Thursday, November 18, 2010

I will be at the Allen Americans VS. Tulsa Oilers Game Tonight

I have plans to be at the BOK Center tonight for the Tulsa Oilers VS. Allen Americans game up in Tulsa tonight which gets underway at 7:05 PM Tonight. If your looking for me, I will be wearing my Dallas Stars 3rd Jersey as well as a Black Leather Jacket if it gets cold.

Here's the links for tonight's game if your going as well. Also if your a college student and bring your College ID, you can get $5 off for any ticket at the box office tonight.

Tickets for Tulsa Oilers

Mike Heika Chat

Got a question for Dallas News Stars Insider Mike Heika? Mike will be having his weekly chat this afternoon at 1:30 PM which will get underway in about a half-hour. As always, his chats go on for about an hour so get in line to ask him anything related to the Stars.

Mike Heika Weekly Fan Chat

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

AHL Weekly: Rampage look to end culture of losing

Since the Rampage joined the American Hockey League in 2002, the team has had a repturation of losing. For instance, they last made the playoffs in 2007 only to lose in a 7 game series against the Toronto Marlies. They only other playoff trip in team history was back in the team's 2nd season in 2003 when they lost in a 3 game sweep against the Norfolk Admirals (First Round back then was back of 5).

Other then that, they hasn't been much excitement for hockey fans in the Alamo City as the team has never won a division title, never won a playoff series and hasn't had the best luck of getting players to the National Hockey League.

However, with their start this year as they sit on top of the West Division with a 12-4-1 record through 16 games, as well as new head coach Ray Edwards looking to bring a new excitement. This may finally be the year that Rampage can look forward to being a major contender instead of a pretender.

With some strong transactions by their NHL Affiliate Phoenix Coyotes like bringing in Matt Climie and Mathieu Beaudoin from the Texas Stars (Dallas Stars), as well as a strong showing by starting goalie Al Montoya and along with Matt Climie in net. This is one of the best goaltender duo's in the AHL, which is one big thing the Rampage have been lacking for most (if not all) in their franchise's history.

Their starting to gain attention from the American Hockey League as a strong foe and someone who's looking to bring some excitement and for the first time some banners and hardware that will inspire future players and staff, bring in more fans and become an AHL Force.

From the American Hockey League Website

San Antonio Rampage Team Stats

San Antonio Rampage Team Website

Next 5 Games

11/19: VS. Milwaukee Admirals    7:00 PM

11/26:  @ Houston Aeros    7:35 PM

11/27:  @ Texas Stars     7:00 PM

11/28: VS. Milwaukee Admirals    3:00 PM

12/3:    @ Texas Stars    7:30 PM

A franchise with a history of early season struggles, the San Antonio Rampage are bucking the trend with one of the most impressive starts of the 2010-2011 season.

The Rampage posted a combined 9-30-4 in October and November over the past two seasons, digging a hole both years from which they were unable to recover. But San Antonio enters the new week winners of four straight and 11 of their last 13 games, putting them in first place in the West Division (12-4-1) and tied for the overall AHL Lead with 25 points. Under Coach Ray Edwards, who took over on November 23 last season, and featuring a roster which includes six former first round draft picks, San Antonio ranks seventh in goals per game (3.29), fifth in PP Efficiency (21.2 %) and fourth in goals allowed per game (2.53).

The Rampage show three former first-or-second round draft picks among their top five scores - 21 year olds Mikkel Boedker (17 PTS) and Brett Maclean (15 PTS) and 22 Year old Viktor Tikhnov (14 PTS), drafted 8th overall by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2008, is already near halfway to the 38 points he put up in 64 games for San Antonio last season; Maclean a 2nd round pick in 2007 and an AHL All Star his rookie year in 2009, leads all Rampage forwards with a +6 rating; and Tikhonov, a first rounder (28th overall), has at least one point in 11 of his last 14 games.

Another former first round draft pick (8th overall in by Columbus in 2004) Alex Picard is tied for the team in goals (9) and shows (30 PTS, 18G 12A) in 31 games since arriving to San Antonio from Columbus in a late season trade. Tim Stapleton, who scored 28 and 30 goals the past two season for Toronto and Chicago, respectively, has 12 points (6G 6A) through his first 17 games in a Rampage Uniform, follow newcomer Bracken Kearns fresh off a best career year with 51 points in Rockford last year, has registered 8 points in 10 games for San Antonio, and Andrew Ebbett, who spent all of 2009-2010 in the NHL, has scored a goal and six assists in nine outings.

Three key members of the Texas Stars' 2010 AHL Calder Cup Run moved down interstate 35 to San Antonio for the 2010-2011 campaign and are paying immediate dividends. Coming off a breakout 44 point campaign for the Stars a year ago, Mathieu Beaudoin is currently leading the Rampage with nine goals (tied) and has 19 points through 17 games played.

Garrett Stafford places among the AHL Defensemen Leaders with 12 points (3G 9A) and has also played two games for Phoenix and goaltender Matt Climie (8-3-0, 1.99 GAA, .939 SV%), fifth in goals against average and tied for third for victories. Climie's counterpart is 2004 first round pick Al Montoya, is out to a 4-2-0 start after winning just 4 games in an injury plagued 2009-2010 season.

With the exception of Stafford and a third year pro Jeff May, San Antonio has employed a collection of rookies on the blue line. Olivier Ekman-Larsson, drafted sixth overall by Phoenix in 2009, was assigned to San Antonio on Friday and recorded two assists in Saturday's 5-2 win over Chicago. Chris Summers, a first round pick in 2006, has a plus six rating to go along with two points and fellow first year rearguards Maxim Goncharov and Michael Stone have three points apiece.

The Rampage enjoy a light schedule this week, with a Wednesday matinee on tap in Peoria before returning home on Friday for their first meeting of the year with the Milwaukee Admirals.

To read the entire AHL Weekly Column, Click Here

Ft. Worth Native commits to the University of Alaska

It's been a busy day for Southwest Prospects here today.

In addition to Colin Jacobs being ranked 10th by Central Scouting, our first Southwest NCAA Commit of the 2010-2011 season was announced today by the Topeka Roadrunners as Ft. Worth Native Michael Hill is announcing that he will attend the University of Alaska.

Hill is having another strong season despite not attending to go to the Waterloo Blackhawks who selected him in the top 5 of the USHL Entry Draft last spring. So far this season, he is in the top 5 in scoring league wide with 29 points (16G 13A) in 18 games played so far.

For his career in the NAHL, this is his 2nd full season in the NAHL where he scored 84 points in 63 games played and has Topeka get to the edge of the South Division Title and a Robertson Cup Spot when the Roadrunners lost to the St. Louis Bandits in 4 games last season.

He will start playing for the Nanooks which suprisly is in the CCHA and not in the WCHA where they in-state rival Alaska-Anchorage is located.

However, he will play out the rest of this season which will include a trip to the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament next month in Boston and with the team hosting the NAHL Robertson Cup Tournament this season, he will have a shot for sure to win the League Championship this season.

Currently the Roadrunners sit in 4th Place in the NAHL South Division with a record of 11-5-2 (24 Points) as the team sits just 1 point behind Amarillo and 4 points back of Wichita Falls as the rest of the South is looking to chase down the Tornado who's on a 14 game winning streak and has a league best 16-2-3.

Currently, the Alaska Nanooks are currently in 4th place in the CCHA with a 7-4-1 record (4-3-1 in Conference) and have traditionally been the stronger of the two college hockey teams in Alaska over the course of their history.

Congrats to Hill on this decision to head to the Last Frontier to play his College Hockey Career and he will be the 6th player from the Southwest to play in the CCHA if you count Ryan Daugherty who's currently with the Omaha Lancers (USHL) who committed to start playing at Northern Michigan next season.

He joins Chris Brown and Jacob Fallon (Michigan Wolverines) as well as CJ Ludwig and Erik Higby (Northern Michigan Wildcats) who also played for the Topeka Roadrunners last season when he won the NAHL Scoring & Player of the Year Title's last season.

Michael Hill Profile

Topeka Roadrunners Website

Alaska Nanooks Hockey Website

From the Topeka Roadrunners Website

In his second season as a Roadrunner, team captain and leading scorer Michael Hill has committed to play his Division 1 College Career at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks beginning in Fall of 2011.

His junior career began in Wichita Falls with the Wildcats in 2008-09, but he played only 12 games before choosing to leave the program. "I just never felt comfortable, never felt like I fit in there," Hill said of his time with the Wildcats. He had a modest two goals and three assists, but had caught the attention of Topeka Roadrunners head scout Tom Kelly, who had kept tabs on Hill as he played the rest of the season with the Dallas Stars Midget Team. The following season he easily made the Roadrunners roster and went on to score 31 goals, most on the team.

This season he was named team captain after spurning the USHL despite being a first round draft pick by the Waterloo Blackhawks. He has responded by producing at a torrid pace, leading the team with 29 points (16 Goals and 13 Assists). Now he has been rewarded with a Division 1 College Deal that he once listed as a short term goal. Getting it secured early in his final season of juniors is a blessing. "It's a huge relief, Hill said after Monday's practice. "Now I can focus on helping this team reach our collective goals."

