PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL is represented by former coach and player Scott Gordon along with 24 players in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games where the men’s ice hockey competition began Tuesday in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Gordon is an assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s Ice Hockey Team and was also the assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2009 IIHF World Championship in Berne and Zurich-Kloten, Switzerland.
Gordon played for Johnstown in 1988-89 and on Jan. 30, 1990 became the first ECHL player to play in the National Hockey League when he made his debut with the Quebec Nordiques against the Buffalo Sabres. Gordon returned to the ECHL with Nashville in 1992-93 and Knoxville in 1993-94.
The 46 year old was named head coach of Roanoke in the ECHL in 1998-99. In his first season the Express finished first in the Northern Conference with a 38-22-10 record, advancing to the Kelly Cup Playoffs where they lost in the conference finals. In his second season Roanoke went 44-20-6 and set team records for wins (44) and points (94) while finishing atop the Northeast Division standings and again advancing to the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Nine of the 12 teams have an ECHL player led by Latvia which has six former ECHL players followed by Germany with five former players. Belarus has three former ECHL players, while Norway, Slovakia and the United States each have two players and the Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland each have one player.
Jonathan Quick, who suited up for the Reading Royals during the 2007-08 season, will be the backup goaltender behind Ryan Miller and another former ECHL player, Tim Thomas , for the United States. Vladimir Denisov of Belarus and Ervins Mustukovs of Latvia also saw action during the 2007-08 season with the Johnstown Chiefs and Elmira Jackals, respectively.
**Sunday, Feb. 28 Results**
**Saturday, Feb. 27 Results**
Finland 5, Slovakia 3
Jaroslav Halak made 28 saves for Slovakia in a losing effort as Finland went on to win the Bronze Medal.
**Friday, Feb. 26 Results**
United States 6, Finland 1
Tim Thomas made six saves in relief duty as the United States advances to the Gold Medal Game.
Canada 3, Slovakia 2
Jaroslav Halak made 25 saves for Slovakia as Canada advances to the Gold Medal Game.
**Wednesday, Feb. 24 Results**
United States 2, Switzerland 0
Raffaele Sannitz had two penalty minutes for Switzerland as the United States moves on to the semifinals.
Finland 2, Czech Republic 0
Tomas Vokoun made 29 saves in a losing effort to Finland.
Slovakia 4, Sweden 3
Jaroslav Halak made 26 saves to earn the win for Slovakia as they advance to the semifinals.**Tuesday, Feb. 23 Results**
Switzerland 3, Belarus 2
Mark Streit tallied one assist for Switzerland. Konstantin Zakharov had a power-play goal and Andrei Mezin made 40 saves for Belarus in their shootout loss to the Swiss.
Czech Republic 3, Latvia 2
Tomas Vokoun made 24 saves for the Czech Republic in their overtime win over Latvia. Armands Berzins had an assist and two penalty minutes for the Latvians.
Slovakia 4, Norway 3
Jaroslav Halak made 16 saves to earn the win for Slovakia and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen received 25 minutes in penalties and an ejection from the game for a hit to the head of Slovakia’s Lubos Bartecko.
**Sunday, Feb. 21 Results**
Russia 4, Czech Republic 2
Tomas Vokoun made 28 saves in the loss to the Russians.
Sweden 3, Finland 0
Former Toledo Storm goaltender, Stefan Liv is on the Swedish roster.
**Saturday, Feb. 20 Results**
Switzerland 5, Norway 4
Former Dayton Bomber Raffaele Sannitz had two points (1g-1a) while former Tallahassee defenseman Mark Streit tallied one assist for Switzerland. Former Dayton defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and former Louisiana forward Marius Holtet saw action for Norway.
Slovakia 6, Latvia 0
Former ECHL goaltender Jaroslav Halak was perfect with 21 saves in Slovakia’s shutout. Armands Berzins, Rodrigo Lavins, Arvids Rekis and Herbert Vasiljevs were on the ice for Latvia.
**Friday, Feb. 19 Results**
Sweden 4, Belarus 2
Andrei Mezin made 34 saves for Belarus.
Czech Republic 5, Latvia 2
Tomas Vokoun made 16 saves for his second win of the Olympics. Latvia’s Herbert Vasiljevs tallied an assist.
Finland 5, Germany 0
Goaltender Dmitri Patzold made 30 saves for Germany.
**Thursday, Feb. 18 Results**
United States 6, Norway 1
Former Louisiana forward Marius Holtet had a shorthanded goal for Norway.
