The ECHL’s 25th Anniversary season faced off with 20 games last weekend. Four teams enjoyed perfect 2-0-0 weekends as the Elmira Jackals, Florida Everblades, Trenton Titans and Utah Grizzlies all won both of their outings over the weekend.
Elmira won a pair of home games against Reading and Greenville, outscoring its opposition 10-3. The Jackals enjoyed a balanced scoring attack as nine players tallied at least two points over the weekend, with Dustin Gazley, the 2011-12 ECHL Rookie of the Year and leading scorer picking up where he left off last season, recording four points (2g-2a) in the two contests. Jordan Pietrus, one of three players on the club with three points, scored the first goal of the ECHL season in Elmira’s 3-2 win against Reading on Friday. Goaltender Marc Cheverie played both games, allowing just three goals and turning aside 60 of 63 shots he faced.
The defending Kelly Cup champion Everblades swept an opening weekend set against their new in-state rival, Orlando. David Rutherford led the way on Friday with a pair of goals, including the game-winning goal 26 seconds into overtime, while John Muse, the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 Kelly Cup Playoffs, found his form of a season ago stopping 43 shots in a 5-4 overtime win. On Saturday, it was Matt Marquardt leading Florida offensively with two goals in a 4-2 win, and Pat Nagle earning the win with 33 saves.
The Trenton Titans opened the season on Friday with a 3-1 home win against Greenville, notching their first season-opening win since the 2007-08 season. Jason Akeson (1g-1a) and Marcel Noebels (2a) each notched two points while Niko Hovinen earned the win in his pro debut with 31 saves. One night later, the Titans spoiled Reading’s home opener with a 6-2 win. Jacob Drewiske scored the first two goals of the game, including opening the scoring just 31 seconds into the first period. Another rookie goaltender picked up the win for Trenton, as Scott Wedgewood turned aside 31 Royals’ shots.
Out west, Utah is the only team sporting a 2-0-0 record thanks to a pair of wins over Idaho. Riley Armstrong notched a hat trick to lead the way in a 5-3 win at Boise on Friday, while on Saturday in the Grizzlies’ home opener, goaltender Andrew Engelage stole the show, stopping 35 Steelheads’ shots in a 2-1 win.