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April 8, 2008

April 8, 2008

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.

PROSPECTS UNLIMITED

Cup hosts not complacent

The Kitchener Rangers knew almost 11 months ago they’d be in the 2008 Memorial Cup as host team. They could have put this season on cruise control. Instead, it was full throttle and they roared to first place overall, setting franchise records for wins (53), points (110), goals against (174) and attendance (205,124). Undrafted Justin Azevedo won the scoring crown with 43 goals and 124 points. “I don’t think anything had to be said,” said coach-GM Peter De-Boer. “The guys realized the pressure that was on us. We have some very talented players who have flown under the radar as far as the spotlight goes and that’s made this my most enjoyable season coaching. I told the players those weren’t 53 the easy way, those are 53 hard-fought wins.”…

IN THIS ISSUE

Ned’s hat trick brings fan treat

Reading’s Ned Lukacevic netted a $10,000 hat trick and made a dream come true during a 9-3 rout over visiting Wheeling. The windfall wasn’t a bonus written into Lukacevic’s contract. Instead, his three-goal night provided a big payday for fan Julie Deam as part of a ‘St. Hat Trick’s Day’ promotion. Lukacevic’s third-period wrister benefited Deam, one of 16 contestants who guessed the player they believed would get a hat trick. “We haven’t had a hat trick at home all year,” Deam, who receives workman’s comp and is on a fixed income, told The Reading Eagle. “I was so lightheaded I thought I was going to fall over. I never win anything.”…

PROSPECTS UNLIMITED

THE BEST KIND OF EDUCATION

CODY FRANSON Milwaukee Ht. 6-4 Wt. 205 Pos. D Age 20 AND COUNTING 1 Franson’s rank among rookie ‘D’ scoring A DECADE AGO, Karen Franson wasn’t too happy when she found out her husband, Cain, was encouraging their son to occasionally play hookey so he could tutor him on hockey. “My dad has worked at the rink in Sicamous (B.C.) for 20 years and back in elementary school I got to skip the odd half-day for some 1-on-1 ice time,” Cody Franson remembers. “Mom didn’t really like it then.” Father knew best, however. After a two-month indoctrination period in the pro game, when assistant coach Brad Lauer and veterans Alex Henry and Nolan Yonkman provided valuable schooling, Franson has become one of the American League’s best first-year defensemen with the Milwaukee Admirals. “We still have a long way to go, he’s not…

THE STANDARDS

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

PLAYOFF STATS WITH SO MANY factors involved in playoff matchups, who’s to know which ones are truly important and which ones can be tossed aside like mayo on a hot summer day. Some factors, like whether or not a team has home ice-advantage, can be pretty impactful. And hey, teams trailing a series 3-0, don’t fret, you still have a .013 percent chance of coming back to win. Below we also take a look at the best (and worst) playoff records over the past 90 years including who’s historically best in overtime. Can’t get enough numbers? Visit our online ‘Stats’ section every day at thehockeynews.com…