Eisbaeren Berlin Enjoy Successful Weekend


The international break for the annual Deutschland Cup tournament in Munich clearly seems to have blessed German capital city club Eisbaeren Berlin, who have been literally besieged with crippling injuries all season long, with a certain amount of good fortune.

Eisbaeren Berlin abruptly halted a four-game losing streak — the longest of this domestic campaign — by collecting five out of a possible six points in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga this past weekend after upending the Hamburg Freezers 4-3 in a shootout and then shaving Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams by the miminum 1-0 scoreline. On Friday night, Czech Republic import Petr Pohl single-handedly hauled Berlin back onto level terms with Hamburg by scoring two goals before tallying the game-winner, himself, in the shootout competition. On Sunday afternoon, highly experienced Olympic veteran Antti Miettinen, the 34-year-old center who has skated in 539 National Hockey League games (97 go, 230 pts) and represented Finland at seven major international tournaments (51 ga, 9 go, 24 pts) in his career, scored on the breakaway just 25 seconds into Eisbaeren’s contest with visiting Wolfsburg while countryman Petri Vehanen, the 37-year-old netminder who has appeared for Suomi at annual IIHF World Championships four times in his career, held the fort by stopping all 27 shots faced.

Pohl, the oft-traveled right wing who was once the fifth round choice (# 133 overall) of the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2004 NHL Draft, leads Eisbaeren Berlin in scoring this season with both 10 goals and 17 points in 17 D.E.L. games thus far. Including the early-season Champions Hockey League matches against European opposition, the speedy 28-year-old attacker has notched 14 goals and 23 points in 23 total games for Eisbaeren this term. Deservedly so, Pohl was called up by the senior national team of the Czech Republic for the very first time in his career this fall and has already made three appearances in the annual Euro Hockey Tour competition.


Eisbaeren Berlin center Antti Miettinen, the wiley veteran who scored 20 goals for the Minnesota Wild during the 2009/10 NHL season while earning a bronze medal with Finland at the XXI Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver along the way, slips the puck over the left shoulder of Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams goaltender Sebastian Vogl during the Deutsche Eishockey Liga match at the O2 World Arena in the capital city of Germany.

Canadian legionnaire Mark Bell, the 34-year-old left wing who is a veteran of 450 NHL games (87 go, 182 pts) but only recently returned to the Berlin line-up after missing nine games on account of injury, hit Miettinen with a long home run pass to help Eisbaeren get the early jump on Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams.

Florian Busch, the 29-year-old veteran left wing who skated for Germany at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, finally returned to action for Eisbaeren Berlin after missing 16 consecutive D.E.L. contests, in the comeback triumph over Hamburg. Still on the shelf, however, is captain Andre Rankel, the seasoned Germany national team player who is the second-leading scorer for Eisbaeren (14 ga, 8 go, 13 pts) in the domestic league this fall. Also still out injured are Canadian legionnaire Matt Foy, the 31-year-old right wing out of Merrimack College who skated in 56 NHL games for the Minnesota Wild, and left wing Laurin Braun, the diminutive (5’10″ 172 lbs) 23-year-old who had 10 goals and 20 points after skating in all 52 D.E.L. games for Berlin last season.

Meanwhile, Eisbaeren Berlin have made a transaction in order to cope with the long-term loss of Laurin’s older brother, Germany national team defenseman Constantin Braun. The capital city club have recalled Alex Trivellato, the youthful 21-year-old rearguard who spent all of last season with Berlin (51 ga, 3 go, 6 pts) before skating in six games for Italy at the 2014 IIHF World Championships. Trivellato, who did skate in four Champions Hockey League contests for Eisbaeren this term, has not yet appeared in the domestic top flight this season after being sent out on loan to Dresdener Eisloewen (16 ga, 2 go, 10 pts) of the German second division.

Leave a Comment

Phantoms Trim Marlies


After scoring a power play goal to take the lead in the latter stages of the last period, the home team still needed to survive a shot off the iron and a highly unusual six-on-three shorthanded situation as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms outlasted the visiting Toronto Marlies 3-2 to get back on the winning track in the American Hockey League.

Canadian legionnaire Brandon Manning, the undrafted 24-year-old rearguard who has now skated a dozen National Hockey League games for the Philadelphia Flyers in his four seasons of professional hockey, netted a 5-on-3 power play goal for the Phantoms with just under four minutes remaining; immediately after having his offensive skills questioned by this very blog, it is Manning who produces power play strikes in back-to-back AHL games Lehigh Valley this weekend, it shall be noted here.

Third-year pro Greg McKegg, the 22-year-old center who was the third round selection (# 62 overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2010 NHL Draft, was unlucky not to equalize for the visiting Marlies very late after clanking the iron; it had been McKegg who had already leveled for Toronto on the power play earlier in the third period.

Lehigh Valley goaltender Rob Zepp, the former Eisbaeren Berlin backstop and veteran German international who has started ten of the Phantoms’ first thirteen games this season, made a few key saves along the way, particularly at the end of the contest, and lowered his impressive AHL numbers this term (10 ga, 2.56 avg, .920 svpct) in the process; Lehigh Valley defenseman Robert Hagg, the 19-year-old rookie from Sweden who was the second round pick (# 41 overall) of the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2013 NHL Draft, had a pivotal block in the closing moments.

