In the Crease

Friday, 03.30.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
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In the Crease

The list of great hockey movies is a short one. "Slapshot," "Miracle," and the "Mighty Ducks" spring to mind.  But now there's a new title, "In the Crease," to add to the collection, and it has the hockey world buzzing about how it's the best in years. It also boasts Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer among its stars.

 

The action packed and inspiring real life story of a Southern California teenage hockey team's quest to win a national championship, this 90 minute film also features 15 NHL stars including Niedermayer sharing their own youth hockey triumphs.  Released on DVD in late November, it shot to #1 Sports DVD in the country just four weeks later and has been the #1 Hockey DVD for the last three months running.

 

"We really wanted to do for hockey what Friday Night Lights did for football and Hoosiers did for basketball," said co-director Matt Gannon, who co-produced the Oscar nominated "Girl with a Pearl Earring" starring Scarlett Johansson and grew up playing hockey himself.  "And that's tell a great sports story about a team overcoming adversity and riding the high of big wins and the heartbreak of tough losses. But what makes this story even more special is that it's not actors. It captures real players, coaches and parents experiencing real emotions."    

 

Fans and young players also get to hear a lot from some of their favorite NHL stars, and it's a more personal side we don't normally hear about. For Scott Niedermayer, it meant sharing how he grew up in Cranbrook, British Columbia and played hockey as a kid with brother Rob. In one of the movie's best sequences, Niedermayer also opens up about bouncing back from tough losses in the playoffs, and how he finds added motivation in the face of defeat. "Seeing the other team win can really fuel the fire," Niedermayer says in the film.

 

For "In the Crease," Gannon and co-director Michael Sarner filmed the elite, California Wave Bantam AAA travel team as it trained for the USA Hockey National Championship and culled the movie from over 180 hours of footage spent with the team on the ice, in locker rooms and at players' homes, as well as from interviews with parents and scouts.  They also spent weeks crisscrossing the country to speak with NHL players like Niedermayer to get the pros perspective and add a fantastic extra dimension to the story.   

 

"This is a film that gives a true inside look at the hockey experience. Players, coaches and families around the world can relate to it, and hockey fans get to see some of the best young talent in the game and what really goes on behind the scenes, " said Sarner. The Wave team, based out of Lakewood, draws some of the top players from across Southern California and is beginning to send several to the prep school, NCAA Division I and WHL ranks, as well as to the US National Team. Having players with Caucasian, Asian, Indian and Latino backgrounds, and a coach who is African American, they were also chosen to show how hockey is diversifying and booming in non-traditional areas like California.    

 

Despite the team's recent success, it's still an underdog story. "These are beach kids who walk into an ice rink in flip flops, strap on their equipment and play against some of the best young teams in the country with much more impressive histories, " said Gannon. "But, in the end, it's not just the Wave's story we're telling, it's every team's story of what it takes to become champions."

 

The filmmakers said that one of their goals was to show the type of impact hockey was having on these young players' lives - the winning, the losing, and everything else they experience. The tremendous passion for the sport is clearly evident in those portrayed in the movie, as is their commitment. But, the film also expertly captures the Wave players going through the universal experience of just being a teenager - dealing with a parents' messy divorce, trying to balance a social life and girls with being an athlete.

 

What really shines through in the end is how hockey ultimately has a very positive effect - keeping the players out of trouble, teaching them life lessons and dedicating them to pursue a dream that they share with their teammates. Gannon believes the film also shows how "NHL players like Scott Niedermayer are just the coolest, most down to earth professional athletes in the world." "Scott was unbelievably generous with his time, " said Gannon.    

 

In addition to Niedermayer, the film also features special appearances by NHL players Brendan Shanahan, Joe Thornton, Scott Gomez, Jeremy Roenick, Glen Murray, Brian Rolston, Mike Comrie, Martin Havlat, Craig Conroy, Mathieu Schneider, Mike Knuble, RJ Umberger, Derian Hatcher and retired great Al MacInnis.

 

You can view the trailer and buy the DVD at http://www.InTheCreaseMovie.com

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48


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