Canada 3, Switzerland 2
Former Dayton Bomber, Raffaele Sannitz, had four penalty minutes in Switzerland’s 3-2 shootout loss to Canada.
Slovakia 2, Russia 1
Former Long Beach Ice Dog goaltender, Jaroslav Halak, stopped six of seven shootout attempts to earn the win for the Slovaks.
**Wednseday, Feb. 17 Results**
Finland 5, Belarus 1
Former Johnstown Chief Vladimir Denisov was on the ice for Belarus.
Sweden 2, Germany 0
Former Fresno goaltender Thomas Greiss got the loss for Germany and former ECHL defenseman, Jakub Ficenec, had two penalty minutes for Germany in their loss to Sweden.
**Tuesday, Feb. 16 Results**
United States 3, Switzerland 1
Former Tallahassee defenseman Mark Streit assisted on Switzerland’s only goal in a 3-1 loss to the United States.
Canada 8, Norway 0
Former Louisiana forward Marius Holtet was on the ice for Norway.
Russia 8, Latvia 2
Former Knoxville right wing Herbert Vasilijevs had a goal and four penalty minutes for Latvia in an 8-2 loss to Russia.
ECHL Players in 2010 Winter Olympic Games –
Belarus – Vladimir Denisov (Johnstown, 2007-09), Andrei Mezin (Roanoke, 1993-94) and Konstantin Zakharov (Alaska, 2005-06).
Czech Republic – Tomas Vokoun (Wheeling, 1995-96).
Germany – Thomas Greiss (Fresno, 2006-07), Jakub Ficenec (Johnstown, 1998-99), Dmitri Patzold (Johnstown, 2003-04 and Fresno, 2006-07), Chris Schmidt (Mississippi, 1996-97 and 1998-99) and John Tripp (Roanoke, 1997-98; Johnstown, 1998-99 and 1999-00; and Pensacola, 2000-01 and 2001-02).
Latvia –Armands Berzins (Louisiana, 2003-04 and Wheeling, 2004-05), Rodrigo Lavins (Raleigh, 1994-95 and Tallahassee, 1994-97), Ervins Mustukovs (Toledo, 2006-07 and Elmira, 2007-08), Sergei Naumov (Greensboro, 2000-01), Arvids Rekis (Peoria, 2000-03) and Herbert Vasiljevs (Knoxville, 1996-97).
Norway – Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (Dayton, 2004-05) and Marius Holtet (Louisiana, 2004-05).
Sweden – Stefan Liv (Toledo, 2006-07).
Switzerland – Raffaele Sannitz (Dayton, 2004-05) and Mark Streit (Tallahassee, 1999-2000).
United States – Assistant coach Scott Gordon (Johnstown, 1988-89; Nashville, 1992-93; Knoxville, 1993-94; and Roanoke, 1998-2000), Jonathan Quick (Reading, 2007-08) and Tim Thomas (Birmingham, 1997-98).
Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• 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 15 states and British Columbia in 2009-10.
• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
• 435 players have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including a record 53 in 2008-09.
• 27 ECHL players have made their NHL debut this season: former Charlotte Checkers and Reading Royals defenseman Dean Arsene (Edmonton on Nov. 16), former Augusta, Greenville, Pensacola and Toledo goaltender Mike Brodeur (Ottawa on Dec. 19), former Wheeling Nailers left wing Luca Caputi (Pittsburgh on Jan. 5), former Idaho Steelheads left wing Richard Clune (Los Angeles on Feb. 11), former Gwinnett Gladiators and 2006 ECHL All-Star right wing Guillaume Desbiens (Vancouver on Oct. 11), former Cincinnati Cyclones center and 2008 ECHL Most Valuable Player David Desharnais (Montreal on Nov. 25), former Stockton Thunder and 2007 ECHL All-Star goaltender Devin Dubnyk (Edmonton on Nov. 28), former Las Vegas Wranglers, Reading Royals and South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Deryk Engelland (Pittsburgh on Nov. 10), former Louisiana IceGators defenseman Maxime Fortunus (Dallas on Dec. 19), former Idaho Steelheads center Aaron Gagnon (Dallas on Oct. 16), former Victoria Salmon Kings defenseman Shaun Heshka (Phoenix on Nov. 7), former Wheeling Nailers right wing Nick Johnson (Pittsburgh on Jan. 21), former Florida and 2008 ECHL All-Star goaltender Anton Khudobin (Feb. 4 with Minnesota), former Wheeling Nailers right wing David Laliberte (Philadelphia on Oct. 31), former Wheeling Nailers center Mark Letestu (Pittsburgh on Nov. 14), former Stockton Thunder right wing Colin McDonald (Edmonton on Nov. 27), former Stockton Thunder center Ryan O’Marra (Edmonton on Nov. 10), former Reading Royals right wing Scott Parse (Los Angeles on Oct. 24), former Florida Everblades and 2008 ECHL All-Star goaltender Justin Peters (Carolina on Feb. 6), former Charlotte Checkers center Tom Pyatt (Montreal on Nov. 5), former Johnstown Chiefs defenseman Jay Rosehill (Toronto on Oct. 1), former Bakersfield Condors right wing Dan Sexton (Anaheim on Dec. 5), former Bakersfield Condors center MacGregor Sharp (Anaheim on Nov. 19), former Idaho Steelheads left wing Francis Wathier (Dallas on Oct. 21), former South Carolina Stingrays center Kyle Wilson (Washington on Dec. 15), former Cincinnati Cyclones right wing J.T. Wyman (Montreal on Nov. 24) and former Charlotte Checkers and Idaho Steelheads goaltender Matt Zaba.
• 4 players have played in the ECHL and the NHL this season: Kyle Calder with Bakersfield and Anaheim, Dan Sexton with Bakersfield and Anaheim, MacGregor Sharp with Bakersfield and Anaheim and Matt Zaba with Charlotte and the New York Rangers.
• The ECHL has had 243 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.
• 179 ECHL players have played their first game in the last five seasons for an average of more than 35 per year.
• ECHL had a record 78 players on NHL opening-day rosters, surpassing the 71 from a year ago and marking the seventh year in a row that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.
• Every ECHL team has an affiliation with an NHL team and the league has affiliations with 28 of the 30 NHL teams, marking the 13th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
• 29 coaches with an ECHL background are working behind the benches of teams in the NHL including Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau, New York Islanders head coach Scott Gordon, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette, Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Claude Noel and St. Louis Blues interim head coach Davis Payne while former ECHL player Dan Bylsma is head coach of the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. It is the fifth 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.
• 20 former ECHL officials are working as part of the NHL officiating team in 2009-10 with referees David Banfield, Francis Charron, Chris Ciamaga, Ghislain Herbert, Marc Joannette, Mike Leggo, Wes McCauley, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Bryan Pancich, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak and Jay Sharrers.
• ECHL was represented for the ninth year in a row on the Stanley Cup champion with Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma, player Ruslan Fedotenko, equipment managers Dana Heinze and Dave Zeigler, athletic trainers Chris Stewart and Scott Adams and scout Derek Clancey. There were 43 former players and 14 former coaches on 15 of the 16 teams competing in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the fourth year in a row that there have been at least 30 former ECHL players and the sixth consecutive season that over 25 players with ECHL experience have competed in the NHL postseason.
• Former ECHL and current Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was the recipient of the Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender in the NHL and was also presented the William Jennings Trophy with teammate Manny Fernandez as the goaltenders finishing the season having surrendered the fewest goals. Thomas was also named First Team All-NHL after registering a career-high 36 wins while leading the NHL with a goals-against average of 2.10 and a save percentage of .933 to help the Bruins finish with the most wins (53) and points (116) since 1971-72.
• ECHL was represented in the 2009 NHL All-Star Game by Mark Streit of the New York Islanders and Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins while former ECHL players Dan Ellis, Jonathan Quick and Tomas Vokoun were all selected as recipients of the NHL’s “Three Stars” award in 2008-09.
• Former ECHL broadcasters working in the National Hockey League 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, Dave Mishkin of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Bob McElligott and John Michael of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Rob Simpson, who is a producer/host for The NHL Network.
• 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.
• ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League and for the past 20 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion.
• In the last six seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 2,500 call-ups involving more than 1,300 players and in 2008-09 there were 10 times as many call-ups from the ECHL to the AHL than all other professional leagues.
• The ECHL averaged 4,258 fans per game in 2008-09 and is the only minor professional hockey league to increase average attendance each of the last two seasons. It is the fifth consecutive season and the 17th time in the last 19 years that the ECHL has averaged over 4,000 fans and the league drew over 3 million fans for the 16th year in a row and reached the 3 million mark in the fewest number of games since 2005-06.
• There have been more than 75 million fans who have attended over 17,000 games since the ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states.
• Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.