Being named captain has been an honor, one that Hill regards with due reverence. "Topeka has a strong lineage of the captaincy and I hope live up to the expectations. "Though he doesn't view himself as a loud vocal leader," he says, "I try to treat everyone the same. Being a captain hasn't changed who I'm, how I prepare myself or how I deal with my teammates."

Roadrunners Head Coach/GM Scott Langer says, "Michael's every day work ethic is contagious. Most people see him for his ability to score goals, but he brings so much more to the ice then that." He added, "The Coaching Staff at UAF is well respected and will do a tremendous job in Michael grow as a player."

Hill plans to major in either physical therapy or kinesiology. With his junior resume, he had a few options to consider but choose UAF. "It wasn't easy", Hill said of the decision. "In the end, it was just like when I choose to return to Topeka. They really made me feel wanted and appreciated." He credits his family for providing support throughout the entire process.

"I've had a lot of big choices to make and they have helped me out so much. I'm grateful to have a strong support system at home. "Living life in the Alaskan interior is quite a departure from Ft. Worth, Texas, or Topeka, KS for that matter, but its unfazed. "I've been there before. Yeah, it's pretty cold but i'm not planning to be outside much a whole lot. I'll be there for school and hockey.

After College, Hill envisions a couple of different possible career paths. "I'd love to play hockey professionally, so we'll see what opportunities arise. If not, I will have a degree and a head start on a good career." There is one other facet he may choose to explore. "I might be interested in coaching hockey. We'll see what happens." He's had some really solid role models to inspire him in that direction during his time in Topeka. "Smacks (Scott Langer) and (assistant coach) R.J. (Enga) are the main reasons I came back to Topeka. I trusted them help advance my career and they did everything they said they would." He added, "They're the best coaches I've played for."

Playing for his coaches has been part of what fuels Michael Hill, but playing for his teammates, fans, and family is what he lists as his most rewarding part of playing junior hockey. As he continues with his follow Roadrunners in their quest for the Robertson Cup, the fans in Topeka can enjoy watching another young man entertains them with his skills as he grows before there very eyes.

Hill is the second Roadrunner from this years roster to secure his college commitment, joining Rasmus Tirronen who last month committed to Merrimack University. The Alaska Nanooks play in the CCHA. Hill will join another former Roadrunner, Aaron Gens who will be a senior at UAF next season. Hill and Tirronen are both slated to play in next months top prospect tournament in Warpole, Mass.

This Weeks Southwest Schedule

With the Thanksgiving Holiday coming up next week, the schedule will be very busy at 4 levels this week as we are entering the quarter pole of the season, it will be a very busy week filled with everything from the Stars looking to fight their way up back into the Pacific Division and Western Conference Standings.

To teams like the Texas Tornado looking to keep their 14 game winning streak going and the San Antonio Rampage looking to keep their lead in the AHL's Western Conference as well.

Dallas Stars

With a relativity light schedule right now, you would think the Stars would be taking advantage right now. But that's where you would be wrong, with the team losing three in a row on the road, the Stars are hoping that some home cooking will do them some good against the Anaheim Ducks tonight.

Just 3 days after the Stars lost 4-2 to the Ducks, the Stars will look for some revenge as the Stars currently sit last in the Pacific Division and 13th in the Western Conference only ahead of the 2 Alberta Teams, the Stars need some big performances to comeback in the standings.

In addition this time off needs to be worked on some important things like the PP. Currently the Stars sits 17th on the Power Play and 28th on the Penalty Kill (OUCH!). You can read more about it on Defending Big D

After the Stars VS. Ducks Game Tonight, the Pacific Division keeps on coming with a Thursday Night game with the San Jose Sharks, then a Saturday Night game against the Colorado Avalanche where that night will be a special game donated to raise awareness about organ donation.

American Hockey League

For the Rampage, it's about looking to keep the Milwaukee Admirals and Oklahoma City Barons at bay as the Rampage have a 4 point lead on both teams for the West Division Lead.

The team will play twice this week as after the Rampage take on the Rivermen before a huge match on Friday Night against Milwaukee as the Rampage will need this game to keep the Admirals at bay from keeping them to move up in the West Division Standings as this could be a top of the Division Clash with OKC not hitting the ice until Friday Night this week.

After a really light schedule the last couple of weeks for the Stars, it's back to work tonight, then a 3 game weekend that will see the Stars head to Oklahoma City on Friday Night, then heading back to Austin to face the Admirals on Saturday, then heading East to take on the Aeros on Sunday Afternoon. So how will the Stars face this challenge of a home-away-home-away stint over the next four games. So this will be a very tricky week for sure.

Only two games for the Barons this week as the Barons will start wrapping up their 8 game home-stand with a Friday, Sunday Weekend coming up before a Tuesday Night Game against the Admirals that they hope the Rampage slip up and will allow them to have a chance to pull away from the Admirals and catchup to the Rampage.

After this home stand wraps up, it will be a 5 game road trip that will see them play a pair against both the Lake Erie Monsters and Manitoba Moose, with a game in Austin against the Stars in between on November 30.

In addition, I will be at the Allen Americans VS. Tulsa Oilers game on Thursday Night from the BOK Center in Tulsa as I'm up here taking care of my grandmother who lives not far from here.

Here's this Weeks Schedule

Dallas Stars

11/16: VS. Anaheim Ducks     8:00 PM (FSN Southwest)

11/18: VS. San Jose Sharks    7:30 PM (FSN Southwest)

11/20: VS. Colorado Avalanche    7:00 PM (KTXA 21)

American Hockey League


Chicago Wolves VS. Texas Stars    7:30 PM 


San Antonio Rampage VS. Peoria Rivermen   10:05 AM

Chicago Wolves VS. Houston Aeros     7:05 PM


Houston Aeros VS. Grand Rapids Griffins     6:00 PM

Milwaukee Admirals VS. San Antonio Rampage     7:00 PM

Texas Stars VS. Oklahoma City Barons   7:35 PM


Houston Aeros VS. Chicago Wolves    7:00 PM

Milwaukee Admirals VS. Texas Stars    7:00 PM


Texas Stars VS. Houston Aeros    4:05 PM

Milwaukee Admirals VS. Oklahoma City Barons 5:05 PM

Central Hockey League


RGV Killer Bees VS. Odessa Jackalopes    7:05 PM


Allen Americans VS. Tulsa Oilers     7:05 PM

Wichita Thunder VS. Odessa Jackalopes    7:05 PM


Wichita Thunder VS. Allen Americans    7:30 PM

Texas Brahmas VS. Laredo Bucks    7:30 PM

Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs VS. RGV Killer Bees   7:30 PM

Missouri Mavericks VS. Tulsa Oilers    7:35 PM


Odessa Jackalopes VS. Allen Americans    7:00 PM

Tulsa Oilers VS. Missouri Mavericks     7:05 PM

Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs VS. Laredo Bucks    7:30 PM

Texas Brahmas VS. RGV Killer Bees    7:30 PM

North American Hockey League


Texas Tornado VS. Wichita Falls Wildcats    7:05 PM


Corpus Christi Icerays VS. New Mexico Mustangs   8:30 PM


Wichita Falls Wildcats VS. Amarillo Bulls    7:00 PM

Texas Tornado VS. Topeka Roadrunners    7:05 PM

Corpus Christi Icerays VS. New Mexico Mustangs    8:30 PM


Wichita Falls Wildcats VS. Amarillo Bulls    7:00 PM

Texas Tornado VS. Topeka Roadrunners    7:05 PM

Aeros score 5 2nd Period Goals to run away from Peoria 5-2

In a game where all 7 goals were scored in the 2nd period, the Aeros used 4 unanswered goals including 3 in just over 5 minutes late in the 2nd period to pull away from the Peoria Rivermen for a 5-2 win back on Sunday Afternoon.

It was a mostly an afternoon where you saw secondary players score most of the goals including Defensemen Jared Spurgeon who scored his first career Professional goal for the Aeros which tied the game at 2-2 early in the 2nd period. And helped kick off the Aeros pulling away from the Peoria Rivermen, as the Aeros were able to snap a 3 game losing streak as they lost both games in BC against Abbotsford and the first of two against the Rivermen the night before.

After a scoreless first period, the goals began flying when it went from 0-0 to 2-2 as Peter Klaus got the scoring going as he scored his 4th of the season just 28 seconds into the 2nd period. After Peoria scored twice in just over a minute apart to take brief 2-1 lead for the Rivermen.

Then the Aeros shut the door on Peoria as Maxim Noreau, Joel Broda on the Power Play and a shorthanded goal by Carson Macmillan put the Aeros up 5-2 with just under 5 minutes left in the 2nd period.

Then it was Matt Hackett's job to keep the door shut as he stopped 7 shots in the 3rd period  as the Aeros won comfortably 5-2 over the Rivermen over in Illinois.

As the Aeros are looking to climb back up in the West Division Standings as the Aeros are now 7-6-3 (17 points) and in 5th place in the West. A great winning streak can put them within striking distance of the Rivermen who are just 2 points up plus Milwaukee and Oklahoma City who are currently tied for 2nd at the moment.

As for the upcoming schedule for the Aeros, it's a home game against the Chicago Wolves on Wednesday Night. Then it's a quick 2 game road-trip with games in Grand Rapids and Chicago this weekend.

