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Greenville Road Warriors (39-21-5) at Gwinnett Gladiators (37-18-11) 7:05 p.m. ET
· Greenville’s Jyri Niemi is third among defensemen with three game-winning goals.
· Nikita Kashirsky leads Gwinnett against the Road Warriors with 12 points (4g-8a).
· Road Warriors are fifth with 3.26 goals per game.
· Gladiators are 17-3-11 in one-goal games.
Wheeling Nailers (35-23-6) at Reading Royals (30-27-7) 7:05 p.m. ET
· Wheeling’s Andrew Hotham is fifth among defensemen with 40 points (7g-33a).
· Yannick Tifu leads Reading against the Nailers with 15 points (4g-11a).
· Nailers are first with 34.05 shots per game.
· Royals are tied for fifth with nine shorthanded goals.
Cincinnati Cyclones (30-24-9) at South Carolina Stingrays (34-24-7) 7:05 p.m. ET
· Cincinnati’s Mathieu Aubin is sixth with 61 points (28g-34a).
· South Carolina’s Trent Campbell is tied for first with four shorthanded assists.
· Cyclones are 20-7-4 when scoring first.
· Stingrays are second with 2.42 goals-against per game.
Toledo Walleye (27-31-6) at Kalamazoo Wings (34-23-7) 7:30 p.m. ET
· Toledo’s Joey Martin is eighth among rookies with 44 points (19g-25a).
· Darryl Bootland leads Kalamazoo against the Walleye with nine goals.
· Walleye are 18-9-6 in one-goal games.
· K-Wings are tied for first on the power play at home at 23.6 percent (35-for-148).
Florida Everblades (33-24-7) at Elmira Jackals (38-22-4) 7:35 p.m. ET
· Matt Beca leads Florida against the Jackals with nine points (2g-7a).
· Elmira’s Dustin Gazley leads rookies with 73 points (21g-52a).
· Everblades have outscored their opponents 93-68 in the second period.
· Jackals are 21-8-4 in one-goal games.
Trenton Titans (19-37-8) at Chicago Express (29-24-10) 7:30 p.m. CT
· Trenton’s Dave Caruso is fourth with 1,166 saves.
· Chicago’s Nathan Lutz leads the league in plus-minus at +25.
· Titans are seventh on the power play at 19.0 percent (50-for-263).
· Express are 20-1-4 when leading after two periods.
Alaska Aces (40-16-9) at Colorado Eagles (33-24-6) 7:05 p.m. MT
· Alaska’s Kane Lafranchise is tied for second among rookies in plus-minus at +17.
· Colorado’s Kyle Jones is second with 28 wins.
· Aces are 32-7-3 when scoring first.
· Eagles are second with 3.57 goals per game.
Ontario Reign (38-18-8) at Idaho Steelheads (27-30-8) 7:10 p.m. MT
· Ontario’s Derek Couture is tied for first with 13 power-play goals.
· Derek LeBlanc leads Idaho against the Reign with seven points (3g-4a).
· Reign are third on the power play on the road at 22.0 percent (37-for-168).
· Steelheads are 14-2-6 when leading after two periods.
Las Vegas Wranglers (39-20-5) at Bakersfield Condors (20-37-7) 7 p.m. PT
· Las Vegas’ Adam Miller is tied for fourth with 29 goals.
· Robby Dee leads Bakersfield against the Wranglers with three goals.
· Wranglers are third with 2.67 goals-against per game.
· Condors are 13-2-1 when leading after two periods.
Utah Grizzlies (29-31-5) at Stockton Thunder (31-28-5) 7:30 p.m. PT
· Utah’s Andrew Engelage is second with 1,230 saves.
· Stockton’s Gabriel Levesque is first among rookies with a 23.5 percent shooting percentage (8-for-34).
· Grizzlies are 22-7-5 in one-goal games.
· Thunder are 19-0-1 when leading after two periods.
368 – Rod Taylor (Hampton Roads, Richmond, Roanoke, South Carolina, Peoria, Toledo – 1991-2003)
– Wes Goldie (Pee Dee, Victoria, Alaska – 1999-2004, 2006-Present)
Gwinnett can clinch a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Saturday if:
Gwinnett wins OR Chicago loses in regulation OR Gwinnett loses in overtime/shootout AND Chicago loses
Greenville can clinch a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Saturday if:
Greenville wins AND Chicago loses
Utah can clinch a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Saturday if:
Utah wins OR Utah loses in overtime/shootout OR Bakersfield loses
Idaho can clinch a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Saturday if:
Idaho wins OR Bakersfield loses in regulation OR Idaho loses in overtime/shootout AND Bakersfield loses
Alaska can clinch the Mountain Division championship on Saturday if:
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Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• Watch games live on America One, the “Official Broadband & Mobile Broadcaster” of the ECHL.
• 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 20 teams in 16 states in 2011-12.
• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
• 488 players have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 23 in 2010-11.
