Anton Volchenkov
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Anton Volchenkov


September 05, 2002

Anton's a hit in Sens debut

By BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

A freight train named Anton Volchenkov made a big impression in his debut with the Senators freshmen at the Robert Guertin Arena last night.

Suiting up in his first rookie tournament, the 227-lb. Volchenkov, Ottawa's top pick in 2000, levelled Florida Panthers rookie Kyle Bruce so hard behind the net that the game had to be delayed with 4:28 left in the first period.

While Bruce was stretchered to the hospital with a mild concussion, Volchenkov didn't stop his assault on making the lineup there.

In fact, Volchenkov hit Florida's Dustin Johner for good measure in the second and picked up an assist as the Senators defeated the Panthers 3-1 with Jason Spezza netting two goals -- the winner and an empty-netter -- in a chippy game.

Still, Volchenkov wasn't alone. Goaltender Ray Emery, who is trying to win the No. 1 job with the club's AHL affiliate in Binghamton, had his bid for a shutout broken with 1:13 left, when Petr Taticek scored.

"Volchenkov and Emery (were) definitely two of the better players on the ice," said Senators GM John Muckler.

"I've liked the way that Volchenkov has played physical and finished his checks. He's looked good."

Even Panthers coach Mike Keenan was impressed with Volchenkov's strength. The indications were Bruce was joking with the trainers in the ambulance on the way to the hospital and that he was going to be fine.

"I don't think (Bruce) knew he was running up against a guy who was 227 pounds," said Keenan.

"The kid (Volchenkov) is a big horse.

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