Conference Finals Games 3 & 4 In Trenton On Saturday, Sunday
PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Philadelphia Phantoms, the Trenton Titans trail 1-0 in the best-of-seven National Conference Finals against the West Division champion Alaska Aces with Game 2 scheduled for Wednesday at Anchorage. Trenton reached the conference finals by beating the Reading Royals to capture the North Division and advance to the final four in the 2005 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
The series will travel 4,444 miles and four time zones to the Sovereign Bank Arena for Game 3 at 7 p.m. on Saturday and Game 4 at 5 p.m. on Sunday. The winner will advance to meet the winner of the American Conference Finals, which opened Monday with the Florida Everblades defeating the Charlotte Checkers 6-4.
Trenton has been affiliated with the Flyers and Phantoms since joining the ECHL as an expansion team in 1999-2000. There have been countless players who have moved up to play with the Phantoms, including 15 call ups in 2004-05, and former Titans Jesse Boulerice, Todd Fedoruk and Ruslan Fedotenko all went on to play in the NHL with the Flyers.
Defenseman Stephen Wood and forwards Brett Robinson and Nick Deschenes are all under contract to the Flyers while defenseman Rosario Ruggeri, forwards Jeff Smith and B.J. Abel and goaltender Chris Houle are all under contract to the Phantoms.
In his first professional season, Wood leads Titans defensemen in the postseason with three assists while his four points ties him for the team scoring lead among defensemen. Wood, who was selected to play in the ECHL All-Star Game, had 17 points (4g-13a) and 83 penalty minutes in 42 games with Trenton and two assists and 14 penalty minutes in 24 games with the Phantoms. Robinson is third on the team with four assists and six points while tying for the team lead with one game-winning goal in the postseason. In his first professional season, Robinson played 64 games with Trenton, ranking second on the team in assists (38), points (58), plus-minus rating (+12) and game-winning goals (5), and five games with the Phantoms, registering one assist. Robinson scored two goals to lead the National Conference to a 6-2 win in the ECHL All-Star Game.
Deschenes is tied for second on the team in the postseason with three goals and tied for the team lead with one game-winning goal. In his second professional season, Deschenes played 59 games with Trenton, tying for third on the team with 20 goals and ranking fourth with 44 points, and also played two games with the Phantoms. Selected in the fourth round (105th overall) by Philadelphia in 2002 and in his first professional season, Ruggeri leads the team in plus-minus rating (+3) while playing in all seven postseason games. In the regular season, he scored 14 points (2g-12a) and 77 penalty minutes in 49 games with Trenton and also played in five games with the Phantoms.
In his second full professional season, Abel has one goal in seven postseason games with Trenton after scoring 24 points (6g-18a) in 28 regular season games with the Titans and eight points (4g-4a) in 29 games with the Phantoms.
In his third professional season with Trenton and Philadelphia, Smith scored four goals in 17 games with the Titans and five points (1g-4a) in 41 games with the Phantoms in 2003-04. In his second season with the Titans and Phantoms, Houle was 12-10-6 with a goals-against average of 2.84 and a save percentage of .910 in 31 games with Trenton while also playing one game with Philadelphia.
Alaska’s Ryan Bast had one assist in two games with the Flyers in 1998-99 and played for the Phantoms from 1998-2000 and again in 2002-03, finishing with 22 points (1g-21a) and 379 penalty minutes in 151 regular season games and 36 penalty minutes in 21 playoff games.
The Aces’ Kimbi Daniels was chosen in the third round (44th overall) by Philadelphia in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft and played with the Flyers in 1990-91 and 1991-92, scoring three points (1g-2a) in 27 games.