Sharks score 3 goals in third period to drop Dallas 4-2 in a nationally televised game on Versus
More on the San Jose Sharks 4-2 win over the Pacific Division rival Dallas Stars will be posted soon.
San Jose Sharks, NHL, Hockey and Local Sports Blog.
CARMEN ELECTRA REPRESENTS LBC HOCKEY - PHOTO LONG BEACH STATE
Miami (Ohio) New No. 1 on USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Miami (Ohio) University received 30-of-34 first-place votes and 506 points to claim the top spot on the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey Poll for the first time this season after sweeping the University of Nebraska Omaha in a weekend series.
This Week's Top-15 Match-ups:
Friday, November 2
No. 12 Maine @ No. 5 Boston College
No. 7 Denver @ No. 8 Minnesota
No. 10 Colo. Coll. @ No. 3 North Dakota
No. 14 Mich. Tech @ No. 9 Wisconsin
Saturday, November 3
No. 10 Colo. Coll. @ No. 3 North Dakota
No. 14 Mich. Tech @ No. 9 Wisconsin
Sunday, November 4
No. 7 Denver @ No. 8 Minnesota
The University of Michigan (446) moved up one spot to No. 2, while the University of North Dakota (433) received two first-place votes, but fell two spots to No. 3. The University of New Hampshire (430) claimed the remaining two first-place votes and moved up from No. 6 to No. 4. Boston College (385) rounded out the top five.
The University of Minnesota Duluth made its debut on the poll this week at No. 15.
NOTES: This is the first time since January 30, 2006, that Miami has held the No. 1 spot on the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey Poll.
USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll - #5
(First-place votes in parenthesis, Last Week's Ranking, 2007-08 Record, Weeks In Top 15)
1 Miami (Ohio) University, 506 (30), 2, 6-0-0, 5
2 University of Michigan, 446, 3, 5-1-0, 5
3 University of North Dakota, 433 (2), 1, 3-1-1, 5
4 University of New Hampshire, 430 (2), 6, 3-0-0, 5
5 Boston College, 385, 5, 3-1-2, 5
6 Michigan State University, 323, 9, 4-1-0, 5
7 University of Denver, 250, 7, 4-2-0, 5
8 University of Minnesota, 247, 10, 4-2-0, 5
9 University of Wisconsin, 235, 11, 3-1-0, 5
10 Colorado College, 219, 4, 2-2-0, 5
11 Clarkson University, 174, 8, 4-2-0, 5
12 University of Maine, 143, 13, 4-2-0, 4
13 University of Notre Dame, 99, 12, 4-3-0, 5
14 Michigan Tech University, 97, 15, 4-2-0, 2
15 University of Minnesota Duluth, 47, NR, 4-1-1, 1
Others receiving votes: St. Lawrence University, 14; Niagara University, 10; The Ohio State University, 9; U.S. Air Force Academy, 7; University of Alaska Anchorage, 4; College of the Holy Cross, 1; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1.
ABOUT THE POLL: The 13th annual USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey Poll is conducted each week in conjunction with the American Hockey Coaches Association. The poll includes input from coaches and journalists representing each of the six NCAA Division I ice hockey conferences, as well as composite votes from officers of the American Hockey Coaches Association and USA Hockey Magazine, the most widely distributed hockey magazine in the world.
Approximately five years ago, Inside College Hockey got off the ground (specifically at 6 a.m. on Oct. 7, 2002). Thanks to you, we're still here five years later and we continue to grow. We're usually not ones to pump our tires, but we couldn't let our fifth anniversary pass without a look back at our journey from a two-person, seat-of-the-pants operation to... well, an eight-person, seat-of-the-pants operation
All of that, of course, has nothing to do with Miami, and in all fairness, Miami has done plenty to earn the No. 1 ranking. The RedHawks are 6-0-0 on the season, with wins over Vermont, Ohio State and Nebraska-Omaha. The RedHawks are scoring four and two-thirds goals per game, and allowing one and a third. Jeff Zatkoff hasn't been as mind-blowingly brilliant as Jean-Philippe Lamoureux, but a .951 save percentage and a 1.2 goals-against average are just fine, thank you very much.
Most important, though, the RedHawks have done all of this despite losing Nathan Davis to a separated shoulder in the first game of the season. Losing your best player - and not just a great scorer, but a fantastic two-way forward - is a tough blow, but Miami's absorbed it astoundingly well against some pretty tough competition.
RIOT BOXING AT THE MONTEREY CONVENTION CENTER
RIOT BOXING AT THE MONTEREY CONVENTION CENTER
Briefly, our twice annual RIOT event has become too costly to continue without a title sponsor and more VIP support. An efficient gate only covers half the cost in executing the show as fans have come to expect. The other hurtle is not knowing what to expect from the California State Athletic Commission. The process of producing an event like THE RIOT is challenging enough without fighters being pulled from the show.
Salinas super bantamweight Eloy "The Prince" Perez, fighting an opponent who dwarfed him by six inches, scored his second career knockout with two devastating punches to remain undefeated in the main event of The Riot at the Monterey Conference Center. Perez fought a nervewracking first round against Ron Boyd (5-3), whose fishing-pole reach was threatening until Perez solved the problem with his lightning speed.
"He was a giant. He was huge." Perez said of Boyd, who trains in Washington D.C. under former world champ Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson, who worked his corner. "I didn't know he was going to be that tall, I just knew he was a lefty and that's about it. But I heard Max and Don telling me to work behind the jab, and I could hear (Garcia Boxing stablemate) Chuy Rodriguez telling me to go to the body, and that's what I did."
The six-bout card at the Monterey Conference Center was presented by popular local promoter/ring announcer Jerry Hoffman and his 12 Sports Productions. Although contingent on finding additional sponsorships, Hoffman stated that the next installment of "THE RIOT!" is tentatively scheduled for next Spring.
Hartford 0 2 0--2
Worcester 0 1 0--1
Penalties: WOR-Cavanagh, Tom (Tripping), 17:14.
Scoring: 1, Hartford-Parenteau, Pierre 3 (Dupont, Brodie 2) 8:33. 2, Worcester-Iggulden, Mike 4 (Rome, Ashton 1; Valette, Craig 2) 9:09.3, Hartford-Moore, Greg 4 (game winner)(unassisted) 19:02.
Penalties: WOR-Armstrong, Riley (Interference), 0:13. HFD-Lessard, Francis (Fighting, Major), 11:13. WOR-Evans, Brennan (Fighting, Major), 11:13. HFD-Pock, Thomas (Hooking), 12:40. HFD-Parenteau, Pierre (High sticking), 17:02.
Penalties: WOR-Raduns, Nate (Obstr goalie interfe), 0:45. HFD-Byers, Dane (Slashing, Roughing, Double minor), 2:03. WOR-Evans, Brennan (Roughing), 2:03. HFD-Lessard, Francis (Hooking), 5:39. HFD-Jessiman, Hugh (Board check, Fighting, Major), 10:14. WOR-Staubitz, Brad (Fighting, Instigator, Major, Ten minute misc.), 10:14. WOR-BENCH served by Raduns, Nate (Too many men), 19:05.
Shots On Goal
Hartford 10 7 7--24
Worcester 6 9 11--26
Power Play Conversions: Hartford - 0 of 4, Worcester - 0 of 4. Goalies: Hartford-Holt, Chris (60:00, 26 shots, 25 saves; record: 2-1-0). Worcester-Dakers, Taylor (59:20, 24 shots, 22 saves; record: 1-1-0).
A: 3464. Referee: St. Laurent, Francois. Linesmen: Boyle, Ed; Messier, Mark.
Worcester 0 2 0 0--2
Portland 1 0 1 1--3
Scoring: 1, Portland-Christie, Matt 1 (Salcido, Brian 6) 12:06.
Penalties: POR-Bouck, Tyler (Holding), 2:44. WOR-Setoguchi, Devin (Tripping), 8:39. WOR-Staubitz, Brad (Interference), 10:00. WOR-Rome, Ashton (Interference), 15:47.
Scoring: 2, Worcester-Iggulden, Mike 3 (Cavanagh, Tom 4) 0:37. 3, Worcester-Armstrong, Riley 2 (unassisted) 13:35.
Penalties: WOR-Raduns, Nate (High sticking), 7:22. POR-Dingle, Ryan (Interference), 16:04. WOR-Valette, Craig (Fighting, Major), 18:11. POR-Rome, Aaron (Fighting, Major), 18:11. POR-Ebbett, Andrew (Hooking), 19:17.
Scoring: 4, Portland-Ryan, Bobby 1 (power play) (Christie, Matt 1; Ebbett, Andrew 7) 2:08.
Penalties: WOR-Packard, Dennis (Interference), 2:03. WOR-Joslin, Derek (Roughing), 7:51. WOR-Setoguchi, Devin (Roughing), 7:51. WOR-Walsh, Tom (Game misc.), 7:51. POR-Dixon, Stephen (Roughing, Game misc.), 7:51. POR-Ferguson, Simon (Roughing), 7:51. POR-Segal, Brandon (Board check), 7:51. WOR-Raduns, Nate (Tripping), 12:02. WOR-Armstrong, Riley (Diving), 15:21. POR-Bouck, Tyler (Interference), 15:21. WOR-Iggulden, Mike (Hooking), 19:50.
Scoring: 5, Portland-Ebbett, Andrew 3 (game winner)(unassisted) 3:26.
Shots On Goal
Worcester 5 11 4 0--20
Portland 12 5 19 3--39
Power Play Conversions: Worcester - 0 of 4, Portland - 1 of 7.
Goalies: Worcester-Greiss, Thomas (63:26, 39 shots, 36 saves; record: 3-0-1). Portland-Hiller, Jonas (63:26, 20 shots, 18 saves; record: 1-0-0). A: 3966. Referee: St. Laurent, Francois. Linesmen: Unknown; O'Neill, Mike.
SUPER FEATHERWEIGHT ELOY PEREZ - FILE PHOTO
BANTAMWEIGHT CYNTHIA TALMADGE - FILE PHOTO
RIOT BOXING OCT 26TH IN MONTEREY
Main Event - Super Featherweights (8 rounds)
Eloy Perez (9-0-2 Salinas) vs. Ron Boyd (5-2 Washington DC)
Special Attraction - Jr. Middleweights (6 rounds)
Jose Celaya (30-3 Salinas) vs. Juan Pablo Montes de Oca (9-11 Las Vegas)
Super Featherweights (4 rounds)
Gabriel Garcia (3-3) vs Freddy Rojas (1-4 Las Vegas)
Female Feature - Bantamweights (4 rounds)
Cynthia Talmadge (0-1 San Francisco) vs. Leonie Hall (0-2-1 San Diego)
Super Flyweights (4 rounds)
Constancio Alvarado (2-0-2 Salinas) vs. Jose Pacheco (0-0-1 Los Angeles)
Welterweights (4 rounds)
Maurice Slade (0-1 San Jose) vs. Yonas Gebleeziagher (0-3 Oakland)
* card subject to change
Monterey has never been treated to a boxing show quite like the next edition of The Riot, scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Monterey Conference Center. Just for starters, Jerry Hoffman's event will feature four top-drawer Salinas boxers, each with a legitimate shot at a spot in the world rankings in the coming months.
But it's more interesting than that. The showcase performers of the six-bout show include a cancer survivor, a former Salinas fieldworker, a boxer who once was ranked No. 1 in the world, a woman who works construction all day in one city, then trains deep into the night in another, and a fighter who is completely deaf. Three of the bouts, including the main event, feature an undefeated fighter. A bona fide boxing legend will work the corner of one of the combatants.
And here's the most amazing thing of all. This edition of The Riot, a Central Coast fixture for the past 15 years, may well be the last.
ECHL PHOENIX ROADRUNNERS VS STOCKTON THUNDER - FILE PHOTO
SHARKS ANNOUNCE AFFILIATION WITH THE PHOENIX ROADRUNNERS OF THE ECHL - 10/19/2007
San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson and Sharks Vice President and Assistant General Manager Wayne Thomas announced today that the club has formalized a two-year secondary affiliation with the Phoenix RoadRunners of the ECHL, America’s Premier "AA" Hockey League. The Sharks top development affiliate is the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League.
"We are pleased to add this quality organization as our development affiliate," said Thomas. "The Phoenix club has a long-standing tradition of excellence in its market – on and off the ice – and we look forward to their assistance in the development of Sharks prospects. Brad Church played in the Sharks organization and brings the same competitiveness and preparation as a coach as he did as a player."
The ECHL began play in 1988-89 with five teams in three states and has now expanded to 25 teams ranging from New Jersey to Alaska.
The Phoenix RoadRunners enter their third season in the ECHL, but their history as a franchise runs much deeper then just the past three seasons. The Phoenix RoadRunners were actually the first professional franchise in the state of Arizona. The team initially existed from 1967-1974 in the WHL. The team played in several leagues for various spans of time over the next few decades, but eventually went dark in 1997.
After four years without a minor league hockey team, the RoadRunners were revived in the ECHL by the same group of owners from the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Rattlers and Phoenix Mercury including Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver and Chairman and CEO Jerry Colangelo. The group also purchased the familiar hockey name and logos for play in their new home at US Airways Center.
The team had its best campaign, finishing fourth in the West Division and eighth in the National Conference in 2006-07, which earned them a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
The team returns for the 2007-08 season led by head coach Church and a new affiliation with the San Jose and Worcester Sharks.
First stop of the day was the Nikon booth to take another look at the new D3 DSLR, and ask the staff a little more about it. The sample photos on display taken with very high ISO looked remarkably clean, see this Dave Black hockey example on Ken Rockwell's website, but would those results under set conditions apply when shooting very dark practice rinks or boxing events. It was explained that one of the reasons for the improved high ISO performance is the larger size of the sensor, and the increased amount of detail each pixel can contain. The rep also talked about how long the full frame (FX) camera was in development, how the scene recognition system and enhanced metering and white balance will improve performance, and how you can bump the frame rate from 9 to 11 by selecting the smaller DX mode. Inside Digital Photo has a video interview with Steve Heiner, Nikon's General Manager of Digital SLRs, here. Steve Heiner made a brief cameo on this blog here, along with Robert Scoble, to discuss the Coolpix S51c.
One of the themes of the PhotoPlus conference that photographers were most interested in this year was online image archiving, distribution and printing. Four companies I wanted to see were Santa Clara's Printroom.com, Digital Railroad, PhotoShelter, and Smugmug. Printroom's VP of Marketing Andrew Baum explained the new flash storefront creation tool, which makes it easy to create professional looking flash photography galleries. He also pointed to the Detroit Red Wings fan foto storefront as an example. Interesting tool, but the quality of prints from Printroom are better than any online print lab I have tried.
Did not get to see SmugMug at the conference, but their partner, independent book publisher Blurb, was there. Blurb may have the most affordable book publishing options, but the quality is also very good. They have templates where you can drag and drop your photos and text, and select from a number of different printing options. If I was going to take 30-40 photos from this blog, and 10-15 articles I have written, it would make a very interesting book in probably less than an hour. ($10 off your first book with promo code: photoplus07).
