Dogs, Condors, Pilots Battle For League Lead

Winning three games in three days, Long Beach improved to 28-12-4 to move atop the league in wins (28) and points (60) while ranking second in winning percentage (.682). Bakersfield (26-10-6) and Pensacola (27-11-4) are tied for the league lead in winning percentage (.690) while Bakersfield is tied for second in the league in points (58) and ranks third in wins (26).

With 28 games remaining, Long Beach has already surpassed its totals from 2003-04 for points (51), wins (23), home wins (10) and road wins (10). With 30 games remaining, Bakersfield has already surpassed its totals from 2003-04 for wins (25) and road wins (11) and needs only one point and one home win to tie those totals.

Long Beach posted a 3-2 overtime win at then league leader Bakersfield on Friday followed by a 5-3 win at Fresno on Saturday before closing out with a 5-0 win over Fresno, which has a 10-3-1 record in January. The Ice Dogs, who are 8-1-1 in the last 10 games and 19-4-2 in the last 25 games, will travel to Idaho for games on Friday and Saturday.

In the last 10 games, rookie Marco Rosa leads Long Beach with eight goals and 13 points. Rosa is tied for third among league rookies in plus-minus rating (+16) and is tied for sixth in scoring 36 points (18g-18a).

Evan Cheverie leads the Ice Dogs with 27 assists and 44 points while Chris Kenady is first on the team with 22 goals and second in scoring with 43 points. Long Beach All-Star goaltender Chris Madden is 5-0-1 with a shutout, goals-against of 2.06 and a save percentage of .937 in his last seven games. Madden leads the league in save percentage (.943) while ranking second in goals-against average (2.03) and shutouts (4) and third in wins (18). Olivier Michaud is 3-1-0 with goals-against average of 1.56 and save percentage of .948 in his last four games and 10-8-3 with goals-against average of 2.49 and a save percentage of .921 in 23 games for the Ice Dogs.

Bakersfield, which is 7-1-2 in the last 10 games and 10-2-2 in January, travels to Alaska for games on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Alaska, which took two out of three games from Idaho over the weekend, is in third place in the West Division with 52 points (24-14-4).

In the last 10 games, Lars-Peder Nagel leads Bakersfield with 11 points, including five goals which ties Vlad Serov for the lead. Nagel leads the Condors with 15 goals and ranks second on the team with 37 points and third in assists with 22. Kevin St. Jacques leads the team with 30 assists and 38 points. Yutaka Fukufuji is 5-0-1 with goals-against average of 1.48 and save percentage of .950 in his last six games while Randy Petruk is 2-1-1 with goals-against of 2.21 and save percentage of .905 in his last four games. Fukufuji is 16-5-3 with a shutout, goals-against average of 2.49 and save percentage of .918 in 25 games for Bakersfield.

Pensacola has won its last five games to move atop the South Division of the American Conference with 58 points, eight points ahead of Florida (22-13-6). The Ice Pilots, who are 7-2-1 in the last 10 games, will travel to Louisiana on Wednesday, Mississippi on Friday and Gwinnett on Saturday. Pensacola is 10-2-1 in the last 13 games and set a team record for wins in a month with 10 in January.

In the last five games, Aaron Phillips leads Pensacola with two game-winning goals and four goals while Tyler Beechey leads the Ice Pilots with eight assists and 10 points. Selected as replacement for the ECHL All-Star Game, Beechey leads the league with 55 points and he is tied for the league lead with seven game-winning goals. Beechey ranks second in the league with 34 assists while his 21 goals tie him for third. Ice Pilots defenseman Corey Neilson, who was voted as a starter for his second straight All-Star Game, is second on the team with 25 assists and 35 points. Neilson, who was named ECHL Defenseman of the Year in 2003-04, leads ECHL defensemen in goals, assists and scoring. During the current winning streak, Frederic Cloutier is 3-0-0 with a shutout, goals-against average of 1.00 and save percentage of .970 while All-Star goaltender Todd Ford is 2-0-0 with goals-against average of 2.00 and save percentage of .927. Ford is 12-2-1 and ranks third in the league in goals-against average (2.05) and tied for fourth in save percentage (.936). Cloutier is 15-9-3 with goals-against average of 2.46 and save percentage of .924 in 27 games.