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Waterloo, Sudbury lose at Junior World Cup

Monday, 08.20.2012 / 1:14 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

The Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League and Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League each suffered setbacks in round-robin play at the 2012 Junior Club World Cup on Monday at Omsk Arena in Omsk, Russia.

The Black Hawks lost 3-1 to Dynamo Shinnik of Belarus, while Sudbury lost to HC Riga Jr. of Latvia 2-1 in a shootout.

Waterloo (1-1-0) is competing in Group A along with teams from Belarus, Czech Republic, Norway and host Russia. Sudbury (1-1-0) is in Group B with Denmark, Finland, Latvia, and Sweden. During round-robin play, teams play games against teams in their respective group. The two clubs with the best records in each group following round-robin play will advance to the semifinal round.

Wallen's remarkable comeback still influencing others

Friday, 08.17.2012 / 4:03 PM / Prospects

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

The Mississauga St. Michael's Majors were finishing off a 3-1 win against the Niagara Ice Dogs in their home opener on Oct. 3, 2008, when 17-year-old forward William Wallen suddenly started experiencing blinding headaches. Wallen, who had arrived in Mississauga just weeks earlier after playing in his native Sweden, became disoriented and eventually vomited. Something was wrong.

"We're taught in second-year medical school that the worst headache of your life is a ruptured aneurysm," said Dr. Tim Rindlisbacher, the Majors' team physician who was at the game that night. "I wanted him to get to the hospital really fast."

What some thought might be a bad headache turned out to be a bulging blood vessel in Wallen's brain that had burst and was bleeding. There was a 50 percent chance he might die. But in an inspiring comeback that would make waves across the hockey world, Wallen was back on the ice just a few months later.

Reinhart's big day leads Canada into Hlinka final

Friday, 08.17.2012 / 4:02 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Sam Reinhart won't be eligible for the NHL Draft until 2014, but he's already making quite a name for himself.

The center, who plays for the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League, scored the go-ahead goal 1:13 into the second period as Canada held off the Czech Republic for a 5-2 win Friday in one semifinal of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, played at Thereza Arena in Breclav, Czech Republic.

Canada, which has won the past four summer under-18 tournaments, will face Finland in the gold-medal game Saturday. Finland scored a 5-4 overtime win against Sweden in the other semifinal.

Reinhart also had a pair of assists in the win. Bo Horvat had a pair of goals, and Nathan MacKinnon, a candidate to be the first player picked at the 2013 NHL Draft, had three assists. Nicolas Petan and Max Domi also had goals for Canada.

Top prospect Compher named to USNTDP U-18 team

Thursday, 08.16.2012 / 1:14 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

J.T. Compher, a left wing expected to be a first-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, was one of 23 players named Thursday to the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 team for the 2012-13 season.

Compher, a 6-foot, 165-pound forward, led the USNTDP U-17 team last season with 27 assists and was second with 42 points in 40 games. He also had six goals and three assists in 14 games with the U-18 team last season.

Compher is one of 19 players from the U-17 team to earn a spot with the U-18 team this season. Also on that list is Tyler Kelleher. The 5-6, 147-pound right wing led the U-17 team last season with 25 goals and 47 points.

Late flurry keeps Canada perfect at Hlinka tourney

Wednesday, 08.15.2012 / 2:42 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Canada already had clinched first place in Group B at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, but wanted to end preliminary-round play Wednesday on a positive note. It took until the final 3:45 of the game, but the Canadians left the ice at Zimny Stadion in Piestany, Slovakia with smiles on their faces following a dramatic 3-2, come-from-behind win against Slovakia.

Center Sam Reinhart, a top candidate for the 2014 NHL Draft who currently plays for the Kootenay Ice in the Western Hockey League, capped Canada's comeback by scoring the winning goal with 53 seconds left in regulation.

Defenseman Joshua Morrissey, who plays for the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL and is a candidate to be a first-round pick in the 2013 draft, had a hand in all three Canada goals, scoring once and assisting on the others.

Slovakia led 2-0 heading into the final minutes of regulation on goals by Kristian Horvat and Martin Ambroz and shutout goaltending by Maros Mikolas. But Ryan Kujawinski, a center with Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League, got Canada on the board when he scored off a Morrissey setup with 3:45 left.

Canada wins second straight at Hlinka tourney

Tuesday, 08.14.2012 / 12:42 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Max Domi, son of former NHL player Tie Domi and a highly regarded 2013 NHL Draft prospect, had two goals and two assists and Anthony Duclair had the go-ahead goal and an assist as a quick-strike scoring attack paced Canada to a 7-5 win against Sweden on Tuesday at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament.