Digital Railroad offers an online digital archive and marketplace for photographers, and the DR marketplace blog highlights individual photographers successfully using the product in different disciplines. Digital Railroad hosted a party for photographers also sponsored by the APA, Canon, Blurb, and Modern Postcard.
PhotoShelter is a similar online distribution offering for photographers, home to Eric McErlain, Ellen Blanchard and Allen Clark's Offwing virtual photoagency. Lots of good hockey and soccer photography there. Ran into PhotoShelter VP of Sales and Marketing Grover Sanschagrin and SportShooter.com's Brad Mangin at the PhotoShelter booth. Later that night they hosted PhotoShelter A-GoGo, possibly the best party of the weekend, but the line was full so I sampled a local bar sans gogo dancers and watched New York fans hate on the Red Sox.
It took a few minutes to recover from Jennie Finch stopping me on a street corner and asking me to buy a hot dog, but I powered on to the Jacob Javits Center for Day 2. On the back side of the conference hall, Brad Kuhns of IPNstock wrote software to include all 27,290 photo submissions for the National Geographic Traveler and PDN Focus Contest into thirteen 12x5 foot panels. The final product, produced on an Epson Stylus Pro 11880 printer, was a segmented 154x5 foot print. Very cool. There is a brief shot of one panel in the video above.
Stopped by the Nikon booth again, this time to listen to Nikon Professional Photographer Mike Corrado discuss and show samples from the new D3 and D300. Also met MWW Group Account Coordinator Matthew Kopacz, who arranged the Nikon Four to the Floor event in San Francisco last week. Talked briefly about Nikon's Picture This marketing campaign with bloggers, and about things that hit photographers while shooting sports.
Visited the Lumiquest flash accessory booth to speak with Quest C. Couch. A lot of people were crowding Gary Fong's booth, asking about the LightSphere, but if I was going to recommend one accessory for a flash it would still have to be Lumiquests top selling product, the pocket bouncer. If you are at a large arena or concert hall with no ceiling to bounce a flash off of, it is a very simple and effective solution. The softscreen should solve a lot of digicam flash problems. Quest C. Couch mentioned "the larger the light source, the softer the shadows", and he also recommended using a flash from more natural directions. More on off camera flash can be found at strobist.
Also noted from the latest AMSP bulletin (American Society of Media Photographers): Minnesota Wild team photographer Bruce Kluckhohn (brucekphoto.com) was featured as one of the best sports photographers. He has been shooting the Wild for the last 7 seasons, and recently began covering the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Swarm Lacrosse teams. Kluckhohn discussed the benefits of digital photography compared to film, noted some of the licensing arrangements he has with the Minnesota Wild, and said that multimedia capture is not yet on his radar.
On the last day of the conference I got to listen to presentations from two of the best sports photographers in the business Dave Black and Vincent Laforet. There are brief clips from both in the video at the top of this post, but unfortunately both were taken at the wrong times. While I was still charging a battery, Dave Black talked about using external lights and long exposures to shoot ice climbers on a glacier as the sun faded. The results were spectacular. He also showed more examples of the Nikon D3's high ISO performance.
New York Times photographer Vincent Laforet discussed using a tilt shift lens to photograph various sporting events in the video clip at the top. Then as I stopped recording he started to talk about his sports aerial photography (NY Times multimedia presentation here). His shot from above of skaters and their shadows from the Lasker ice skating rink in Central Park is one of my favorites. Laforet talked about which helicopters he would not fly in, there were only two, and that using vibration reduction did not really work for him from the air. The shutter speeds were too quick, and VR would slow the shot down. He did recommend not having any part of your body resting against the side of the helicopter when shooting. Laforet's shots of surfers at the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii from the top down were impressive, but it was nice to compare his field of view from photographers I have seen shoot the break over the years from the water and from the shore. My favorite shots are still of Jaws from the shore (some with helicopters in the frame filming action from below the top of the wave), and Mavericks in Half Moon Bay from a boat.
Laforet's tilt shift sports photos were an interesting look at select perspective photography. Another company at the conference released a product with a similar purpose, Lensbabies third generation 3G select focus lens. Lensbabies' Dave Aakhus demos the new lens in the video above, but you really have to google lensbabies and take a look at some of the resulting photos for yourself.
At the end of the conference my brother, NPD analyst Chris Swenson, joined me to check out a few of the software companies on display. On the walk home we stopped by the Law and Order television studio, took a photo of the last meat packing plant in the meat packing district, took a photo of architect Frank Gehry's "Sails" InterActiveCorp building, and stumbled upon a live 10-day, 6 hours a day art exhibit from Ragnar Kjartansson. A short clip snuck into the video above. Kjartansson was playing slow guitar and wailing into the microphone in an empty warehouse, lined with a few fake trees. Exhibit websites are available here and here. Visit at your own risk.
When covering a show as big (and noisy) as last week's PhotoPlus Expo in New York City, it's easy to overlook some of the lower-key products tucked away in the various corners of the show floor. To be sure, the gear that grabbed the most attention at PhotoPlus 2007 was at the front of the hall where Nikon's new flagship digital SLR, the D3, and Canon's new top-of-the-line DSLR, the EOS 1Ds Mark III, were making their debuts.
NADIA COMANECI AND CAROL ALT PREPARE A HOTDOG
NHL POWERED BY REEBOK STOREFRONT ON 47TH AND 6TH
FLOATING REEBOK HOCKEY STICK SCULPTURE WITH FLAT SCREENS
SELF-PORTRAIT WITH NHL OCC CHOPPER
So after the morning skate I made my way down to the new NHL store, which held its grand opening today. If you have not heard, the store is at 1185 Avenue of the Americas (the corner of 47th St. and 6th Ave.) in Manhattan, and if today was any indication, it will be a beacon of hockey greatness in the middle of the Big Apple.
There were literally thousands of people in and around the place. Just walking around in the store was not easy...
Inside is where the action was at. To the left of the main entrance sat Lord Stanley's Cup, and there was a line out the door and wrapped around the block to get your picture taken with it. There are these gigantic photos about 25 feet tall along the left wall of Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Joe Thornton and Martin Brodeur showcasing the new uniforms. Sorry for the shoddy photography, I blame the tools (my cell phone) with which I had to work with.
Providence 1 1 1--3
Worcester 1 2 2--5
Scoring: 1, Worcester, A. Rome (1) (B. Staubitz, C. Valette) 13:56. 2, Providence, P. Nokelainen (2) (B. Bitz, M. Lashoff) 19:52 PP
Penalties: C. Collins Pro (tripping) 1:16, M. Hunwick Pro (hooking) 1:59, B. Evans Wor (interference) 9:17, J. Tremblay Wor (slashing) 16:11, T. Fox Wor (hooking) 18:38
Scoring: 3, Worcester, M. Iggulden (2) (S. Ozolinsh, G. Mink) 9:09 PP. 4, Worcester, N. Raduns (4) (D. Packard, J. Tremblay) 11:06. 5, Providence, J. Hoggan (2) (B. Bitz, B. Skinner) 12:40
Penalties: C. Collins Pro (holding) 7:11, M. Lashoff Pro (interference) 16:05
Scoring: 6, Providence, J. Hoggan (3) (W. Rabbit, C. Collins) 4:12. 7, Worcester, T. Fox (1) (D. Packard, G. Mink) 9:01. 8, Worcester, N. Raduns (5) (T. Cavanagh) 19:54 EN
Penalties: M. Karsums Pro (high-sticking) 0:54, C. Valette Wor (holding) 10:04, V. Sobotka Pro (holding) 12:52
Shots on goal
Providence 16 12 14--42
Worcester 8 12 7--27
Power Play Conversions
Providence Bruins 1 of 4. Worcester Sharks 1 of 6.
