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Lock Monsters Reports

Contributions to The AHL Report
ŠAlex Pufhal

Pieces Falling into place in Lowell
- Alex Pufhal August 9, 1998
Things are slowly falling into place for the AHL's newest entry, the Lowell Lock Monsters. It's still anyone's guess as to who will be on the Opening Night roster, given that the Islanders did not ice a full AHL squad last year and that there a number of jobs open on Long Island. The puck drops on the first season on October 9 at the beautiful new Paul Tsongas Arena in Lowell. The opposition will be division rival Portland. The two teams will then make the 85 minute trip north the following night. The Lock Monsters play Portland 12 times, Fredericton 6 and Saint John and St. John's 8 times apiece. They play their
geographic rivals out of the New England division 6 times apiece and Hartford 4 times. They also play 2 games apiece against all Western Conference teams.
The Monsters recently announce an agreement with the Roanoke Express of the East Coast Hockey League to provide players. Lowell head coach Frank Anzalone is the former head man at Roanoke.

Lowell goes "Leaf" picking- Alex Pufhal
August 23, 1998
The Lowell Lock Monsters are slowly getting help from the parent New York Islanders when the Isles signed four players who are destined to spend part or all of the season in Lowell.

It looks like the Lock Monsters will be quite strong on defense. They have signed veteran AHL skaters David Harlock, Barry Richter and Mike Gaul. Gaul made the all-rookie and was a top-10 scoring defenseman a year ago while playing for the Hershey Bears.

David Harlock had a career high 3 goals with the Portland Pirates, Harlock is known for being a soild defensive defenseman and filled that role nicely on a young Portland defense corp. Harlock also got his first chance in the NHL with Washington last year. He has previous AHL experince with the St. John's Maple Leafs.

Barry Richter brings over a lot of professional experience to the team. He most recently played in the AHL with Providence and has spent time in Binghamton as well as long stints in Boston the past couple of seasons. He can also help out by playing left wing.

The Islanders also signed 20-year old Steve Valiquette out of Erie of the Ontario Hockey League. Valiquette should challange former Maple Leaf netminder Marcel Cousineau among others for playing time in Lowell. Valiquette was the Erie MVP last season.
Lowell Releases pre season schedule
By - Alex Pufhal September 6, 1998

Lowell announced that they will be opening their full training camp starting September 21st. This will give the parent Islanders
a chance to make their early roster cuts and assign players to Lowell.

The Lock Monsters pre-season schedule is as follows:
Tue 9/15 Lowell vs Providence @ North Adams, MA
Sat 9/26 Lowell vs Providence @ Fall River, MA
Mon 9/28 Providence vs Lowell @North Billerica, MA
Sat 10/3 Lowell vs Worcester @Fitchburg, MA
Tue 10/6 Lowell vs Adirondack @Glens Falls

The Lock Monsters also have extened a training camp invitation to Shannon Bassaraba, a former UMass-Lowell RiverHawk.
(HockeyEast)
Lowell Hits the Ice for the First Time
By - Alex Pufhal September 13

The Lowell Lock Monsters opened training camp on Sept. 21st at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, MA.

The Islanders sent down 18 players already and should make a few more cuts that should feature prospects Zedeno Chara and Dimitri Nabokov.

The players assigned to Lowell were: Jason Doyle, Jeff Zehr, Mike Gaul, Jeff Libby, Sean Haggerty, Jason Stewart, Craig Charron, Warren Luhning, Mike Mader, Nic Beaudoin, Vashi Nedomamsky, Ray Shultz, Evigney Korolev, Vladimir Chebaturkin, Steve Valiquette, Mark McArthur, Steve Webb and Mark Lawrence.

These players give the Monsters a very solid foundation for the season.

The Monsters dropped their first ever exhibition game to the Providence Bruins, 3-2 on Sept. 26. The two teams meet again on Sept. 28. The Monsters got goals from Nick Windsor and Buddy Wallace, both rookie free agents out of Clarkson University. They are both mostly likely will not be on the opening night roster though. The goaltending was split by Mark McArthur and rookie Steve Valiquette.
Lock Monsters Season Preview-September 20, 1998

The Lowell Lock Monsters begin play for the first time in the 1998-99 season. The team begins their history as the primary affiliate of the New York Islanders. The Islanders' affiliate was previously located in Utah.

The Lock Monsters are in the Atlantic Division for this season along with I-95 rivals Portland, and Maritime rivals Fredericton, Saint John and St. John's. If the team is not depleted by call-ups, injuries or other circumstances, they should challenge for a playoff spot.

Coaching- The Lock Monsters head coach is veteran Frank Anzalone. Anzalone has previous AHL coaching experience with the Newmarket Saints and has spent the last five seasons with the Roanoke Express of the East Coast Hockey League. He will be assisted by Paul Jerrard and Steve Stirling. Both are in their first year as coaches in the American League but, Jerrard had a long playing career in the International Hockey League.

Goaltending- Goaltending could very well be a three-headed monster. They will be lead by Marcel Cousineau, who signed over the summer from the St. John's Maple Leafs. He is used to getting a lot of ice time, having played in 57 games in 1997-98 going 17-25-13 with a 3.03 GAA and a 90.7% save percentage.

