Kevin Weekes called it his best experience in hockey, playing for the Rochester Amerks in a tournament in Switzerland over Christmas, then thought about the political correctness of his statement. "The best except for playing in a preseason NHL game with Florida," said the goalie of the Carolina Monarchs, sheepishly.
To review, Weekes was on loan to Rochester for the Spengler Cup competition and he did yeoman work, being named the MVP of the eight-team tournament in which the U.S. representative finished second to Canada.
"It was my first time in Europe, my first chance to play internationally and both exceeded my expectations," he said. "The exposure and the atmosphere were fantastic. Davos has about 11,500 people living there and all that week there were 42,000 people in town. The arena held 7,500 and 9,000 jammed in for every game. I think the reason I won the most valuable is because of 50 saves in our 5-3 win against Sweden in the semifinals, although I probably had a better game against Canada [70 shots] in the final."
Aiming at record
It's all set! After brushing aside Carolina, 5-0, Sunday in front of 9,763 fans, Philadelphia has won 16 straight games in the Spectrum and will be out to tie the league record tonight when it hosts division nemesis Hershey. The Bears started the season beating the Phantoms three times, but Philly has been winning lately as injuries to Colorado Avalanche players have led to many call-ups from Hershey. If successful, the Phantoms go for the AHL record Sunday against Adirondack after playing in Hershey tomorrow night.
Hershey is a splendid example of how an AHL team can help itself by signing free agents to supplement the players sent to it ++ by its parent NHL club. The Bears' most dynamic line by far has Eric Veilleux centering Mike McHugh and Blair Atcheynum, and all are under contract with the Bears. Of course, it takes money to sign free agents.
Match for an alligator
The Bandits doubled attendance at a game recently by showing the movie "D3: The Mighty Ducks" afterward. The team needs forwards and defensemen, and what do Anaheim and Disney do? Send in a movie. Maybe it's not too late for the team to go for a promotion used by the Peoria Rivermen of the East Coast Hockey League. "Kachunka the Alligator Wrestler" grappled with a 300-pound 'gator at center ice and Peorians showed up in great numbers. The contest was declared a draw.
Pub Date: 1/17/97