Goalies: Providence-Rask, Tuukka (59:21, 26 shots, 22 saves; record: 3-1-0). Worcester-Greiss, Thomas (59:43, 42 shots, 30 saves; record 3-0-0). A: 3362. Referee: David Banfield (44). Linesmen: Tim Low (68), Brian MacDonald (13)
Lowell 1 0 0--1
Worcester 2 0 0--2
Scoring: 1, Lowell-Khomutov, Ivan 2 (Fraser, Mark 3; Gionta, Stephen 1) 6:15. 2, Worcester-Packard, Dennis 1 (Raduns, Nate 1; Iggulden, Mike 5) 8:00. 3, Worcester-Raduns, Nate 3 (game winner) (Staubitz, Brad 1; Walsh, Tom 1) 14:44.
Penalties: LOW-Brookbank, Sheldon (Fighting, Major), 5:24. WOR-Evans, Brennan (Fighting, Major), 5:24.
Penalties: WOR-Evans, Brennan (Tripping), 3:52. WOR-Traverse, Patrick (Slashing), 17:08.
Penalties: LOW-Malmivaara, Olli (Hooking), 4:55. LOW-Ryznar, Jason (Slashing), 8:22.
Shots On Goal
Lowell 9 9 8--26
Worcester 16 4 15--35
Power Play Conversions: Lowell - 0 of 2, Worcester - 0 of 2.
Goalies: Lowell-Doyle, Frank (58:55, 35 shots, 33 saves; record: 1-2-0). Worcester-Dakers, Taylor (59:56, 26 shots, 25 saves; record: 1-0-0).
A: 3246. Referee: Koharski, Jamie. Linesmen: Messier, Mark; Millea, Chris.
STRIKEFORCE BODOGFIGHT MMA TOURNAMENT NOVEMBER 16TH
"We're very grateful that the athletic commission has given us the opportunity to produce a tournament format fight for our fans," said Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker. "This will be the first step in our efforts to produce more tournaments which, historically, have been a great way to challenge world class athletes and to determine who the best competitor is on any given day."
6 bout card set for October 26th at Downtown Monterey Conference Center
Several undefeated prospects, a former #1 contender, a cancer survivor, and a deaf female fighter highlight THE RIOT boxing card promoted by Jerry Hoffman and 12 Sports Productions.
Historic downtown Monterey is the venue. The Main event finds 9-0-2 Eloy Perez of Salinas challenged by Ron Boyd of Washington, DC. Boyd at 5-2 is trained by former World fly and superflyweight champion Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson. Perez turns 21 on the eve of THE RIOT, and will face his toughest challenge as a pro. The bout is an 8 rounder at 130 pounds.
14-0 Jesus Vega, also of Salinas has already won the biggest fight of his life. The promising southpaw was diagnosed with testicular cancer 4 years ago, but has the disease in total remission. With a complete clearance by his oncologist, Vega resumes his pro boxing career against Fruedin Rojas of Las Vegas. This bout will be a 4 round affair contested at 130.
Our female feature has a pair of decorated amateurs seeking their first win as professionals. 0-1 Cynthia Talmadge of San Francisco dropped her professional debut to undefeated Jennifer Barber on THE RIOT card in July, but earned a trip back. Her opponent, Leonie Hall is 0-2-1 as a pro, but beat Talmadge 3 years ago when both were top 5 amateurs in their weight classes. This time, the two will collide at 120 pounds in a 4 rounder. Hall's world is silent.
Returning to Monterey for the first time since 2001 is Jose Celaya. The one time pride of Salinas, encountered a rude awakening when he left his previous team in favor of a signing bonus with a group that had no boxing experience. Celaya promptly got knocked out in consecutive TV appearances. He has since humbled himself to start all over, despite achieving a #1 contender record as a welterweight while under the guidance of Max and Kathy Garcia who head Team Garcia Boxing. Now an independent, Jose Celaya at 30-3 tries to regain some of his former glory. He'll be in a 6 rounder vs. Juan Pablo Montes de Oca.
Another Salinas fighter, Constancio Alvarado at 2-0-2 was literally plucked from the fields last year by Team Garcia and has become an unbeaten energized Super Flyweight. He is challenged by Jose Pacheco of Los Angeles in a 4 at 116.A pair of winless pros complete the card, as 0-3 Welterweight Yonas Gebleeziagbher of Oakland matches with 0-1 Maurice Slade of San Jose. Tickets are available by calling (831) 688-1604 to charge by phone or visit www.12sportsonline.com and find www.virtualboxoffice.com to order online. The bell rings for the first bout at 7:30PM.
15-BOUT XFIGHT KICKBOXING EVENT, FRIDAY OCTOBER 19TH IN SF
San Francisco, CA. Promoter Mr. Michael Borbet of XFIGHT Promotions is bringing one of the most exciting ring sports - Muay Thai to the Bay Area with his first event on October 19, 2007 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The event is marked as "War of the Contenders" as ranking fights with worldclass athletes to be sanctioned by the World Boxing Council - Muay Thai Division (WBC Muay Thai), United States Muaythai Federation (USMF) and World Muaythai Council (WMC). This is a history in the making where for the first time, all three sanctioning bodies have united as one to support the growing demand for Muay Thai. This is the first event in San Francisco’s history under Full Muay Thai Rules.
With public interest in martial arts at an all-time high, XFIGHT Promotions is working closely with Mr. Anthony Lin, President of USMF, North American Coordinator for WBC Muay Thai and sole representative for WMC, to sanction up to six events in year 2008. "The objective is to build the ranking system thus uniting the Muay Thai community and to hold National, International and World Championship Titles under the banners of WBC Muay Thai, USMF and WMC in USA." said Mr. Borbet. "For the first event, XFIGHT has been working closely with Fairtex and USMF to invite 30 athletes from 16 gyms in 8 States to participate in this ranking event," added Mr. Borbet. The main event is a rematch between Fairtex fighter, Armando Ramos from San Francisco, CA versus Dan Rawlings from Florida.
The event will have up to 15 bouts with male and female athletes competing for professional and amateur rankings. "We are excited to see that there are so many female athletes that want to compete in this event. I am excited to see one of our very own, Jenna Castillo from Mountain View, CA face Melanie Kohler-Edwards from Utah," said Ms. Mimy Sisavat, General Manager of Fairtex Muaythai Fitness. "It is an exciting time for the sport of Muaythai." said Mr. Lin. "Muaythai is gaining the international recognition as one of the most effective and exciting stand-up combat sports. It is most suitable for MMA, self-defense, weight loss, and more... We are excited that Muay Thai under USMF, WMC and International Federation of Muaythai Amateurs (IFMA) has been recognized by the General Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF) in 2006, making it a step closer to becoming an Olympic sport." As Mr. Hein Verbruggen, President of GAISF. Switzerland says, "Muaythai is now a member of the Olympic family"...
Fairtex, Singha Beer, Superfly and All Pro Bail Bonds are the official sponsors for the event.
XFIGHT Promotions - War of the Contenders starts at 6:00 pm at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium located at 99 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 this Friday, October 19, 2007. VIP - $150, Ringside - $80, Reserved - $60 and General - $40 seating tickets can be purchased through City Box Office at 415- 392-4400 or www.cityboxoffice.com.
PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko is headed to New York City for a Monday press conference to announce a new contract, MMAjunkie.com has learned.
The Russian fighter, who is one of the sport's top-ranked fighters and MMA's most sought-after free agent, will share the details of his recently signed contract at the reception.
Event organizers are tight-lipped about the contract, as well as the fight promotion that signed Emelianenko. However, all answers will be answered on Monday at 5:30 p.m. ET, we're told.
Middleweight title: Champion Anderson Silva vs. Challenger Rich Franklin
Most fans remember the first Silva-Franklin fight just about a year ago at UFC 64. Silva dominated that encounter, controlling Franklin in a Muay Thai clinch and pounding the former champion with a series of knees to the body and finishing Franklin off with knees and kicks to the head. Since then, Silva has continued to demonstrate his impressive all-around skills, first by getting Travis Lutter to submit in a non-title fight and then defeating Nate Marquardt by ground-and-pound in his first official title defense.
Franklin has not looked nearly as able. While he pounded an overmatched Jason MacDonald in his first fight back after losing the belt, Franklin had quite a bit of trouble with Yushin Okami in his next fight. Okami was very passive in the first two rounds of the fight, but when he became aggressive in the third round, he was almost able to get Franklin to submit. I believe that Okami would have won that fight had he been more aggressive earlier on in the fight.
Tonight, I simply don’t believe Franklin will be able to handle Silva's all-around superior game. Whether or not Franklin has learned how to deal with Silva’s clinch is almost irrelevant. Silva has too many other weapons.
Prediction: Silva by TKO in the second round
Pesky winger Matt Cooke returned to the Vancouver Canucks' lineup last night after being benched for one game, and that's just fine with San Jose Sharks centre Joe Thornton. He has disliked Cooke for years. They were rivals in the OHL, and late last season, Thornton crushed Cooke with a heavy check in a game at San Jose.
"I just enjoy playing against guys like that," 6-foot-4 Thornton said of 5-foot-10 Cooke. "I find it amusing guys like that are not going to fight. I beat him up pretty bad in junior. Maybe it's carried on. Does he fight? Guys like that hide behind the face shield."
FORMER SAN JOSE STATE GOALTENDER RYAN LOWE
CHINA SHARKS SIGN AT HP PAVILION
DEFENSEMAN #44 AARON WARD SCORED THE GW GOAL WITH 12 SECONDS LEFT
THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT IN SAN JOSE
SJ GOALTENDER #35 EVGENI NABOKOV MADE 18 SAVES ON 20 SHOTS
The Sharks applied some heavy pressure in the second period, especially during their third power play. Ward, who was called for hooking at 1:17, went off again at 3:38 when he was called for delay of game for putting the puck into the stands.
On the following power play, the Sharks kept Boston's penalty-killing foursome of Andrew Ference, Andrew Alberts, P.J. Axelsson, and Chuck Kobasew on the ice for nearly the entire two minutes. But Thomas stood tall, bailing out his penalty-killers whenever the Sharks shook their checks.
If Torrey Mitchell wasn't the best player on the ice at least he showed the most jump. The problem with Mitchell is that he's like that bus from the movie "Speed" that can't drop under 55 miles per hour or it will explode, but driving over 55 increases the risk of plunging into a building and killing Keanu Reeves. Mitchell's just too fast for his own good. Every pass is a misguided touch pass, and he's always overskating the puck. However, if he doesn't use his speed he's ineffective, so his hands just have to catch up with his feet.
Portland 1 0 1--2
Worcester 0 3 0--3
Scoring: 1, Portland-King, Jason 4 (power play) (Ryan, Bobby 3; Wilson, Clay 1) 1:43.
Penalties: WOR-Armstrong, Riley (Board check), 0:36.
Scoring: 2, Worcester-Cavanagh, Tom 1 (power play) (Mink, Graham 2; Iggulden, Mike 3) 7:45. 3, Worcester-Iggulden, Mike 1 (power play) (Mink, Graham 3; Traverse, Patrick 1) 9:26. 4, Worcester-Raduns, Nate 2 (game winner) (Iggulden, Mike 4; Cavanagh, Tom 2) 9:57.
Penalties: WOR-Valette, Craig (Hooking), 4:11. POR-Wirtanen, Petteri (Cross checking), 7:38. POR-Ryan, Bobby (Holding), 9:03. POR-Rome, Aaron (Roughing, Double minor), 9:26. WOR-Mink, Graham (Roughing, Double minor), 9:26. POR-Dingle, Ryan (Roughing), 10:40. POR-Ferguson, Simon (Roughing), 10:40. WOR-Rome, Ashton (Roughing, Ten minute misc.), 10:40.
Scoring: 5, Portland-Bouck, Tyler 1 (Ryan, Bobby 4; Salcido, Brian 3) 4:26.
Penalties: WOR-Staubitz, Brad (Interference), 6:54.
Shots on goal
Portland 9 9 8--26
Worcester 8 6 9--23
Power Play Conversions: Portland - 1 of 3, Worcester - 2 of 3.
Goalies: Portland-McKenna, Mike (59:03, 23 shots, 20 saves; record: 0-1-0). Worcester-Greiss, Thomas (60:00, 26 shots, 24 saves; record: 2-0-0).
A: 7230. Referee: Hache, Conrad. Linesmen: Millea, Jack; Paquette, Bob.
WHITE TIP SHARKS FAN AT THE PREGAME STREET RALLY
SHARKS FANS AT THE STREET RALLY
WINNER OF THE DAY FOR BEST SHARK HAT
"He's got a very deep crouch, so his ready position looks unconventional," said Moog. "But he's got great legs, active legs. He gets good pushes. And he always seems to be squared up on the puck. Rarely does he give up a 5-hole goal. He always seems to be there. With Manny, the (puck) rarely finds a hole - through his legs or under his arms. You may beat him wide, but very rarely through a hole."
The Bruins remain a team desperate for that one anchor player, the difference maker, who can step in and take control of a game, be it with a big goal, or a body check, or a fight. It would be premature and unfair to drop that expectation on Lucic's door, especially after the lessons learned in watching the likes of Joe Thornton and Sergei Samsonov fizzle out under the weight and want of the spoke-B.
Nonetheless, there is naive and engaging confidence in Lucic, an anything-is-possible air about him that will be wonderful to watch in these weeks and months ahead. Skillwise, he does not project as a star, a bit short on hands and heavy of legs. But he could be that rare kid for whom will wins out over skill.
Davison made his first appearance of the season Wednesday night against the Blackhawks, seeing nearly 13 minutes of playing time. He rattled Chicago forwards with a couple big hits, and had a decent tilt with Marty Lapointe. The performance was strong enough to earn him a spot alongside Vlasic for Saturday's home opener against the Bruins.
"He played really well and deserves to be back in there," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said after today's practice. "He kept it simple, moved the puck well, and took chances when he had them. If he keeps doing that he'll have success."
San Jose Sharks:
Brad Norton (HW)
Rob Davison (CW)
Ryan Clowe (MW)
Doug Murray (CW)
In the system: Jonathan Tremblay (HW), Brad Staubitz, Brennan Evans (CW
The latest skirmish in the ongoing war between the media and sports rights holders involves the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have banned hand-held video cameras from their dressing room both here and on the road.
While this may seem trivial in comparison with weighty matters such as the state of Alexei Ponikarovsky's knee, newspapers don't see it that way. The Toronto-based dailies and the Canadian Press have united to fight what they see as an impediment to their right to gather news.
