By Mark Simon
Special to NHL.com
Nov 1, 2002
Geoff Faulkner has seen all sides of the East Coast Hockey League during his three-week stint with the Augusta Lynx. He was the ECHL Goalie of the Week after winning his first three professional starts. Then he was pulled on back-to-back nights after encountering some significant struggles.
Just the fact that Faulkner is in the league and has lasted this long is impressive though. It is extremely rare for someone with his background to play upper level pro hockey.
The overwhelming majority of players in the ECHL, AHL, and NHL, come from either the top junior leagues in Canada or the best Division I colleges in the United States, Faulkner made it to the ECHL after playing four seasons at Trinity College, an NCAA Division III (non-scholarship) program in Hartford, Conn. Estimates from various hockey sources are that fewer than five percent of those who play in the ECHL each season come from the Division III ranks. The style of play is a lot different.
“The average size of players is much bigger here,” Faulkner said during a phone interview following his third consecutive win. “In school, I was able to see shots pretty clearly, but you have to look for them a lot harder here. The accuracy of guys on 2-on-1’s is also far greater than what I’m used to.”