Cincinnati Breaks Records, Clinches Kelly Cup Playoffs
A 5-4 shootout win against Elmira on Feb. 23 gave Cincinnati its ECHL record-breaking 15th consecutive victory and also allowed it to clinch a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
The Cyclones, who broke the record of 14 games set by Knoxville from Dec. 28, 1993-Jan. 29, 1994 and tied by Louisiana from Nov. 23-Dec. 22, 2001, are on the road in California this week where they will play at Stockton on Thursday and Saturday while visiting Fresno on Friday and Bakersfield on Mar. 3.
Cincinnati, which has outscored its opponents 61-26 during the winning streak, has won its last 11 home games, breaking the record of eight wins set Dec. 22, 1996-Jan. 14, 1997 when the club played in Louisville, Ky. The Cyclones have won their last six road games, tying the record set Dec. 15-Jan. 12, 2003.
The Cyclones are 40-8-3 and tied with Texas (40-6-9) for the ECHL lead with a team record 40 wins. Cincinnati has 83 points and is six points behind Texas and three points ahead of defending Brabham Cup champion Las Vegas (35-10-10) in the race for the regular season point title. The Cyclones lead the ECHL with a team record 22 home wins and they have tied their team record with 18 road victories.
Cincinnati leads the ECHL with 212 goals and 4.16 goals per game while Texas is second with 204 goals and 3.71 goals per game. The Cyclones have allowed a league-low 116 goals and lead the ECHL in goals-against average with 2.27 while Texas has allowed the second fewest goals with 130 to rank second in goals-against average with 2.36.
Longest Winning Streak, One Season
15 - Cincinnati Cyclones, Jan. 16 to present
14 - Louisiana IceGators, Nov. 23-Dec. 22, 2001
Knoxville Cherokees, Dec. 28, 1993-Jan. 29, 1994
13 - Las Vegas Wranglers, Mar. 10-Apr. 7, 2007
12 - South Carolina Stingrays, Nov. 28-Dec. 31, 2007
Las Vegas Wranglers, Dec. 3-28, 2005
Pensacola Ice Pilots, Jan. 22-Feb. 18, 2005
Wheeling Nailers, Feb. 20-Mar. 12, 2004
Florida Everblades, Dec. 14, 1999-Jan. 13, 2000
Chesapeake Icebreakers, Feb. 14-Mar. 13, 1998
Erie Panthers, 1989-90
Las Vegas Qualifies For Fifth Straight Kelly Cup Playoffs
Picking up three points at Alaska, Las Vegas improved to 80 points (35-10-10) and qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the fifth straight season.
The Wranglers, who are 6-1-3 in their last 10 games, have a nine-point lead over Victoria, which leads the West Division with 71 points (33-16-3), in the National Conference. The two will go head-to-head when Las Vegas travels to Victoria for games on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The Wranglers are 3-3-0 this season and 18-4-4 all-time against Victoria. The Salmon Kings have won two of the last three meetings with Las Vegas to improve to 3-3-0 this season, including 1-1-0 at home.
Alaska is on a seven-game winning streak and has gone 8-2-0 in the last 10 games to improve to 28-19-5. The Aces are two points behind Utah (29-22-5) for fifth place in the conference race and are five points behind fourth-place Fresno (29-14-8). Alaska travels to Phoenix for games on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The Aces are 1-1-0 this season and 12-2-1 all-time against the RoadRunners.
Utah has gone 7-2-1 in its last 10 games to move within three points of Fresno while tying their team record with six consecutive road wins. Utah visits Stockton on Friday before traveling to Fresno on Sunday. The Grizzlies have won the last three meetings with Stockton to improve to 4-0-1 in the season series and 9-6-2 all-time against the Thunder. Utah has won its last two meetings with the Falcons to improve to 3-1-0 at Fresno and 4-2-0 overall this season and 9-7-2 all-time.