JON SWENSON WITH THE NIKON D3 DSLR - PHOTO JUSTIN LEGGROAN
North Dakota Retains No. 1 Position in USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The University of North Dakota held onto the No. 1 spot on this week's USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll, receiving all 34 first-place votes and a total of 510 points.
This Week's Top-15 Match-ups
Friday, October 12
No. 2 Boston College vs. No. 9 Michigan
No. 7 Notre Dame vs. No. 14 Wisconsin
No. 15 Maine @ No. 10 Denver
Saturday, October 13
No. 3 Michigan State @ No. 1 North Dakota
No. 15 Maine @ No. 10 Denver
St. Lawrence University debuted on the poll at No. 12 this week following a home victory against then-No. 7 Clarkson University, which fell to No. 13. Rounding out the top five in this week's poll were Boston College (428), Michigan State University (417), Miami (Ohio) University (374) and the University of New Hampshire (360).
For most teams, this weekend marks the start of the season with 39 games being played between Friday and Sunday.
ABOUT THE POLL: The 13th annual USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll is conducted each week in conjunction with the American Hockey Coaches Association. The poll includes input from coaches and journalists representing each of the six NCAA Division I ice hockey conferences, as well as composite votes from officers of the American Hockey Coaches Association and USA Hockey Magazine, the most widely distributed hockey magazine in the world.
USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll - #2 (First place votes in parenthesis, Last Week's Ranking, 2007-08 Record, Weeks In Top 15)
1. U. of North Dakota, 510 (34), 1, 0-0-0, 2
2. Boston College, 428, 3, 0-0-0, 2
3. Michigan State U., 417, 2, 0-0-0, 2
4. Miami (Ohio) U., 374, 5, 0-0-0, 2
5. U. of New Hampshire, 360, 6, 0-0-0, 2
6. U. of Minnesota, 358, 4, 0-0-0, 2
7. U. of Notre Dame, 287, 8, 0-0-0, 2
8. Boston U., 250, 9, 0-0-0, 2
9. U. of Michigan, 229, 10, 0-0-0, 2
10. U. of Denver, 168, 12, 0-0-0, 2
11. Colorado College, 161, 11, 0-0-0, 2
12. St. Lawrence U., 132, NR, 1-0-0, 1
13. Clarkson U., 129, 7, 0-1-0, 2
14. U. of Wisconsin, 110, 14, 0-0-0, 2
15. U. of Maine, 106, 13, 0-0-0, 2
Others receiving votes: Others receiving votes: Quinnipiac University, 29; Cornell University, 10; Dartmouth College, 8; Michigan Tech University, 7; University of Nebraska-Omaha, 6; University of Massachusetts, 3; St. Cloud State University, 3; University of Vermont, 3; U.S. Air Force Academy, 1; The Ohio State University, 1.
SCU lost to Stanford 10-8 in a physical first game in front of a packed house. Scores of SCU hockey fans, friends, and family packed the stands at the North Rink at Logitech Ice to support the Broncos in its debut against Stanford. A spirited and physical SCU squad jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, but later got into penalty trouble and fell behind to visiting Stanford.
Two quick goals cut the Stanford lead to 9-8 with just minutes left in the third period. Stanford was then called for two penalties, setting up a 6-on-3 situation with less then a minute to go when SCU pulled goalie Chris McNamara for the extra skater. Alas, SCU was unable to score the tying goal and Stanford tacked on the empty net goal to secure the 10-8 win.
CAGE COMBAT FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS 5 IN SAN MATEO
CCFC WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION JAMES TERRY AND CUNG LE
STOCKTON MMA STARS NATHAN DIAZ AND NICK DIAZ
[Fight1] Evan Esguerra unanimous decision over Jeremy Tavares
[Fight2] Kyle Rideau submission over Ricky Almondia (RNC)
[Fight3] Ky Hollenbeck submission over John Preston (arm bar)
[Fight4] Damien Douglas submission over Juan Alcaine (arm bar)
[Fight5] Dominique Robinson TKO Zak Yngojo (1st round)
[Fight6] Joey Armstrong TKO Francisco Soto (1st round)
[Fight7] Bobby Stack KO Frank DiMartino (1st round)
[Fight8] CCFC Bantamweight Title Fight - Rolando Velasco unanimous decision over Darren Uyenoyama
[Fight9] CCFC Welterweight Title Fight - James Terry split decision over Josh Hinkle
Two years ago, Ky Hollenbeck walked across the stage to pick up his high school diploma. On Saturday, he walked into an entirely different arena — the San Mateo Event Center, which was hosting a Mixed Martial arts (MMA) event for the first time in city history.
Fighting in the third match of Cage Combat Fighting's "Undefeated," a nine-card event, Hollenbeck looked impressive in a win over John Preston of San Mateo in the 170-pound weigh class. Hollenbeck, a Capuchino High graduate, won after making Preston tap out after placing an arm bar, pulling Preston's left arm parallel to his body while placing both legs on top of Preston's neck.
Worcester 2 0 2--4
Springfield 1 0 1--2
Scoring: 1, Springfield-Simon, Ben 1 (Kemp, T.J. 1; Jacques, Jean-Franco 1) 2:11. 2, Worcester-Mink, Graham 1 (power play) (Iggulden, Mike 1; Cavanagh, Tom 1) 3:47. 3, Worcester-Raduns, Nate 1 (Iggulden, Mike 2) 7:33.
Penalties: SPR-Berry, Rick (Tripping), 2:34. WOR-Prudden, Josh (Interference), 4:14. WOR-Mink, Graham (Tripping), 6:35. SPR-Berry, Rick (Roughing), 6:35. SPR-Kemp, T.J. (Slashing), 17:58.
Penalties: SPR-Sestito, Tim (Hooking), 0:53. SPR-Jacques, Jean-Franco (Holding), 3:34. WOR-Evans, Brennan (Fighting, Major), 6:57. SPR-Stortini, Zachery (Instigator, Fighting, Major, Ten minute misc.), 6:57. WOR-Staubitz, Brad (Cross checking, Fighting, Major), 10:06. SPR-Jacques, Jean-Franco (Fighting, Major), 10:06. WOR-Valette, Craig (Too many men), 13:12. WOR-Evans, Brennan (Hooking), 14:11.
Scoring: 4, Worcester-Kaspar, Lukas 1 (game winner) (Mink, Graham 1; Spang, Dan 1) 4:52. 5, Springfield-Jacques, Jean-Franco 1 (power play) (McDonald, Colin 1; Schremp, Rob 1) 13:36. 6, Worcester-Armstrong, Riley 1 (unassisted) 19:01.
Penalties: WOR-Joslin, Derek (Tripping), 0:51. WOR-Cavanagh, Tom (Tripping), 8:02. WOR-Armstrong, Riley (Interference), 13:18. SPR-Kemp, T.J. (Hooking), 15:59.
Shots on goal:
Worcester 7 7 8--22
Springfield 9 3 17--29
Power Play Conversions: Worcester - 1 of 6, Springfield - 1 of 7. Goalies: Worcester-Greiss, Thomas (60:00, 29 shots, 27 saves; record: 1-0-0). Springfield-Drouin-Deslauriers, (7:33, 4 shots, 2 saves); Dubnyk, Devan (51:51, 18 shots, 16 saves; record: 0-1-0). A: 4550. Referee: Brown, Chris. Linesmen: Briggs, Jim; Patry, Rich.
SHARKS DOWN VANCOUVER CANUCKS 3-1
OILERS 3-2 OT SHOOTOUT WIN FRONT PAGE NEWS IN EDMONTON SUN
A 3-1 loss to San Jose Friday was more fizz than whiz for Raymond and Ryan Shannon, the two young forwards the Canucks are hoping can provide a little "wow" to an offence that has struggled to look ordinary.
