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Gwinnett Gladiators (11-10-4) at Charlotte Checkers (12-12-2) 7 p.m. ET
• Charlotte’s Jeff Jakaitis is 1-1-0 with a shutout and a goals-against average of 1.51 in two starts against Gwinnett.
• Pat Bateman leads the Gladiators against Charlotte with three goals and six points in four games.
• Checkers are 10th in the ECHL with a goals-against average of 2.85.
• Gwinnett’s Josh Johnson is 1-1-0 with a goals-against average of 1.51 in two starts against Charlotte.
Elmira Jackals (12-11-3) at South Carolina Stingrays (14-6-2) 7:05 p.m. ET
• South Carolina’s Travis Morin has seven points (4g-3a) in his last two games.
• Josh Aspenlind is tied for the Jackals team lead in December with five goals and nine points in eight games.
• Stingrays lead the ECHL in goals-against average with 2.23 and on the power play with 27.2 percent (31-for-114).
• Rookie defensemen Travis Gawryletz and Slavomir Tomko are tied for the Elmira plus-minus lead at +12.
Cincinnati Cyclones (11-11-4) at Dayton Bombers (15-8-3) 7:30 p.m. ET
• Rookie Justin Bowers leads the Bombers against Cincinnati with six assists and seven points in four games.
• Cyclones’ Martin Houle is 2-0-0 with a goals-against average of 1.50 in two starts against Dayton.
• Dayton rookie Paul Drew has won his last three starts to improve to 6-0-1.
• Cincinnati’s Barret Ehgoetz has four points (1g-3a) in his last four games.
Mississippi Sea Wolves (13-11-3) at Florida Everblades (17-5-2) 7:30 p.m. ET
• Everblades’ David Leggio is 2-0-0 with a goals-against average of 1.58 in two games against Mississippi.
• Ryan Cruthers leads the Sea Wolves against Florida with three assists and four points in two games.
• Defenseman Peter Metcalf leads the Everblades against Mississippi with five assists and six points in two games.
• Mississippi rookie Alexandre Parent has three points (2g-1a) in his last two games.
Reading Royals (8-19-1) at Trenton Devils (8-12-3) 7:30 p.m. ET
• Devils have won the last two meetings to improve to 2-1-0 in season series and 42-28-8 all-time against Reading.
• Royals’ Peder Skinner has nine points (2g-7a) in seven games since being acquired from Phoenix.
• Trenton’s Charlie Effinger is 3-0-0 with a shootout win in his last three starts.
• Reading’s James Reimer is 3-1-0 with a save percentage of .909 in his last five games.
Johnstown Chiefs (18-7-1) at Wheeling Nailers (15-3-5) 8:07 p.m. ET
• Johnstown’s Kris Mayotte is 2-0-0 with a goals-against average of 1.44 in two starts against Wheeling.
• Wheeling’s David Brown is 3-0-0 with a goals-against average of 1.67 in his last three starts.
• Chiefs’ rookie Jon Landry leads ECHL defensemen with three game-winning goals.
• Nailers’ Rob Sirianni has a three-game goal streak (6g) and a three-game point streak (6g-2a).
Utah Grizzlies (11-11-2) at Phoenix RoadRunners (11-11-2) 7:05 p.m. MT
• Kimbi Daniels leads the RoadRunners with 16 assists and 23 points in 24 games.
• Utah’s Michael Mole is 3-0-0 with a goals-against average of 2.00 in his last three starts.
• RoadRunners are 7-0-2 in one-goal games including 1-1 in overtime and 1-1 in shootouts.
• Grizzlies’ James Sixsmith has a four-game point streak (4g-5a) and a three-game assist streak (5a).
Bakersfield Condors (8-13-4) at Idaho Steelheads (15-10-2) 7:10 p.m. MT
• Steve Gainey leads the Steelheads in December with seven assists and nine points in eight games.
• Rookie Matt Pope leads the Condors with 13 goals and 22 points in 22 games.
• Bakersfield’s Andrew Ianiero has a three-game goal streak (4g) and a three-game point streak (4g-2a).
• Idaho’s Garret Bembridge has six points (3g-3a) in his last six games.
Alaska Aces (16-9-1) at Victoria Salmon Kings (17-9-2) 7:05 p.m. PT
• Alaska’s Matt Shasby is tied for second among ECHL defensemen with 20 points and is third with 15 assists.