Fresno, which is 5-3-2 in their last 10 games and 8-3-4 in their last 15 games, will host Phoenix on Tuesday and Cincinnati on Thursday before Utah visits on Sunday. The Falcons have won the last four meetings with the RoadRunners to improve to 3-0-0 at home and 4-1-0 overall this season and 12-4-0 all-time.
Idaho picked up four points in three games at Victoria last weekend to move within one point of second place at 70 points (31-17-8). The defending Kelly Cup champions, who are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, will host Bakersfield on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Idaho has won the last eight meetings and is 3-0-0 this season and 20-10-2 all-time against the Condors.
Gwinnett, South Carolina Clinch Kelly Cup Playoffs Berth
Gwinnett and South Carolina each secured their Kelly Cup Playoffs berth on Feb. 24, joining Texas which clinched a berth in the postseason after only 48 games surpassing the ECHL record of 56 games by Louisiana in 2001-02.
South Carolina (34-18-3) and Gwinnett (33-15-5) each have 71 points, five points ahead of fourth-place Florida (31-21-4). Texas continues to lead the South Division and the ECHL with 89 points (40-6-9).
The Stingrays return to the Kelly Cup Playoffs after missing the postseason for the first time in their history last season, ending a league record 13 consecutive appearances. The Gladiators are making their fifth straight postseason appearance and are 206-100-35 since moving to Georgia in 2003-04.
Gwinnett has won 40 games each of its first four seasons during which it has never had a record of less than .500. The Gladiators, who are 5-1-0 in their last six games, visit Columbia on Friday and host Texas on Saturday and Sunday.
South Carolina, which is 5-1-1 in its last seven games, hosts Augusta on Tuesday, Texas on Friday, Columbia on Saturday and Augusta on Sunday.
Florida begins the week needing six points to reach the postseason for the 10th time in 10 seasons. The Everblades, who advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals in 2004 and 2005, visit Pensacola on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Desharnais Extends Record-Setting Assist Streak To 18 Games
Cincinnati rookie David Desharnais had two assists in a 5-4 shootout win against Elmira on Feb. 23 to extend his assist streak to 18 games, breaking the ECHL record of 17 games set by Peter Kasowski of Roanoke Valley, who had an assist in 17 consecutive games from Oct. 26-Dec. 7, 1991 (28 assists).
Desharnais has 27 assists during the streak including two assists in each of the last three games. In his first professional season and under contract to Hamilton of the American Hockey League, Desharnais began his streak on Jan. 5 with two assists against Reading. He has had seven games with two assists and one game with three assists during the streak.
Desharnais has a 20-game point streak (3g-30a) that began with two assists on Dec. 31 at Trenton. The ECHL point streak record is 38 games by Trevor Jobe, who scored 112 points from Dec. 19, 1992-Mar. 14, 1993.
Desharnais leads ECHL rookies with 52 assists, 26 power-play assists and 66 points in 47 games while ranking second overall in assists, power-play assists and points. He scored a career-high three goals and four points on Dec. 27 at Wheeling and had a career-high three assists on Nov. 23 against Dayton and Feb. 1 at Wheeling.
Earlier this season Jeff Campbell of Gwinnett had a 13-game assist streak from Nov. 30-Dec. 28 (20 assists), which was the longest streak since Dany Bousquet of Pee Dee, had an assist in 12 consecutive games from Mar. 3-29, 2002.
The American Hockey League record for consecutive games with an assist is 17 games set by Shaun Van Allen of Cape Breton, who had 35 assists from Oct. 11-Nov. 23, 1992 and tied by Peter White of Cape Breton, who had 25 assists from Oct. 19, 1993-Mar. 13, 1994. The National Hockey League record for consecutive games with an assist is 23 games by Wayne Gretzky of Edmonton, who had 48 assists during the streak in 1990-91.