Here's the Aeros next 5. All games can be heard on Houston News Talk 1070 KNTH.

11/17: VS. Chicago Wolves    7:05 PM

11/19: @ Grand Rapids Griffins    6:00 PM

11/20: @ Chicago Wolves     7:00 PM

11/21: VS. Texas Stars    4:05 PM

11/24: @ Texas Stars    7:30 PM

Houston Aeros 5  Peoria Rivermen 2  (0-0, 5-2, 0-0)

Audio Clips from the Game

Carlson McMillan's SHG

Joel Broda Gives Aeros 4-2 Lead on PP

Spurgeon's First Professional Goal

Game Story from the Houston Aeros Website

From Peoria, Illinois: Three Aeros collected multiple points, including defensemen Maxim Noreau who had a goal and two assists, and the Houston Aeros scored five times in the 2nd period en route to a 5-2 win over the Peoria Rivermen Sunday at Carver Arena.

The win snapped a 3 game Houston Winless skid and ended a five game road trip at 2-1-2.

Carson McMillan and Jared Spurgeon each added a goal and an assist and Matt Hackett made 21 saves for his first win since October 15 and just his third overall this season.

After a scoreless first period, Houston's Petr Klaus scored 28 seconds into the second with his fourth goal of the season.

Peoria's Derek Nesbitt responded 52 seconds later to knot the score at 1-1. Ian Cole gave the Rivermen a 2-1 lead just 1:17 later.

Houston began a run of four unanswered goals starting with Spurgeon's first as a pro, on the power play at 4:50. Noreau scored the eventual game winner at 10:36 and then Joel Broda tallied another power play marker at 13:55. McMillan added a shorthanded goal, the team's first of the season, at 15:13.

The Aeros went 2/7 on the power play and have scored on the man advantage in six of their last seven outings.

Peoria Goalie Jake Allen (17 saves) suffered the loss, his first as a pro, and was relieved after Houston's fourth goal. Ben Bishop made 8 saves in 23:46 of mop up duty.

The Aeros (7-6-3) return home on Wednesday Night at 7:05 PM to face the Chicago Wolves. Get $25 Center Ice Tickets, regularly $35, by calling 713-974-7825.

Colin Jacobs Ranked #10 in the WHL by NHL Central Scouting

It was announced this morning that the first edition of the NHL Central Scouting Rankings for the 2011 NHL Draft that will be taking place in Minnesota next summer, and as expected Colin Jacobs was expected to be among the top players, but I think he even surprised himself when he cracked the top 10 in the entire Western Hockey League as he is one of the fastest rising players in the WHL Right now.

Thanks to a very strong road trip out East that just wrapped up with him getting a 3 point night against the Prince Albert Raiders and a 2 goal game against the Regina Pats where he almost got his first WHL Hat trick.

In all he has become a point-a-game player as he scored 18 points in 19 games so far this season and at 6'1" 205 pounds, he's beginning to get more comfortable throwing his weight around and becoming more physical around the boards, also looking to time his shots as he is starting to get more chances to impress on the Power Play as he plays the point to get the puck to the net.

Earlier this week, Colin Jacobs was featured on the NHL Website as he is looking to be the first ever 1st Round Draft Pick from Texas. And be among the first group of players from the Southwest to play in the National Hockey League, as well as continue to prove that Texas can be a strong state to produce hockey talent like California has in recent years when Beau Bennett and Emerson Etem were selected in the first Round last year.

In addition to Jacobs being ranked #10 in the WHL, he has a chance to move up even more with his great play. Also if he can do well in the post-season plus be able to make events like the IIHF U18 World Championships, which is one of the biggest tournaments for NHL Draft Eligible players.

This will help him out even more when spring time comes out and when the Final Draft Rankings come out in April. Keep in mind that the Major Junior Playoffs start in Mid-March and will lead up to the Memorial Cup which will be in Late May in Mississauga, Ontario this season.

As for the U18 World Championship, this year's tournament will be from April 14-24 in Germany as the Americans will look to win Gold for the 3rd straight year at this age level.

This season is already a big improvement to last season as the Thunderbirds won just 19 games last season and finished 9th only ahead of the Prince George Cougars who was easily the worst team in the WHL and one of the was compared to teams like Halifax for worst overall in the entire Canadian Hockey Leagues.

Jacobs wasn't the only Thunderbird either to make the WHL Top 25 so far, two of his teammates in Wingers Luke Lockhart who's at #12 and Marcel Noebels at #13 in the Western Hockey League also made the first list of the season.

At this point, who knows where Jacobs will go. But if the Stars have a chance to grab him in the draft and they feel it's a good fit. They should go for it, not only because he's a high quality player, but a chance to add a 2nd strong Local Prospect along with Austin Smith that could play for his hometown Stars in the near future, and a chance for him to make a big name for himself here in the DFW Area.

The next big question for Jacobs is how will he handle the pressure of being looked by scouts from all over the National Hockey League for the rest of the season.

Can he get in a position to possibly play for Team USA at the U18's this spring, what about a big WHL Playoff Run or some great eye grabbing moments that can make highlight reels and make scouts pay attention, well see how he does the rest of the season.

So far one of the best moments of the season for Jacobs came on November 2 when he had his great backhand goal against the Red Deer Rebels to help the Thunderbirds help beat the Rebels 4-1 which includes the top WHL'er in this year's draft class is Ryan-Nugent Hopkins which has easily topped the WHL List as many experts are expecting him to battle with Sean Courtier of the Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL) and Swedish Prospect Adam Larsson who plays for Skelleftea in the Swedish Elite League.

Click Here to see the Jacobs Backhand Goal against Red Deer on 11/2.

If your looking for the top players in the different leagues and European Rankings which are ranked by country. Here's the top's from the top 4 Junior Leagues in North America (OHL, WHL, QMJHL & USHL).

As for the top European Players, it is based from country, but I'm going to feature the top players from Sweden, Finland, Russia, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Switzerland. Theirs also a handful of players on here from places like Denmark and Norway as well.

Even these rankings will give us an idea of what to expect next summer in Minnesota. Theirs still a long way to go. Players can still get hurt, get traded or possibly come out of no where to rocket up their way to the charts.

A good example was Swiss Forward Nino Niederretier who had his coming out party at the World Juniors last season and rapidly climbed the charts to be a top 5 overall pick, and even got to play a handful of games with the New York Islanders before getting sent back to the Portland Winterhawks (WHL) to continue his development.

Because he plays in the WHL, he's not allowed to go to the AHL because of rules banning Junior Aged players not allowing them to play in the AHL until his Junior Years are up at age 20. If he were in the NCAA for instance, then he would be allowed to be at least in the AHL right now.

Want to read more on the NHL Central Scouting Rankings. Read the The Pipe Up Blog as the Pipeline Show's Guy Fleming discusses his Top 5 Suprises in the Rankings. Also don't forget to listen to the Pipeline Show tonight at 8-10 PM CST on The Pipeline Show as Guy Fleming and Dean Millard will talk more about the rankings.

Here's the top Players, click on the Players Name to see their Player Profiles

North American Leaders

Click here to see the full North American Rankings

Ontario Hockey League:

Top Skater: Gabriel Landeskog (Kitchener Rangers)

Top Goaltender: Jordan Binnington (Owen Sound Attack)

Western Hockey League:

Top Skater: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Red Deer Rebels)

Top Goaltender: Liam Liston (Brandon Wheat Kings)

Colin Jacobs Ranked #10 in the WHL

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League:

Top Skater: Sean Couturier (Drummondville Voltigeurs)

Top Goaltender: Christopher Gibson (Chicoutimi Sagueneens)

United States Hockey League:

Top Skater: Tyler Biggs (USNTDP)

Top Goaltender: John Gibson (USNTDP)

Click Here to see the Full European Rankings

European Leaders

Czech Republic

Top Skater: Dmitri Jaskin (Slavia Prague JRS.)


Top Skater: Joel Armia (HC Assat Pori Oy)


Top Skater: Stephan Kronthaler  (Landshut JRS)


Top Skater: Maxim Shalunov (Chelyabinsk 2)


Top Skater: Peter Ceresnak  (Slovakia Nat U20 Team)


Top Skater: Adam Larsson  (Skelleftea)


Top Skater: Dean Kukan (GCK Zurich)

San Antonio dominates in 5-2 win over the Chicago Wolves

It was a successful afternoon Sunday Afternoon at the AT&T Center as the Rampage continue to grow their lead in the AHL West Division with a convincing 5-2 win over the Chicago Wolves on Sunday as the Rampage did score 4 times in the first period.

 Including 2 goals in 33 seconds to take a quick 2-0 lead that the Wolves were never able to comeback as the Wolves also yanked starting goalie Edward Pasquale after the first intermission when San Antonio was up 4-1 as the Rampage scored the 5 goals from 5 different including Alex Picard who tied Mathieu Beaudoin for the team goal scoring lead with 9 this season.

It was also a strong showing for backup goaltender Matt Climie as he made 25 of 27 saves in the game as he helped the Rampage take the West Division Lead to 4 points over both the Milwaukee Admirals and Oklahoma City Barons are tied for 2nd with 21 points.

