RoadRunners Register Record-Setting Start
RoadRunners Register Record-Setting Start
Monday, Oct. 22nd, 2007
Phoenix has opened the season 3-0-0 for the first time in its three-year history after sweeping its weekend series with Utah.
The RoadRunners play their first 12 games at US Airways Center and will host Stockton on Wednesday and Bakersfield on Friday. The three straight home wins breaks the team record of two consecutive home wins set Feb. 17-21, 2006.
Phoenix is tied for the league lead with six power-play goals and for the league lead in penalty killing at 1.000 after not allowing a power-play goal in 24 opportunities.
Daniel Sisca scored a goal in every game and is tied for the ECHL lead with six points and four goals. Chris Murray leads ECHL rookies with four assists and is tied for second among first-year players with four points while Justin Maiser has a three-game goal streak (3g) and four points.
Making his first professional start on Saturday, Nathan Lawson stopped all 27 shots in a 6-0 win to record the league’s only shutout. Cody Rudkowsky is 2-0-0 with a goals-against average of 2.00 and a save percentage of .938 after stopping 61 of 65 shots in two games.
Five Sellouts Highlight ECHL Opening Weekend
Back-to-back standing-room-only crowds in Florida and opening-night sellouts in Charlotte, Elmira and Idaho highlighted the first weekend of the season as the ECHL averaged 5,075 for its 25 games, up from 4,984 for opening weekend a year go.
Florida is averaging 7,283 at the 7,080-seat Germain Arena after opening its 10th Anniversary season with 7,462 on Friday and 7,104 on Saturday. 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.
Friday saw a sellout crowd of 3,925 at First Arena for Elmira’s first ECHL game and 5,208 at Qwest Arena to witness the raising of the Kelly Cup banner and presentation of championship rings to the Steelheads.
Charlotte drew 8,727 on Friday marking the third year in a row that opening night has been a sellout. The Checkers have led the ECHL in sellouts each of the last two years 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.
South Carolina had 8,652 for its home opener while 7,801 watched in Dayton and Fresno, which had the largest average attendance increase of any team last season, had its largest opening-day crowd in five years with 7,465. Gwinnett had 7,367 for its opener on Saturday while Bakersfield welcomed more than 12,500 for its first two games and Augusta had 3,894 for its home opener, its largest crowd since Mar. 18, 2006.
Las Vegas had 4,366 on Sunday while Johnstown drew 3,181 for the league’s special “Opening Day” and Pensacola had 4,228 on Friday. Trenton had 4,077 for its opener and Phoenix averaged 3,839 for opening weekend, including 8,700 on Friday and Saturday.
Cincinnati, Columbia, Utah, Victoria and Wheeling host their home openers on Friday while Mississippi, Stockton and Texas play their first home game on Saturday. Stockton became the first team other than Florida to lead the league in attendance two years in a row since Louisiana from 1995-99 as the Thunder raised their average attendance by 6.5 percent to 6,780 per game and had three sellouts at Stockton Arena, which will host the ECHL All-Star Game on Jan. 23, 2008. Victoria is coming off a season that saw the first sellout at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre and the first trip to the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Utah had the second-largest attendance increase a year ago while Texas had the third-largest.
After being forced by Hurricane Katrina to wait two seasons, Mississippi will finally be able to celebrate its “Decade in the Den” on Oct. 27 when it hosts Reading in what will certainly be a remarkable and emotional return to the ECHL. The Sea Wolves have sold the most season tickets in team history as fans eagerly anticipate their return to the ice at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum for the first time since Apr. 15, 2005. Located in Biloxi, the Sea Wolves had a Voluntary Suspension each of the last two seasons under the ECHL’s hardship provisions after the arena and the team office housed within suffered extensive and irreparable damage.
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