In the game, played at Zimny Stadion in Piestany, Slovakia, Canada got goals from six different players en route to their second in as many days. They beat Switzerland 4-1 on Monday.

Nathan McKinnon, Morgan Klimchuk, Curtis Lazar and Sam Reinhart also scored for Canada, which scored three power-play goals and another shorthanded.

Russia tops U.S. in shootout at Ivan Hlinka tourney

Monday, 08.13.2012 / 2:06 PM / Prospects

The U.S. Under-18 Select Team was unable to protect a 1-0 lead in the third period as it fell to Russia in a 2-1 shootout loss in its opening game of the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament on Monday in Breclav, Czech Republic.

U.S. goaltender Thatcher Demko made 38 saves before the game entered the shootout.

"We played hard and competed in a hard-fought game," U.S. coach Matt Herr said. "We're going to get our rest, make small adjustments to our game and get ready to go again tomorrow night."

Team USA broke a scoreless tie in the second period as Justin Bailey capitalized on a power play, slipping a rebound past Russian goalie Igor Serebryankov. The U.S. held onto its 1-0 lead until late in the third, when Russia was able to tie the game on a goal by Pavel Buchnevich at 13:42.

Galchenyuk gets needed game action at camp

Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 5:22 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Regardless of what the numbers showed, U.S. center Alex Galchenyuk got just what he needed this week at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp: actual game play.

Galchenyuk was taken by the Montreal Canadiens with the third pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, even though he played just two regular-season games right before the Ontario Hockey League playoffs because of a major knee injury sustained in a September preseason game. He had two goals and two assists in six playoff games, which was a taste of what NHL scouts had seen the season before.

Two seasons ago, as a rookie with the Sarnia Sting in the OHL, he had 31 goals and 52 assists (83 points) in 68 games. Based mostly on that resume, NHL Central Scouting still ranked him fourth on its final list of the top North American skaters for the 2012 draft.

Teams likely were hoping he'd slip, but the Canadiens weren't letting him get past No. 3.

"That's the guy we wanted," Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said after making the selection. "I like his size (6-foot-1, 195 pounds), I like his character, I like his hockey sense, I like his vision, and I like his desire to be a hockey player.

Klefbom expects to join Oilers for 2013-14

Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 11:27 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Oscar Klefbom said he's watched Edmonton Oilers games the last two years and thought about what it would be like to skate in Edmonton with their growing list of young stars. He just isn't ready to join them -- yet.

Klefbom, taken by the Oilers with the 19th pick of the 2011 draft, told on Friday that his intention is to honor the final season of his contract with Farjestad in the Swedish Elite League, and join the Oilers for the 2013-14 season.

The 6-foot-3, 204-pound blueliner said nothing is set in stone yet, but he said feels he needs another season of development before coming to the NHL.

"It's been a long discussion," Klefbom said. "Edmonton wants me to come over and try but I don't want to come over and feel like I'm not ready. I think Farjestad is a really good opportunity for me to be a really good player."

The Oilers are building around young, talented high-end forwards like Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and 2012 No. 1 pick Nail Yakupov. Now they need to find the same franchise building blocks on the back end, and Klefbom certainly has the look of someone who can fill that role.

Senators prospect Zibanejad enjoys strong camp

Friday, 08.10.2012 / 7:59 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The 2011-12 season was full of highs and lows for Mika Zibanejad. He's aiming to level things out a bit this season.

From the highs of a top-line opening-night role in the NHL and a golden goal to the lows of being on the last-place team in the Swedish Elite League, Zibanejad went through it all.

He started the 2012-13 season on a good note this week at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, helping Sweden go 3-1 in its four games here.

The forward didn't get on the score sheet in Sweden's tournament finale Friday, a 5-2 win against Finland. Carolina Hurricanes prospect Victor Rask had a goal and an assist, and Jakob Lilja, Rasmus Bengtsson, Oscar Klefbom and William Karlsson each added a goal. Goalie Niklas Lundstrom stopped 24 of 26 shots.

Finland, which fell to 0-4 with one game remaining, got goals from Robert Leino and Juuso Ikonen. Janne Juvonen, who allowed all eight goals in Finland's 8-2 loss to Sweden on Tuesday, played the third period in relief of Richard Ullberg and stopped all 11 shots he faced.

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