minimize head injuries with their possible later effects. Shaking the brain about in it's case is not conducive to it's health and is probably responsible for the inflammatory reactions that lead to several neurodegenerative disorders.

  10. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    So the regular season ends in the NHL.

    And these are the playoff matchups.


    The Rangers clinched the Presidents Trophy for most points in the season. Montreal took the Atlantic division, Anaheim the Western conference and their division, St.Louis taking the other division.

    Alexander Ovechkin won the Maurice 'Rocket' Richard trophy for the fifth time after scoring 53 goals. He also became only the sixth player in NHL history to score 50 or more goals in 3 seasons joining such names as Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Guy Lafleur and Mike Bossy. Corey Crawford and Carey Price shared the trophy for least goals conceded during the regular season.

    A fascinating set of line ups which sees the absence of Boston to many peoples delight and also the LA Kings who have been prominent in recent seasons. It's pretty wide open as far as I can see. And once again it will depend on which players hit a streak and team spirit and injuries.

    Elsewhere the Gagarin Cup in the KHL final will be contested by perennial power house Ak Bars Kazan coached by Zinulya Bilyatedinov the ill fated coach of the Russian Sochi team. They play a rather turgid style of hockey as compared to their opponents SKA St.Petersburg who can boast the talents of several young Russian talents Vadim Shipchayov, Evgeny Dadonov and Viktor Tikhonov. Fingers crossed SKA win their first ever Russian/Soviet title coached by Vyacheslav Bykov.

    Team GB travel to Eindhoven to contest World Division Group 1B looking for promotion with the chief opposition likely to come from South Korea and Croatia. Korea have recently naturalized Mike Testwuide a former Flyer and Croatia have gone even further. Medvescak have played in the KHL and have recruited several players with Croat ancestry from North America. Some famous players like Joe Sakic have Croat parentage so as Croatia seek to improve themselves they have partly gone down the easy route first.

    Mark Dekanich, Michael Glumac and Andrew Murray join others like Andy Sertic in making a sizeable non-Croat trained corps in the team. The main threat though will be a player brought up in Zagreb and the Finnish SM-Liga Borna Rendulic of the Colorado Avalanche.

    Team GB have appointed Pete Russell as head coach. He has been successful with several junior GB teams. However while sledge hockey has got it's act together British ice hockey remains a collection of disparate interests which stunt the sports development and moving GB higher up the world rankings. However there are plans for a junior nationwide league that will allow kids to get ice time and competitive games and improve their skills. One can only hope for more academies along the lines of the Okanagan one in Swindon that just after two years supplied almost a dozen players to the GB junior teams.

    Team GB have one naturalized player in Chris Blight of the Dundee Stars but the rest are all British. There is a core of experience with players like Weaver, Kevin Phillips and Lee with a scattering of youngsters for the future such as Jordan Cownie and Ross Venus both testament to emerging academies at MK Lightning and the Coventry Blaze. Jack Prince returns from the the NCAA to bolster the forward line but Liam Stewart of the WHL Spokane Chiefs misses out with a shoulder injury which is a real miss.

    We certainly need more kids playing abroad. There are several doing reasonably well but at a low level in North America. Paul Swindlehurst recently failed to gain an AHL contract which is a shame and Ben O'Connor should really be playing at a higher level. Perhaps he ought to follow Joe Lewis into DEL-2 and hope to get snapped up by a German DEL club. On the other hand two kids are doing really well. Ivan Antonov of the Bracknell Bees should be moving this summer to Sweden and join Sam Duggan in the junior Elitserien. Duggan has been posting impressive numbers with Orebro. Antonov was also the player of the tournament in a recent u20 event against Belarus, Lithuania and Latvia despite only being 18. This is the route many Danish kids have taken in recent years playing in Sweden before making a move to North America partly helped by the large influx of Swedish coaches into Danish junior hockey.