Other goal scorers for San Antonio included Danish Left Winger Mikkel Boedker who had a goal and assist in his 2nd straight game and takes his point total to 17 which he is starting to become a point a game player as he also had a 3 assist game in a 5-1 win over Abbotsford back on November 5.

Other Goal Scorers on Sunday Afternoon include Ryan Holloweg, Bracken Kearns and Viktor Tikhonov who each logged their 3rd goal of the season on a day where the Power Play was strong as they went 3-4 on the man advantage as well.

San Antonio takes their record to a division leading 12-4-1 for 25 points as the Rampage will prepare for a special field trip game on Wednesday as the Rampage will travel to Peoria which will start at 10:00 AM.

Here's a look at the upcoming San Antonio Rampage Schedule as the team will begin a huge stretch of road games as they have only 2 home games left in November. Overall, 8 of their next 11 games will be on the road which goes through the December 11th game against the Manitoba Moose.

Next 5 Games (All Games are on Sports Radio 760 The Ticket)

11/17: @ Peoria Rivermen   10:05 AM

11/19: VS. Milwaukee Admirals    7:00 PM

11/26: @ Houston Aeros   7:35 PM

11/27: @ Texas Stars    7:00 PM

11/28: VS. Milwaukee Admirals   3:00 PM

Chicago Wolves 2  San Antonio Rampage 5  (1-4, 1-0, 0-1)

San Antonio Rampage VS. Chicago Wolves Game Highlights

Game Story from the San Antonio Rampage Website

From San Antonio, Texas: The San Antonio Rampage jumped to an early lead scoring four first period goals and held on to a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Wolves on Sunday Afternoon at the AT&T Center. The Rampage improved 12-4-1 and lead the Western Conference with 25 points.

San Antonio's first goal came at 4:23 of the first period mark when Alex Picard tallied his fourth goal power play goal of the season. With only four seconds remaining on the Rampage power play, Picard redirected Mathieu Beaudoin shot from the left faceoff circle over goalie Edward Pasquale. Oliver Ekman-Larsson earned his first Rampage point recording the second assist on the play. Picard and Beaudoin both extended their point streaks to four games.

The Rampage struck again just 33 seconds later to extend their lead to 2-0 when Ryan Helloweg shot from the left faceoff circle beat Pasquale high stick side. David Brine and Ryan Weston supplied the assists each receiving their first point of the season.

Chicago Center Jason Krog cut the deficit in half to 2-1 at the 12:21 mark of the first period. Wolves left wing Frederick Petterersson centered a pass to Krog who tipped the puck over Rampage goalie Matt Climie's right shoulder. Andre Deveaux chipped in the second assist on Krog's second goal of the season.

The Rampage extended their lead to 3-1 when Bracken Kearns scored a power play goal at the 15:27 mark of the first stanza. Kearns redirected Mikkel Boedker's shot from the left faceoff circle over the stick of Pasquae and into the back of the net. Brett Maclean added the second helper with his 8th assist of the season .

San Antoino took a 4-1 advantage off Mikkel Boedker power play goal at the 17:41 mark of the opening frame Boedker one-timer from the right faceoff circle went high stick side past Pasquale. Ekman-Larsson earned his second point of the night as he and Tim Stapleton both combined for assists.

After letting in four goals in twenty minutes, Chicago Head Coach Don Lever substituted net- Drew Macintyre for Pasquale who finished the game with 13 saves on 17 shot attempts.

Chicago made it a 4-2 game at the 6:26 mark of the second period on Paul Postma's power play Goal. Postma fired a shot from the blue line that passed Climie low on the stick side and into the back of the net. Assisted were provided by Jared Ross and Jason Krog.

Viktor Tikhonov solidified the Rampage victory with a goal at 2:23 of the 3rd period into the third period. Picard passed to Tikhonov was camped out in front of the crease and his shot beat Macintyre high to the stick side. Beaudoin added the second assist for his second point of the night.

Climie turned aside 25 of 27 Wolves Shot attempts while Pasquale and Macintyre combined for 33 of saves on 38 Rampage shots.

The Rampage return to the ice on Wednesday morning when the team travels to the Peoria Civic Center Carver Arena to face the Rivermen for a 10:05 AM.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Colin Jacobs Article on the NHL Website

With Colin Jacobs recently wrapping up a really successful road-trip through the East Division, Colin Jacobs is in a great position with a rapidly rising ranking and NHL Scouting really start to take him very seriously as he continues to go through the WHL Season with the Seattle Thunderbirds and getting ready for the 2011 NHL Draft that will take place next summer in the Twin Cities.

On the East Division Road Trip that just finished where they played 6 games in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. He was a big time producer where he had 2 goals and almost had a hat trick against the Regina Pats while he also had 3 point night against the Prince Albert Raiders.

For the season, he's already approaching his total from last season of 26 points (13G 13A), so far this season he is nearly a point a game player by scoring 18 points (8G 10A) in 19 games played so far this season.

One of his best moments took place back on November 2 when he scored an amazing backhanded goal against the Red Deer Rebels as the Thunderbirds beat a Red Deer Rebels Team which includes Ryan-Nugent Hopkins who's expected to be a major contender for the #1 overall pick at the NHL Draft next summer in Minnesota.

As the first NHL Central Scouting Rankings of the season are about to come out, he's expected to be one of the fastest risers from the Western Hockey League and right now many experts are expecting him to be an early-to-mid 2nd Round Pick with a strong chance to move up to the first round later in the season when the Mid-Season Rankings come out in January and the End-of-Season Rankings coming up in April.

Look for Jacobs to continue to get bigger-and-better as he goes through his Junior Career in Seattle with hopes of making his NHL Debut very very soon and looks to join the ranks of Austin Smith, Chris Brown and Matt Donovan of Southwest NHL Draft Picks.

When the 1st Draft Ranks come out, I will provide links and tell you how he's ranked both among the WHL and North American Skaters combined.

As for the Total Rankings, NHL Central Scouting divides into four parts. First it's the North American Skaters, then the North American Goaltenders, then the European Skaters for the players that are based in Europe. So somebody who is a European playing in North America like Nino Niederreiter from Switzerland
wouldn't be on that list. Finally the European Goaltenders which has the smallest of the four groups.

He would be the 4th Southwest Player to be taken in the NHL Draft joining Austin Smith, Chris Brown and Matt Donovan.

Of the three, Chris Brown was the highest of the draft picks he was selected in the 2nd Round (36th overall) from the USNTDP by the Phoenix Coyotes back in 2009. He's currently playing in his sophomore season at the University of Michigan and is a contender to possibly make Team USA for the 2011 World Junior Championships which starts on December 26 in Buffalo, New York.

Donovan was a 4th Round Selection (96th Overall) in the 2008 Draft from the Cedar Rapids Roughriders (USHL). Since then he helped the USA won Gold at last year's World Junior Championship in Saskatchewan and is now a sophomore at the University of Denver.

In addition to the World Junior Championship last season, he also produced 21 points in 36 games and was also named to the WCHA All Freshman Team

Austin Smith was a 5th Round Draft Pick (128th overall), now a junior at Colgate University (ECAC) he has been nearly a point a game player throughout his college career. Coming into this season, he had produced 72 points in 73 career games and is becoming more comfortable with his hitting ability while at Colgate and has always been a go to guy on the team.

Before he joined Colgate in 2008, he helped the Pentiction Vees win the 2008 BCHL Championship as he lead the team in goals that season with 32 and also had a playoffs that year when he scored 11 goals in the playoffs that year as the Vees were looking posied to have a shot at the 2008 RBC National Championship, but they hopes were dashed by the AJHL Champion Camrose Kodiaks that season in the Canadian Jr. A Pacific Region Championship.

In a Q&A I had when the season started, he told me that he felt close to making his professional debut (possibly with the Texas Stars [AHL]) and despite a dissappointing start by the team as the Raiders currently sit last in the ECAC, he's been off to another decent start by having 6 points in 8 games so far this season.

However, Colin Jacobs is looking to do something that no one from the Southwest has been able to do yet and that is crack the first Round of the Draft and that would make a bold statement about how far Southwest Hockey has come and would greatly improve his chances of making his NHL Debut in a much faster time frame, possibly before his Junior Eglibility were to run out in the next two seasons when were to reach his 20 year old season which would be in the 2012-2013 season.

If he were to be sent back to get more development past his NHL Draft Selection. It would half to be to the Seattle Thunderbirds and not the AHL Affliate of the team that drafted him because of a rule where Canadian Hockey League Players can't go into the AHL till they reach their 20th birthday. If he were in the NCAA like Smith, Brown and Donovan currently are, then the AHL Would be a possibility right now.

Seattle Thunderbirds Website

Western Hockey League Website

Colin Jacobs WHL Profile

Austin Smith Colgate Profile

Chris Brown Michigan Profile

Matt Donovan Denver Profile

Here's some parts of the Colin Jacobs Feature on the NHL Website.

"You can't teach that competitiveness and stuff and he had that instinctively. There's things he has to learn, but also those basic things that come with being a talented athlete, and a tough competitive kid. That's a good combination."

"He's a much stronger man this year so he wins every puck he goes after down low," Thunderbirds GM Russ Farewell told That's what scouts like when they're watching. His vision is real good, he plays the point on the power play, he moves the puck around, he's got a real good shot. He's just learning when he can get it through. He's scoring with that consistently.

