ECHL Today – Mar. 18

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Preview of ECHL Games for Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2009

Charlotte Checkers (32-24-6) at Florida Everblades (41-17-5) 7:30 p.m. ET
• Everblades’ Kevin Baker has a nine-game point streak (7g-6a) and a three-game assist streak (3a).
• Charlotte’s Jeff Jakaitis is 3-1-1 with a shutout and a goals-against average of 1.94 in his last five starts.
• Florida’s Milan Gajic has seven assists and 12 points in his last 10 games.
• Checkers’ Marty Guerin has three assists and four points in his last four games.

Gwinnett Gladiators (27-28-6) at Cincinnati Cyclones (34-23-4) 7:30 p.m. ET
• Cyclones’ Matt Syroczynski has a three-game point streak (3g-2a) and a two-game goal streak (3g).
• Gladiators rookie Matt Siddall has a three-game point streak (5g-1a) and nine points (7g-2a) in his last five games.
• Cincinnati’s Loic Lacasse is 3-2-0 with a shutout and a goals-against average of 2.41 in his last five starts.
Adam Berti leads Gwinnett in the last 10 games with 11 assists and 14 points.

Stockton Thunder (29-29-5) at Ontario Reign (35-24-5) 7 p.m. PT
• Reign rookie Jeff Zatkoff is 2-1-1 with a goals-against average of 2.20 against Stockton.
Cory Urquhart (6g-6a) and rookie Ryan Huddy (4g-8a) lead the Thunder in the last 10 games with 12 points each.
• Ontario rookie Tim Kraus has a four-game assist streak (6a) and a four-game point streak (0g-6a).
• Stockton rookie James Bates has a four-game point streak (2g-4a).

Utah Grizzlies (25-23-16) at Bakersfield Condors (27-30-7) 7 p.m. PT
• Condors’ Andrew Ianiero has a five-game point streak (6g-4a) and a three-game goal streak (5g).
• Grizzlies’ Robert Gherson is 2-0-0 with a shutout and a goals-against average of 1.50 in his last two starts.
• Bakersfield’s Mark Derlago has a seven-game point streak (6g-11a) and a four-game assist streak (5a).
• Utah rookie Rob Hennigar leads the ECHL in March with 12 assists and 16 points in eight games.

Idaho Steelheads (36-21-4) at Victoria Salmon Kings (34-24-6) 7:05 p.m. PT
• Salmon Kings’ Julien Ellis is 3-0-0 with a goals-against average of 2.61 in his last three starts.
• Steelheads have won first three meetings this season to improve to 23-9-4 all-time against Victoria.
• Salmon Kings defenseman Matt Kelly has a six-game point streak (3g-6a) and a four-game assist streak (6a).
• Idaho rookie Matt Climie is 2-0-0 with a goals-against average of 1.50 against Victoria.

Kelly Cup Playoff Update

Idaho can clinch a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Wednesday with a win OR with an overtime/shootout loss

Ontario can clinch a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Wednesday with a win

Florida’s Baker Reaches 50-Goal Plateau

Kevin Baker of the Florida Everblades become the first ECHL player since 2000-01 to score 50 goals in a season when he scored a power-play goal at 18:06 of the third period against Charlotte on Tuesday. Baker leads the league with a career-high and team record 91 points. He is also first in the ECHL with a team record 23 power-play goals, 43 power-play points and 10 game-winning goals.

Andrew Williamson of Toledo led the league in 2000-01 with 52 goals in 66 games and in 1999-2000 with 63 goals in 63 games. The last time there were two 50-goal scorers in the ECHL was 1999-2000 when Williamson had 63 goals and Jay Murphy of Louisiana had 55 goals in 69 games. The 50-goal plateau has been reached 42 times in ECHL history. The ECHL record for goals is 85 goals by Trevor Jobe of Nashville in 1992-93 while the league record for goals by a rookie is 80 goals by Bill McDougall of Erie in 1989-90.

ECHL Record Book Look

Most Ties, One Season
18 – Mobile Mysticks, 2001-02
16 – Utah Grizzlies, 2008-09
Johnstown Chiefs, 2005-06
15 – South Carolina Stingrays, 2005-06
14 – seven times, most recent; Las Vegas Wranglers, 2006-07

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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.
* 401 former ECHL players have played in NHL.
* 145 have played their first NHL game in the last four seasons.
* 46 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 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 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 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 South Carolina Stingrays and ECHL All-Star goaltender Michal Neuvirth (Washingtons on Feb. 14), 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 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 Augusta Lynx defenseman Brett Skinner (New York Islanders on Oct. 27), 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).
* 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 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.