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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
(Page 12 of 12)
Across the Pond

Traktor Chelyabinsk honors memory of Tertyshny

Wednesday, 09.01.2010 / 9:00 AM / Across the Pond

Bill Meltzer - NHL.com Correspondent

The afternoon and early evening hours of July 23, 1999 started out pleasantly enough along Lake Okanagan. Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Dmitri Tertyshny, who had recently completed a promising NHL rookie season, went out for a day of boating in the Okanagan Valley near Kelowna, British Columbia, with fellow Russian defenseman, Mikhail Chernov, forward Francis Belanger and a local acquaintance of Belanger's. Tertyshny and Flyers minor league prospects Chernov and Belanger were taking a break from a summer power skating camp in Kelowna.

With Belanger piloting the rental boat, the other passengers were seated aboard the 17-foot vessel. At about 7:25 pm, the boat hit a steep wave and Tertyshny, kneeling on a seat on the bow, was thrown overboard. His friends watched in horror and anguish as the 22-year-old was run over by the power boat's propeller, which slashed his neck and jugular vein. Bleeding uncontrollably, an unconscious Tertyshny was brought back onboard as the boat returned to shore and an emergency crew arrived three minutes later. The young player was rushed to Kelowna General Hospital, but it was already too late. He bled to death at around 7:30 p.m. while still on the boat.

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Alengaard keys rising Icelandic team

Wednesday, 08.25.2010 / 10:07 AM / Across the Pond

Bill Meltzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Several years ago, a Canadian sportswriter decided to have some fun with his readers, telling folks about a mysterious hockey prospect from Iceland who had the NHL scouting world abuzz.

The player was raw in terms of skill development had a remarkable combination of size, speed and shooting ability that overwhelmed the low-grade competition he faced.

The player's name: Sloof Lirpa (read the name backwards), who was supposedly Iceland's answer to Mario Lemieux or Wayne Gretzky.

Well, believe it or not, there really is such a player. He is not an NHL prospect, but the 22-year-old was a very good junior hockey player in the Linköpings HC system in Sweden and a solid Swedish minor league and U.S. collegiate player for two seasons before deciding to return to Sweden to play for minor league (Division 1) team Mjölby. His name is Emil Alengaard, or Alengård in his native language. And he's very much a real person.
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Sedlacek seeks to silence critics

Wednesday, 08.18.2010 / 11:50 AM / Across the Pond

Bill Meltzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Sedlacek

Jakub Sedlacek (Courtesy: PSG Zlin)

Who is the best young goaltender currently playing professional hockey in Europe? Many Czech hockey followers would tell you it's 20-year-old PSG Zlin goaltender Jakub Sedlacek. In his two seasons as a starting goalie in the Czech Extraliga, Sedlacek has dazzled observers with his acrobatic quickness and poise under pressure. It often seems like the more shots Sedlacek faces, the tougher he is to beat.

A product of a development system that, in its heyday, produced the likes of long-time NHL skaters Roman Hamrlik, Radek Bonk and Petr Cajanek, Sedlacek has been the Extraliga club's most valuable player since emerging as its top goaltender. In 2008-09, he led the league with an eye-popping .943 save percentage. This past season, in addition to backstopping the Czech team at the World Junior Championship, he posted a .927 save percentage while lowering his goals-against average to 2.25 from the 2.45 mark he posted his rookie season.
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Medvescak calls on well-traveled Sator

Wednesday, 08.11.2010 / 11:07 AM / Across the Pond

Bill Meltzer - NHL.com Correspondent

"There is an established hockey tradition in Zagreb, and the team has a responsibility to all the people that support our team. We all take that seriously. We've got a good group of players and some experienced leaders on the team. I'm looking forward to the season, especially in working with some of the young players." -- Ted Sator

In his 27 years of professional coaching, Ted Sator has been one of the hockey world's premier globetrotters. With the reputation of being an excellent but stern teacher who specializes in building character on fledgling teams and helping turn around struggling programs, Sator has coached throughout Europe as well as making numerous stops in the NHL.
 
In North America, Sator has served as coach of the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres. He was an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Hartford Whalers and Vancouver Canucks. A powerful voice in USA Hockey, the New York native has been an assistant coach for Team USA as well as serving on the federation's executive board.
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Star-studded Icebreakers return for a good cause

Wednesday, 08.04.2010 / 11:08 AM / Across the Pond

Bill Meltzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Now in its eighth year, the charity fundraising series of games played each August by the Icebreakers team has become an annual reminder that NHL training camps and the start of the European hockey season are right around the corner. The brainchild of longtime NHL stars Peter Forsberg and Markus Naslund, the Icebreakers team is operated by The Hockey Pros Foundation, which raises money for children's charities and hospitals throughout the players' home region (Västernorrland) in Sweden.