Longest Consecutive Assist Scoring Streak
18 - David Desharnais, Cincinnati, Jan. 5 to present (27 assists)
17 - Peter Kasowski, Roanoke Valley, Oct. 26-Dec. 7, 1991 (28 assists)
15 - Scott Bertoli, Trenton, Feb. 16-Apr. 4, 2000 (21 assists)
- Mike Reier, Dayton, Oct. 23-Nov. 28, 1992 (24 assists)
14 - John Spoltore, Louisiana, Dec. 20, 1997-Jan. 16, 1998 (23 assists)
- John Spoltore, Louisiana, Jan. 12-Mar. 11, 1994 (18 assists)
- Matt Robbins, Charlotte, Jan. 12-Mar. 11, 1994 (18 assists)
Reading Moving Up In The North Division
A pair of road wins at Wheeling and home wins against Elmira and Trenton allowed Reading to move into second place in the North Division with 68 points (32-17-4). Elmira is 31-16-6 and also has 68 points, but is in third place because the first tiebreaker is wins.
Reading, which is 7-0-1 in its last eight games and 10-1-1 in the last 12 games, travels to Johnstown on Wednesday before hosting the Chiefs on Saturday and Dayton on Sunday. Elmira, which is 1-1-2 in its last four games and 3-6-2 in its last 11 games, hosts Dayton on Friday and Saturday and Johnstown on Sunday.
The Royals and Jackals are 12 points ahead of fourth-place Dayton (23-19-10) which has a six-point lead over Johnstown (23-26-4). The Chiefs are leading Trenton (19-29-7), which travels to Wheeling on Saturday and Sunday, for the fifth and final playoff spot in the North.
Cincinnati leads the North and has already clinched its berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs with 83 points (30-8-3).
Charlotte, Mississippi, Phoenix, Texas, Wheeling Have Largest Crowds Of Year
For the third week in a row the ECHL raised its average attendance bolstered by a record-setting crowd in Charlotte and the largest crowds of the season in Mississippi, Phoenix, Texas and Wheeling.
The league has welcomed 2,732,805 fans for 672 games, which is an average of 4,067 per game.
Charlotte had 12,256 fans for its game against Florida on Feb. 23 surpassing the team record of 11,246 set on Feb. 9 against Pensacola. The Checkers are second in the league with nine sellouts after leading the league each of the past two seasons with 11 in 2006-07 and 10 in 2005-06. Charlotte Bobcats Arena has a listed capacity of 6,800 for hockey, but can accommodate larger crowds.
Texas had its largest crowd of the year with 5,117 on Feb. 23, helping the Wildcatters to raise more than $81,000 with their Pink in the Rink promotion while Wheeling welcomed 5,051 and Phoenix had 5,007.
Mississippi had a season-high 8,653 on Feb. 23 and has seen its average attendance grow by 14.1 percent from 2004-05, which is the last time the Sea Wolves were able play before Hurricane Katrina. The Sea Wolves are averaging 3,907 per game, which is their highest average since 4,036 per game in 2000-01.
There have been 33 sellouts this season and five teams have had their largest crowd in history with 8,895 in Bakersfield and 4,238 in Johnstown on Nov. 30, 4,981 in Elmira on Dec. 29, 5,631 in Idaho on Jan. 16, 10,565 in South Carolina on Jan. 19 and 12,256 in Charlotte on Feb. 23.
Elmira leads the league with 11 sellouts and is averaging 3,573 per game, which is 94.4 percent of capacity at First Arena and a 4.3 percent increase over last season.
Cincinnati had 5,178 on Feb. 23 to raise its attendance to 2,412 per game, which is up 30.8 percent from last season. The Cyclones have had five crowds over 5,000 and are averaging 3,329 per game since Jan. 1.
Looking to raise attendance for the third year in a row, Victoria has raised its average by 10.8 percent to 4,706 per game. Augusta has seen average attendance grow by 10.4 percent from last season to 2,824 per game while South Carolina is up 1.9 percent from last season to 5,102 per game as it looks to increase attendance for the third straight year.