November 15, 2014
PPL Center – Allentown, Pennsylvania
Attendance : 8,664

Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3Toronto Marlies 2

05:09 … TOR – Bodie (Ross, Carrick)
09:55 … LV – Laughton (Leier)
10:52 … LV – Cousins (Delisle)
48:25 … TOR – McKegg (Brown, Finn) – ppg
56:02 … LV – Manning (Gordon, Laughton) – ppg

shots-on-goal : LV 31 ( 9 + 9 + 13 ) – TOR 30 ( 6 + 11 + 13 )

penalty minutes : TOR 17 + 10-min misconduct – LV 17 + 2 10-min misconducts

power plays : LV 1/5 – TOR 1/5

fights : Mathers (LV) vs Broll (TOR)

10-minute misconducts : Fyten (LV), Ross (TOR), Rosehill (LV)

Lehigh Valley : Zepp – Delisle, Manning ; Hagg, Pettersson ; Lauridsen, Flemming – Leier, Laughton, Gordon ; Straka, Cousins, Sortini ; Rosehill, Powe, Alderson ; Fyten, Goumas, Mathers

Toronto : Gibson – Finn, Granberg, Loov, MacWilliam, Marshall, Nilsson, Percy – Biggs, Bodie, Broll, Brown, Carrick, Devane, Findlay, Kontiola, McKegg, Ross, Watling

Notes — the Phantoms duo of Robert Hagg and Jesper Pettersson combined with the Marlies trio of Petter Granberg, Viktor Loov and Tom Nilsson meant that this AHL contest featured no fewer than five Swedish defensemen operating on the two blue lines; Loov, the well-built (6’3″ 210 lbs) 22-year-old who was the seventh round choice (# 209 overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2012 NHL Draft, was a teammate of Hagg’s with Mo Do Ornskoldsvik in the Swedish elite league last season.

One highly experienced international player turning out for the Toronto Marlies in downtown Allentown was 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Petri Kontiola, the creative 30-year-old center who has appeared with Finland at six major international tournaments in his career (52 ga, 17 go, 42 pts). Kontiola skated in a dozen games (0 go, 5 pts) for the Chicago Black Hawks during the 2007/08 NHL campaign and was a consistent point-producer at the AHL level (147 ga, 37 go, 130 pts), mostly for the Rockford IceHogs, during his first stint in North American pro hockey but has spent the last five years in the Kontinental Hockey League playing for Russian clubs Metallurg Magnitogorsk and Traktor Chelyabinsk. Kontiola was named Best Forward and also selected to the tournament All-Star team at the 2013 IIHF World Championships in Scandinavia after registering eight goals and 16 points in 10 games for the unlucky Finns, who would up empty-handed after losing 3-2 to the United States in the Bronze Medal Match.

Lehigh Valley Phantoms center Scott Laughton, the 20-year-old rookie who was the Philadelphia Flyers’ first round pick (# 20 overall) at the 2012 NHL Draft, ended his seven-game goal-less streak with a first period strike against the Toronto Marlies.

Leave a Comment

Penn State 4 – UMass/Lowell 1


A pair of rapid-fire strikes from the school’s all-time leading goal-scorer relatively early in the first period and continued strong play between the pipes from the formerly out-of-favor sophomore netminder thereafter propelled the visiting PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS to a most sensational 4-1 triumph over the # 4 ranked UNIVERSITY of MASSASCHUSETTS – LOWELL RIVER HAWKS and a highly deserved split of this surprising NCAA non-conference weekend series in New England.

The River Hawks have been definitely rotating goaltenders to start this 2014/15 campaign but the conspicuous fact that UMass/Lowell made three other changes to its line-up from Friday night’s match was, perhaps, an indication that the home side who came into the weekend series as the highest scoring team in all the land were feeling a tad overconfident for the Saturday night date with Penn State, still, of course, only just beginning their third-ever season as a Division I ice hockey program.

Penn State came out skating hard and, as usual, ready to have a shot at goal from any angle whatsoever. The Nittany Lions were then presented with an early power play opportunity and took full advantage soon enough. Casey Bailey, the 22-year-old junior right wing from Anchorage, Alaska, who has been in lethal form this fall, wristed a long shot from the top of the right circle past Canadian legionnaire Jeff Smith, the 19-year-old freshman from Maple Ridge, British Columbia, immediately after a faceoff in the UMass/Lowell zone.

Penn State doubled its lead less than two minutes later when Bailey was left all alone in the slot. Nittany Lions center Taylor Holstrom, the 24-year-old redshirt senior from Yorba Linda, California, quickly sent a radar-like pass from behind the goal line and Bailey one-time the puck into the River Hawks net with a great deal of authority to score his second of the night and his team-leading eighth goal of this season. UMass/Lowell were completely stunned, as was most of the audience at the Paul E. Tsongas Center.

The River Hawks made several attempts in the opening twenty minutes to put themselves on the comeback trail but would find the path blocked by Penn State goaltender Eamon McAdam. The 20-year-old homegrown sophomore from Perkasie who was the third round selection (# 70 overall) of the New York Islanders at the 2013 National Hockey League Draft picked right up where he left off after coming off the bench for the Nittany Lions in Friday night’s contest and showed why NHL scouts had thought so highly of him in the first place. McAdam suffered through a freshman term (10 ga, 4.09 avg, .882 svpct), to review, and not appeared for Penn State since early of February of last season but showed he is ready to leave all that in the rear view mirror.


Penn State Nittany Lions goaltender Eamon McAdam (34) made ten starts as a freshman last term but posted the dubious record of zero wins against nine losses and had to sit out 21 consecutive NCAA contests before coming on in relief during Friday night’s game against the UMass/Lowell River Hawks.