Backing up Cosineau will be veteran Mark McArthur went 7-7-2 with a 3.40 GAA and 88% save percentage with Utah of the IHL. The third string netminder will be Steve Valiquette. Valiquette was 16-7-3 in 28 games for Erie of the Ontario Hockey League. He had 3 shutouts, a 2.56 GAA and a 91.7% save percentage. He was also the Erie team MVP.

Defense- The defense corps are still somewhat undecided until New York decides what to do with David Harlock among others. They will be lead by veterans Dean Malkoc, Jeff Libby, Mike Gaul, John Namestikov, Zedano Chara and Ray Shultz. Duane Harmer up from Roanoke should also win a job. He went 10-40-50 with 94 PIM in 66 games a year ago.

Forwards- The Lock Monsters have an awful lot of talent up front. Sean Haggerty scored 33 goals in 63 games in 1997-98, including 8 goals in four games against now division rival Portland, who they play 12 times this year. Also up front are veterans Craig Charron and Dane Jackson. Former first-round pick, Dimitri Nabokov, will look to develop further in Lowell. Vaclav Nedomansky had 37 goals while playing for 3 teams in 1997-98.

Toughness- The Lock Monsters probably won't be thrown around too much playing in a division that is known for having a few tough guys. The Lock Monsters counter the league's enforcers with Steve Webb (139 PIM in 37 games with Kentucky), Nedmansky (126 PIM in 56 with Pee-Dee (ECHL)), and Ray Shultz (179 PIM in 51 games with Kentucky) Defenseman Zedeno Chara provides size on the blueline.

Lowell Starts Inaugural Season- October 11, 1998
By - Alex Pufhal

The Lowell Lock Monsters got off to an interesting start to the season. They played an emotionally charged first game on Friday, defeating Portland 5-4 and then came back on Saturday night and left the energy in the dressing room coming out flat giving up 5 second period goals to the Beast of New Haven en route to a 6-1 loss.

The Lock Monsters opening night roster is:
1 Mark McArthur G
2 Ray Giroux D
3 Ray Shultz D
4 Zdeno Chara D
7 Craig Charron (A) C
8 John Namestnikov D
11 Mike Kennedy C
12 Vladimir Chebarturkin D
14 Ryan Huska (injured) LW
15 Jeff Libby D
16 Vladimir Orszagh LW
17 Dimitri Nabokov LW
18 Steve Webb RW
20 Buddy Wallace C
21 Mike Gaul D
22 Sean Haggerty LW
23 Jason Stewart C
24 Dane Jackson (C) RW
25 Evegeny Korolev D
27 Mark Lawerence RW
28 Warren Luhnin RW
29 Dean Malkoc D
30 Steve Valiquette G
35 Marcel Cousineau G

The Lock Monsters play two games this coming weekend, at Portland on Friday night and home to New Haven on the 17th.

Complete recaps of all games can be found at http://members.tripod.com/~LockMonsters
Lowell Develops Strange Pattern - Octber 18, 1998

By - Alex Pufhal

The Lowell Lock Monsters have developed a pattern so far in the early going. Play Portland on a Friday night, score 5 goals and win, then play New Haven on Saturday night, and lose by at least 3. And, prompt coach Frank Anzalone to say something about how disappointed he his in the team's effort.

The Lock Monsters came out on Friday and took the play to Portland, soundly defeating them with a 4 goal third period en route to a 5-2 win in Portland's home opener. The team then came out and scored 2 goals early against New Haven but gave up 3 third period goals as New Haven won 5-2.

RW Dane Jackson has struggled in the early season, having just one goal. Also having a slow start is D Zdeno Chara, he has looked better in the last couple of games.

C Craig Charron, a former University of Lowell star, got his first goal of the year on Saturday. F Mark Lawerence has had a big start to the season, scoring 3 goals, all against Portland. Yevgeny (John) Namestikov has had a big weekend as well scoring 2 goals and 2 assists. LW Warren Luhing has a 4-game point streak (0-4-4)

G Marcel Cousineau has looked sharp so far as well.

The Lock Monsters reassigned G Steve Valiquette on loan to Hampton Roads of the ECHL this week.

The Lock Monsters play 3 games this week, against Cincinnati on 10/21, Syracuse on 10/23 and Providence on 10/24

Lowell Begins writing it's history
By - Alex Pufhal

The Lowell Lock Monsters capped off a historic week in franchise history with two exciting games. The Lock Monsters
received stellar goaltending play from Marcel Cousineau. Cousineau was 3-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA, 68 saves, and 1
shutout this week. He had a 23-save shutout against Cincinnati on Wednesday and a 30-save performance against
Providence on Saturday.

The Monsters won 3 consecutive games for the first time in team history. They also won for the first time in 3 tries on
Saturdays.

The Lock Monsters got big weeks from Mike Kennedy, who had 2 goals against Cincinnati and contributed an assist
against Providence. Dimitri Nabokov had 4 assists including one one Dane Jackson's game winner with under a minute to
play on Friday against Syracuse.

Warren Luhning contributed 3 goals and remains 2nd on the team in scoring with 7 points. Sean Haggerty leads with 8
points.

Mike Gaul's two power-play goals against Providence helped the Monsters get one of the top power-play units in the early
season.

The Lock Monsters are now 5-2-0 and are just two points out of first place in the Atlantic Division. They take on the
Springfield Falcons twice this week, Wednesday night in Lowell and Friday in Springfield, the Lock Monsters than travel
to Portland on Saturday night and then head south to New Haven on Sunday.