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COLLEGE HOCKEY REPORT: Vanek creating a buzz

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11-06-2003, 11:29 AM
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Devo-2
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COLLEGE HOCKEY REPORT: Vanek creating a buzz

COLLEGE HOCKEY REPORT: Vanek creating a buzz

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It's not too early in the opinions of some people to put the words "Thomas Vanek" and "Hobey Baker Award" in the same sentence.

Vanek is only a sophomore, but already opponents and fans are mentioning the Gophers forward as a strong candidate for the award that goes to the college men's hockey player of the year.

"Vanek, with how skilled he is, he made me look stupid twice this weekend," Denver goaltender Adam Berkhoel said after his team recorded a split with the Gophers at Mariucci Arena.

Berkhoel, a senior from Woodbury who is rated one of the top three goalies in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, gave up three goals Friday and Saturday to Vanek, a native of Graz, Austria. Vanek has four goals and three assists for seven points in six games.

"He was outstanding tonight," coach Don Lucia said of Vanek after the Gophers lost 4-3 on Saturday. "I thought he was the best player on the ice."

"He's probably going to win the Hobey Baker," Pioneers forward Connor James said. "He's a great player."

"A terrific player," Pioneers coach George Gwozdecky said.

Denver's defense focused on Vanek late in the game Saturday night, Gwozdecky said, but Vanek "was a threat all the time."

Vanek, 6 feet 2 and 207 pounds, was the WCHA rookie of the year last season and was selected as most outstanding player of the NCAA tournament won by Minnesota in Buffalo, N.Y. He played Saturday night with a headache after a collision Friday with teammate Chris Harrington sent both sprawling to the ice in Minnesota's 6-2 victory.

"I just try my hardest on every shift," Vanek said.

He led both teams with six shots on net Saturday night but flirted with a misconduct penalty late in the third period. Sent to the penalty box for high sticking, Vanek slammed the door, threw his gloves against the glass, yelled at referee Todd Anderson and tried to squirt a water bottle in Anderson's direction.

Lucia refused to criticize Vanek, saying only, "He's a competitor."
http://www.twincities.com/mld/twinci...ts/7175559.htm

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11-06-2003, 11:35 AM
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More on Vanek

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Team's a great word," said Potulny, who scored two goals. "I think we played like a team tonight."

"It was fun; it was one of the first times we played the whole 60 minutes as a team," said Briggs, who stopped 25 of 27 shots and played well enough, Lucia said, to get the nod to play in the rematch at 7:05 tonight.

Two goals 19 seconds apart early in the first period indicated how Minnesota planned to attack the opposing net. Later in the period, the Gophers confirmed it when sophomore forward Thomas Vanek barreled into Denver goalie Adam Berkhoel.
http://www.twincities.com/mld/twinci...es/7160970.htm

Gotta love someone who is willing to "barrel" into a goalie every now and then.

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11-06-2003, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Devo-2
http://www.twincities.com/mld/twinci...es/7160970.htm

Gotta love someone who is willing to "barrel" into a goalie every now and then.
Especially when you know the only person on the current roster that would actually do that is probably Mair, and that's it.

 
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11-06-2003, 04:40 PM
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I've been a bit leery of Vanek since he's been drafted but I'm changing my opinion of him a little more each day. I can't wait to see this guy in a Sabres jersey.

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11-06-2003, 09:34 PM
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Minnesotas rocord, and the fact that he hasn't scored at 2 points per game like the leading scores in the nation so far seemed to concerm me, but apparently Vanek is growing into an intense and more consistent player, which is what Buffalo wants, even if his stats drop initially.

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11-06-2003, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajsonor
Minnesotas rocord, and the fact that he hasn't scored at 2 points per game like the leading scores in the nation so far seemed to concerm me, but apparently Vanek is growing into an intense and more consistent player, which is what Buffalo wants, even if his stats drop initially.
In reply to the first part of the above post....

Minnesota as a team has struggled out of the gate this season, it isn't just Vanek. With that said, Minnesota beat Denver last Friday, but Denver got the win on Saturday. Despite the loss however, I thought Vanek played MUCH better in the Saturday night game than the Friday night game. (yes, I saw both games......even taped them too).

Vanek as well as his fellow Gopher teammates will be tested when Minnesota pays North Dakota a visit this weekend. It 'll be the "Tomas Vanek vs. Zach Parise" show.

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