Raymond started the game on the Canucks No. 1 line. He was in Vancouver's penthouse suite, in a position to wait and get room service from the Sedin twins. But by the time the game ended he had a punched ticket for the press box Saturday in the Pengrowth Saddledome...
Unlike Raymond, Shannon stood out like a neon sign Friday. But he was all flash and no finish. As Vigneault said, Shannon had "multiple, multiple, multiple opportunities to score" but struggled to even get his shots on net (he had just one).
Five months later, things again appear to be on track. The big offensive guns led by superstar center Joe Thornton are back. Though Scott Hannan is gone, the rest of the defense remains intact. The goaltending burden is squarely on Evgeni Nabokov's shoulders and he welcomes that. Still, there are differences.
For one thing, teammates say Marleau - who received a two-year, $12.6 million contract extension in August - came to training camp even more focused than in the past. An exhibition-game fight against Vancouver is cited as evidence of his resolve.
For another, Wilson has established a leadership council among his players as a means to improve communication and increase accountability. "There's no excuse to not know what you're doing on the ice anymore," Wilson said. "That's what this year is all about."
2007-08 WAVE MAGAZINE SHARKS GUIDE, OCT. COVER
[TW] You were in two Olympics, what was that like?
[JR] The first one was anticlimactic. Going all the way to Japan, the team didn’t do well. [There was] a lot of controversy. 2002 [in Salt Lake City, Utah] was probably my most storied moment as an athlete. Going to the Olympics, playing at home, having that patriotic feeling and getting in the gold medal game against Canada. Even though we lost, it was a dream match-up. I have a silver medal sitting on my counter. That’s stuff you can’t take away, those are memories that last forever. I haven’t won a Cup yet, I’m sure that will take over it if that ever happens.
1. Rockford Ice Hogs
2. Chicago Wolves
3. Milwaukee Admirals
4. Quad City Flames
5. Iowa Stars
6. Houston Aeros
7. San Antonio Rampage
8. Peoria Rivermen
1. D Cody Franson, 79th overall 2005.
Franson comes to the Admirals as an accomplished offensive-defenseman internationally, and in the WHL. He is big and skilled, with exceptional puck movement, and a dangerous point shot. Franson still needs to work on his defensive play and skating, as he can still get caught flat footed by a faster opponent.
2. RW Mike Santorelli, 178th overall 2004.
After a successful NCAA career with Northern Michigan, Santorelli is primed to make an immediate impact in the AHL. A combative winger with good acceleration and a ferocious wrist shot, look for Santorelli to score a number of goals screaming down the wing.
3. C Cal O'Reilly, 150th overall 2005.
O'Reilly quietly had a monster rookie season. He will be looked at by Milwaukee to shoulder the offensive load this season. An ingenious playmaker, O'Reilly possesses the patience to hold onto the puck until a passing lane opens, and he has the skill to stickhandle in a phone booth.
1. G Ondrej Pavelec, 41st overall 2005.
The Czech-born netminder possesses a wealth of international experience, and past QMJHL goaltender of the year and rookie of the year designations. An athletic hybrid goalie, Pavelec is one of the cornerstones in the Thrashers development system. He is one of the top goaltending prospects in the world.
2. C Brian Little, 13th overall 2006.
Atlanta desperately needs a number one center, and they are crossing their fingers that Brian Little can develop into that player. Small but stocky, Little oozes hockey sense and skill. He may begin the season with Atlanta, but some time in the AHL with the Wolves is expected and would benefit him development long term.
3. D Boris Valabik, 10th overall 2004.
A former 10th overall selection, Valabik is described as an "old NHL" defenseman. One that possesses amazing size and strength, but lacks the mobility and puck movement to thrive in today's game. He must learn to keep his temper in check and defend more swiftly off the rush.
1. G Marek Schwarz, 16th overall 2004.
Schwarz is an underrated goaltender. One who has played under the radar despite having an exceptional rookie season with Peoria last year. His athleticism is unparalleled, and he possesses Gumby-like flexibility. Schwarz could be a special goaltender in the NHL in a couple of years if he continues to progress.
2. D Roman Polak, 180th overall 2004.
This Czech is turning out to be a late round gem for the Blues, who would be using him on their NHL roster right now if they were not so deep at the defensive position. Polak keeps the game simple but is a smart and competitive stay at home defenseman, one who can always be counted on to make the right play.
3. C Chris Porter, UFA
The Chicago Blackhawks could not come to terms with this feisty and smart two-way center out of North Dakota, so the Blues swooped in and got him signed this summer.
1. LW Jack Skille, 7th overall 2005.
Skille is a tremendous athlete with NHL size, speed, and skill. His game compares to former Shark Bill Guerin. He looked ready to handle a third line spot during camp, but the Hawks want him to develop into a premiere power forward, which starts with getting top line minutes in Rockford.
2. D Cam Barker, 3rd overall 2004.
Selected after Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin and ahead of player such as Alexander Radulov and Andrej Meszaro, Cam Barker's development has been slow and disappointing. He possesses a big frame and nimble feet with decisive puck movement, but his defensive game leaves much to be desired. Barker will get ample ice time in Rockford and should be back with Chicago by years end.
3. G Corey Crawford, 52nd overall 2003.
Viewed as the future in the Hawks goal crease, Crawford is a big and mechanically sound butterfly goaltender.
1. C Martin Hanzal, 17th overall 2005.
This towering center possesses a colossal reach and soft hands. Made the Coyotes out of camp, but will need some AHL seasoning before becoming a go-to-guy. Hanzal is still raw but the sky is the limit, could be the next Eric Daze.
2. D Keith Yandle, 105th overall 2005.
An offensive stud from the back end, Yandle combines elite wheels and hand skill to go along with impressive puck movement. Yandle will be a feared offensive presence from the back end.
3. D Logan Stephenson, 35th overall 2004.
Big and confident two-way defenseman that is still terribly raw. His development has been slow since being a high draft pick, and this may be a make-or-break season for the young rearguard.
1. D Mathew Niskanen, 28th overall 2005.
An electrifying offensive defenseman that can dangle and create highlight reel plays. Blessed with swift mobility and exceptional vision, Niskanen should be quarterbacking the Dallas Stars power play in the near future. He did not look out of place early in the season with Dallas, and he continues to translate seamlessly from college to pro.
2. C Perttu Lindgren, 75th overall 2005.
Lindgren is a finesse center with gifted hands. He could end up being comparable to Detroit Red Wings center Valterri Filpulla, albeit with less goal scoring and much more playmaking.
3. C James Neal, 35th overall 2005.
Few prospects have developed as rapidly since the 2005 draft as James Neal. He has always possessed a big frame and great work ethic, but recently Neal combined those traits with the abilities of a dynamic goal scorer.
1. C Benoit Pouliot, 4th overall 2005.
While it is taking him awhile to get there, Pouliot has all the talent to be the next Vincent Lecavalier. Trouble is that he plays in such a defensively demanding system in Minnesota, he is being forced to earn his stripes in the AHL before making the full time jump to the NHL.
2. LW Roman Voloshenko, 42nd overall 2004.
Two years ago he scored 60 points in 69 games for the Aeros, but Voloshenko hit the sophomore slump hard with only 30 points in 76 games last season. A prolific goal scorer that likes to wait in the weeds before attacking, Voloshenko needs to have a bounce back season.
3. RW Danny Irmen, 78th overall 2003.
Low risk, high reward type prospect with a gritty two-way game and speed. Irmen lacks the offensive creativity to be a top line guy in the NHL.