The Nittany Lions added a third goal with only nineteen second left in the opening period to further dampen the spirits of the nation’s # 4 ranked ice hockey team. After continuous pressure in the UMass/Lowell zone, defenseman David Thompson, the 22-year-old homegrown sophomore from Glens Mills who missed five games this fall after being injured at the 2014 Brice Alaska Goal Rush tournament in Fairbanks, sent a shot from the right point in on net and right wing Eric Scheid was able to sweep the puck home on the backhand. It was the sixth goal of this season for Scheid, the 22-year-old redshirt junior from Blaine, Minnesota, who led Penn State with both 11 goals and 20 points in 36 NCAA games last season after transferring from the University of Alaska – Anchorage.

The visitors probably broke the River Hawks back by scoring yet again just 47 seconds into the second period. Right wing Tommy Olczyk, the 23-year-old senior from Long Grove, Illinois, who also scored in Friday night’s contest after sitting out four games in a row, sped down the right wing on a two-on-one before calmly slotting the puck home on a left-handed wrist shot. Assisting on Olczyk’s third goal of this season was none other than the influential Holstrom, who earned his third assist of the evening in the process.

Thereafter, the focus shifted onto McAdam, who kept the high-powered offense of UMass/Lowell off the scoreboard for more than fifty minutes on Saturday night. This after the seldom-used sophomore had stopped 17 of 18 shots faced in roughly thirty-one minutes the previoius evening. In all, McAdam limited the River Hawks to just two goals while stopping 40 shots during the weekend series in New England.

As for Penn State (now 6-2-2), this victory over # 4 ranked UMass/Lowell might very well rate as the greatest ice hockey result in school history thus far. Certainly, knocking off the # 18 ranked Wisconsin Badgers in Madison two years ago and beating the nine-time NCAA champion Michigan Wolverines to win the Nittany Lions’ first-ever Big Ten Conference tournament game were also spectacular accomplishments for the fledgling program. But a triumph over a Top Five team is a triumph over a Top Five team.


Penn State center Taylor Holstrom (28), who is one of just a handful of players leftover from the Nittany Lions’ well-documented “club hockey” days, leads all Division I college players with 13 assists and is tied with four other skaters for top scoring honors with 16 points this season.

November 15, 2014
Paul E. Tsongas Center – Lowell, Massachusetts
Attendance : 4,548


06:17 … PSU – Bailey (Holstrom) – ppg
08:30 … PSU – Bailey (Holstrom, Goodwin)
19:41 … PSU – Scheid (Robinson, Thompson)
20:47 … PSU – Olczyk (Holstrom)
50:30 … UML – Z. Kamrass (Mueller, Chapie) – ppg

shots-on-goal : PSU 31 ( 13 + 10 + 8 ) – UML 25 ( 10 + 9 + 6 )

penalty minutes : UML 8 – PSU 6

power plays : UML 1/3 – PSU 1/4

UMASS/LOWELL : J. Smith (Boyle 20:47) – Z. Kamrass, Mueller ; Kapla, Zink ; Forney, Suter – Hollman, Maniccia, Chapie ; White, Campbell, Francis ; C. Smith, Gambardella, Edwardh ; Fallon, Colantone, J. Kamrass

PENN STATE : McAdam – Koudys, Thompson ; Juha, Autio ; Williamson, Sweetland – Goodwin, Holstrom, Bailey ; Robinson, Conway, Scheid ; Loik, Brooks, Olczyk ; DeRosa, Gardiner, Friedman

Leave a Comment

UMass/Lowell 5 – Penn State 3


In a rather cleanly played ice hockey game that saw both sides amass a combined total of only four penalty minutes for the duration of the contest, the home team opened up a three-goal lead midway through the second period before settling in to protect what had already been gained as the # 4 ranked UNIVERSITY of MASSACHUSETTS – LOWELL RIVER HAWKS skated to a 5-3 victory over the visiting PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS in the first of this weekend’s non-conference set.

The River Hawks, who now sport seven wins and two ties from their first ten games of this 2014/15 NCAA season came, entered into this latest Big Ten Conference versus Hockey East engagement as the only Division I team in the entire country to be currently averaging more than four goals scored per contest. UMass/Lowell, who swept the Nittany Lions on the road in State College last season, demonstrated its offensive potential this term by scoring four goals on its first dozen shots of the game.

Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff, the 22-year-old homegrown junior from McKees Rock who, on the whole, has been in good form this fall, was recalled to the bench after the River Hawks notched their fourth goal almost eight and a half minutes into the second period. Sent out onto the ice for a first appearance of this 2014/15 NCAA campaign was Eamon McAdam, the 20-year-old homegrown sophomore from Perkasie whom the New York Islanders picked in the third round (# 70 overall) of the 2013 National Hockey League Draft but struggled during what was, for the most part, a disappointing freshman season (10 ga, 4.09 avg, .882 svpct) last term. McAdam had not played since early last February (a 7-3 loss to the Michigan Wolverines) but gave a good account of himself while stopping 17 of 18 shots from UMass/Lowell in nearly thirty-one minutes of game time.

The Nittany Lions halved their deficit just seventeen seconds into the middle frame when right wing Corey Bailey, the 22-year-old junior from Anchorage, Alaska, who has clearly rediscovered his old scoring touch, netted on the backhand to notch his team-leading sixth strike of the season. Penn State center Taylor Holstrom, the 24-year-old senior from Yorba Linda, California, made a tremendous play to keep the puck in the offensive zone at the right point, it should be noted. UMass/Lowell stormed straight back, however, and soon re-established its two-goal lead when the diminutive (5’8″ 175 lbs) left wing Robert Francis, the 23-year-old junior from San Diego, California, who transferred from Western Michigan University, found the back of the net for the second time on the night.

