Wranglers on Eight-Game Winning Streak, Lead ECHL
Las Vegas posted back-to-back home wins against Phoenix to extend its winning streak to eight games, tying the ECHL season best, and improve to 12-2-0 for a league-leading winning percentage of .857.
The Wranglers continue their six-game home stand hosting Bakersfield on Tuesday and Idaho on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Las Vegas has lost only twice in the last 27 regular season games, including winning the first four games of the season to extend their regular season winning streak to an ECHL record 17 games, surpassing the record of Louisiana (Nov. 23-Dec. 22, 2001) and Knoxville (Dec. 28, 1993-Jan. 29, 1994).
Las Vegas won the Brabham Cup for the regular season point championship with 106 points (53-13-6) in 2006-07 after finishing second in 2005-06 with 112 points (53-13-6) which is the third-highest point total in ECHL history.
The Wranglers lead the ECHL in goals scored with 4.00 per game and goals allowed with 2.07 per game while ranking third on the power play at 23.2 percent (23-for-99).
The latest of four goaltenders used by the Wranglers, Kevin Lalande made 18 saves in a 4-0 win against Phoenix on Nov. 25, his first start since being reassigned by the Calgary Flames from Quad City. Daniel Manzato, who was reassigned by the Carolina Hurricanes to Albany of the American Hockey League on Nov. 24, was 5-0-0 with a shutout, a goals-against average of 1.57 and a save percentage of .948 during the current streak while Tim Boron, who was traded to Charlotte on Nov. 23, was 2-0-0 with a goals-against average of 1.00 and a save percentage of .968.
Adam Cracknell, who was reassigned by Calgary to Quad City on Nov. 22, leads Las Vegas during the winning streak with seven goals and 10 points while Chris Ferraro has a team best six assists and nine points in the last seven games. Cracknell leads the Wranglers with 11 goals and his 17 points tie him for the team lead with Chris Ferraro, who leads the team with 12 assists and a plus-minus rating of +11.
The Wranglers closed out the 2006-07 regular season with 13 straight wins and then won their first five Kelly Cup Playoff games equaling the consecutive wins of the Peoria Rivermen of the original International Hockey League, who won 18 regular season games in a row from Oct. 6-Nov. 23, 1990. The longest winning streak, including playoffs, in the National Hockey League is 15 games by Detroit (9 regular-season games, 6 playoff games) from Feb. 27-Apr. 5, 1955 and New Jersey (11 regular-season games, 4 playoff games) from Mar. 27-Apr. 29, 2006. The longest winning streak, including playoffs, in the American Hockey League is 15 games by Hershey (last 2 regular-season games of 1987-88, 12 playoff games, and first game of 1988-89).
Elmira Wins Six In A Row, Takes Over First In North
Returning home after a five-game trip through the South Division, the expansion Elmira Jackals won three games in three days to extend their team record winning streak to six games and move into first place in the North Division at 12-5-1 with 25 points.
The Jackals, who will travel to Dayton on Tuesday and Cincinnati on Wednesday, are 5-2-0 on the road and 7-3-1 at home. Cincinnati is second in the North at 10-5-1 and 21 points while Dayton is 7-6-2.
Dan LaCosta is 4-0-0 during the streak and has allowed only one goal in three of his four starts for a goals-against average of 1.47 and a save percentage of .962. Joel Martin is 2-0-0 during the streak with a shutout, a goals-against average of 0.48 and a save percentage of .976. In his last six starts, Martin is 5-1-0 with two shutouts and has allowed three goals or less five times. Martin leads the ECHL with eight wins and is tied for the lead with two shutouts while his goals-against average of 2.36 is tied for eighth. LaCosta is third in the league with a save percentage of .935 and sixth in goals-against average at 2.24.
Brett Pilkington, who was acquired from Mississippi on Nov. 16, leads Elmira during the six-game winning streak with three goals, seven assists and 10 points, including tying his career bests with three assists and four points on Nov. 23 against Trenton. Rookie defenseman Jon Landry has seven assists and eight points during the streak, including a four-game assist streak (5a) and four-game point streak (1g-5a). Rookie left wing Shawn Weller has a three-game goal streak (3g) and three-game point streak (3g-3a) including career highs with three assists and four points against Trenton on Nov. 23.
Kevin Ulanski leads Elmira with nine assists and 13 points while rookie Pierre-Luc Faubert is tied for the team lead with seven goals and second with 12 points and three power-play goals.
Texas, Gwinnett Battle For First In The South Division
It will be a showdown for the South Division lead when Gwinnett travels to Texas for games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Winning three in a row and registering points in all four games it played last week, Texas improved to 12-2-3 and remains in first place in the South Division with 27 points while Gwinnett picked up a pair of wins to improve to 11-3-1 and is in second place with 23 points.
Texas won 3-1 at Gwinnett on Nov. 22 and 5-4 in a shootout at Gwinnett on Nov. 10, and, including three victories in the division semifinals of the Kelly Cup Playoffs, Texas has won the last five meetings between the two. The Wildcatters, who are 7-7-1 all-time in the regular season against Gwinnett, have won their last eight home games against the Gladiators, 6-0-0 in the regular season and 2-0-0 in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The last Gwinnett win at Texas was 4-2 on Dec. 5, 2004.
Texas is second in the league in goals allowed with 2.47 per game and third in goals scored with 3.76 per game while Gwinnett is third in goals allowed with 2.53 per game and fourth in goals scored with 3.73 per game. The Gladiators, who are the only team without a loss on the road at 4-0-0, lead the league on the penalty kill at 90.1 percent (82-for-91).
Danick Bouchard of Texas leads ECHL rookies and is tied for the overall lead with 12 goals while his three game-winning goals tie him for the rookie and the overall lead and his 18 points are seventh among first-year players.
Jamie Milam of Gwinnett is tied for third among league defensemen with four goals and 13 points. John McNabb of Texas is tied for third in the league with six power-play goals and tied for fourth with 23 points.
Peter Aubry of Texas is 3-0-0 with a goals-against average of 2.39 and a save percentage of .919 in his last three starts to improve to 7-2-0 with a goals-against average of 2.77 and a save percentage of .903. Anton Khudobin of the Wildcatters, who was reassigned by Minnesota of the National Hockey League to Houston of the American Hockey League on Nov. 23, is 5-0-3 and leads the ECHL with a goals-against average of 1.55 and a save percentage of .951.
Craig Kowalski of Gwinnett is 7-2-1 with a goals-against average of 2.48 and a save percentage of .916 while Dan Turple is 4-1-0 with a goals-against average of 2.36 and a save percentage of .926.