It's something he needed coming from the small pond of Dallas Midget Hockey to the Ocean Sized Western Hockey League (WHL).

"The Talent level isn't that big in Texas," Jacobs said. "It's getting there, but it's not like it is in the Canadian Towns. It was a big jump. Playing a few games as a 15 year old (in 2008-09) helped, I got my feet wet. It was a pretty big change going from playing 16 year olds to playing 20 year old men trying to make the National Hockey League."

A big part of that future was moving to Seattle. Jacobs said it wasn't an easy decision, but he picked the WHL over the NCAA and the US National Team Developmental Program for a pretty simple reason.

"I looked and saw there was quite a few more guys going to the NHL through the Canadian Hockey Leagues," he said. "At the time I thought the Western Hockey League was producing a bit. My goal is to make the National Hockey League and that's what I choose."

Here's the Full Colin Jacobs Article on the NHL Website 

A special Video Feature by the San Antonio Rampage

One of the newest features that the San Antonio Rampage will be doing this season will give fans a chance to get to know more about the arenas that the different AHL Teams play in throughout the season.

The first feature of the new season took place a couple of weeks ago when the team was in Abbotsford, BC While playing a pair of games against the Abbotsford Heat as they take a tour of the arena and give you a better idea of what fans throughout the arena head to to support their teams.

For the Abbotsford Heat, the team makes their home at the Abbotsford Sports and Enterainment Center and the city has a population of about 125,000 which would be comparable to cities like Abline and Brownsville here in Texas.

Look for this feature to come up throughout the season and look for more arenas to be featured as the season goes on. They is also some web links to the Heat and the city to give you a better idea of what the city is like.

San Antonio Rampage Tour of the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Center

Abbotsford Heat Website

Abbotsford, BC Wikipedia Page

It's a lucky 13 for the Tornado with a 3-1 win over Corpus

Theirs just one question Tornado Opponents would like to crack, who can stop the Tornado winning streak that just keeps going and going.

 After a 3-1 win in the first of a two game weekend against the Corpus Christi Icerays, the Tornado have made it a lucky 13 to continue their winning streak in-front of the largest crowd of the season in a promotion called Pack the House Weekend as they looking to take advantage of the Stars road-trip and the Americans being on the road as well. The Tornado have just kept going and going.

Some impressive streaks were able to continue on Friday Night as Jackson Leef extended his Goal Scoring streak to 4 after being named the NAHL South Division Player of the Week last weekend.

Plano Native Marc Biggs is beginning to come alive as he has scored at least one point in 9 of his last 11 games and takes his season total to 12 points (7G 5A) after starting the season with just 1 point in his first 7 of the regular season.

Another player who had a very strong night is Mike Fleming who usually is a grinder and brings the physicality had his first career Multi Point Night of his career.

After scoring 0 points in just 12 games played in a part-time role last year has continued to improve his hitting and maybe provide the occasional point throughout the season as well.

In goal it was another great night for Jimmy Kruger who's transaction back in September has been paying off big time as he made 27 of 28 shots in the game as he is now a perfect 9-0 in his time in a Tornado Uniform along with stunning numbers in both GAA with a 1.43 and a .943 SV% this season.

For Corpus Christi, they not winning as much, but are still making some strong strides as they taking fewer penalties and improved a lot since losing 8-3 to the Tornado in Corpus Christi back on October 24.

They will play again tonight at 7:30 PM as the Tornado are looking to bring in the biggest crowd of the season tonight on this Pack-The-House Weekend to bring in some of the biggest crowds of the season. So far it's seems to be working as the attendance was averaging about 1600 per game up to this point.

Tonight brought the biggest home crowd of the season with nearly 2,400 with the game on Saturday Night expected to bring in even more.

Corpus Christi Icerays 1  Texas Tornado 3  (1-1, 0-2, 0-0)

Game Story from the Texas Tornado Website

From Frisco, Texas: In front of the largest crowd of the season, the Texas Tornado increased their winning streak to 13 straight games with a 3-1 win over visiting Corpus Christi Icerays on Friday Night at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco. Mike Fleming scored his first career goal as a Tornado and added an assist for first star honors, Michael Zagari scored the game winning goal and Tornado Goaltender Jimmy Kruger made 28 saves.

The Tornado and Icerays will faceoff again on Saturday Night November, 13 at 7:30 PM at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco. It is also a Pack The House Night. Tickets are just $5 and $25 and can be purchased by calling or stopping by the Tornado Office at 972-335-9800. The festivities began at 4:00 PM with a pre-game tail party in the South Parking Lot.

The Tornado began the game with the majority of the action in the Corpus Christi Zone. After failing to convert on two power plays, the Tornado got on the scoreboard first with a goal from Mike Fleming, who scored his first career goal on a nice pass from the slot as he fired a shot past a scrambling Phoenix Copley. The 'Rays would tie the game late in the first period with just 22 seconds left as Jonathan Sado got loose in the low slot and one timed a shot past Jimmy Kruger to tie the game at 1-1 after the first period.

The 2nd period was all Tornado as they out-shot the Corpus Christi Icerays 18-7 margin. The Tornado started strong again taking a 2-1 lead just 3 minutes into the period as Michael Zagari walked out on the corner and beat Copley between the legs.

Mike Fleming and Taylor Hendron assisted on Zagron's goal second goal of the season. The Tornado made the score 3-1 on the power play as Marc Biggs found himself alone behind the net and centered the puck to an open Jackson Leef. The reigning player of the week fired a 15 foot past Copley for his 10th goal of the season and a 3-1 Tornado lead after two periods.

The 3rd period saw Goaltender Jimmy Kruger steal the show, as he stopped all 14 Icerays shots that came his way to seal the victory for Texas, who are now just four wins away from equaling their longest regular season winning streak in franchise history.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Oklahoma City Barons Rout Chicago 6-2 to keep pressure on San Antonino

Their was no question that the Barons were looking to catch up to the Rampage and tie them for the West Division. Despite the Rampage win, the Barons were no match for the Chicago Wolves as the stay within 2 points of the division leading Barons. This also takes OKC to 3-2 as they are 5 games through the longest home-stand of the season as the Barons have also had wins over the Texas Stars & Toronto Marlies during this stretch.

It was a big night for Ryan O'Merra (3 Assists), Liam Reddox (2 Goals) and Alexander Giroux (2 Assists) as the attack minded Barons never held the Wolves out of their sight as the Barons went up 2-0 late in the first and never looked back for the rest of the night.

In addition, Martin Gerber who was brought in because of his Experience at all levels in the NHL, AHL & in Europe also had 35 saves in a game that had a lot of flow and shots as the Barons out-shot the Wolves 43-37 where both sides had to make some key saves for the Barons to keep the lead all night long.

Despite the win, the Rampage also won their game 3-2 over Rockford to keep the lead. With the Barons not hitting the ice again until next Friday on November 19, the Barons have temporally lost their chance to jump over the Rampage to take over the West Division Lead.

The Next time the Barons hit the ice is on 11/19 against the Texas Stars, then the team will wrap up the home-stand with a pair of games against the Milwaukee Admirals on 11/21 & 23.

San Antonio will now have a chance to gain some breathing room on top of the West with games on Sunday afternoon against the Chicago Wolves on Sunday, then a special Field Trip Game for local Grade School Kids in the area on Wednesday the 17th against the Peoria Rivermen.

Oklahoma City Barons VS. Chicago Wolves Highlights

OKC VS. Chicago Post Game Reaction

Game Story from Ryan Aber of the The Daily Oklahoman

From Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: The first period had been a problem for the Barons for much of the season.

But Friday against Chicago, the Barons broke through early, let the Wolves back into it, then controlled the 3rd period to come away with a 6-2 win in front of 3,601 at the Cox Convention Center.

"It's something we've focused on," Barons Winger Liam Reddox said. "We've talked about it in the room. It's nice to get a couple of goals there early."

Once again, Reddox played a big part.

He scored 3:24 into the game on a shorthanded breakaway to put the Barons ahead. Reddox has two of the three Barons Shorthanded goals this season.

Later in the period, Colin Macdonald put the Barons up 2-0. It was a nice change of pace for the Barons from their early struggles as of late. The Barons have allowed goals in the first 5:35 in the last six games.

A big part of the Barons early game success was because of Martin Gerber. Gerber stopped all 16 first period shots from the Wolves as he picked up his seventh straight win.

"Streaks are always nice when they are positive," Gerber said. "It's much earlier to stay in a winning streak thenn to break out of a losing out."

But after Reddox scored his goal less then six minutes into the second, the Wolves Spencer Machacek scored two straight goals to cut the Barons lead to one entering the third period.

The Wolves out-shot the Barons 15-11 in the 2nd period.

Barons Head Coach Todd Nelson had a strong conversation with his team in the second period.

"I just told the guys, 'Don't cheat the game,'" Nelson said. "They looked like they wanted to get on the bus after jumping 3-0."

The Barons lead stayed at one through much of the third period until Chris VandeVelde, getting the puck off the draw in the zone near the boards, streaked behind the net and tried a wraparound.

VandeVelde initial shot didn't make it past Chicago Goaltender Peter Mannino, but it bounced off a Wolves player in the crease and past Mannino.