Penn State pulled a couple of goals back in the third period to salvage a measure of pride and, perhaps, build some momentum for Saturday evening’s return encounter with the River Hawks. Tommy Olczyk, the 23-year-old senior right wing from Long Grove, Illinois, who had been out of the line-up for the Nittany Lions’ last four games, celebrated his return by scoring on the backhand after a nice pass from behind the net by Canadian legionnaire Curtis Loik, the 21-year-old junior left wing from West Vancouver, British Columbia. And David Goodwin, the 22-year-old sophomore left wing from Des Peres, Missouri, scored his fourth goal of this season on a one-timer after taking a slick backhand feed from the influential Holstrom, who leads the Nittany Lions this fall with both ten assists and thirteen points.


Penn State right wing Casey Bailey (25), who now counts 29 goals in 68 NCAA career games for the Nittany Lions, collides with UMass/Lowell River Hawks defenseman Dylan Zink, the 22-year-old sophomore from Madison, Wisconsin, in front of the net during the NCAA non-conference clash in New England.

November 14, 2014
Paul E. Tsongas Center – Lowell, Massachusetts
Attendance : 4,314


11:13 … UML – Francis (Chapie)
18:46 … UML – Kamrass (Maniccia, Mueller)
20:17 … PSU – Bailey (Holstrom)
21:57 … UML – Edwardh (Gambardella, Smith)
28:47 … UML – Francis (Maniccia)
48:21 … UML – Smith (Zink, Edwardh)
51:12 … PSU – Olczyk (Loik)
58:45 … PSU – Goodwin (Holstrom, Bailey)

shots-on-goal : PSU 37 ( 11 + 11 + 15 ) – UML 30 ( 9 + 12 + 9 )

penalty minutes : UML 2 – PSU 2

power plays : UML 0/1 – PSU 0/1

UMASS/LOWELL : Boyle – Kamrass, Mueller ; Zink, Kapla ; Panico, Suter – Francis, Maniccia, Chapie ; White, Campbell, Wallin ; Smith, Gambardella, Edwardh ; Fallon, Colantone, Hough

PENN STATE : Skoff (McAdam 28:47) – Koudys, Thompson ; Juha, Autio ; Jensen, Sweetland – Goodwin, Holstrom, Bailey ; Robinson, Conway, Scheid ; Loik, Brooks, Olczyk ; DeRosa, Gardiner, Friedman

Leave a Comment

Streaking Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Down Punchless Lehigh Valley


In a penalty-filled affair that saw both sides whistled for ten minors apiece, it was an even-strength strike from the first-year professional who leads the circuit in goal-scoring nearing the midway mark of the third period that allowed the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Penguins to clip the visiting Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3-1 in the American Hockey League‘s latest all-Pennsylvania clash.

After slamming a shot from the right wing off the crossbar, Penguins rookie Bryan Rust went to the front of the net and got another chance shortly thereafter when a Phantoms defenseman misplayed the puck while trying to clear a centering pass. The 23-year-old from the University of Notre Dame who was Pittsburgh’s third round selection (# 80 overall) at the 2010 National Hockey League Draft promptly scored just a little over eight minutes into the final period, forcing the puck past Lehigh Valley veteran goaltender Rob Zepp at close range. Rust leads all AHL rookies having now lit the lamp seven times in fifteen games this season.

It was another Scranton/Wilkes-Barre freshman who had provided the Penguins with the opening tally almost eleven and a half minutes into the first period. Zepp made a fine save from a slapshot from Jean-Sebastien Dea, the undrafted and undersized 20-year-old from Laval, Quebec, who is currently tied for the team lead with 11 points (four goals) this season, but had no chance on the rebound. And so, Scott Wilson, the 22-year-old rookie left wing from the University of Massachusetts – Lowell whom the Pittsburgh Penguins tabbed in the seventh round (# 209) of the 2011 NHL Draft, was able to net his second goal of this 2014/15 AHL season.

Phantoms defenseman Brandon Manning scored the visitors’ only goal of the game early in the third period with Lehigh Valley operating on the power play. The undrafted 24-year-old Canadian legionnaire took advantage of a screen in front of the crease set by countryman Zack Sortini, the veteran 29-year-old pugilist who has 256 NHL games for the Edmonton Oilers under his belt (14 go, 41pts, 718 pen.min.) and led the American Hockey League with 299 penalty minutes while skating for the Norfolk Admirals last season. Both the Penguins and Phantoms went a particularly unimpressive one for eight while skating with the man-advantage.

Dominik Uher, the 21-year-old center who was the fifth round pick (# 144 overall) of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2011 NHL Draft as well as the assistant captain of the Czech Republic at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championships, added a late empty net goal for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.


Lehigh Valley Phantoms center Scott Laughton (21), the Philadelphia Flyers’ first round choice (# 20 overall) at the 2012 National Hockey League Draft who captained Canada (7 ga, 0 go, 1 as) at the 2014 IIHF World Championships in Scandinavia last season, is confronted at the side of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre net by the Penguins duo of goaltender Jeff Zatkoff, the 27-year-old veteran out of the University of Miami (Ohio) who spent all of last term in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins (20 ga, 2.61 avg, .912 svpct) and defenseman Derrick Pouliot (51), the highly touted 20-year-old who was the first round pick (# 8 overall) of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2012 NHL Draft and also represented Canada (7 ga, 1 go, 5 pts) at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships last winter, of the during the American Hockey League derby match at the Mohegan Sun Arena in northeastern Pennsylvania.

