Defending ECHL Champs Lead Tight North Race
Defending ECHL Champs Lead Tight North Race
Monday, Mar. 2nd, 2009
The defending Kelly Cup champion Cincinnati Cyclones lead the North Division with 69 points (32-21-5) while Johnstown (31-22-3), Elmira (30-22-5) and Wheeling (29-21-7) are tied for second with 65 points, two points ahead of fifth-place Trenton (29-22-5).
The top four finishers in the division will advance to the Kelly Cup Playoffs where they will be seeded based on regular season point totals. The Division Semifinals will have the first seed meeting the fourth seed and the second seed meeting the third seed in a best-of-seven series. The winners of the Division Semifinals will advance to the Division Finals which is a best-of-seven series.
Cincinnati has gone 6-4-0 in its last 10 games while Johnstown and Trenton are both 5-4-1 and Elmira is 6-3-1.
The Cyclones will travel to Reading (19-35-4) on Friday and Saturday while Johnstown will host Wheeling on Wednesday and play at Wheeling on Friday and Saturday and Elmira on Sunday. Elmira hosts Dayton (27-27-5) on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and plays at Johnstown on Sunday while Trenton plays at South Carolina (31-21-5) on Friday, at Gwinnett (24-24-6) on Saturday and at Charlotte (29-21-5) on Sunday.
Five of the teams in the North are ranked in the Top 10 on the power play led by Trenton with 22.1 percent (67-for-303) . Wheeling is third with 21.5 percent (62-for-289) and Cincinnati is sixth with 19.2 percent (65-for-338) while Johnstown (53-for-306) and Dayton (58-for-335) are tied for ninth with 17.3 percent.
There are six teams in the North who are in the Top 10 in scoring led by Wheeling which is second with 3.70 goals per game. Cincinnati is third with 3.62 and Dayton is tied for fifth with 3.24 while Johnstown and Trenton are tied for seventh with 3.23 and Elmira is ninth with 3.16.
Everbladesí Baker Three Shy Of 50 Goals
Kevin Baker of the Florida Everblades leads the ECHL with 47 goals in 56 games and he needs only three goals to become the first player to score 50 goals since 2000-01. The 47 goals are a career best for Baker, who had 36 goals in 62 games for Texas in 2006-07, and break the team record of 40 goals by Brian McCullough in 2003-04.
Andrew Williamson of Toledo led the league in 2000-01 with 52 goals in 66 games and in 1999-2000 with 63 goals in 63 games. There have been 41 players in ECHL history who have scored 50 goals. The most goals in the last seven seasons was 49 by Chris Minard of Alaska in 2004-05 while the second most is 47 by Mike Wirll, who played for Cincinnati, Pensacola and Utah in 2006-07. The ECHL record is 85 goals by Trevor Jobe of Nashville in 1992-93.
Baker also leads the league with a career-high 83 points and he needs only four points to tie the Everblades record of 87 points set by Tom Buckley in 1999-2000 and tied by McCullough in 2003-04. He is first in the league with a team record 22 power-play goals, 40 power-play points and 10 game-winning goals.
Wes Goldie of Victoria is second with 42 goals in 57 games after leading the league in 2007-08 with 42 goals after finishing second with 41 goals in 2006-07. He is 13th in league history with 239 career goals in 468 games. He and his brother, Ash Goldie, made history in 2007-08 when they became the first set of teammates and the first set of brothers to lead the league in goal scoring after finishing with 42 goals and 40 goals, respectively.
The last time there were two 50-goal scorers in the ECHL was 1999-2000 when Williamson had 63 goals and Jay Murphy of Louisiana had 55 goals in 69 games.
Sellouts In Alaska, Wheeling Help Attendance Increase
Sellouts in Alaska and Wheeling and more than 16,000 in Florida, almost 18,000 in South Carolina and 23,000 in Stockton helped the ECHL surpass 2.5 million fans for the 16th consecutive season and raise its average attendance to 4,101 per game.
The 5,410 on Saturday was the first sellout in Wheeling since 5,596 on Feb. 26, 2005 and the largest crowd at WesBanco Arena since 5,235 on Apr. 4, 2006. The Aces had 6,451 on Friday which was the second sellout of the season and the eighth time in the regular season that there has been a standing-room-only crowd at Sullivan Arena.
Florida raised its average to 5,595 per game to move into second place in average attendance after drawing over 16,000 for three games against Johnstown while South Carolina welcomed almost 18,000 for three games, including 7,355 on Saturday, to increase attendance to 4,819 per game.
More than 9,000 on Friday and Saturday helped Cincinnati raise its average to 2,941 per game which is up 16.6 percent from last season and 59.5 percent from 2006-07.
Stockton had over 23,000 for four games to raise its league-leading attendance to 6,202 per game while Ontario raised its average to 5,425 per game after having more than17,000 for three games. The Thunder are trying to become the first team to lead the ECHL in attendance four consecutive seasons since Florida which led the league for a record five straight years from 2000-05.
American Conference - North Division
* Cyclones are 11-4-0 in their last 15 road games and 17-10-1 overall on the road.
* Dustin Sproat and Justin Johnson scored goals seven seconds apart on Saturday, breaking the team record of nine seconds set by Jean-Michel Daoust and James Sixsmith on Jan. 5, 2008.
* Cyclones play at Reading on Friday and Saturday.
