ECHL’s 26th season is underway


The ECHL’s 26th season faced off with 17 games last weekend. It was a good weekend in the South Division as a pair of division clubs managed 2-0-0 records on opening weekend with another going 1-0-1.


The Florida Everblades won a pair of games against in-state rival Orlando, winning 4-1 in their home opener on Friday before rallying for a 4-2 win at Orlando on Saturday. In Saturday’s game, the Everblades scored four times in the final period to erase a 2-0 deficit. Matthew Pistilli, who had two assists on Friday, scored a pair of goals on Saturday, including the tying tally 2:59 into the final period. Kristers Gudlevskis earned the win in both games for Florida, turning aside 32 of the 35 shots he faced in his first two pro starts.


Greenville went on the road and won a pair of games at Gwinnett. Andrew Rowe led the way in a 5-3 win on Friday with four points (3g-1a) with Carsen Chubak recording the win in his pro debut with 20 saves. Jordie Johnston scored a pair of goals, and Michael St. Croix had two assists, in the Road Warriors’ 3-1 win on Saturday. Connor Knapp made 20 saves to record the win in goal.


South Carolina opened with a pair of games against the defending Kelly Cup champion Reading Royals, falling in a shootout on Saturday, 3-2, before reversing roles with a 3-2 win on Sunday. Jeff Jakaitis, the 2012 ECHL Goaltender of the Year, started both games for the Stingrays, stopping 53 of 57 shots. Five different Stingrays scored goals in the two games.


Six other teams still have not suffered a loss as they won their lone game of opening weekend. In the North Division, Cincinnati defeated Wheeling 4-2, Evansville shutout Kalamazoo 2-0 and Toledo prevailed in a shootout at Fort Wayne 4-3.


Three teams in the Pacific Division stand at 1-0-0 through one weekend, as Stockton, Ontario and Las Vegas each won their season opener on Saturday.