All-Star Break doesn’t slow Jackals


The Elmira Jackals enjoyed the longest All-Star Break of any ECHL team, but the Jackals did not allow their five-day respite to affect their play on the ice. Elmira won both of its games last week, and is 6-3-1 in its last 10 games. Overall for the season, the Jackals are in second place of the Atlantic Division with a record of 22-17-4 for 48 points.


Elmira is part of a logjam in the Eastern Conference standings. The Jackals enter play this week as one of four teams tied for the final two playoff spots in the conference. Just 10 points separate the fifth-place team in the Eastern Conference from the 13th place squad.


Prior to the All-Star Break, the Jackals rallied for a 5-2 win at Reading on Monday. Elmira scored four goals in just over six minutes in the third period to pull off the victory. Louie Caporusso scored a pair of goals, including the tying goal midway through the final period, while Brandon Blandina and Darren Kramer each added two assists. Ian Keserich made 33 saves in goal, and earned his first ECHL win since 2008-09 with Johnstown.


Following five days off, Elmira returned to the ice on Sunday and came away with an 8-1 win against Trenton. The Jackals started strong with three first-period tallies, and for the second straight game notched four goals in the final 20 minutes. Reigning ECHL Rookie of the Year, and ECHL All-Star Dustin Gazley led the way for Elmira with four points (2g-2a), while Jordan Pietrus added three assists and Caporusso notched two goals for the second consecutive game. Maxime Clermont made 37 saves in goal to record the win.


Gazley, who has 17 points (5g-12a) in 11 games during January, is tied for third in the league with 49 points (14g-35a). Andrew Rowe, who returned to the club from Norfolk of the American Hockey League prior to Sunday’s game, is riding an ECHL season-high 10-game assist streak, tallying 12 assists over that span.


Elmira hits the road for a pair of games this week, visiting Toledo on Friday and Evansville on Saturday.