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March 11, 1983

March 11, 1983

The Hockey News has been providing the most comprehensive coverage of the world of hockey since 1947. In each issue, you'll find news, features and opinions about the NHL and leagues across North America and the world.

NHL

Strength And Confidence Mold Benning Into Shape

TORONTO—Maple Leafs’ defenseman Jim Benning is heading into the home stretch of his second year in the National Hockey League and the quiet Edmonton native, the Leafs’ first choice in the 1981 entry draft, isn’t making like a Paul Coffey in the scoring department, as many people believed he would. But Benning, who’s only 19 years old, is slowly and quietly getting better and growing stronger and the Leafs have to be pleased with his progress. In his final year of junior hockey with the Portland Winter Hawks, Benning, then 17, set two Western Hockey League records: points (139) and assists (111). He was the sixth player taken in the 1981 draft and became a regular blueliner for the Leafs along with rookies Fred Boimistruck and Bob McGill, who were a year…

The Minors

K-Wings Peaking In Time For The Playoffs

KALAMAZOO—The K-Wings appear to be peaking just at the right time as the season winds down towards the Turner Cup playoffs. Losers just once in the last six games, Kalamazoo has solidified its hold on second place in the West Division and assured itself of a playoff position. The top two teams in each division make the field with the final two berths going to the two teams with the next highest number of points, regardless of the division in which they compete. Kalamazoo was the only club to survive the week without a loss, posting a pair of victories and one tie. Two of the three games were on the road with the final at Milwaukee. Steve Banonis sparked a 5-4 Wing victory with his second hat trick of the season. Banonis.…

NHL

Flames’ Eloranta Makes Great Turnaround

CALGARY—It is the St. Louis airport and Kari Eloranta, the unlikely regular on the Calgary Flames’ defense, is waiting for his luggage. “I’m surprised they didn’t keep me,’’’ said Eloranta, alluding to a 12-game trial with the Blues last season. “I like it here. I thought I played pretty well here. I thought I’d be back here.” Eloranta, now firmly established with the Flames, almost didn’t come back to the Flames this year after an inauspcious first season. Eloranta played 19 games for the Flames last year, another 39 in Oklahoma City and 12 more with the Blues. Essentially, the Flames tried to give Eloranta away to St. Louis. The Blues said “no thanks.” When David Poile, the Flames’ assistant GM before taking the GM position with the Washington Capitals this season, migrated…

The Colleges

Panasonic

Dan Quinn of the Belleville Bulls has scored a lot of goals this season, 54 to be exact, but probably none of them were as thrilling as the one he fired this week to win the Panasonic Play of the Game award. Quinn, who also leads the team in points with 128, scored four times as the Bulls upset Ottawa 7-6 in the OHL Game of the Week at Belleville. His fourth goal came in the overtime period to snap a 6-6 tie and win the game. Quinn connected for the game-winning goal when he took a passout from the comer about 10 feet in front of the net and fired a low wrist shot along the ice that caught the inside comer of the net. Ottawa netminder Darren Pang was caught…