    However only 2 players is rather pitiful and a damning critique of the lack of rinks, ice time, decent coaches and subsidies for kids who are less well off as it is an expensive sport. Until IHUK get's it's act together the game will never reach it's full potential here in the UK. We should be able to compete in tier one with the 15 other teams there even if we do a yoyo every year.

    Preliminary team roster:

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  11. Fitz

    Fitz Squad Player

    Too little too late for the Kings. At this point, anyone but Anaheim. I guess I would want the Caps or the Blackhawks...
  12. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  13. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  14. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  15. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Great news from Eindhoven. Team GB have beaten the two favourites both who have imported heavily and lie top of the standings with 8 points from their three games with two games left against Holland and Lithuania.


    Highlight of this game was the game winning goal on a penalty shot from defenceman Ben O'Connor arguably the best player we have at the moment. It is a highlight reel goal one that Pavel Datsyuk would be proud to pull off:

    Romania have returned to Group 1B the group we are currently in while Group 1A the group we will hopefully end up in starts tomorrow in Krakow. The u18 World Championships in Zug and Lucerne are underway. Russia and Finland lead the way with Russia beating last years champions the USA 3-1 with Ilya Samsonov a netminding prospect on the same level as Andrei Vasilevski stopping 49 out of 50 shots most of which were from acute angles and long distance.

    On a more sad note one of the greats of hockey Jaroslav Holik has passed away at the age of 72. He led Czechoslavakia to a gold at the 1972 World Championships and won several other medals at both this and Olympic level. A tough uncompromising centre his son Bobby was an NHL veteran and his grandson David Musil is a young defenceman with the Edmonton Oilers.

    On the home front Ben Bowns the current incumbent in net for Team GB will hopefully get a move to the Allsvenskan this summer. It is necessary for young players here to move abroad to experience a higher level of competition in order to improve. The Elite League is still too heavily import driven.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  16. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    canucks back to 1-1 in the series against the flames.
  17. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  18. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    The Caps are having a storming season in the NHL particularly the performances of Evgeny Kuznetsov. The Hawks are probably the other favourites at this point in time for Stanley Cup success.

    Patrick Kane has been outstanding and his partnership with Calder Cup contender Artemi Panarin has been exciting to watch. Recently the Great 8 surpassed the 500 goal mark in the NHL a feat achieved by very few players in NHL history:

    At the World Junior Championships in Helsinki Finland beat Russia 3-2 in overtime to take gold while the USA thumped Sweden to take the bronze. Canada exited in the quarters while Belarus were beaten by Switzerland to rejoin the A pool with Latvia taking their place for next years championships.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  19. hornetgags

    hornetgags McMuff's lovechild

    What's happened to my beloved Rangers???

    We need a top 6 centre to feed Rick Nash.

    We need to get secondary scoring as they seem more potent than 1st and second line.

    Important game against the Flyers today.
  20. LPC213

    LPC213 Reservist


    Apologies if this has been covered but I used to love watching NHL but having a full time job kinda shuts that down.

    Is there anything like a MOTD for NHL? The game-in-six stuff on the site was great but I don't recall seeing it the last time I looked, plus I'd want some kind of offline feature as my life is spent on the tube these days. In any case I'd probably be looking for a bit of punditry as I've not paid attention for so long.

    Would love a recommendation.
  21. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    There used to be Powerplay magazine LPC which you could get from a specialist sports book shop near Cambridge Circus London but it is now defunct. I just use the recap feature on and watch game highlights usually around four minutes per game.
  22. hornetgags

    hornetgags McMuff's lovechild

    Well good news as the Rangers beat the Flyers in a shootout.

    Did a search and there is this app which seems perfect

    In the description it actually says:

    "Stuck on the subway with no internet? We are too! That's why EndlessTV has offline mode. Enjoy your favorite channels offline."