November 14, 2014
Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza – Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Attendance : 4,378

Scranton/Wilkes Barre Penguins 3 – Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1

11:16 … SWB – Wilson (Dea, Pouliot) – ppg
42:27 … LV – Manning (Laughton, Gordon) – ppg
48:06 … SWB – Rust (Ebbett, Wilson)
59:55 … SWB – Uher (Farnham, Dumoulin) – eng

shots-on-goal : SWB 23 ( 9 + 4 + 10 ) – LV 22 ( 7 + 9 + 6 )

penalty minutes : LV 20 + two 10-minute misconducts – SWB 20

power plays : SWB 1/8 – LV 1/8

fights : none

10-minute misconducts : Alderson LV 2 (double misconduct – abuse of official)

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre : Zatkoff – Harrington, Samuelsson ; Chorney, Dumoulin ; McNeill, Pouliot – Wilson, Ebbett, Megna ; Kuehnackl, Dea, Rust ; Sheary, Rowney, Archibald ; Letourneau-Leblond, Uher, Farnham

Lehigh Valley : Zepp – Delisle, Manning ; Hagg, Pettersson ; Lauridsen, Flemming – Leier, Laughton, Gordon ; Straka, Cousins, Sortini ; Rosehill, Powe, Alderson ; Fyten, Goumas, Mathers

Notes — the slumping Phantoms have lost six out of their last seven AHL games while scoring a grand total of ten goals in the process.

Leave a Comment

Ghost-less Lehigh Valley Phantoms Will Not Be Frightening AHL Opponents


When they own the information they can bend it all they want.”

While university academicians might be inclined to allow themselves to be so easily handcuffed by technical terms such as “sample size”, the simple fact of the matter is what you got already this fall is what you are going to get the rest of this 2014/15 American Hockey League term from the rather limited Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

In other words, now that highly touted Philadelphia Flyers defenseman prospect Shayne Gotisbehere, the two-time NCAA (East) All-America selection from Union College who garnered a gold medal with the United States squad at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships, has torn his anterior cruciate ligament and has a date with the surgeon’s scalpel, it actually is the goal-scoring of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms who will be feeling the greatest amount of pain and for the longest time, as well.

Anyone who knows the first thing about hockey and has a properly functioning set of eyeballs could see that, offensively speaking, Philadelphia’s top farm club was very much a Jekyl & Hyde act revolving around whether or not the attack-minded Gostisbehere was in the line-up on any given night. Lehigh Valley averaged 3.4 goals per game (17 go in 5 ga) and did not score less than two goals in any one AHL game with Ghost in uniform but the Phantoms have averaged just 2.0 goals per game (12 go in 6 ga) and have already been blanked twice when Gostisbehere has not skated. Sometimes the numbers, even when there are not very many of them, really can tell the whole story adequately enough.

It certainly should not be interpreted as some kind of coincidence, the fact that Lehigh Valley had three wins and two losses (.600 pct) when Ghost participated but only have two wins and four losses (.333 pct) from games that the talented Gostisbehere did not play in.

Phantoms rookie defenseman Robert Hagg, the 19-year-old who earned silver medals for Sweden at the annual IIHF World Junior Championships in both 2013 and 2014, has done very well for himself thus far (11 ga, 1 go, 7 pts) but the second round pick (# 41 overall) of the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2013 NHL Draft is now the only Lehigh Valley blueliner with any kind of genuine offensive creativity about him. However, the Phantoms’ opponents have, without a doubt, recognized this by now and will be devising a strategy for the future. In most of Lehigh Valley’s games that Gostisbehere (5’11″ 170 lbs) has missed this fall, it has seemed as if the much sturdier Hagg (6’2″ 203 lbs) has logged close to thirty minutes per night.

Technically speaking, Hagg is viewed by Swedish scouts as a quintessential “two-way” defenseman who can contribute on the power play as compared to the smooth-skating but much lighter Gostisbehere (5 ga, 0 go, 5 pts), who clearly fits into the proverbial “offensive defenseman” category.

As for what is left of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms blue line corps, no amount of feel-good positive spin is going to change the fact that both the currently injured Mark Alt and the undrafted Brandon Manning are simply pedestrian when speaking in terms of attack-minded defensemen who can quarterback the power play. Alt was the second round selection of the Carolina Hurricanes at the 2010 NHL Draft, but that relatively high status was more of a reflection upon the former University of Minnesota rearguard’s size (6’3″ 205 lbs) and ability to take care of business in his own end more than anything else. Manning might come from western Canada but is more in the traditional mold of the Broad Street Bullies and certainly will not be conjuring up any memories of Paul Coffey from the Edmonton Oilers.

Leave a Comment

Around Big Ten Hockey Horn


Because the first pucks of this still relatively new 2014/15 NCAA season have been dropped some time ago now and the results, particularly those involving the Big Ten Conference schools, are always important, of course :

Friday, November 7, 2014
Minnesota 5Notre Dame 0
(goals — Kloos, Bristedt, M. Reilly, Warning, Marshall)
North Dakota 4Wisconsin 3
(goals — Parks 2, Gaarder, St. Clair ; Drake 2, Soleway)
Nebraska/Omaha 4Ohio State 1
(goals — Parizek, Cooper, Peterson, Brady ; Johnson)
Michigan State 4New Hampshire 3
(goals — Ferrantino 2, Walsh, MacEachern ; Kelleher 2, Downing)

Saturday, November 8, 2014
North Dakota 5Wisconsin 1
(goals — O’Donnell, Caggiula, Johnson, Stecher, Ausmus ; Besse)
Nebraska/Omaha 4Ohio State 3
(goals — Peterson 2, Pope, Parizek ; Fritz, Niddery, Angeli)
New Hampshire 5Michigan State 2
(goals — Poturalski, Willows, Kelleher, Correale, Downing ; MacEachern, Ferrantino)

