Saturday, November 18, 2006

AMHL Thursday: Zdeano Banfield and the Circus Stick

The defenseman—the tallest player on his team—wielded a long, long stick to keep the puck inside his team’s offensive zone not once, but twice...and then a third time.

“Nice play, Chara,” his defensive partner said to Zdeano.

Zdeano, that’s not a typo. Zdeano, as in the new nickname for Dean Banfield, AMHL Capitals’ defenseman. Sure, the other lanky lad—the one who plays for the NHL Bruins—was effective in the B’s 2–1 victory over the Maple Leafs on Thursday night. Zdeno’s performance at the TD Banknorth Garden, however, paled in comparison to the show Zdeano put on at Rink One at Concord Valley Sports Thursday morning as the Capitals downed the Stars, 9–4.

Not only did Banfield shine on defense—stepping up to intercept passes, playing sound positional hockey, taking short shifts—he earned two assists. These feats, performed with seemingly the greatest of ease, prompted Cap’s captain David “Mr. Hockey” Losier to laud Dean and marvel at what Losier called the “circus stick.”

Losier didn’t go so far as to compare Z to D, but I’ll go out on a limb to make these additional comparisons

Zdeno:

-Hometown: Trencin, Slovakia, a world a way from Massachusetts
-Languages: Speaks English, Czech, and Russian, to name a few
-Hobbies: Enjoys the Tour de France, even rides the course a day in advance of the competitors

Zdeano:

-Hometown: New Canaan, Connecticut, a world away from Massachusetts
-Languages: Proficient in Fortran, Java, and C++, to name a few (I’m guessing because Banfield is a software guy)
-Hobbies: Does the Tour de Bangalore (India), three or four time a year as part of the software circuit

Alright, so maybe that’s a stretch (stretch, get it?).
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