    Might want to try it (I'm on Android and can't find a version).
  23. LPC213

    LPC213 Reservist

    Thanks. Also on Android so will have an issue! I suppose if the content is produced in the form of a show, it can be got at... Somehow.
  24. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Patrick Kane wins the Art Ross trophy. The first American to do so.

    Artemi Panarin is likely to win the Calder Trophy. The Capitals win the Presidents Trophy for the best record in the season with Ovechkin scoring a hat trick against the Blues last night to reach 50 goals for a seventh season. Braden Holtby secured another win tying him with Martin Brodeur for record wins in a regular season.

    It's all gearing up to the playoffs in the NHL while in the KHL CSKA Moscow have made serene progress demolishing last years champions SKA St.Petersburg 4-0 in the playoff semifinals. They already have a 1-0 lead over Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the finals series.

    Team GB u18 are struggling in the IIHF u18 Division 2 Group A in Brasov. They have lost 5-2 to Lithuania, 9-1 to Poland while beating Croatia 7-1 and Holland 5-2. They will play the hosts Romania later today hunting third place. Poland who have been transforming their junior programme after years in the doldrums are showing signs of recovery as they have stormed through the division smashing everyone in the process. It's been a while since they managed to produce NHL calibre players like Oliwa and Czerkawski and competed at the top level of world hockey but the revival is definitely underway there.

    A shame we are still muddling through with the same old nonsense in hockey at junior levels here.
  25. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Stanley Cup Playoffs 2016

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
  26. sonofben

    sonofben Reservist


    Watching the Flyers
  27. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    The Caps PP units are pretty lethal. If the Caps don't reach the final I will be surprised. Blues set to KO the Hawks after last night as well.

    Magnitogorsk too the Gagarin Cup in a 4-3 series win over CSKA. Team GB scraped past Estonia 2-1 in OT in the WC Group B2. Not impressive at all.
  28. hornetgags

    hornetgags McMuff's lovechild

    After splitting in Pitsburgh...the Rangers had to go and lose at the Garden...typical.
  29. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Pens lead the other surprising finalists the Sharks 3-2 at the moment. Pens youngsters have led the way along with Murray impressive in net.

    However the ice hockey world is mourning the death of Mr.Hockey Gordie Howe. The legendary number nine forward whose shirt was pictured in Ferris Bueller's Day Off worn by Cameron Fry had been in poor health recently but leaves behind him an immense legacy as one of the best ever players to play the game. The word he is remembered with by most is his sheer humility. Everyone who met him be they administrators, hockey players of whatever level young or old and fans mention this and the time he would take to be with them. A rare quality indeed.

    On the ice he played for twenty six seasons retiring in 1980 with the Hartford Whalers and giving his name to the Howe hat trick. A goal, assist and fight all in the same game. The last ability was one he displayed rarely only using it for the first couple of seasons as a player to warn off the then prevalent goons who would target the skilled players of the time.

    His son Mark also became a Hall Of Famer in the NHL playing as a defenceman. Such is the esteem the player was held the new bridge over the Detroit River will be named after him and the replacement for the Joe Louis Arena may well be renamed after Detroit's favourite son.


    Long before breaking his NHL records for goals and points, Gretzky formed an inseparable bond with Howe, who was almost 33 years his senior.

    They first met in 1972 at a Kinsmen Dinner in Brantford, Ontario, Gretzky's hometown. Gretzky was 10 and was in awe of Howe. Gretzky was also awe-inspiring on the ice, the reason why a classmate's father who ran the dinner invited him and his parents to the event.

    Howe was there. So was Canadian jockey Sandy Hawley, NFL quarterback Joe Theismann and Canadian Football League star turned wrestler Angelo Mosca.

    "They had asked me to be part of it and my dad accepted it, I didn't know anything about it," Gretzky said. "That morning, my dad and mom took me down to get a new suit. New suit? My first suit. I was going to meet Gordie early at the hotel and I think the media was going to be there to interview Gordie and Sandy Hawley and Theismann. I was sort of just there, and that's when the famous picture was taken of Gordie and I when I was 10 years old."