* Dayton goaltenders have stopped six of eight penalty shots.
* Rookie Nino Musitelli has 13 points (5g-8a) in his last 13 games.
* Dayton plays at Elmira on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
* Jackals were 26.7 percent (4-for-15) on the power play last week, improving to 14.5 percent (45-for-311).
* Brandon Roach has a four-game point streak (1g-5a) and 10 points (2g-8a) in his last eight games.
* Jackals host Dayton on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and play at Johnstown on Sunday.
* Rookie Andrew Sarauer has a career-high 10-game point streak (5g-6a).
* Jarrett Konkle has seven points (4g-3a) in his last four games.
* Johnstown hosts Wheeling on Wednesday and Elmira on Sunday and plays at Wheeling on Friday and Saturday.
* Royals are 15-2-0 when allowing two goals or less and 0-21-0 when scoring less than two goals.
* Brock Hooton has eight points (4g-4a) in his last seven games.
* Royals host Cincinnati on Saturday and Sunday.
* Trenton is 3-0-0 against the South Division.
* Ryan Gunderson leads ECHL defensemen with 42 assists.
* Trenton plays at South Carolina on Friday, at Gwinnett on Saturday and at Charlotte on Sunday.
* Nailers had a sellout crowd of 5,410 on Saturday.
* David Brown is 4-0-0 with a goals-against average of 2.48 in his last six games.
* Nailers play at Johnstown on Wednesday and host Johnstown on Friday and Saturday.
American Conference - South Division
* Charlotte is 3-1-1 in the last five games and 6-1-3 in the last 10 games.
* Mike Bayrack has a six-game point streak (3g-4a).
* Charlotte plays at Gwinnett on Friday and at South Carolina on Saturday and hosts Trenton on Sunday.
* Everblades are third in the ECHL on the penalty kill with 86.9 percent (332-for-382) and fourth on the power play with 21.4 percent (82-for-384).
* Kevin Baker has 17 goals and 31 points in his last 19 games.
* Everblades host Mississippi on Friday and Saturday.
* Gwinnett scored season-high three shorthand goals in 6-3 win against Charlotte on Friday.
* Pat Bateman and Jean-Claude Sawyer scored goals nine seconds apart on Friday, one second shy of the team record for fastest two goals.
* Gwinnett plays at Mississippi on Tuesday and hosts Charlotte on Friday and Trenton on Saturday.
Mississippi Sea Wolves
* Ryan Munce leads the league with five shootout wins and 1,362 saves while ranking second with 2,433 minutes and being tied for third with 20 wins.
* Ryan Cruthers is tied for fourth among league rookies with 56 points and is tied for fifth with 26 goals and 30 assists.
* Sea Wolves host Gwinnett on Tuesday and play at Florida on Friday and Saturday.
South Carolina Stingrays
* Michael Dubuc is tied for the rookie lead with 13 power-play goals.
* Travis Morin leads the ECHL in plus-minus rating with +25 and Nate Kiser leads league defenseman with +22.
* South Carolina hosts Trenton on Friday and Charlotte on Saturday.
National Conference - Pacific Division
* Condors are 10-2-1 in their last 13 games.
* Mike Wirll has five goals and nine points in his last three games.
* Condors host Utah on Wednesday and play at Stockton on Friday and Ontario on Saturday.
Las Vegas Wranglers
* Las Vegas has set a team record with a 10-game (0-6-4) winless streak.
* Tyler Mosienko scored his 55th goal on Saturday, becoming the Wranglers all-time leading goal scorer.
* Las Vegas plays at Alaska on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
* Reign are 18-11-2 at home.
* Rookie Jeff Zatkoff is 12-8-1 and ranks fifth in the ECHL with a save percentage of .922.
* Reign host Utah on Friday and Bakersfield on Saturday and play at Stockton on Sunday.
* Stockton leads the league in attendance with 6,202 per game.
* Rookie Andrew Perugini is 12-2-0 with a shutout and a goals-against average of 2.11 in his last 14 games.
* Stockton plays at Phoenix on Tuesday and Wednesday and hosts Bakersfield on Friday, Utah on Saturday and Ontario on Sunday.
National Conference - West Division
* Alaska has won 11 of its last 12 home games and leads the ECHL with a home record of 22-6-1.
* Aces have four shorthand goals in the last four games after scoring three in their first 53 games.
* Alaska hosts Las Vegas on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
* Steelheads are 7-3-0 in their last 10 home games and 16-9-1 overall at Qwest Arena.
* Rookie Matt Climie is 3-1-0 with a shutout and a goals-against average of 1.25 in his last four starts.
* Steelheads host Victoria on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
* Phoenix has allowed 30 shots or less in their last 10 games.
* Dan DaSilva has a six-game point streak (3g-4a).
* Phoenix hosts Stockton on Tuesday and Wednesday and Utah on Sunday.
* Grizzlies have allowed two goals or less in four (3-1-0) of their last six games.
* Rookie Rob Hennigar has four goals in his last three games and 21 points (7g-14a) in his last 15 games.
* Grizzlies play at Bakersfield on Wednesday, at Ontario on Friday, at Stockton on Saturday and at Phoenix on Sunday.
Victoria Salmon Kings
* Victoria has the sixth-best road record in the league with 14-11-4.
* Chris St. Jacques has eight points (5g-3a) in his last eight games.
* Victoria plays at Idaho on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
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