Sunday, November 9, 2014
Minnesota 4Notre Dame 2
(goals — Warning, Fasching, M. Reilly, Brodzinski ; Russo, Wuthrich)


Notre Dame left wing Mario Lucia (22), the 21-year-old junior from Plymouth, Minnesota, who was the second round pick (# 60 overall) of the Minnesota Wild at the 2011 National Hockey League Draft as well as the second-leading marksman (16 goals) for the Fighting Irish last season, was kept of the scoreboard at the Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis this weekend by Minnesota netminder Adam Wilcox, the 22-year-old homegrown junior from South St. Paul who was tabbed in the sixth round (# 178 overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning before being named the Big Ten Conference’s Best Goaltender as well as an NCAA Second Team (West) All-America selection, and the rest of the Golden Gophers.

The five-time NCAA champion Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-1-0) confirmed their status as the country’s number one ranked team with a two-game sweep over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Minneapolis. Minnesota right wing Taylor Cammarata, the 19-year-old homegrown sophomore from Plymouth who was the third round selection (# 76 overall) of the New York Islanders at the 2013 National Hockey League Draft, had two assists in Friday’s 5-0 shutout win and set up three more goals during Sunday’s 4-2 triumph to conclude a five-point weekend. Sam Warning, the 22-year-old senior left wing from Chesterfield, Missouri, who was the second-leading scorer with 34 points (14 goals) for the Golden Gophers last season, as well as NCAA First Team (West) All-America defenseman Mike Reilly, the 21-year-old homegrown junior from Chanhassen who was the fourth round choice(# 98 overall) of the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2011 NHL Draft, both netted a goal in each of the two games against Notre Dame. Minnesota freshman Leon Bristedt, the 19-year-old Swedish import, scored his first collegiate goal in the United States on Friday night.

The six-time NCAA champion Wisconsin Badgers (0-6-0) carried on with their disastrous start to this 2014/15 season while being swept on home ice in Madison by former Western Collegiate Hockey Association rival North Dakota, the number two ranked team in the land at present. Wisconsin gave away the lead twice in the second period before falling 4-3 on Friday night and were blasted 5-1 on Saturday evening. The Badgers’ Canadian legionnaire Joel Rumpel, the 23-year-old senior from Swift Current, Saskatchewan, who was a finalist for the coveted Hobey Baker Award last season, has not been in standout form thus far (5 ga, 3.44 avg, .833 svpct)

The struggling Ohio State Buckeyes (2-5-1) dropped a pair of home games to the Nebraska – Omaha Mavericks, who came into the weekend series at Columbus ranked # 19 in the nation by the latest USCHO.com weekly poll. Ohio State outshot their guests 26-19 on Friday night but still lost 4-1 and then built a two-goal lead late in the first period of Saturday night’s before conceding three times unanswered in a 4-3 defeat. Canadian legionnaire Tanner Fritz, the 23-year-old senior from Grande Prairie, Alberta, who leads Ohio State with nine points in eight games this fall, had a goal and an assist for the Buckeyes on Saturday.

The three-time NCAA champion Michigan State Spartans (3-4-0) earned a split against the New Hampshire Wildcats on the road in New England. The Spartans were heavily outshot by New Hampshire on Friday night but Michigan State goaltender Jake Hildebrand, the 21-year-old junior from Butler, Pennsylvnia, who has been a real workhorse ever since arriving on campus, had 42 saves and Michael Ferrantino, the 21-year-old homegrown junior from Plymouth, had two goals. Ferrantino finished the weekend series with three goals while MacKenzie MacEachern, the 20-year-old homegrown sophomore from Troy who was selected in the third round (# 67 overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft by the St. Louis Blues, had a goal in each game against the Wildcats, as well.

Leave a Comment

Canada 4:2 Germany


Despite holding a two-goal advantage as the halfway mark of the contest approached, a questionable decision to change goaltenders and a string of undisciplined penalties conspired to undo the host nation as always proud Canada rallied to register a 4-2 triumph over Germany on the final day of the 2014 Deutschland Cup international tournament in Munich.

Even though the players representing nine-time Olympic gold medalist Canada at the Olymia-Eisstadion in Bavaria are certainly not the very best that the North American country actually has to offer, one still could have easily surmised that, after consecutive losses to Slovakia and Switzerland at this 2014 Deutschland Cup, national pride and professional experience would see to it that this particular team under the direction of Eisbaeren Berlin trainer Jeff Tomlinson were always going to be extremely difficult to beat on the third and final day of the competition.

Canada had much better of the play for the first eight minutes or so but found Germany netminder Dennis Endras of Adler Mannheim, the somewhat smallish shot-stopper who was named the Best Goaltender at the 2010 IIHF World Championships but has been out of favor for the past couple of seasons, to be in top notch form. Buoyed by reliable play between the pipes, the Germans skated the lead a little over thirteen minutes in when a long wrist shot from defenseman Denis Reul, the 25-year-old Adler Mannheimer who was the fifth round choice (# 130 overall) of the Boston Bruins at the 2007 National Hockey League Draft, eluded veteran Canada goaltender Chris Mason of German elite league club Augsburg Panthers, the 38-year-old with 317 games worth of NHL experience on his resume. In front of the net to provide a critical screen was Germany center Kai Hospelt of Adler Mannheim, the 29-year-old Olympic veteran who was the seventh round selection (# 216 overall) of the San Jose Sharks at the 2003 NHL Draft and has appeared at six major international tournaments (40 ga, 4 go, 16 pts) in his career.