    The picture is of Gretzky standing beside Howe to his left, leaning in. Howe, who was seated in a chair, had a hockey stick in his massive right hand and curled the blade around Gretzky's neck, tucking it under his left ear.

    "Gordie orchestrated the picture," Gretzky said. "We were kind of just standing there and he said, 'Hold on a second, give me a stick.' Gordie put the stick around me."

    Later that night, Gretzky's father, Walter, asked him what it was like to meet Gordie Howe. You have to remember that at 10 years old, Gretzky idolized Howe so much that when he went to the barbershop for a haircut he'd ask to get the Howe cut.

    "I said to my dad, 'I had so many things built up in my mind about Gordie Howe, and he was nicer and better and bigger than I had even imagined,' " Gretzky said. "I was so lucky that after that day and over the course of time our paths crossed. I played junior hockey with his son Murray in Toronto for a year. I would sit beside Murray on the bus all the time and I think he got tired of listening to my questions, but I was so interested in Gordie."

    A little more than six years later, Gretzky, now 17, was signed by the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association. Howe, who was playing for the New England Whalers, called him.

    "The day I signed he called me and told me, 'You worked so hard to get here, but now the hard work begins,' " Gretzky said. "I remember he told me that. I'll never forget that."

    Not long after, Gretzky was asked by WHA officials to fly to New York to do some promotion for the league along with Howe and Bobby Hull.

    "Who knew Wayne Gretzky at 17?" Gretzky said. "I was like, 'OK, I'll go do it.' "

    What happened is a moment that he'll never forget, a moment that carries greater meaning for him now considering the events of the past seven days.

    "I'll never forget, we're standing in the lobby of the Plaza Hotel and Muhammad Ali was there and Muhammad Ali came over to say hello to Gordie and Bobby," Gretzky said of the late, great boxer who died on June 3. "I remember thinking, 'Oh my God, Muhammad Ali came over to say hello to Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull.' I thought it was the most fascinating thing I had ever seen. Ironically enough, just a crazy week. That was the first time I met Muhammad Ali, and Gordie Howe was the guy who introduced me to him."

    Three years later, the NHL All-Star Game was held in Landover Md., just outside of Washington. Gretzky and Howe were invited by the late Bill Wirtz, the longtime owner of the Chicago Blackhawks, to a dinner. They sat at a table with President Ronald Reagan.

    "I remember saying to Gordie, 'What fork do we use?'" Gretzky said. "There were like five forks and three knives and a couple spoons. Gordie was really funny, he said, 'I'll follow the president and you follow me.' I was like, 'OK, that works for me.' "

    Gretzky remembers watching the interaction between Howe and President Reagan.

    "I remember saying to my dad, 'President Reagan was talking to Gordie Howe like he was his best friend,' " Gretzky said. "It was the most amazing thing to me. He was so at ease talking to Gordie and I kept thinking, 'Wow, how cool is that?' "

    But that was Howe. That's what he did. As the years went on, Gretzky grew to have an appreciation for the way Howe made everyone he talked to feel special, including media members.

    "He was from a different time, a different era," Gretzky said. "He would go fishing with guys like Red Fisher, Frank Orr and Stan Fischler. He was friends with those guys. They didn't just idolize Gordie and write Gordie was the best player, they were friends with him. He would go out of his way to make sure Danny Gallivan could spend time with him. That's the way it was and that's what Gordie did, he made everybody feel special. He just had this one-on-one relationship with people. He was just a normal person.

    "I remember one of the first times I walked through an airport with him and I was just amazed at how everyone knew Gordie Howe. It seemed like every single person stopped and talked to him and he would stop and talk to everybody. I was like, 'Oh my God, is there anybody in this world that doesn't know Gordie Howe?"

    Reminded he gets similar treatment now, Gretzky responded, "Oh, not like him. He was pretty special. He was everything."