Marks Ties Brophy With 480th ECHL Win
Pensacola beat Gwinnett 3-2 on Feb. 22 to give head coach John Marks his 480th career regular season win, tying John Brophy’s ECHL record for most regular season wins.
Marks will try to become the all-time wins leader when the Ice Pilots host Florida on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Marks, who coached Charlotte from 1993-98 and Greenville from 1998-2006, returned to the ECHL for a record 14th season after coaching Fayetteville to the Southern Professional Hockey League Championship in 2006-07.
His record in the ECHL is 480-401-91 and he is the league career leader with 972 games coached. He was the first coach to lead two different teams to the ECHL championship as Charlotte won the Riley Cup in 1996 and Greenville won the Kelly Cup in 2002. His teams have reached the postseason 10 times and he has a postseason record of 42-32.
Brophy is the record holder with 480 wins in 13 seasons with Hampton Road from 1989-2000 and Wheeling from 2001-03. The ECHL coach who is voted by his peers as coach of the year is presented with the John Brophy Award. The legendary Brophy led Hampton Roads to the postseason in each of his 11 seasons and won back-to-back championships in 1991 and 1992 and a league record third title in 1998. He is also the ECHL record holder for most playoff appearances (11), most playoff games (94) and most playoff wins (55).
Marks’ teams in Charlotte had a winning percentage over .600 and reached the postseason all five seasons, including 1995-96 when the Checkers were 13-3 in the postseason and won the Riley Cup. Charlotte hosted the ECHL All-Star Game in 1997 and Marks coached the Checkers to a 7-6 win over the ECHL All-Stars. His teams in Greenville reached the Kelly Cup Playoffs five times, including 2001-02 when they went 13-4 to win the Kelly Cup and 2003-04 when they improved by 50 points from the previous season, tying the ECHL record for largest single-season point increase.
Marks coached six seasons in the International Hockey League with Kalamazoo and Indianapolis from 1987-93, reaching the playoffs four times. He began his coaching career in 1982 as an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of North Dakota who he helped guide to the NCAA Championship in 1987.
A two-time All-American as a defenseman at North Dakota, Marks was chosen in the first round (ninth overall) by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1968 National Hockey League Amateur Draft. He played 12 seasons in the Blackhawks organization including 10 years in the NHL where he had 275 points (112g-163a) and 330 penalty minutes in 657 regular season games and 14 points (5g-9a) and 60 penalty minutes in 57 playoff games and was selected to the Campbell Conference All-Star Team in 1976.
John Marks Milestone Wins
First ECHL Win - Charlotte won 4-3 against South Carolina on Oct. 20, 1993
100th ECHL Win - Charlotte won 4-3 against Richmond on Jan. 17, 1996
200th ECHL Win - Greenville won 4-3 at South Carolina on Nov. 25, 1998
300th ECHL Win - Greenville won 7-5 at Columbus, Oct. 26, 2002
400th ECHL Win - Greenville won 6-3 at Pee Dee, Jan. 15, 2005
450th ECHL Win - Greenville won 3-2 at Charlotte, Feb. 17, 2006
480th ECHL Win - Pensacola won 3-2 against Gwinnett, Feb. 22, 2008
Most Career Coaching Wins
1. 480 - John Marks, Pensacola, Charlotte (1993-98) and Greenville (1998-2006)
480 - John Brophy, Hampton Roads (1989-2000) and Wheeling (2001-03)
3. 343 - Jeff Pyle, Gwinnett (2003 to present) and Mobile (1998-2002)
4. 332 - Frank Anzalone, Nashville (1991-92), Roanoke (1993-98), Pee Dee (1999-2001) and Johnstown (2005-07)
5. 317 - Jeff Brubaker, Greensboro (1989-95), Jacksonville (1995-96), Tallahassee (1998-99) and Greensboro (1999-2001)
6. 312 - Gerry Fleming, Florida (2001 to present) and Tallahassee (2000-01)
7. 304 - Jason Christie, Utah (2005 to present) and Peoria (2000-05)