It was the first international goal ever scored by Reul, who has represented Germany at the IIHF World Championships three times (14 ga, 0 go, 0 pts) in his career already.


Germany goaltender Dennis Endras (44), the experienced national team veteran who has played 20 games (2.78 avg, .906 svpct) at the annual IIHF World Championships over the course of his career, smothers the puck during the game against traditional international powerhouse Canada on the final day of competition at the 2014 Deutschland Cup in Munich.

As the first intermission neared, the Canadians found themselves with two players sitting in the penalty box and the host nation was effectively able to capitalize. Germany captain Michael Wolf of hometown EHC Red Bull Munich, the 33-year-old Olympic veteran who has skated at seven major international tournaments (45 ga, 11 go, 21 pts) during his tenure, started the movement by passing the puck to Patrick Hager of ERC Ingolstadt behind the net. Then, the 26-year-old left wing quickly stepped out in front and stuffed a backhander past the Canadian custodian Mason to give Deutschland a 2-0 lead with a little more than two and a half minutes left in the first period.

The first half of the second period was far more even than the opening session had been but the Germans certainly did need a few more fine saves from Endras, the 29-year-old who, in late December of 2012, had an excellent outing when Adler Mannheim upended Canada 2-1 at the annual Spengler Cup holiday tournament held in Davos, Switzlerand. Then, perhaps because the host had already clinched this 2014 Deutschland Cup title by winning its first two games against Switzerland and Slovakia, Germany national team trainer Pat Cortina decided to rotate his goaltenders. It was a curious move more commonly associated with a Testspiel (an exhibition contest) as compared to a tournament game.

And so, at the 29:30 mark of the contest, off the bench ice cold and with one rather short stoppage of play to get ‘ready’ came Timo Pielmeier of ERC Ingolstadt, the 25-year-old who had one rather dreadful appearance (7.50 avg, .583 svpct) for the Anaheim Ducks during the 2010/11 NHL season in three years of North American professional hockey; Pielmeier, who had performed admirably in Germany’s 2-1 victory over Slovakia the day before, was making just his fourth-ever appearance in the national team colors.



Faced with the prospect of losing all three games at this 2014 Deutschland Cup and now having seen the backup goaltender sent out onto the ice, the prideful Canadians obviously concluded that they needed to step up their game immediately. Barely six minutes had come off the scoreboard clock since the arrival of Pielmeier when Canada sped down the right flank in the German zone on two-on-one break. Bud Holloway of Swiss Nationalliga A side SC Bern, the 26-year-old winger who was the third round pick (# 86 overall) of the Los Angeles Kings at the 2006 NHL Draft, squared the puck beautifully into the path of charging Hamburg Freezers right wing Kevin Clark, the 26-year-old out of the University of Alaska – Anchorage who currently leads the Deutsche Eishockey League with 13 goals in 16 games this season after notching 30 goals and 68 points in 51 D.E.L. games for Krefeld Pinguine last term.

With time in the second period almost expired, inexperienced Germany defenseman Florian Kettemer of EHC Red Bull Munich, the 28-year-old former Adler Mannheim blueliner who has never appeared at a major internatonal tournament, was escorted to the penalty box and the Canadians took their chance rather well immediately. Highly experienced Canada captain Steven Reinprecht of Nuremberg Ice Tigers, the aging 38-year-old former Wisconsin Badgers center who skated in 596 NHL games and won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001 before winning a gold medal for his country at the 2003 IIHF World Championships, sent a picturesque cross-ice pass from the bottom of the right faceoff circle over to Holloway in the left faceoff circle. The former Los Angeles farmhand who has spent the past three winters with AIK Skelleftea in the Swedish elite league after totaling 28 goals and 61 points in 78 games for the Manchester Monarchs during the 2010/11 American Hockey League campaign had no trouble hitting the back of the virtually wide-open net.



The Canadians had obviously gained momentum from its strong finish to the middle frame but, at the outset of the final period, the Germans made it clear they were not enamored with the idea of a loss in their final tournament game and remained on even footing for the first thirteen minutes or so. Germany were spending too much time in the sin bin, however, and the visit by Kettemer that gave Canada its second power play opportunity of the game proved to be costly. This because the influential Reinprecht, who was loaned to Adler Mannheim for the remainder of the season by the NHL’s Florida Panthers in January of 2011, blasted his one-time shot from between the top of the two faceoff circles past the German goaltender Pielmeier to give the Canadians their very first lead of the game at the 53:52 mark.

The Germans made an effort to get back on level terms but Mason, the experienced veteran who has been to the annual IIHF World Championships with the national team of Canada four times (11 ga) in his productive career which includes both a gold medal (2007) and a silver medal (2009) won at the annual IIHF affair. Mason had been a hard luck loser for Canada after being lifted in favor of a sixth attacker at the end of the previous day’s clash with Switzerland, it should be remembered. Brandon Buck, the 26-year-old center who to transferred to German D.E.L. club ERC Ingolstadt from Swiss second division side HC Basel this past summer, put matters to rest soon enough for Canada by scoring an empty net goal.