That was the first of three Barons Goals in a stretch of 5:21 stretch that quickly put the game firmly in the Barons Grasp.

Brad Moran and Shawn Belle added goals for the Barons during that stretch.

The game was the final of a four game conditioning assignment for Edmonton's J.F. Jacques. Jacques had three shots and five penalty minutes, getting into his first fight of the season and showing no effects from the back injury that had sidelined him since last season.

Ryan O'Marra assisted on three of the Barons goals, giving him 12 for the season. While O'Marra has yet to score a goal, he's already registered a professional high in assists.

The Barons (10-6-1 21 PTS) get most of the week off before resuming their eight game home-stand Friday against the Texas Stars.

The team will take the next two days off from practice, with most of the team attending today's OU Football Game before a team event on Sunday.

San Antonio holds on to slim lead in AHL West Division with 3-2 win

The Rampage continue their strong home ice performance with their 4 win in their last 5 games as all 3 goals in the 2nd period.

Including some very key goals by Mathieu Beaduoin with his team leading 9th of the season and Defensemen Mikkel Boedker who scored twice in just over a minute as the Rampage were able to break open a 1-1 game into a 3-1 game where that Boedker goal turned out to be the game winner.

Early in the 3rd period, a goal by rookie defense Nick Leddy scored and put the Icehogs within 1 at 3-2 just 3:20 into the game as that gave the Icehogs life and put pressure at numerous points in the 3rd period.

But Goaltender Al Montoya wouldn't have any of it as 14 saves in the 3rd period helped keep the Rampage up 3-2 including in the final 45 seconds when Rockford pulled goalie Alec Richards looking to force OT, but a pair of late key saves ended the Icehogs hopes last night.

In addition to the 3-2 win over Rockford, Oklahoma City has been able to keep up the pressure with a 6-2 win over the Chicago Wolves last night as the Rampage lead in the West Division stays at 2 points.

In addition to last night's game, they has been a change in the Broadcast Schedule for Sunday Afternoon when the Rampage take on the Chicago Wolves. It will be on 92.5 KRPT the Patriot instead of the usual Sports Radio 760 The Ticket due to a schedule conflict.

92.5 The Patriot Website

San Antonio Rampage Broadcast Press Release

San Antonio VS. Rockford Game Highlights

Rockford Ice Hogs 2  San Antonio Rampage 3  (0-0, 1-3, 1-0)

Game Story from the San Antonio Rampage Website

From San Antonio, Texas: The San Antonio Rampage swept the Rockford Icehogs in back-to-back games as they claimed a 3-2 victory at the AT&T Center Friday Night and are now tied for first in the league with a 11-4-1 record good for 23 points.

Despite being out-shot 11-10 in the first period, the Rampage were able to get some quality shots on Rockford netminder Alec Richards but unfortunately took some unlucky bounces and the game remained scoreless heading into the 2nd period.

San Antonio claimed the first lead of the game off right wing Brett Maclean's goal 8:06 into the 2nd period. Mikkel Boedker assisted on Maclean's backhanded shot at the left post beating Richards low stick side for a 1-0 lead.

Rockford Right Wing Hugh Jessiman netted an equalizer on the power play just 1:31 later to even the score at 1-1. Nick Leddy's shot from the left faceoff circle was deflected by Jessiman to the upper right corner past Rampage goaltender Al Montoya.

The Rampage took a 2-1 advantage 16:57 into the 2nd period as leading scorer Brett Maclean scored his nineth of the season. Alex Picard sent a cross ice pass to Beaudoin at the left goal line who punched a low stick side past Richards. Vitkor was credited with the second assist.

San Antonio extended their lead to 3-1 as Boedker scored the game winning goal at the 18:04 mark of the 2nd period. Rookie Chris Summers supplied his first assists of his pro career on Boedker snap shot that went high glove side. Boedker's goal marked his fifth multi point game of the season to lead all Rampage attackers.

Icehogs defensemen Nick Leedy made it a 3-2 contest after his goal at 3:20 into the third period. Leddy fired a bullet from the left faceoff circle beating Montoya high stick side. Brian Connelly and Ryan Potunly added the helpers.

Rockford Head Coach Bill Peters pulled Richards with 45 seconds left in the game in favor of a sixth attacker, but the Icehogs could not convert the man advantage and the Rampage finalized the victory 3-2.

Montoya stopped 36 of 38 Icehog Shots while Richards made 26 saves on 29 shots on net.

The Rampage return to the AT&T Center on Sunday Afternoon as they host the Chicago Wolves at 3:00 PM.

Help Wanted to contrubite and promote website

With myself having to be a caretaker for my grandmother over the last year. I'm looking for help to help get stories, interviews, help get some ads and look to increase traffic to the website.

If your interestred in following and learning about the homegrown players and teams from the Southwestern part of the country. Please Email me at

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

This Weeks Southwest Schedule

After the Dallas Stars 5-0 crushing against Colorado back on Saturday Night, the Stars have plenty of time and plenty to think about as they look to rebound with several days off as they don't hit the ice again until Thursday Night when they start a 2 game, 2 night road-trip to Southern California as the Stars will take on the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday and the Anaheim Ducks on Friday Night.

Then the team will return home as the Stars will faceoff against the Ducks, Kings and Avalanche again next weekend.

So it will be interesting to see how the Stars will react to some the same opponent's and hit the video room to take a look at how to take down the Avalanche after losing 5-0 and looking to take down their Pacific Division Rivals.

This will be an interesting test as the Stars won't have more then two nights rest between next week and just before the Christmas Rest Period after the December 23 game against the Calgary Flames.

It's a busy week for the San Antonio Rampage and Houston Aeros as both teams will be playing 4 games this week.

For the Rampage, it's a short trip to Oklahoma City on Tuesday Night, then a 3 game home-stand as the Rampage will play back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday Night against the Rockford Iceogs as the Rampage will be battling for 2nd place in the West Division as of right now and it could be for the West Division Lead if San Antonio beats Oklahoma City tonight.

For the Rampage, it will be a Sunday Afternoon tilt against the Chicago Wolves who's looking to climb back up in the Division after winning the West Division last year and getting knocked out by the Texas Stars last year.

Houston is in the middle of a 4 game road-trip with a pair of road-trips to Abbotsford, BC and Peoria. Last night for the Aeros, it looked like it would be a win for the Aeros. But after a late comeback, the Heat ended up winning in a shootout and will faceoff again tonight.

After tonight, it's a long flight to Illinois as the Aeros play the Rivermen coming up on Saturday & Sunday which is in the middle of a string where they are currently playing 7 of their next 8 away from H-Town.

The next time the Aeros will head home will be for a single game on November 17 against the Chicago Wolves.

Both OKC & Texas will have slow weeks as the Stars will play only one game this week against the Chicago Wolves coming up on Wednesday Night.

 The Barons are in the middle of an 8 game home-stand and will only play twice this week as they will play San Antonio tonight and then Chicago on Friday Night, then it's a full week off as the Barons won't play again until November 19 against the Texas Stars.

Who can stop the Tornado?

That is the question that the Corpus Christi Icerays will try to figure out as the team's 12 game winning streak is currently the longest of the season and has taken the Tornado to the top of the entire NAHL with a 14-2-3 record with 31 points.

And with a number of players getting named to the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament next month on both sides, the pressure will be on to perform as they will be under a big spotlight as they look to sign NCAA Scholarships.

To check out your favorite teams on the web, here's a series of links to listen online and on the Radio

Dallas Stars: Sports Radio 1310 the Ticket

AHL Live

Texas Stars:  ESPN Austin

San Antonio Rampage:  Sports Radio 760 the Ticket

Houston Aeros:  Houston News Talk 1070

 Corpus Christi Icerays:  Keys News Talk 1440

Here's this weeks Southwest Schedule

National Hockey League

11/11: @ Los Angeles Kings    9:30 PM (FSN Southwest, NHLN-CA)

11/12: @ Anaheim Ducks        9:00 PM  (FSN Southwest Plus)

American Hockey League

11/8: Houston Aeros 2  Abbotsford Heat 3  (SO) (1-0, 1-1, 0-1, 0-0, 0-1)


San Antonio Rampage VS. Oklahoma City Barons   7:05 PM

Houston Aeros VS. Abbotsford Heat   9:00 PM


Chicago Wolves VS. Texas Stars     7:30 PM


San Antonio Rampage VS. Rockford Icehogs    7:00 PM


Chicago Wolves VS. Oklahoma City Barons     6:05 PM

Rockford Icehogs VS. San Antonio Rampage    7:00 PM


Houston Aeros VS. Peoria Rivermen     7:05 PM


Houston Aeros VS. Peoria Rivermen     3:05 PM

Central Hockey League


Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs VS. Laredo Bucks     7:00 PM


RGV Killer Bees VS. Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs     7:05 PM

Odessa Jackalopes VS. Texas Brahmas    7:30 PM

Allen Americans VS. Laredo Bucks    7:30 PM

Tulsa Oilers VS. Colorado Eagles    8:05 PM


Laredo Bucks VS. Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs    7:05 PM

Allen Americans VS. Odessa Jackalopes     7:05 PM

RGV Killer Bees VS. Texas Brahmas    7:30 PM

Tulsa Oilers VS. Rapid City Rush     8:05 PM


Allen Americans VS. Odessa Jackalopes    4:05 PM

North American Hockey League


New Mexico Mustangs VS. Topeka Roadrunners    7:05 PM

Corpus Christi Icerays VS. Texas Tornado    7:30 PM


Amarillo Bulls VS. Wichita Falls Wildcats     7:05 PM

New Mexico Mustangs VS. Topeka Roadrunners    7:05 PM

Corpus Christi Icerays VS. Texas Tornado    7:30 PM

11/9 Southwest Players Update

Here's another news update with local players recently.