    A colossus of the game and icon of Canada. More sportsmen and women would do well to follow his example.

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
  30. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    The stupid and pointless World Cup of Hockey is gearing up including among it's ranks a Team Europe and North America to stand against Finland, Russia, Sweden, Canada and the US.

    The qualification for the mens tournament at Pyongyang is already complete:–_Men's_qualification

    Germany, Slovenia and Norway make up the final twelve teams. I find it a real shame that they cannot get a 16 team entry list. Four groups of four leading to a quarterfinal stage. Teams like Denmark with many players just gearing up for the NHL against players already in season have missed out again and others like Latvia too. And the sport has missed another chance for invaluable exposure not just in Denmark but several other countries who are there or thereabouts. At the moment the NHL are not saying whether players will be allowed to go the tournament given that it will be during the NHL season but the NHLPA and the desire of most European players to play in the Olympics will hopefully shaft Bettman again.

    Hockey is expanding again. A Chinese team albeit with only three indigenous players on it's roster Kunlun Red Star are playing in the KHL and the NHL is expanding with an associated expansion draft next year. Las Vegas is unfortunately the site of one of the new franchises with the tentative name of Las Vegas Desert Knights. The other franchise could go to Quebec City missing a team since the Nordiques left, Houston or Seattle which would seem an ideal location.
  31. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Team GB won all five matches at the World Championships Group IB. They beat previously undefeated Japan 4-0 to secure first spot and replace relegated Ukraine from Group 1A.

    On the way they beat Croatia 4-2, Estonia 5-1, Lithuania 5-2 and Holland 14-0. An impressive effort and blend of youth and experience. However the domestic structure is still a shambles and it is a long way and time before the team can even hope to reach the top group. Facilities, coaching for the most part and access to the sport is still very limited and the lack of ambition of the best British players. Ben Bowns netminder for instance should have tried his luck abroad in Sweden for instance.

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
  32. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Vegas Golden Knights the latest team to join the NHL are doing surprisingly well. Future expansion centres around a relocation of either the Carolina Hurricanes or Arizona Coyotes with Seattle the likely recipient. Seattle has plenty of hockey history formerly with the Seattle Metropolitans who won the Stanley Cup in 1917.

    In British hockey a disappointing u20 tournament with losses to Japan and South Korea and third place in Division Two Group A but ahead of Estonia, Rumania and relegated Holland. One of the bright sparks was the performance of 17 year old defenceman Liam Kirk of the Sheffield Steelers. A prolific points scorer who is learning his defensive duties he has progressed with the Sheffield junior teams piling on points and playing already in the EIHL the top rank of ice hockey in the UK. Smooth skating with quick hands this kid could well be our second ever NHL domestic raised draft prospect after the legendary Tony Hand. If he made it he would boost the sports profile here no end. More surprising given the shambles British ice hockey is usually.

    The kid needs to go to the Canadian junior leagues or Sweden to enhance himself although playing against men ten to fifteeen years older than him and succeeding is already getting him notice from NHL scouts.

  33. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    GB need just a draw in regulation time to earn promotion to the top division of ice hockey for the first time since 1962. Currently 0-1 to Hungary unfortunately.
  34. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    An unbelievable finish. 2-0 down in the third period but GB tied the game with just ten seconds left. Which means with the one point for the tie in regulation GB top Division 1A regardless of what happens in overtime. That means a trip to the World Championship in 2019 in Slovakia playing against the likes of Russia and Canada for the first time since 1962.

    It also means Italy go up at the expense of Kazakhstan. Four teams having been tied on nine points. An incredible tournament indeed. Hope the BBC and IHUK get together to televise it. Probably some heavy beatings but more exposure is only good. Kirk, Bettridge and a couple of very promising kids in North America as well in the USHL. Hope things are looking up for British hockey at last. Something to build on.
    wfc4ever likes this.
  35. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Ditto this seasons playoffs. And more rubbish on the ice after that demolition by the Pens.

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