ECHL Today – Apr. 17

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Preview of ECHL Kelly Cup Playoff Games for Friday, Apr. 17, 2009

American Conference – South Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

#3 Charlotte Checkers (34-29-8) at #2 South Carolina Stingrays (42-23-6) 7:05 p.m. ET

Series Tied 2-2

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• Stingrays’ Matt Scherer has a three-game point streak (3g-1a).
• Charlotte rookie defenseman Ethan Graham has three goals and four points in his last four games.
• South Carolina’s Maxime Lacroix has a two-game goal streak (3g) and a two-game point streak (3g-1a).
• Checkers’ Marty Guerin has two goals and four points in his last four games.
• Game 6 is Sunday at 7 p.m. ET at Charlotte.

American Conference – South Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

#1 Florida Everblades (49-17-5) at #4 Gwinnett Gladiators (31-35-6) 7:35 p.m. ET

Florida Leads Series 2-1

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• Gwinnett’s Tom Zanoski scored the game winner Thursday to extend his point streak to four games (3g-4a).
• Defensemen Peter Metcalf (1g-4a) and Doug O’Brien (1g-3a) lead Florida in scoring in the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
• Gladiators rookie Joe Fallon is 2-1-0 with a shutout and a goals-against average of 2.38 in his last three games.
• Everblades rookie David Leggio is 7-1-0 with a goals-against average of 2.01 in his last eight starts.
• Game 5 is Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET at Gwinnett.

American Conference – North Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

#1 Cincinnati Cyclones (41-26-5) at #4 Wheeling Nailers (36-28-8) 7:35 p.m. ET

Series Tied 2-2

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• Cincinnati has won its last four road games and led the league in the regular season with a 22-13-1 road record.
• Wheeling’s Bryan Ewing leads ECHL rookies in the postseason with four assists and is second with six points.
• Cyclones’ Matt Syroczynski leads the Kelly Cup Playoffs with four power-play goals.
• Nailers defenseman Reid Cashman has four assists and four points in his last two games.
• Game 6 is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET at Cincinnati.

National Conference – West Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

#1 Alaska Aces (45-24-3) at #4 Utah Grizzlies (32-30-10) 7:05 p.m. MT

Alaska Leads Series 2-1

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• Utah’s Michael Mole is fourth in the postseason in goals-against average (2.00) and save percentage (.945).
• Aces’ Jean-Philippe Lamoureux leads the Kelly Cup Playoffs in shutouts (2) and goals-against average (0.98).
• Grizzlies improved to 6-2-1 in their last nine home games with 3-2 overtime win on Wednesday.
Josh Soares has two-game point streak (0g-2a) and has scored in 14 of 15 games (11g-13a) he has played for Aces.
• Game 5 is Saturday at 7:05 p.m. MT at Utah.

National Conference – Pacific Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

#2 Las Vegas Wranglers (34-31-8) at #3 Bakersfield Condors (33-31-8) 7 p.m. PT

Bakersfield Leads Series 2-1

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• Condors’ Dave Bonk scored his first career hat trick and tied his career best with four points on Wednesday.
• Las Vegas’ Kelly Czuy has a four-game point streak (3g-4a) and a four-game assist streak (4a).
• Bakersfield’s Yutaka Fukufuji is 17-4-0 with two overtime wins and two shootout wins in his last 22 appearances.
• Wranglers’ Adam Miller has a five-game point streak (2g-5a) and a four-game assist streak (5a).
• Game 5 is Saturday at 7 p.m. PT at Bakersfield.

National Conference – West Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

# 2 Idaho Steelheads (44-24-4) at #4 Victoria Salmon Kings (38-27-7) 7:05 p.m. PT

Victoria Leads Series 3-0

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• Salmon Kings’ Olivier Labelle has a three-game point streak (3g-1a) and a three-game goal streak (3g).
• Steelheads are 0-7 in the postseason since beating Dayton 4-1 on May 31, 2007 to win their second Kelly Cup.
• Victoria’s Todd Ford is 3-0 and leads the Kelly Cup Playoff with a save percentage of .973.
• Idaho’s Bryan McGregor has 15 goals and 32 points in his last 12 games.
• Game 5, if necessary, is Saturday at 7:05 p.m. PT at Victoria.