In addition to the efforts of its founders, a host of current and former NHL players from Sweden contribute money to the foundation and their time to the Icebreakers. Besides the exhibition games the team plays, the players on the squad visit local hospitals and youth centers catering to sick and disabled children.

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North Stars aiming for fifth Aussie Goodall Cup

Wednesday, 07.28.2010 / 10:35 AM / Across the Pond

Bill Meltzer - NHL.com Correspondent

First created in 1909, Australia's Goodall Cup is one of hockey's oldest existing championship prizes. Traditionally awarded to the victor of an amateur interstate tournament, the trophy has become the prize competed for by the teams in the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL). The AIHL was created in 2000 and acquired the use of the Goodall Cup two seasons later.

The Newcastle North Stars are no strangers to the trophy. The club, which makes its home in New South Wales, has reached the playoff finals in each of the last seven AIHL seasons and skated off with the Goodall Cup four times, most recently in 2008. Last season, after finishing first in the regular season, Newcastle lost the championship to the Adelaide Adrenaline in a heartbreaking overtime finale. This season, with four weeks left in the AIHL regular season, Newcastle once again holds down first place in the seven-team circuit. The North Stars currently hold a four-point lead over the Melbourne Ice.

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Mexican hockey: Signs of hope south of the border

Wednesday, 07.21.2010 / 9:48 AM / Across the Pond

Bill Meltzer - NHL.com Correspondent

When most people think of sports in Mexico, the first images that come to mind are baseball and soccer. Although the nation has 18 ice rinks and 2,200 registered players, including 1,800 at the junior level -- respectable participation for a non-traditional hockey country -- few people outside its small hockey community even know the sport exists in the country. However, Mexico has been part of the world hockey community for a quarter-century, gaining membership in International Ice Hockey Federation in 1985. The country made its international tournament debut at the 2000 Group D (now Division III) World Championships.

Mexico currently plays at the Division II level and is No. 38 in the world, according to the most recent IIHF international rankings. That is up nine spots from its ranking five years ago. The Mexican hockey community has no pretensions of becoming a Division I-caliber country anytime soon. Instead, the goal is to build participation by providing more people with access to the game. Apart from the ups and downs of the national teams' performances at the senior and junior World Championships, Mexico's program faces significant ongoing challenges in continuing to build the sport.

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Kekalainen faces new challenge with Jokerit

Wednesday, 07.14.2010 / 4:42 PM / Across the Pond

Bill Meltzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Much has changed in Finnish hockey in the 12 seasons since Jarmo Kekalainen assembled a championship team as the general manager of HIFK Helsinki. In the ensuring years, the economics of Finnish hockey have changed, and even the highest-profile SM-Liiga teams such as Jokerit Helsinki, HIFK and Karpat Oulu have de-emphasized high-profile imports and European league veteran players in favor of cheaper, almost exclusively Finnish talent.

In the meantime, Kekalainen carved a reputation for having one of the hockey world's sharpest eyes for talent during an eight-year stint as the director of amateur scouting and assistant general manager of the St. Louis Blues. The 44-year-old Kekalainen, who recently stepped down from his post in St. Louis to accept the general manager position with Jokerit Helsinki, will have to call on those skills to improve the fortunes of a Jokerit club that finished 10th last season and has failed to advance behind the quarterfinals in the last two playoffs.

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Hasek adds another chapter to storied career

Wednesday, 07.07.2010 / 10:15 AM / Across the Pond

Bill Meltzer - NHL.com Correspondent

After living up to his nickname in the 2010 Czech Extraliga playoffs, Dominik Hasek has elected to extend his lengthy and legendary career by at least one more season.

The 45-year-old goaltender has signed a one-year contract with Spartak Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League. Last summer, "The Dominator" ended a one-year retirement to play for his hometown team, HC Pardubice, that gave him his start in the sport in 1981-82. He went on to deliver an Extraliga championship with an astounding postseason performance.

Hasek had a very solid regular season in 2009-10, posting a 2.26 goals-against average, .922 save percentage and one shutout. In the playoffs, he turned his game up even further, limiting opponents to a mere 1.68 goals per game, stopping pucks at a .937 clip and registering 3 shutouts. In so doing, HC Pardubice reeled off a record 12 straight playoff wins to capture the Czech championship. The team lost the opening game of the quarterfinals to HC Trinec, but won the next four contests. Pardubice then went on to sweep highly favored HC Liberec in the semifinals and HC Vitkovice in the final to win the fifth championship in team history.

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I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the series-winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round