• 21 ECHL players have made their NHL debut in 2011-12: former Florida Everblades center Mike Angelidis (Tampa Bay on Jan. 24), former Victoria Salmon Kings defenseman Jordie Benn (Dallas on Jan. 3), former Bakersfield Condors and Elmira Jackals defenseman Stu Bickel (New York Rangers on Dec. 20), former Greenville Road Warriors defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon (Philadelphia on Nov. 21), former South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Joe Finley (Buffalo on Dec. 2), Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender Brian Foster (Florida on Feb. 4), former Victoria Salmon Kings defenseman Kris Fredheim (Minnesota on Nov. 17), former Gwinnett Gladiators center Ryan Garbutt (Dallas on Feb. 18), former Elmira Jackals center Mike Hoffman (Ottawa on Dec. 23), former Victoria Salmon Kings goaltender Leland Irving (Calgary on Dec. 16), former Toledo Storm and Reading Royals center Bracken Kearns (Florida on Oct. 20), Stockton Thunder center Milan Kytnar (Edmonton on Jan. 11), former Bakersfield Condors center Maxime Macenauer (Anaheim on Oct. 7), former Ontario Reign center Jordan Nolan (Los Angeles on Feb. 11), former Idaho Steelheads center and two-time ECHL All-Star Greg Rallo (Florida on Dec. 18), former Cincinnati Cyclones center Ryan Russell (Columbus on Jan. 7), former Reading Royals goaltender Ben Scrivens (Toronto on Nov. 3), former Cincinnati Cyclones defenseman Frederic St. Denis (Montreal on Nov. 16), former Ontario Reign defenseman Colten Teubert (Edmonton on Nov. 3), former Wheeling Nailers goaltender Brad Thiessen (Pittsburgh on Feb. 26) and former Las Vegas Wranglers right wing Matt Watkins (Phoenix on Feb. 21).
• Four players have played in the ECHL and NHL in 2011-12: Brian Foster with Cincinnati and Florida, Milan Kytnar with Stockton and Edmonton, Peter Mannino with Chicago and Winnipeg and Allen York with Chicago and Columbus.
• The ECHL has had 296 players reach the NHL since 2002-03 when it changed its focus to become the primary developmental league for the NHL and the AHL. The ECHL had 97 players reach the NHL in its first 10 seasons and 215 in the first 15 years.
• 232 ECHL players have played their first game in the last seven seasons for an average of more than 33 per year.
• ECHL had a record 81 players on NHL opening-day rosters in 2011-12, surpassing the 79 from 2010-11 and marking the ninth year in a row that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.
• ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 NHL teams, marking the 15th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
• 31 coaches with an ECHL background are working behind the benches of teams in the NHL in 2011-12 including Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach and 2011 Jack Adams Award winner Dan Bylsma, New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano, Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette and Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel. It is the seventh consecutive season that there have been 11 or more coaches with an ECHL background working in the NHL. 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.
• 22 former ECHL officials are scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2011-12 with referees David Banfield, Francis Charron, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Mike Leggo, Wes McCauley, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Justin St. Pierre, Graham Skilliter and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Brian Mach, Matt MacPherson, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers.
• ECHL was represented for the 11th year in a row on the Stanley Cup champion with Boston Bruins assistant coach Geoff Ward, players Rich Peverley, Michael Ryder and Tim Thomas, radio broadcaster Dave Goucher and scout Tom McVie. Thomas is the first former ECHL player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There were 34 former players and 19 coaches on the 16 teams competing in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the sixth year in a row that there have been at least 30 former ECHL players and the eighth consecutive season that over 25 players with ECHL experience have competed in the NHL postseason.
• Former Hampton Roads Admirals left wing Andrew Brunette became the first ECHL alum to play in 1,000 regular-season NHL games when he reached the milestone with the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 1, 2011.
• Former ECHL and current Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was the recipient of the Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender in the NHL in 2010-11, marking the second time he has won the award in the past three seasons. Thomas set a single-season NHL record with a .938 save percentage.
• Former ECHL player and current Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma was the recipient of the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s Coach of the Year in 2010-11.
• ECHL was represented in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game by Dan Girardi of the New York Rangers, Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins.
• Former ECHL broadcasters working in the NHL include John Ahlers and Steve Carroll of the Anaheim Ducks, Tom Callahan of the Nashville Predators, Dave Goucher of the Boston Bruins, Chris Kerber of the St. Louis Blues, Jack Michaels of the Edmonton Oilers, Dave Mishkin of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Bob McElligott of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
• Ryan Stanzel and Jeremy Zager, who were both recipients of the ECHL Media Relations Director of the Year award, are working in the communications department for the Minnesota Wild and the Los Angeles Kings, respectively. Former ECHL assistant director of communications Joe Siville and Kelly Murray are now with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals, respectively, while former ECHL director of communications Jason Rothwell is the creative director for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
• In the last seven seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 3,000 call-ups involving more than 1,600 players and in 2010-11 there were 10 times as many call-ups from the ECHL to the AHL than all other professional leagues.
• The ECHL averaged 4,339 fans per game in 2010-11, marking the seventh consecutive season and the 19th time in the last 21 years that the ECHL has averaged over 4,000 fans.