ECHL Today - March 31
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Gwinnett Gladiators (41-19-11) at Florida Everblades (38-26-7) 7 p.m. ET
· Nikita Kashirsky leads Gwinnett against the Everblades with 12 points (3g-9a).
· Florida’s Scott Pitt is fourth among rookies with 57 points (22g-35a).
· Gladiators are 22-10-5 when outshot by their opponents.
· Everblades are first on the power play at 23.1 percent (73-for-316).
Kalamazoo Wings (37-26-8) at Toledo Walleye (28-37-6) 7 p.m. ET
· Kalamazoo’s Nick Sirota is on an ECHL season-high nine-game goal streak since March 14 (9g).
· Toledo’s Joey Martin is seventh among rookies with 49 points (22g-27a).
· K-Wings are 26-9-4 when scoring first.
· Walleye are 15-2-3 when leading after two periods.
Trenton Titans (21-40-10) at Reading Royals (35-28-8) 7:05 p.m. ET
· Adam Presizniuk leads Trenton against the Royals with four goals and 10 points.
· Reading’s Yannick Tifu is on a seven-game point streak since March 17 (4g-6a).
· Titans are league’s second-least penalized team with 13.37 penalty minutes per game.
· Royals are tied for third with 10 shorthanded goals.
Greenville Road Warriors (41-24-6) at South Carolina Stingrays (36-28-7) 7:05 p.m. ET
· Justin Bowers leads Greenville against the Stingrays with 16 points (4g-12a).
· South Carolina’s Zach Tarkir is tied for first among defensemen with five game-winning goals.
· Road Warriors are tied for third with five shorthanded goals against.
· Stingrays are second with 2.51 goals-against per game.
Chicago Express (34-26-11) at Cincinnati Cyclones (34-28-9) 7:35 p.m. ET
· Chicago’s Darcy Campbell is tied for second among defensemen with 23 power-play points (4g-19a).
· Mathew Sisca leads Cincinnati against the Express with seven goals and 13 points.
· Express are 20-6-4 when scoring first.
· Cyclones are third on the penalty kill at home at 86.4 percent (121-for-140).
Elmira Jackals (45-22-4) at Wheeling Nailers (36-26-9) 7:35 p.m. ET
· Elmira’s Mario Larocque is tied for fourth among defensemen with 45 points (7g-38a).
· Chris Barton leads Wheeling against the Jackals with 14 points (6g-8a).
· Jackals have a league-high 12 wins when trailing after two periods (12-15-1).
· Nailers are first with 34.65 shots per game.
Alaska Aces (43-17-11) at Ontario Reign (42-21-8) 6 p.m. PT
· Dan Kissel leads Alaska against the Reign with seven goals and 13 points.
· Ontario’s Derek Couture is tied for the league lead with 13 power-play goals.
· Aces are first with 2.34 goals-against per game.
· Reign are 30-5-6 when scoring first.
Stockton Thunder (34-32-5) at Idaho Steelheads (30-32-9) 7:10 p.m. MT
· Stockton’s Mike Little is second in plus-minus at +22.
· Idaho’s Jacob Cepis is third among rookies with 218 shots on goal.
· Thunder are second with one shorthanded goal against on the road.
· Steelheads are 16-2-6 when leading after two periods.
Utah Grizzlies (32-33-6) at Bakersfield Condors (24-40-7) 7 p.m. PT
· Paul McIlveen leads Utah against the Condors with seven goals and 11 points.
· Bakersfield’s Tyler Helfrich is sixth among rookies with 50 points (19g-31a).
· Grizzlies are 23-8-4 when scoring first.
· Condors are first with 13 shorthanded goals.
Colorado Eagles (37-28-6) at Las Vegas Wranglers (42-22-7) 7 p.m. PT
· Colorado’s Joey Sides is on a seven-game point streak since March 20 (5g-5a).
· Las Vegas’ Adam Miller is second with 81 points (31g-50a).
· Eagles are third with 3.46 goals per game.
· Wranglers are third with 27.61 shots-against per game.
Kelly Cup Playoffs Update
Elmira can clinch the Eastern Conference title on Saturday if:
OR Gwinnett loses
OR Elmira loses in overtime/shootout AND Gwinnett wins in shootout
Gwinnett can clinch the Eastern Conference title on Saturday if:
Gwinnett wins AND Elmira loses in regulation
OR Gwinnett wins in regulation or overtime AND Elmira loses in overtime/shootout
South Carolina can clinch a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Saturday if:
South Carolina wins
OR South Carolina loses in overtime/shootout
OR Reading loses
Chicago can clinch a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Saturday if:
OR Chicago loses in overtime/shootout AND Reading loses
Cincinnati can clinch a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Saturday if:
Cincinnati wins in regulation AND Reading loses
Reading can clinch a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Saturday if:
Reading wins AND Chicago loses
OR Reading wins AND South Carolina loses in regulation
Ontario can clinch the Pacific Division title on Saturday if:
OR Las Vegas loses in regulation
OR Ontario loses in overtime/shootout AND Las Vegas loses
Las Vegas can clinch the Pacific Division title on Saturday if:
Las Vegas wins AND Ontario loses
OR Las Vegas loses in overtime/shootout AND Ontario loses in regulation
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Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• Watch games live on America One, the “Official Broadband & Mobile Broadcaster” of the ECHL.
• The ECHL celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2007-08 and is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
• ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league with 20 teams in 16 states in 2011-12.
• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
• 489 players have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 23 in 2010-11.
