- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2002

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:
RAT SEEKS BERTH Rastislav Stana, lovingly nicknamed the Rat by his teammates, is hoping to land a goaltending berth on the Slovakia Olympic team, if his country qualifies for the tournament. Stana is currently the backup with the Portland (Maine) Pirates, the Caps' top farm team.
There are two problems. First, Slovakia is one of eight teams in a qualifying tournament to determine which two survive and advance to Salt Lake City. Slovakia is one of the favorites. The second problem the country faces is having enough quality players available to be competitive in the preliminary tournament. Most NHL general managers, Washington's George McPhee included, have said they will not allow their players to skip league games to take part in the preliminary tournament. That would include Peter Bondra, Olie Kolzig, Dmitri Khristich and Stana.
Stana is backing up for Sebastien Charpentier because the usual backup, Corey Hirsch, is out with a broken collarbone.
NUMBER, NUMBER Three players debuted with the Caps. Defenseman J.F. Fortin wore No.58, a number never worn before by a Cap. Left wing Colin Forbes wore No.36, last worn by Mike Eagles, now in retirement. Defenseman Todd Rohloff wore No.38, last worn by center Jan Bulis, now in Montreal.
CHARITY AUCTION The Hockey Fights Cancer online charity auction (www.HockeyFightsCancerAuction.com) begins today with registration for a wide variety of hockey memorabilia. The bidding begins Wednesday and continues through 9p.m. Feb.4. This is the third year of the auction, which has raised more than $835,000 to fight cancer.
OLYMPIANS IN D.C. Forward Jim Eruzione and goalie Jim Craig, members of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic hockey team from 1980, put on a clinic for youngsters at MCI Center yesterday afternoon.
Dave Fay


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