November 9, 2014
Deutschland Cup
Olympia-Eisstadion … Munich, Germany
Attendance : 6,000

Canada 4 – Germany 2

13:12 … GER – Reul (Oppenheimer, Hospelt)
17:19 … GER – Hager (Wolf, Hoerdler) – ppg
35:22 … CAN – Clark (Holloway)
38:53 … CAN – Holloway (Reinprecht, Regehr) – ppg
53:51 … CAN – Reinprecht (Pettinger) – ppg
59:05 … CAN – Buck (Clark) – eng

penalty minutes : GER 14 – CAN 10

Germany : Endras (Pielmeier 29:30) – Hoerdler, Ankert ; Reul, Kettemer ; Krueger, Akdag ; Wurm, Krupp – Gogulla, Ullmann, Reimer ; Pietta, Hospelt, Oppenheimer ; Hager, Plachta, Wolf ; Noebels, Seidenberg, Kink

Canada : Mason – DuPont, Pettinger ; Raymond, Regehr ; Festerling, Roy – Aulin, Ca. Abbott, Ch. Abbott ; Hamill, Dixon, Reddox ; Holloway, Buck, Clark ; James, Reinprecht, Greentree

Leave a Comment

Switzerland 2:1 Slovakia


Two lighting-fast goals just fifty-one seconds apart at the start of the third period overturned the deficit and vaulted inexperienced Switzlerand to a 2-1 triumph over Slovakia and a respectable second place finish at the 2014 Deutschland Cup international tournament in Munich.

After two consecutive games against the much heavier-hitting Canadian and German squads, the Slovaks enjoyed a far less physical contest against the youthful Swiss and probably had the better of play in the first two periods, as well. With less than four and a half minutes left in the second period, Slovakia stormed to the lead when HC Kosice right wing Adam Lapsansky converted a fabulous chance coming from between the two faceoff circles after a centering pass from behind the net. For Lapsanky, who has never appeared at a major international tournament as of yet, it marked the third consecutive game at this 2014 Deutschland Cup that the 24-year-old Slovak scored one goal.

Switzerland, however, were fortified by the goaltending of Sandro Zurkirchen of HC Ambri Piotta, the 24-year-old who was making just his second-ever appearance for the national team; Zurkirchen, to review, had made 36 saves for the Swiss in the 2-1 win over Canada the day before and was a major reason why Slovakia failed on five power play opportunities on the last day of the tournament in Munich.

Switzerland fought back to tie the score barely more than four minutes into the final frame when EV Zug right wing Lino Martschini, the 21-year-old who spent two seasons playing major junior in Canada for the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, went on a solo skate through the Slovakia defense. Less than sixty seconds thereafter, the Swiss struck for a winner when the trio from Nationalliga A side HC Davos finished with aplomb. Samuel Walser, the 22-year-old center who had also scored Switzerland’s first goal in the 2-1 victory over Canada at this 2014 Deutschland Cup, netted yet again after taking a drop pass from Dino Wieser, the 25-year-old left wing who had defeated the Canadians by scoring into an empty net just the day before.

Highly experienced trainer Glen Hanlon, the long-time National Hockey League goaltender and former Washington Capitals head coach who is now in his first season in charge of Switzlerand’s national team, was pleased and encouraged by both the effort and progress his players demonstrated throughout the weekend tournament in Munich.


Slovakia defenseman Tomas Bokros (3), the 25-year-old who spent last season with SK Sodertalje in the Swedish second division, and speedy Switzerland left wing Reto Suri of EV Zug, the 25-year-old Olympic veteran who has already appeared at three major international tournaments (20 ga, 6 go, 11 pts) in his career, search for the loose puck in front of the net on the final day of the 2014 Deutschland Cup competition.

November 9, 2014
Deutschland Cup
Olympia-Eisstadion … Munich, Germany
Attendance : 4,800

Switzerland 2:1 Slovakia

35:39 … SVK – Lapsansky (T. Sykora, Cingel)
44:12 … SWITZ – Martschini (Haas, Suri)
45:03 … SWITZ – Walser (Wieser, Simion)

penalty minutes : SWITZ 10 – SVK 4

Slovakia : Konrad – Deyl, Svarny ; Valach, Janosik ; Kotvan, Kozak ; Bokros – Dravecky, Viedensky, Bakos ; Cingel, T. Sykora, Lapsansky ; Marcinko, Lusnak, Rac ; Dej, Bortnak, Vandas

Switzerland : Zurkirchen – Ramholt, Schlumpf ; Leeger, Haechler ; Kparghai, Kienzle ; Fischer – Suri, Haas, Martschini ; Wieser, Walser, Simion ; Bodenmann, Schaeppi, Baltisberger ; Scherwey, Froideveaux, Bertschy

Leave a Comment

Phantoms Shut Out By Patriotic Pirates


November 8, 2014
Cross Insurance Arena – Portland, Maine
Attendance : 3,679

Portland Pirates 3Lehigh Valley Phantoms 0

19:10 … POR – Szwarz (Shinnimin, Hanley)
21:44 … POR – Samuelsson (Bolduc, Campbell)
38:17 … POR – Lessio (Shinnimin, Oberg)

shots-on-goal : POR 40 ( 14 + 12 + 14 ) – LV 27 ( 8 + 8 + 11 )

penalty minutes : LV 19 + POR 15

power plays : POR 1/7 – LV 0/5

fights : Louis (POR) vs Mathers (LV)

10-minute misconducts : none

Portland : McKenna – Campbell, Hache, Hanley, Lewis, Oberg, Reese – Bolduc, Dziurzynski, Gaudet, Hodgman, Lane, Lessio, Martinook, Samuelsson, Selleck, Shinnimin, Szwarz, Wathier

Lehigh Valley : Zepp – Delisle, Flemming, Hagg, Lauridsen, Manning, Pettersson – Alderson, Cousins, Fyten, Gordon, Goumas, Johnston, Laughton, Leier, Mathers, Rosehill, Sortini, Straka

Leave a Comment