Following the first week of action there are eight undefeated teams including defending Kelly Cup Champion Trenton which beat Wheeling 5-3 on Saturday in front of 7,093 at Sovereign Bank Arena.
Fresno under new coach Matt Thomas won a pair of one-goal games to open the season 2-0-0 and sits atop the Pacific Division of the National Conference. Brett Jaeger made 30 saves in a 2-1 win against Victoria on Friday and Peter Fregoe scored the game-winning goal and had an assist in a 4-3 win on Saturday against Stockton, which was playing its first-ever ECHL game. The Falcons play at Long Beach on Friday before returning home to host Idaho on Saturday and Sunday.
Idaho is 3-0-0 for the second straight season after posting three wins over Long Beach, which eliminated the Steelheads from the Kelly Cup Playoffs last season. Matt Yeats is 3-0-0 with a goals-against average of 1.57 and leads the league in wins and minutes (180). The Steelheads and new coach Derek Laxdal sit atop the West Division as they begin a five-game road trip with games at Fresno on Saturday and Sunday.
Kevin Kotyluk had three assists in Bakersfield’s 5-3 season-opening win on Saturday in front of 8,263, the fourth-largest crowd in Condors team history. The Condors are 1-0-0 and will make their only trip of the season to Anchorage when they visit the Alaska Aces on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Opening with back-to-back wins over San Diego on Friday and Saturday, the Alaska Aces are 2-0-0 with their third game against the Gulls on Monday.
Two of the newest members of the ECHL, the Phoenix RoadRunners and the Utah Grizzlies renewed their longtime rivalry from their days in the International Hockey League with three games in three days. Scoring a pair of goals to lead the RoadRunners to a 4-2 win at Utah on Friday night, Cory Pecker leads the league with four goals and seven points after the opening weekend. The Grizzlies picked up their first two ECHL wins at Phoenix, winning 5-4 on Saturday and 7-3 win on Sunday. Matt Craig scored the game winner in both games to lead the league with two game-winning goals while being tied for second with three goals and tied for fifth with four points. Phoenix remains home to host San Diego on Friday and Saturday while Utah will visit Las Vegas on Tuesday before hosting Victoria on Friday and Saturday.
Columbia sits atop the South Division at 2-0-1 following a 4-2 win against Johnstown on Friday, a 5-4 shootout win at South Carolina on Saturday and a 1-0 overtime loss at Augusta on Sunday. The Inferno, which have finished atop their division in each of the last three seasons, and new head coach Ted Dent host Charlotte on Friday and South Carolina on Sunday while traveling to Greenville on Saturday.
Charlotte, which reached the conference finals a year ago, and Augusta, which is looking to return to the postseason for the first time since 2001, are both 2-0-0 and tied for second place in the South Division. The Checkers opened with a 1-0 shootout win at Gwinnett on Friday and a 5-3 win at Greenville on Saturday. The Lynx beat South Carolina 4-2 on Friday and beat Columbia 1-0 in overtime on Sunday. The Checkers will play their first five games on the road, including Friday at Columbia and Saturday at South Carolina, before hosting South Carolina at the new Bobcats Arena in downtown Charlotte on November 6. The Lynx begin a five-game road trip on Tuesday at South Carolina and visit Gwinnett on Friday and Pensacola on Saturday.
Gwinnett lost 1-0 in a shootout to Charlotte on opening night and then traveled to Pensacola on Saturday and Sean Fields made 38 saves in a 6-0 win. In fourth place in the South Division at 1-0-1, Gwinnett returns home to host Augusta on Friday.
The only ECHL teams that did not see action on opening weekend were the Florida Everblades and the Las Vegas Wranglers, who saw their games scheduled for Friday and Saturday postponed a week because of Hurricane Wilma. The Wranglers will open the season on Tuesday at home when they host Utah while the Everblades are scheduled to host Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday.