Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Short Shifts: Noteworthy Tidbits from the Hockey World

AMHL Tuesday: Before the first minute of yesterday’s game between the Flyers and Penguins was over, Pens’ goalie Claude Corbeil had already received cheers—of the mocking variety. The netminder stood in his crease watching the play in his zone, shifted his feet, wobbled, and then fell to the ice, knocking the net off its moorings. Nobody was within five feet of him. Across the length of the rink, Corbeil’s counterpart, Kenny “KISS Fan” Tarr slapped his stick on the ice in faux applause. The Flyers went on beat the Pens, 3–2.

Neither netminder will make an appearance in Will Ferrell’s next movie, Blades of Glory, which is slated for release at a theater near you later this year. But, Sasha Cohen will likely make a cameo.

Pond Hockey: The BLADES OF GLORY pond hockey team, named after the book (no connection to Ferrell’s movie) written by Minnesota author John Rosengren—who also captained the pond hockey team—won all three games in the preliminary round at the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships this past weekend in Minneapolis. The tournament was comprised of teams with names like the Fighting Amish, the Zombie Zoo, and Massachusetts’s pride and joy, the MassHoles, did not advance to the championship round because other winning teams had a lower goals-against total.

On hand at the tournament was Uptown Media. The group, which is filming a documentary titled Pond Hockey, wants to hear from you as it prepares for its February East Coast road trip. If you have a backyard rink or a favorite frozen pond, visit the group’s site soon.

If we don’t have solid ice here in New England, consider taking a road trip of your own to New Brunswick to watch the Boston Danglers defend the World Pond Hockey trophy in early February. The team has won the event the past three years.

NHL YoungStars: Minnesota native and Boston Bruin rookie Phil “the Vessel” Kessel carried the Eastern Conference YoungStars to a 9–8 victory last night; netting a hat trick in the four-on-four affair in Dallas.

AMHL Wednesday: On Rink Two, forward Dr. Greg Catalano returned to ice after missing last week. The rugged Ranger forward went skiing, which he said, “didn’t help the back” that had caused him to retire more than two seasons ago. The comeback kid has yet to score this season and at the end of the first period, his team was losing to Ken Tarr’s Habs, 0–4.

Before the game, Ken cautioned Ranger rookie Dalton Gustafson about talking to the AMHL media. “He’ll quote you on everything,” the veteran goalie warned the newcomer. Gustafson, who says he was “a third and fourth line mucker and grinder” at Union College in Schenectady, NY, has blossomed into an elite AMHL player. He leads the league—before play started this morning—in assists, with ten.

On Rink One, Claude Corbeil fell to the ice, again! This time, it was on purpose. He made a big save at the end of the first period.

NHL All-Star Game: Expect a lot of goals—I predict a 7–6 Western Conference victory–but fewer hits than Vanilla Ice has had in the last twenty-five years.

Editor's Note: The AMHL Tuesday Flyers beat the Penguins 3-2, not the other way around (as first reported here). Thanks for noting the error, Kenny!
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