National Conference – Pacific Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

#1 Ontario Reign (38-29-6) at #4 Stockton Thunder (32-33-7) 7:30 p.m. PT

Ontario Leads Series 2-1

Click For Match-Up Sheet

• Reign’s Bud Holloway leads all rookies in the Kelly Cup Playoffs with four goals and seven points.
• Thunder’s Igor Gongalsky has a two-game point streak (0g-3a) and a two-game assist streak (3a).
• Ontario’s PJ Atherton is tied for the postseason lead among defensemen with five points (1g-4a).
• Stockton’s Judd Blackwater has a three-game point streak (0g-3a) and a three-game assist streak (3a).
• Game 5 is Sunday at 4 p.m. PT at Stockton.

Other 2009 Kelly Cup Playoffs Series

American Conference – North Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

#3 Elmira Jackals (39-26-7) vs. #2 Trenton Devils (40-25-7)
Elmira Leads Series 3-1

Game 1 – ELMIRA 5 at Trenton 4 (4 OT)
Game 2 – Elmira 5 at TRENTON 6
Game 3 – Trenton 0 at ELMIRA 5
Game 4 – Trenton 1 at ELMIRA 3
Game 5 is Saturday at 7:35 p.m. ET at Elmira

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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 21 teams in 16 states and British Columbia in 2008-09.
* The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
* Affiliations with 24 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League marking 12th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
* 406 former ECHL players have played in NHL.
* 150 have played their first NHL game in the last four seasons.
* Record 51 former ECHL players have made their NHL debut this season: former Idaho Steelheads right wing Jay Beagle (Washington on Feb. 11), former Wheeling Nailers and ECHL All-Star defenseman Paul Bissonnette (Pittsburgh on Oct. 4), former Stockton Thunder and ECHL All-Star right wing Troy Bodie (Anaheim on Jan. 16), former Bakersfield Condors center Alexandre Bolduc (Vancouver on Nov. 27), former Florida Everblades defenseman Brett Carson (Carolina on Dec. 7), former Idaho Steelheads goaltender Matt Climie (Dallas on Apr.4), former South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Sean Collins (Washington on Dec. 6), former Las Vegas Wranglers and Wheeling Nailers goaltender John Curry (Pittsburgh on Nov. 26), former Greenville Grrrowl goaltender Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers (Edmonton on Oct. 17), former Johnstown Chiefs center Andre Deveaux (Toronto on Nov. 27), former Dayton Bombers center Philippe Dupuis (Colorado on Dec. 12), former Gwinnett Gladiators left wing Chris Durno (Colorado on Jan. 18), former Gwinnett Gladiators right wing Pat Dwyer (Carolina on Nov. 2), former South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Jamie Fraser (New York Islanders on Apr. 4), former Columbus Cottonmouths and Tallahassee Tiger Sharks left wing Mitch Fritz (New York Islanders on Oct. 30), former South Carolina Stingrays right wing Andrew Gordon (Washington on Dec. 23), former Augusta Lynx and Mississippi Sea Wolves goaltender Riku Helenius (Tampa Bay on Jan. 30), former Charlotte Checkers center Dwight Helminen (Carolina on Oct. 28), former Florida Everblades and ECHL All-Star center Matt Hendricks (Colorado on Mar. 10), former Las Vegas Wranglers goaltender Brent Krahn (Dallas on Feb. 14), former Trenton Devils right wing Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (New Jersey on Oct. 22), former Gwinnett Gladiators defenseman Scott Lehman (Atlanta on Dec. 18), former Johnstown Chiefs defenseman Raymond Macias (Colorado on Apr. 1), former Utah Grizzlies defenseman Andrew MacDonald (New York Islanders on Feb. 28), former Charlotte Checkers defenseman Steve MacIntyre (Edmonton on Oct. 15), former Florida Everblades left wing Kenndal McArdle (Florida on Dec. 2), two-time All-Star and former Las Vegas Wranglers goaltender Mike McKenna (Tampa