Second ECHL Weekend Attendance Strong
In addition to 6,714 fans welcoming hockey back to Mississippi after a two-year absence, the second week of the season saw crowds of more than 10,000 in Gwinnett, a second-straight sellout in Elmira and over 8,600 in Stockton.
The Sea Wolves finally were able to celebrate their “Decade in the Den” after being forced to miss the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which caused extensive and irreparable damage to the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.
Gwinnett had 10,332 on Oct. 27, the sixth time in the last three seasons that the Gladiators have had a crowd over 10,000, while Elmira had 3,967 on Oct. 26. The Jackals are averaging 3,757 after their first three games at the 3,784-seat First Arena. Stockton, which became the first team other than Florida to lead the league in attendance two years in a row, had 8,609 at Stockton Arena, which will host the 16th Annual ECHL All-Star Game on Jan. 23, 2008.
Columbia had 4,844 for its home opener and after two games is averaging 4,273, up more than 33 percent from last season.
Alaska will play its home opener on Friday when it hosts Florida in the first of three games at Sullivan Arena. The Aces had 12,113 fans for their two preseason games against Texas, raising more than $103,000 for the Alaska Chapter of the American Cancer Society and Breast Cancer Focus, Inc.
The Aces, who had a standing-room-only crowd of 6,451 for their home opener last season, have raised their average attendance by 18.8 percent since joining the ECHL as an expansion team in 2003-04. In the last four years, Alaska has had 36 sellouts at Sullivan Arena and 15 of those have been crowds of 6,451, including six in the regular season.
Reading will be trying for its second straight sellout on opening night when it hosts Cincinnati on Saturday. The Royals have not averaged less than 5,000 per game in each of their first six seasons. In addition to the sellout on opening night, Reading had another crowd of more than 7,000 in 2006-07.
Florida is averaging 7,283 at the 7,080-seat Germain Arena after opening its 10th Anniversary season with 7,462 on Oct. 19 and 7,104 on Oct. 20. The Everblades did not average less than 6,200 in their first nine seasons and led the league in attendance for a record five straight years from 2000-05.
South Carolina had 8,652 for its home opener while Dayton had 7,801 and Fresno had its largest opening-day crowd in five years with 7,465.
South Carolina Rookies Leading The Way
Balanced is the best way to describe South Carolina as 18 different players have scored a goal in the first six games and four players rank in the Top 10 in scoring, including the top three rookie point producers.
The Stingrays are 4-1-1, including winning their last three games, and leads the South Division with nine points.
Rookies Paul McIlveen (2g-7a) and Pierre-Luc O'Brien (0g-9a) are tied for the league scoring lead with Jeff Campbell (1g-8a) of Gwinnett, who was the ECHL Most Valuable Player in 2005-06, while rookie defenseman Patrick McNeill is tied for fifth with seven points (3g-4a) and veteran Cail MacLean is tied for ninth with six points (2g-4a). McIlveen and O’Brien are tied for the rookie scoring lead while McNeill is third.
The 21-year-old McIlveen has scored in each of his first six professional games and is tied for the rookie lead and for second overall with five power-play assists while he is second among rookies and third overall with seven assists. The 25-year-old O’Brien leads the league in assists and is tied for the rookie lead and for second overall with five power-play assists.
The 20-year-old McNeill leads ECHL defensemen in scoring while tying for fifth overall and ranking third among rookies. Selected in the fourth round (118th overall) by the Washington Capitals in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, he leads league defensemen and rookies and is tied for the overall lead with three power-play goals.
I hate 2 say it but I really dont think 6700 were at the Seawolves game opening night and the following night they said there was 4400, both nights it seems they added a 1000 or so fans to the actually attendance.I could be wrong though.
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