• Victoria’s Wes Goldie is tied for the league lead in December with nine goals in eight games.
• Colin Hemingway (4g-3a) and Cam Keith (2g-5a) lead the Aces in scoring against Victoria.
• Salmon Kings’ Dan Gendur leads ECHL rookies with 11 power-play assists and 14 power-play points.
Ontario Reign (14-9-2) at Las Vegas Wranglers (10-12-2) 7:30 p.m. PT
• Rookie Geoff Walker leads the Reign against Las Vegas with four assists and five points in four games.
• Rookie defenseman Bret Tyler leads the Wranglers against Ontario with three assists and three points.
• Ontario has won the last two meetings and is 2-1-0 at Las Vegas and 3-1-0 overall against the Wranglers.
• Las Vegas’ Matt Beaudoin has four goals and six points in his last four games.
Stockton Thunder (9-12-4) at Fresno Falcons (17-10-1) 7:35 p.m. PT
• Falcons are 2-1-0 at home and 4-1-0 overall in season series against Stockton.
• Cory Urquhart leads the Thunder against Fresno with five assists and six points in four games.
• Fresno’s Jarrett Konkle is tied for the ECHL lead in December with nine goals in 10 games.
• Stockton rookie Bryan Pitton is 1-1-2 with a save
Victoria’s Goldie Goes For History Friday
Wes Goldie of the Victoria Salmon Kings will try to become only the fifth player in ECHL history to score three-or-more goals in three straight games when the Salmon Kings host Alaska on Friday. Goldie scored a hat trick in a 4-2 win against Alaska on Wednesday and had three goals in a 6-2 win against Phoenix on Sunday. He leads the ECHL with 22 goals in 28 games and has had five multiple-goal games and seven multiple-point games. The last time an ECHL player had three goals or more in three consecutive games was 1997 when Steve Gibson of Wheeling scored three goals against Johnstown on Mar. 16, three goals at Peoria on Mar. 18 and four goals against Columbus on Mar. 21.
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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 22 teams in 16 states and British Columbia in 2008-09.
• The Reading Royals, the City of Reading and the Sovereign Center will host the 17th Annual ECHL All-Star Game on Jan. 21, 2009 and the 12th Annual All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 20, 2009.
• 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.
• 384 former ECHL players have played in NHL.
• 128 have played their first NHL game in the last four seasons.
• 29 former ECHL players have made their NHL debut this season: former Wheeling Nailers and ECHL All-Star defenseman Paul Bissonnette (Pittsburgh on Oct. 4), former Bakersfield Condors center Alexandre Bolduc (Vancouver on Nov. 27), former Florida Everblades defenseman Brett Carson (Carolina on Dec. 7), 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 right wing Pat Dwyer former Columbus Cottonmouths and Tallahassee Tiger Sharks left wing Mitch Fritz (New York Islanders on Oct. 30), former Charlotte Checkers center Dwight Helminen (Carolina on Oct. 28), 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 Charlotte Checkers defenseman Steve MacIntyre (Edmonton on Oct. 15), former Florida Everblades left wing Kenndal McArdle (Florida on Dec. 2), 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 defenseman Corey Potter (New York Rangers on Dec. 7), 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 Dayton Bombers and Las Vegas Wranglers defenseman Tyler Sloan (Washington on Oct. 21), former Johnstown Chiefs and Mississippi Sea Wolves forward Radek Smolenak (Tampa Bay on Dec. 2), former Augusta Lynx defenseman Brett Skinner (New York Islanders on Oct. 27), former Las Vegas Wranglers defenseman Tyson Strachan (St. Louis on Dec. 18), former Wheeling Nailers right wing Tim Wallace (Pittsburgh on Dec. 10) and former Idaho Steelheads center Tom Wandell (Dallas on Dec. 10).
• There were 72 former ECHL players on NHL opening-day rosters.
• Twenty-six former ECHL players made their NHL debut in 2007-08 including six who played in both the ECHL and the NHL: Chris Beckford-Tseu (Alaska and St. Louis), Adam Berti (Pensacola and Chicago), Joe Jensen (Wheeling and Carolina), Dan LaCosta (Elmira and Columbus), Jonathan Quick (Reading and Los Angeles) and Danny Taylor (Reading and Los Angeles).
• Record 47 former ECHL players played their first NHL game in 2005-06.
• 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. 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.