Bay on Feb. 3), former All-Star and Wheeling Nailers center Kurtis McLean (New York Islanders on Jan. 19), former Charlotte Checkers goaltender Al Montoya (Phoenix on Apr. 1), former South Carolina Stingrays and ECHL All-Star goaltender Michal Neuvirth (Washington on Feb. 14), former Johnstown Chiefs defenseman Wes O’Neill (Toronto on Mar. 9), former Columbia Inferno defenseman Phil Oreskovic (Toronto on Mar. 9), former Phoenix RoadRunners and Wheeling Nailers center Cam Paddock (St. Louis on Nov. 14), former Las Vegas Wranglers defenseman Adam Pardy (Calgary on Oct. 9), former Idaho Steelheads left wing Warren Peters (Calgary on Dec. 7), former Charlotte Checkers center Jakub Petruzalek (Carolina on Feb. 5), former Charlotte Checkers defenseman Corey Potter (New York Rangers on Dec. 7), former Augusta Lynx defenseman Kevin Quick (Tampa Bay on Jan. 13), former Utah Grizzlies right wing Joel Rechlicz (New York Islanders on Mar. 4), former Charlotte Checkers, Columbia Inferno and Elmira Jackals defenseman Bryan Rodney (Carolina on Dec. 11), former Gwinnett Gladiators center Jared Ross (Philadelphia on Oct. 11), former Alaska Aces goaltender Marek Schwarz (St. Louis on Oct. 25), former Greenville Grrrowl and Stockton Thunder center Tim Sestito (Edmonton on Nov. 26), former Augusta Lynx defenseman Brett Skinner (New York Islanders on Oct. 27), former Dayton Bombers and Las Vegas Wranglers defenseman Tyler Sloan (Washington on Oct. 21), former Utah Grizzlies and ECHL All-Star center Trevor Smith (New York Islanders on Dec. 31), former Johnstown Chiefs and Mississippi Sea Wolves forward Radek Smolenak (Tampa Bay on Dec. 2), former Las Vegas Wranglers and ECHL All-Star defenseman Tyson Strachan (St. Louis on Dec. 18), former Phoenix RoadRunners goaltender Josh Tordjman (Phoenix on Mar. 8), former Wheeling Nailers right wing Tim Wallace (Pittsburgh on Dec. 10) and former Idaho Steelheads center Tom Wandell (Dallas on Dec. 10).
* Eight players have played in the ECHL and the NHL in 2008-09: goaltenders Matt Climie (Idaho and Dallas), Riku Helenius (Mississippi and Tampa Bay), Michal Neuvirth (South Carolina and Washington) and Marek Schwarz (Alaska and St. Louis), defensemen Raymond Macias (Johnstown and Colorado), Wes O’Neill and Kevin Quick (Augusta and Tampa Bay) and right wing Joel Rechlicz (Utah and New York Islanders).
* There were 72 former ECHL players on NHL opening-day rosters.
* ECHL is represented for the eighth consecutive year on the National Hockey League championship team in 2008 by Aaron Downey of the Detroit Red Wings.
* Former ECHL coaches working as head coaches in the NHL are Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals and Scott Gordon of the New York Islanders while former ECHL player Dan Bylsma is the interim head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. 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. Peter Laviolette, who began his coaching career with the Wheeling Nailers, led Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup in 2006.
* There are 18 assistant coaches in the NHL who were players or coaches in the ECHL.
* There are 18 former ECHL officials scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2008-09 with referees David Banfield, Chris Ciamaga, Ghislain Hebert, 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, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak and Jay Sharrers. Barton, Joannette, Leggo, McCauley, Nowak, Pollock, Rooney and Sharrers all worked the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* ECHL has affiliations with 23 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League and for the past 19 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 2,000 call-ups involving more than 1,000 players since 2002-03.
* Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.