(Sal) decided to do a site on this sport after the Minnesota Wild won their 9th straight game, which they are just on a tear torwards this 2007 season (most winningest season and longest win streak!)!
Wild win ninth straight in front of home fans (KSAX Sunday, March 25th of 2007) q
"ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Third-string goalie Josh Harding turned in another strong performance to help the Minnesota Wild beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 on Saturday night and stretch their franchise-best winning streak to nine games.
Brian Rolston got his team-leading 31st goal after Brent Burns scored in the first period for Minnesota, which sneaked past idle Vancouver into first place in the Northwest Division - though the Canucks have played two fewer games.
Mikko Koivu added a late goal for the Wild, who have 97 points - a franchise record and the fourth-highest total in the Western Conference.
Dustin Brown scored for the Kings, who have been eliminated from the playoff chase, but entered the game having gone 4-1-1 in their previous six games. Goalie Mathieu Garon had a four-game winning streak end. He made 19 saves in a game full of yapping, scrapping and a late fight between each team's specialist - Derek Boogaard for Minnesota and Raitis Ivanans for Los Angeles.
Harding, making his third start this season while Niklas Backstrom got a break, filled in seamlessly once again and improved to 3-0-1 since his promotion from the minors when original starter Manny Fernandez first sprained his left knee. In 225 minutes, Harding has given up only three goals. He made 32 saves against the Kings.
Early in the third, Brown took a drop pass from Anze Kopitar and scored 14 seconds in as a power play neared expiration to make it 2-1.
Minnesota pushed back 6� minutes later when Todd White controlled a faceoff in the opponent's zone - a weakness for the Wild this season - and sent the puck in perfect position for Pierre-Marc Bouchard to wind up and shoot past Garon for a 3-1 lead. Notes: Defenseman Rob Blake, whose free-agent signing headlined an active offseason for Los Angeles, has a minus-25 rating for the team that has given up the second-most goals in the league. Blake, who was scratched because of a strained neck that occurred in the first period of Friday night's win at Chicago, is day-to-day. ... Minnesota also established a franchise record by winning its 26th home game. The Wild are 26-6-4 at Xcel Energy Center. ... Brown's goal snapped an 0-for-17 streak by the Kings against Minnesota this season on the power play."
I never played ice-hocky, but did play floor hockey (close enough, right?)! I played it during gym/phy ed during elementary school. I actually liked the sport growing up as I watched the NHL North Stars (a.k.a. Dallas Stars now after betraying us by moving down south-who plays hockey down south!) growing-up until my mom told me to stop watching it all the time ("not good for your eyes!").
"AS the NHL playoffs get underway, CC.com spotlights a prominent Canadian aboriginal player. Jonathan Cheechoo, right winger for the San Jose Sharks, has led his team in scoring goals. However, in the team's first game against the Nashville Predators April 11, Cheechoo suffered a severe knee injury in a collision with an opponent. The Associated Press says it is "uncertain" whether he will return to the ice for further playoff games. Cheechoo has been public about his Christian commitment; in the following testimony, he recounts the role faith has played in his career.
EVER SINCE I can remember, hockey has been part of my life. I got my first pair of skates when I was just one year old. Dad would flood the backyard, and during my younger years, I would play for hours.
Images from Hockey Night in Canada filled my Saturday nights season after season, at home with my family or over at my grandfather's. We all love the game.
My home of Moose Factory, Ontario, is an isolated northern location on James Bay. It isn't known for producing professional hockey players. So the thrill of playing for the San Jose Sharks has been all the more exciting for me. I know it's of the Lord, because hockey is something he helped me grow into.
I decided when I was 14, in Grade 8, that during my high school years I wanted to leave Moose Factory to play competitively. I went to Timmins for Triple A Bantam, then Capuskasing for Triple A Midget. Then I played Jr. B for the Kitchener Dutchmen. In 1997, I was picked 5th overall in the Ontario Hockey League draft by the Belleville Bulls.
On right wing with Belleville, I had an excellent season, with 76 points. I amassed 31 goals and 45 assists. It was a great year for me and proved to be the final stepping stone to launch me into my dream of being drafted into professional hockey.
I've had a lot of support along the way. When the time came for the draft on June 27, 1998, more than 100 fans from Moose Factory went all the way to Buffalo, New York, to encourage me. They had to be really excited for me, as it took more than a day of travel.
Later, they had a Jonathan Cheechoo Day for me back home. I signed pictures and answered a bunch of questions. There were about 250 kids and 300 adults at the community center. It's nice to know all these people are interested in what I'm doing.
My family has really been my biggest support. They've been behind me 100 percent. It's been that way my whole life.
From the time I was very little, my parents have been showing me God's love, and teaching me. They taught me that according to God's word, the Bible, I was a sinner. I needed God's forgiveness.
It was following a church service, when we had a guest speaker, that I went forward when the invitation was given -- and someone led me in a prayer to accept Jesus as my personal Savior. From that time on, I have tried to put the Lord first in my life.
Playing as a Christian in a professional sports league like the NHL has put challenges on my walk with the Lord. But God has helped me -- and I can be a testimony to people he puts me in contact with. There's a lot of temptation, but I'm not worried. Now, of course, there will be new challenges.
Everyone knows where I stand, and that's respected. I haven't had much of a problem with racism. I get it occasionally, but it's not too bad. Sometimes in the heat of battle, words slip. But hockey is such an intense game.
Now that I've made it to the NHL and played in the Stanley Cup finals and on the All Stars team, I'm excited about what lies ahead. There aren't a lot of Natives who have made it this far. I'm a goal scorer, and those Native players who have made it haven't been goal scorers.
There haven't really been any since the days when Reggie Leach played for the Philadelphia Flyers. This is my opportunity to show that we're just as good as anyone else.
I feel God has really had his blessing over me. If you live for him, he'll bless you. It's all his doing. I just work hard -- and I know he'll help me out.
-- Courtesy of Indian Life "