Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New No. 1

Press Release

TORONTO, Wednesday, December 10, 2008 – The Canadian Hockey League today announced its most recent CHL Mosaik MasterCard Top 10 rankings for the 2008-09 season.

The Shawinigan Cataractes have risen to the top of the standings after winning nine of their past ten contests. Of note, three other Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams managed to crack the upper echelon of the CHL: the Moncton Wildcats, the Drummondville Voltigeurs and the Quebec Remparts.

The weekly rankings of the Canadian Hockey League's top 10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

CHL Mosaik MasterCard Top 10 Rankings

1. Shawinigan Cataractes (27-5-0-0)
2. Windsor Sptifires (26-3-0-1)
3. Calgary Hitmen (26-5-1-1)
4. Moncton Wildcats (23-2-2-2)
5. Vancouver Giants (24-2-0-3)
6. Drummondville Voltigeurs (25-4-0-2)
7. London Knights (22-6-0-1)
8. Tri-City Americans (22-7-0-2)
9. Quebec Remparts (22-6-0-2)
10. Brampton Battalion (21-8-1-0)

Tavares wins the Boston CHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that forward John Tavares of the Oshawa Generals is the Boston Pizza CHL Player of the Week for the week ending December 7. Tavares scored four goals and five assists for nine points in three games finishing with a plus-minus rating of plus-2.

Tavares, a nominee for this award last week, continued to produce points for the Generals beginning Thursday night when he scored one goal and three assists for his second four-point game of the season. Tavares was named first star of the game in the 5-2 win over the Belleville Bulls. On Friday night Tavares was second star of the game in a 4-2 loss to the Plymouth Whalers recording one goal and one assist. Tavares would finish the week strong as first star of a 4-3 victory over the Sudbury Wolves scoring two goals, including his league-best fifth shorthanded goal of the season, and also set up the game-winning goal on the power play.

Tavares, an 18-year-old from Oakville, ON is in his fourth OHL season with the Generals. His 25 goals and 27 assists for 52 points in 31 games have him second in OHL scoring. Tavares is eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and was recently ranked the top OHL skater by NHL Central Scouting in their preliminary draft rankings. Tavares captained Team OHL at the 2008 ADT Canada Russia Challenge and was named game MVP on November 24 in St. Catharines for scoring a goal in the 3-2 win. Tavares will be participating in the selection camp for Team Canada’s National Junior Team this week in Ottawa, ON.

Dany Massé of the Drummondville Voltigeurs receives honourable mention as a candidate for the award this week after scoring four goals and five assists for nine points in four games. With the four road wins, the Voltigeurs continue to build upon their franchise record of 13 consecutive wins. Brett Sonne of the Calgary Hitmen represents the WHL’s nominee. Sonne, the current WHL scoring leader, picked up five goals and three assists for eight points and was twice named first star of the game

2008-09 Boston Pizza CHL Player of the Week

Dec. 9 – John Tavares, Oshawa Generals
Dec. 2 – Andrej Nestrasil, Victoriaville Tigres
Nov. 25 – Scott Glennie, Brandon Wheat Kings
Nov. 18 – Mathew Sisca, Niagara IceDogs
Nov. 11 – Yannick Riendeau, Drummondville Voltigeurs
Nov. 4 – Dana Tyrell, Prince George Cougars
Oct. 28 – Jamie Benn, Kelowna Rockets
Oct. 21 – Matthew Pistilli, Shawinigan Cataractes
Oct. 14 – Justin DiBenedetto, Sarnia Sting
Oct. 7 – Stefan Della Rovere, Barrie Colts
Sept. 30 – Joel Broda, Moose Jaw Warriors
Sept. 23 – Michael Stinziani, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles

Pickard named ADT CHL Goaltender of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Chet Pickard of the Tri-City Americans is the ADT CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending December 7. Pickard posted a goals-against-average of 0.67 with a save percentage of .976 in three games.

Pickard backstopped the Americans to a 3-0-0-0 record this week including a 3-0 shutout win to open the week Wednesday night against the Kootenay Ice. Pickard was the first star of the game with his 26 save performance earning his third shutout of the season. Pickard would make 22 saves on Friday night in a 6-1 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds. His toughest test came on Saturday night competing against the WHL’s top ranked Calgary Hitmen. Pickard was outstanding kicking aside 35 shots and was named the first star of the game in the 4-1 win. The Americans have now won eight straight games and sit atop the WHL’s U.S. Division with 46 points.

Pickard, a 19-year-old from Winnipeg, MB is playing in his fourth full WHL season with the Americans. He was the highest goalie selected in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft picked in the first round, number 18 overall by the Nashville Predators. Pickard is the reigning WHL and ADT CHL Goaltender of the Year and will compete later this week in Ottawa, ON as part of Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp. Pickard was also a member of Team WHL at the 2008 ADT Canada Russia Challenge and earned a 5-0 shutout win making 16 saves on November 26 in Swift Current, SK.

Also considered for the award this week was Nicola Riopel of the Moncton Wildcats. Riopel went 2-0-0-0 posting a goals-against-average of 1.00 and a save percentage of .966. Riopel leads all QMJHL goaltenders in wins with 21. Thomas McCollum of the Guelph Storm represents the OHL nominee highlighted by a first star 30 save shutout performance Friday night when the Storm beat the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors 3-0. The 2008 first round selection of the Detroit Red Wings was also named to the roster for Team USA that will compete at the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships.

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2008-09 ADT CHL Goaltender of the Week

Dec. 9 – Chet Pickard, Tri-City Americans
Dec. 2 – Torrie Jung, Edmonton Oil Kings
Nov. 25 – Antoine Lafleur, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
Nov. 18 – Martin Jones, Calgary Hitmen
Nov. 11 – Tyson Sexsmith, Vancouver Giants
Nov. 4 – Mike Murphy, Belleville Bulls
Oct. 28 – Nicola Riopel, Moncton Wildcats
Oct. 21 – Brandon Foote, Brampton Battalion
Oct. 14 – Calvin Pickard, Seattle Thunderbirds
Oct. 7 – Olivier Roy, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
Sept. 30 – Andrew Engelage, Windsor Spitfires
Sept. 23 – Jamie Tucker, Vancouver Giants

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

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