*First off, Aberdeen Wings Goalie Frederieck Lesiner was named the League's Goalie of the Week back on November 1 after a huge weekend where he stopped 79 of 83 saves in a pair of victories which included both his first shutout with a 3-0 win and his first shootout of the season (both against the Coluee Region Chill).

He's been a big part of the season's turnaround as well as forwards like Cody Ward who's in a 3 way tie for 3rd in goals scored with 13 along with Rock Einersen (Texas Tornado) and Ft. Worth Native Michael Hill (Topeka Roadrunners).

After the Wings started the season losing 5 of their first 6, the Wings are slowly beginning to turn-around their season as Aberdeen is now in 4th place with 15 points (7-9-1) and is just 3 points back of both the defending Champion Bismarck Bobcats and Owatonna Express.

*Nebraska-Omaha's Johnnie Searfoss ended his five game pointless streak in a big way as he helped blow open a 3-0 lead into a 5-0 victory as he scored 2 goals in just 29 seconds on both sides of a 2 man advantage. He also assisted on the opening goal of the game where the UNO Mavericks continue to be unbeaten in WCHA Play at 4-0 and is 7-1-0 overall through 8 games. They trail by just 1 point to Minnesota-Duluth who's 4-1-1 in conference.

His big weekend didn't end there for the UNO Mavericks, he also scored his scored on Saturday in a 5-2 win in the 2nd game against Minnesota State. This takes his total from 1 point going into the weekend to 5 now, including 4 goals in 8 games played.

*Colin Jacobs had  an assist in the battle where it brought in a lot of Dallas Interest as he went up against Dallas Stars Prospect Scott Glennie and the Brandon Wheat Kings back on Saturday Night. The 2011 NHL Draft Prospect is beginning to find his grove after a lack-luster season last year where the Thunderbirds had one of the youngest teams in the entire WHL last season.

 He also had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win over the Red Deer Rebels which included one of the best goals of his career as he had a great backhanded goal to make it 2-0 in the 2nd period.

Here's the Video of Colin Jacobs Backhand Goal VS. Red Deer

Here's the Latest Stat Update. Click the Players Name to see their player profile.


Colin Jacobs  (Seattle)   15 GP  12 PTS  (5G 7A),  +1  24 PIM

Austin Smith  (Colgate)    6 GP    6 PTS   (2G 4A), 2 PIM

Armand De Swardt (Cornell)    2 GP   0 PTS   (0G 0A), 2 PIM

Locke Jillson  (Cornell)     4 GP   3 PTS   (1G 2A), 6 PIM

Keir Ross (Cornell)      4 GP   1 PTS   (0G 1A), 0 PIM

Chris Brown (Michigan)   10 GP   6 PTS   (1G 5A), 0 PIM

Jacob Fallon (Michigan)   5 GP   1 PTS    (1G 0A), 6 PIM    

Erik Higby (No. Michigan)   6 GP    2 PTS   (1G 1A),   10 PIM

CJ Ludwig (No. Michigan)    7 GP   0 PTS   (0G  0A),   26 PIM

Johnnie Searfoss (Neb.-Omaha)  8 GP   5 PTS   (4G 1A), 4 PIM

Matt Donovan (Denver)    10 GP   5 PTS  (3G 2A), 24 PIM

Chase Grant (Minn. State)    10 GP   5 PTS   (3G 2A)   2 PIM


Ian Young  (Chicago)    12 GP    8 PTS   (1G 7A),  +4  15 PIM

Tyler Aumgurgey (Dubuque)    10 GP   0 PTS (0G 0A), +1  14 PIM

Colton Hargrove (Fargo)    12 GP  3 PTS  (2G 1A), -5  36 PIM

Blake Coleman (Indiana)    10 GP   12 PTS  (4G 8A), +4  19 PIM

Josh Berge  (Lincoln)      6 GP  5 PTS  (2G 3A), +1 0 PIM

Cole Martin (Lincoln)     6 GP   3 PTS   (2G 1A), +2  6 PIM

Ryan Daugherty (Omaha)    8 GP  3 PTS   (1G 2A), +2  12 PIM

Greg Johnson  (Sioux City)   6 GP   0 PTS  (0G 0A), -3  0 PIM

Mike Williams (Sioux City)   8 GP   1 PTS  (0G 1A), -4  14 PIM

Seth Jones  (USNTDP)    6 GP     3 PTS  (1G 2A), +1  6 PIM


Frederick Leisner (Aberdeen)   15 GP   7-7-1   3.54 GAA   .899 SV%

Tommy Rizzardo (Bismarck)    17 GP   6 PTS  (4G 2A), +5  33 PIM

Nicholas Miglio  (Bismarck)    10 GP   1 PTS  (1G 0A),  -1    8 PIM

Kyle Hughes (Corpus Christi)   16 GP  11 PTS  (1G 10A), -5   45 PIM

Axel Boyer  (Texas)     17 GP  9 PTS  (4G 5A), +9  27 PIM

Sean Hederick (Texas)   9 GP  7 PTS  (4G 3A), +4  2 PIM

Taylor Hendron (Texas)   15 GP   7 PTS  (3G 4A), +6  2 PIM

Marc Biggs  (Texas)    17 GP   10 PTS  (7G 3A),  +12  6 PIM

Jake Stafford (Texas)   9 GP    5-2-2    2.85 GAA   .874 SV%

Jacob Poe  (Topeka)    16 GP   8 PTS  (0G 8A),  E  37 PIM

Michael Hill (Topeka)   16 GP   26 PTS  (13G 13A), -4  34 PIM

Mason Miller  (Topeka)  7 GP   0 PTS  (0G 0A),  E  2 PIM

Cory Ramsay  (Topeka)   16 GP   3 PTS   (1G 2A), -4  25 PIM

Kyle Sharkley (Topeka)   6 GP   2 PTS  (1G 1A), -1  10 PIM

Tyler Hope  (Wenatchee)   16 GP  7 PTS  (3G 4A), E  34 PIM

Abbotsford uses late comeback to beat the Aeros 3-2

Despite a strong start which included a 2-0 lead with Aeros goals by Cody Almond and Jean-Michael Daoust that looked like it would help the Aeros win the first of a two game set in BC.

But a goal by Carter Bancks in the final minute of regulation tied the game at 2-2 to force OT then a SO with goals by Gaelan Patterson and Jon Rheault put the Heat over the top in the SO as they won to get themselves in a first place tie with the Hamilton Bulldogs in the North Division.
After the Aeros finish up in BC, they will head to Illinois for a pair of games against the Peoria Rivermen on November 13 and 14 this upcoming weekend.

The win takes Houston to a record of 6-5-2 with 14 points and currently in 5th place in the West Division. For the Abbotsford Heat, they currently in 2nd place in the North Division with an 8-6-1 record and only trail the Hamilton Bulldogs on the Number of Games played as the Bulldogs have played 4 fewer games through the first month of the season.

Houston Aeros 2  Abbotsford Heat 3  (SO) (1-0, 1-1, 0-1, 0-0, 0-1)

Here's the Calls of the Games from the Houston Aeros Broadcaster Joe O'Donnell

J-M Dauost makes it 2-0

Cody Almond PP Goal

Playfair on Weekend vs. the San Antonio Rampage

Kris Fredheim on being back hom in BC

Tonight's Houston VS. Abbotsford Game Preview

Game Story from the Houston Aeros Website

From Abbotsford, BC: The Houston Aeros scored twice on the Power Play and goalie Matt Hacket turned away 31 shots in regulation, but it wasn't enough as the Abbotsford Heat overcame a late deficit to edge the Aeros 3-2 in a shootout Monday Night at the Abbotsford Sports and Entrainment Center.

Abbotsford's Carter Banks forced overtime, scoring with just 34 seconds left in regulation, after the Heat pulled goalie Leland Irving for an extra attacker. The Aeros, who went 2/6 on the power play, opened a 2-0 lead on markers by Cody Almond (9:26 of the 1st Period), and Jean-Michael Daoust (13:22 of the 2nd Period). Jon Disalvatore and Marco Scandella assisted on each.

Greg Nemisz scored on the power play at 15:51 of the 2nd to pull the Heat within a goal and then assisted on Banks' tying goal.

Irving stopped 26 saves and all four Houston Saves in the Shootout to help Abbotsford (8-6-1 17 points) pull into a tie into the Hamilton Bulldogs for first place in the North Division.

Hackett, seeing his first action since October 29 against San Antonio, made 31 saves in three plus periods of hockey and stopped two of four shots in the Shootout session.

Houston is unbeaten in regulation in five games (4-0-1) and now sits one point behind third place Milwaukee with a 6-5-2 14 points in the West Division.