1. C Dustin Boyd, 98th overall 2004.
One of the most underrated prospects in the game, Boyd would be a full time NHL'er by now on most teams. A complete package with a dynamic change of gears and the ability to finish and create, Boyd will either be an AHL allstar this season, or a breakout NHL Calder candidate.
2. LW Eric Nystrom, 10th overall 2002.
Drafted with the hope of developing into a goal scoring 2-way power forward, injuries and the inability to translate his scoring touch to the pro game have seen Nystrom's stock fall. This season will be a turning point for him, staying healthy will be paramount.
3. C Daniel Ryder, 74th overall 2005.
Crafty and slick offensive catalyst with a mature defensive game, Ryder is small but spunky, and one of the few offensively creative forwards in the Flames system.
D Will Weber 6-4 205, Columbus Blue Jackets 52nd overall 2007, Miami-Ohio
After dominating the Michigan High school scene last year, the Chicago Steel felt comfortable enough to draft Will Weber first overall in the USHL Entry Draft. Weber is the highest drafted NHL prospect in the league, and he will only stay for one season before moving on to the University of Miami-Ohio. Weber possesses all the athletic tools to be a solid defenseman. He is big, with a powerful stride, and immense offensive skill. Still raw defensively, Weber also needs to work on his hockey sense and learn how to play a team game. He tries to go coast-to-coast nearly every time he has the puck.
D Max Nicastro 6-2 200, 2008 Eligible, Boston University
Sharks fans should keep a watchful eye on the progress of Nicastro, as San Jose tends to draft players that go on to play for the Terriers. Nicastro is an impressive prospect in his own right. He possesses a little bit of everything, with no glaring flaws. He can move the puck and play a physical game, but he projects to be a no-nonsense, shut down defenseman if he reaches the NHL.
D Barron Smith 6-5 180, 2009 Eligible, Uncommitted
The son of former NHL defenseman Steve Smith, Baron is a towering, mean two-way defenseman. His mobility is rough, and his hockey sense is questionable, but Smith is a tenacious defenseman with tons of raw upside. He does o’t lack confidence, and the fact that he is already playing in the USHL is a huge accomplishment.
JOSH THOMSON STRIKEFORCE PLAYBOY MANSION - PHOTO SHERDOG.COM
Saturday night’s event was the brainchild of the San Jose-based Strikeforce promotion. The MMA world is one in which promoters burn through millions of dollars without rhyme or reason in a futile attempt to compete with the industry-leading Ultimate Fighting Championship. But Strikeforce is the little promotion that could, carving out success where others have failed through simple promotional acumen...
Strikeforce promoted the first sanctioned MMA show in the state of California in March, 2006, selling out the 19,000-seat HP Pavilion in San Jose for Shamrock's win over Cesar Gracie. The promotion drew another large crowd in San Jose in June for Shamrock's win over Phil Baroni, and in the process drew more interest and publicity than any MMA card promoted by someone other than the UFC in 2007.
CAGE COMBAT MMA LIVE IN SAN MATEO, OCT 6TH
RIOT BOXING, COLLISION AT THE CONFERENCE CENTER
SHARKS CENTER TORREY MITCHELL (RIGHT) FACES OFF AGAINST VANCOUVER
LEFT WING: Ryane Clowe, Milan Michalek, Patrick Rissmiller.
CENTER: Curtis Brown, Marcel Goc, Patrick Marleau, Torrey Mitchell, Joe Pavelski, Jeremy Roenick, Joe Thornton.
RIGHT WING: Steve Bernier, Jonathan Cheechoo, Mike Grier, Devin Setoguchi.
DEFENSE: Matthew Carle, Rob Davison, Christian Ehrhoff, Kyle McLaren, Douglas Murray, Craig Rivet, Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
GOALTENDER: Evgeni Nabokov, Dimitri Patzold.
As the puck drops on the 2007-08 season, many in the NHL are wondering this: Will Thornton, a three-time All-Star and 2005-06 league MVP with soft hands and long-doubted resolve, finally pick up his team by the scruff of its neck and lead it to a Stanley Cup?
Thornton watched two games of the 2007 Ducks-Senators final on tape while in India and, between winces, noticed the physical dominance of Anaheim, the Western Conference team. So, why shouldn't it be San Jose's turn in 2008? "We have a little more experience from the Edmonton and Detroit series," he said of second-round meltdowns in the past two seasons. "We realize we had some of those games in hand, but couldn't find a way to finish them. There are a lot of pieces here, a lot of guys going through their prime years. Realistically, we've got a shot at the Cup."
LOS ANGELES KINGS GOALTENDER JONATHAN BERNIER - FILE PHOTO
 Carey Price (goaltender, Montreal Canadiens)
Carey Price is the most complete goaltending prospect to come to the NHL in several years, he has franchise goalie written all over him. He is everything you look for in a modern day netminder. Price is big, mechanically sound, confident and poised, and he can play the puck at an elite level. Price is the type of goalie that inspires the players around him. He can win games on his own, and it is no surprise to see Price on Montreal's opening night roster. Price was the most athletic goalie to hit the AHL since Kari Lehtonen. Last season, when he joined the Hamilton Bull Dogs, he carried them to a Clark Cup Championship.
 Jonathan Toews (center, Chicago Blackhawks)
The Chicago Blackhawks look like an emerging playoff contender thanks to roster full of young talent. Former 3rd overall selection Jonathan Toews is the jewel of the group. Blackhawks fans will have a tough time spotting Toews on the ice because he is not your ordinary rookie. He plays the mature game of a ten year veteran. He is powerful, with a strong separation gear, supple hands, and is a threat to score or create. Do not be surprised to see Toews on the power play and on the penalty kill. If he can remain injury free, Toews could finish the season as the Blackhawks top center.
 Jonathan Bernier (goaltender, Los Angeles Kings)
Few goalies are as polished at this age as Los Angeles Kings first round draft pick Jonathan Bernier. He has ice water in his veins, and impeccable poise and patience. Bernier is your classic French Canadian goaltender, with good size, swift lateral movement, and air-tight positioning. Given the fact that the Kings desperate for goaltending, look for Bernier to stick the entire season.
 James Sheppard (center, Minnesota Wild)
The Minnesota Wild never hesitate to play their young prospects in the NHL. The trend should continue this year with center James Sheppard. James has the size and the skill to fill a power forward role, and the focus to contribute on the defensive size with a mature two-way game. Sheppard is the type of player who contributes more than is seen on the stat sheet. Sheppard should play in all situations including the penalty kill.
 Sam Gagner (center, Edmonton Oilers)
Drafted seventh overall in this summer's 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Sam Gagner is the son of former NHL star Dave Gagner. While Sam is smaller, and his speed is not up to the level of other Calder candidates, Gagner possesses exceptional hockey sense, vision, and hand skill. The Edmonton Oiler's are starving for more offensive firepower, and they will expect Gagner to immediately bolster the anemic power play. Look for Gagner to be deadly down low, and along the half wall. He can break down an opposition's defense by threading the needle with a deft pass. Gagner can lift the fans out of their seats with his moves, but he also may be sent back to junior this season as his size and strength is a concern.
Toews is a solid, quiet, Canadian boy from Winnipeg, Manitoba, who played on the backyard rink until he was too cold to go on. He honed his skills at the University of North Dakota and was selected with the third overall pick in 2006. Although he just turned 19 in April, there is nothing about Toews that says "boy."
Kane is not quite scrawny, but definitely slight. Later, he'll describe with a grin how he "bulked up" over the summer, jumping from 163 pounds in July to 170 at the start of camp.