• 22 ECHL players have made their NHL debut in 2011-12: former Florida Everblades center Mike Angelidis (Tampa Bay on Jan. 24), former Victoria Salmon Kings defenseman Jordie Benn (Dallas on Jan. 3), former Bakersfield Condors and Elmira Jackals defenseman Stu Bickel (New York Rangers on Dec. 20), former Greenville Road Warriors defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon (Philadelphia on Nov. 21), former South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Joe Finley (Buffalo on Dec. 2), Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender Brian Foster (Florida on Feb. 4), former Victoria Salmon Kings defenseman Kris Fredheim (Minnesota on Nov. 17), former Gwinnett Gladiators center Ryan Garbutt (Dallas on Feb. 18), former Elmira Jackals center Mike Hoffman (Ottawa on Dec. 23), former Victoria Salmon Kings goaltender Leland Irving (Calgary on Dec. 16), former Toledo Storm and Reading Royals center Bracken Kearns (Florida on Oct. 20), Stockton Thunder center Milan Kytnar (Edmonton on Jan. 11), former Bakersfield Condors center Maxime Macenauer (Anaheim on Oct. 7), former Ontario Reign center Jordan Nolan (Los Angeles on Feb. 11), former Idaho Steelheads center and two-time ECHL All-Star Greg Rallo (Florida on Dec. 18), former Cincinnati Cyclones center Ryan Russell (Columbus on Jan. 7), former Reading Royals goaltender Jussi Rynnas (Toronto on March 27), former Reading Royals goaltender Ben Scrivens (Toronto on Nov. 3), former Cincinnati Cyclones defenseman Frederic St. Denis (Montreal on Nov. 16), former Ontario Reign defenseman Colten Teubert (Edmonton on Nov. 3), former Wheeling Nailers goaltender Brad Thiessen (Pittsburgh on Feb. 26) and former Las Vegas Wranglers right wing Matt Watkins (Phoenix on Feb. 21).
• Five players have played in the ECHL and NHL in 2011-12: Brian Foster with Cincinnati and Florida, Milan Kytnar with Stockton and Edmonton, Peter Mannino with Chicago and Winnipeg, Jussi Rynnas with Reading and Toronto and Allen York with Chicago and Columbus.
• The ECHL has had 297 players reach the NHL since 2002-03 when it changed its focus to become the primary developmental league for the NHL and the AHL. The ECHL had 97 players reach the NHL in its first 10 seasons and 215 in the first 15 years.
• 233 ECHL players have played their first game in the last seven seasons for an average of more than 33 per year.
• ECHL had a record 81 players on NHL opening-day rosters in 2011-12, surpassing the 79 from 2010-11 and marking the ninth year in a row that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.
• ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 NHL teams, marking the 15th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
• 31 coaches with an ECHL background are working behind the benches of teams in the NHL in 2011-12 including Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach and 2011 Jack Adams Award winner Dan Bylsma, New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano, Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette and Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel. It is the seventh consecutive season that there have been 11 or more coaches with an ECHL background working in the NHL. Boudreau, who coached Mississippi for three seasons winning the Kelly Cup championship in 1999, was named NHL Coach of the Year in 2007-08 becoming the first former ECHL coach to receive the award.
• 22 former ECHL officials are scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2011-12 with referees David Banfield, Francis Charron, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Mike Leggo, Wes McCauley, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Justin St. Pierre, Graham Skilliter and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Brian Mach, Matt MacPherson, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers.
• ECHL was represented for the 11th year in a row on the Stanley Cup champion with Boston Bruins assistant coach Geoff Ward, players Rich Peverley, Michael Ryder and Tim Thomas, radio broadcaster Dave Goucher and scout Tom McVie. Thomas is the first former ECHL player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There were 34 former players and 19 coaches on the 16 teams competing in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the sixth year in a row that there have been at least 30 former ECHL players and the eighth consecutive season that over 25 players with ECHL experience have competed in the NHL postseason.
• Former Hampton Roads Admirals left wing Andrew Brunette became the first ECHL alum to play in 1,000 regular-season NHL games when he reached the milestone with the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 1, 2011.
• Former ECHL and current Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was the recipient of the Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender in the NHL in 2010-11, marking the second time he has won the award in the past three seasons. Thomas set a single-season NHL record with a .938 save percentage.
• Former ECHL player and current Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma was the recipient of the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s Coach of the Year in 2010-11.
• ECHL was represented in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game by Dan Girardi of the New York Rangers, Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins.
• Former ECHL broadcasters working in the NHL include John Ahlers and Steve Carroll of the Anaheim Ducks, Tom Callahan of the Nashville Predators, Dave Goucher of the Boston Bruins, Chris Kerber of the St. Louis Blues, Jack Michaels of the Edmonton Oilers, Dave Mishkin of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Bob McElligott of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
• Ryan Stanzel and Jeremy Zager, who were both recipients of the ECHL Media Relations Director of the Year award, are working in the communications department for the Minnesota Wild and the Los Angeles Kings, respectively. Former ECHL assistant director of communications Joe Siville and Kelly Murray are now with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals, respectively, while former ECHL director of communications Jason Rothwell is the creative director for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
• In the last seven seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 3,000 call-ups involving more than 1,600 players and in 2010-11 there were 10 times as many call-ups from the ECHL to the AHL than all other professional leagues.
• The ECHL averaged 4,339 fans per game in 2010-11, marking the seventh consecutive season and the 19th time in the last 21 years that the ECHL has averaged over 4,000 fans.