The Aeros and Heat square off in the second game of a two-in-a-row Tuesday Night at 9:00 PM CST. Follow the Action on 1070 KNTH and online at

Sunday, November 7, 2010

11/6 US Junior Scoreboard

United States Hockey League

USNTDP 4  Muskegon Lumberjacks 7  (2-1, 1-3, 1-3)

Green Bay Gamblers 3  Sioux City Musketeers 4  (SO) (1-0, 2-2, 0-1, 0-0, 0-1)

Fargo Force 2  Lincoln Stars 3  (SO) (0-0, 1-1, 1-1, 0-0, 0-1)

Youngstown Phantoms 4  Sioux Falls Stampede 8  (1-0, 0-3, 3-5)

Cedar Rapids Roughriders 2  Des Moines Buccaneers 3  (0-1, 1-1, 1-1)

Chicago Steel 0  Waterloo Blackhawks 4  (0-2, 0-1, 0-1)

Current USHL Standings

Current USHL Scoring Leaders

Current USHL Goaltending Leaders

North American Hockey League

Traverse City North Stars 1  Michigan Warriors 3  (0-0, 1-2, 0-1)

Springfield Jr. Blues 6  Pt. Huron Fighting Falcons 3  (3-2, 3-0, 0-1)

Chicago Hitmen 2  Motor City Metal Jackets 5  (1-1, 1-1, 0-3)

Bismarck Bobcats 4  Owatonna Express 3  (OT) (0-1, 1-1, 2-1, 1-0)

St. Louis Bandits 1  Janesville Jets 2  (SO) (1-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0-0, 0-1)

Alexandria Blizzard 0  Coluee Region Chill 1  (0-0, 0-0, 0-1)

Austin Bruins 4  Aberdeen Wings 3  (0-2, 2-1, 2-0)

New Mexico Mustangs 1  Texas Tornado 3  (0-0, 0-1, 1-2)

Dawson Creek Rage 5  Wenatchee Wild 2  (2-0, 2-1, 1-1)

Kenai River Brown Bears 6  Alaska Avalanche 1  (2-0, 2-1, 2-0)

Fairbanks Ice Dogs 6  Fresno Monsters 5  (2-0, 2-3, 2-2)

Current NAHL Standings

Current NAHL Scoring Leaders

Current NAHL Goaltending Leaders

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dallas Stars sign Jack Campbell

Back on Thursday Night, the Dallas Stars officially signed 1st Round Draft Pick Jack Campbell who's currently with the OHL's Windsor Spitfires to the standard 3 year entry contract which won't go into effect until he makes his NHL Debut.

My concern is that Campbell has been off to a sluggish start in the OHL with Windsor this season, so through 13 games played as he just has a 6-6-0 record with a 3.82 GAA & a .881 SV% and with these numbers, it could jeopardize the amount of playing time he's expected to get at the upcoming World Junior Championships which starts on December 26 in Buffalo, New York as the Canadians are looking to return to the Top of the Podium after losing in a very exciting Gold Medal Game 6-5 against the Americans last season.

When you have guys like Gormley and Fowler who were selected by Pacific Division Rivals Anaheim and Phoenix. Fowler did make the Anaheim Ducks this year and has 3 points (1G 2A) through 8 games.

As for Brandon Gormley, is back with the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) but he is beginning to shred the league with 16 points and leads the Moncton Wildcats in defensemen scoring as the Wildcats are looking to defend the QMJHL Title and get back to the Memorial Cup after the team went winless in the Round Robin against the Calgary Hitmen, Brandon Wheat Kings and the 2 time defending Memorial Cup Champion Windsor Spitfires.

As for the Dallas Stars picking Jack Campbell, many are questioning and still question on taking a goaltender when the Stars could have easily filled a major hole in defense and get a player who slipped from the top 5 who could have maybe been on the team this season or shortly there after. Goalies always take a long time to develop and this is why many teams don't goalies high in the NHL Draft.

The big test for me is if he can recover and have a strong World Junior Championship coming up over the Winter Holidays. If he can't, then the Stars may have to wonder about him panning out to be a big time NHL Goalie.

In addition, tonight's game vs. the Colorado Avalanche will be on FSN Plus. This is a change where the game was originally scheduled to be on TXA 21 in the DFW Area.

TV Info for tonight's Game

Jack Campbell OHL's Profile

Dallas Stars Press Release: The Dallas Stars announced today that the club have signed goaltender Jack Campbell to a three year entry level contract. Campbell was Dallas' first round selection (#11) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Campbell, 18, is currently playing for the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League, having appeared in 12 games so far this season with a 6-5-0 record, a 3.81 GAA and an .882 SV%.

"Jack is a very promising player for the future of our organization," said Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk. "He has a strong work ethic and we are looking forward to watching him develop as his career progresses."

The 6'3", 175 pound net-minder played for the US National Team Developmental Program last season, going 6-3-1 with a 2.21 GAA and a .917 SV%. He also has represented the USA at the 2010 World Junior Championship, as well as both the 2009 and 2010 U18 World Championships. Campbell lead the Americans to Gold at all 3 tournaments.

Campbell will continue to play with the Windsor Spitfires this season and is expected to participate in the Stars 2011 Summer Developmental Camp and the team's 2011 Training Camp.

Who can stop the Tornado? a 5-0 win gives Texas their 11th straight win

Talk about dominating the NAHL.

The amazing winning streak continues for the Tornado continues as the Tornado had no problems winning their 11th straight with a 5-0 shutout of the New Mexico Mustangs.

The Tornado were lead tonight by Alex Boyer's 2 goals as well as 2 assists from Nathan Slinwinksi, also props goes out to Czech Native Pavel Hurtik who scores his first goal as a member of the Texas Tornado and also picked up an assist in the 3rd period as well.

In all, the team is flexing its muscles and sending a message to the rest of the league that the team can contend for the NAHL Robertson Cup this season. Everything is clicking on all clyinders right now and it's been paying off in all sorts of ways.

First earlier this week, four Tornado Players as Rock Einersen, David Rigatti, Ralfs Freibergs and Jimmy Kruger will be competing at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament next month in Boston. In addition to the players on the ice, head coach Tony Curtale will also be behind the bench at the event.

Right now with the long homestretch and the way their playing, it will take a combo of a great effort and catching the Tornado on an off night to end this streak and send a message that they can challenge the Tornado to win the South Division and keep the Tornado from getting a shot of heading to Kansas in May to play for the NAHL Robertson Cup.

Also yesterday, Tornado Goaltender Jimmy Kruger had the achievements continue as he was named the Goaltender of the Month for October where he had an impressive 1.63 GAA and a .933 SV%.

The Tornado and Mustangs will play again tonight and theirs no reason in my mind that the Tornado can't make it a dozen in a row. Also the team has the top record in the league at 13-2-3 with 29 points and is just one point up on the Wichita Falls Wildcats who beat the Corpus Christi Icerays 4-2 last night.

"Jimmy has worked very hard since his arrival to become a better goalie and better athlete and he's helped solidify our defense, which is already a solid group," said Tornado Head Coach Tony Curtale, whose team is riding a 10 game winning streak. "He has great size (6'3", 190 pounds) and ability and makes key saves during key moments of the game, which is important."

Here's the Tornado Players at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament

Jimmy Kruger named NAHL Goaltender of the Month

Game Story from the Texas Tornado Website

New Mexico Mustangs 0  Texas Tornado 5  (0-2, 0-1, 0-2)

From Frisco, Texas: Two goals from Axel Boyer, two assists from Nathan Slinwinski and 14 saves from Jake Stafford led the Tornado to a workman like 5-0 win over the New Mexico Mustangs on Friday Night. For the Tornado, it was there 11th straight win continuing the NAHL's longest winning streak this season. The Tornado and Mustangs will will finish out the series in Frisco on Saturday, November 6th at 7:30 PM. Tickets for the game are still available at the box office, by calling 972-335-9800 or online at An official tailgate party will take place prior to the game beginning at 4:00 PM in the South Parking Lot in between the parking garage and the baseball stadium.

The Tornado skated the scoring just over a minute into the game as Jackson Leef got a loose puck off a Mustangs turnover and decked the Mustangs goalie Matt Madore for his 8th goal of the season. Late in the period the Tornado made it 2-0 as some nifty stick work by Nate Slinwinski got the puck in the low slot to Axel Boyer, who one-timed a drive past Madore. Tyler Rostenkowski also assisted on the goal.

The 2nd period was the Mustangs best of the night, but every chance was met by a save Stafford including a few odd man rushes. The Tornado increased the lead to 3-0 as Pavel Hurtik scored his first goal in a Tornado Uniform as he blasted a slap shot from the point just as a Tornado Power Play expired past a screened Madore. J.D. Howard and Marc Biggs assisted on Hurtik's bomb. The 2nd period also saw two fights within a second of another as Mike Fleming and Mark Zagari both threw down for Texas.

The 3rd period was all Tornado as they out-shot the Mustangs 20-2 in the period and got one more on the stick of Boyer, who again was the recipient of some magic stickhandling by his line-mate Sliwinski. Boyer deked Madore for his second of the night and a 5-0 Tornado lead, which would end up being the final score. Hurtik assisted for his 2nd point of the night.