Posting back-to-back home wins over Texas on Friday and Saturday, Pensacola extended its winning streak to 10 games and its home winning streak to seven games. The 10 wins ties the ECHL season high by South Carolina (January 7-February 1). The seven home wins tie the league season high by Columbia (December 10-January 21), Charlotte (December 28-January 28) and Peoria (December 28-January 29).
Ironically, the Ice Pilots will go for their 11th straight win and their eighth home win in a row against South Carolina on Monday.
The 10 wins eclipses the team record of seven set October 27-November 5, 2000 while the seven home wins in a row is the most in Pensacola and ties the all-time team record set March 6-23, 1996 in the final season in Nashville.
The Ice Pilots are 32-11-4 and remain atop the league in wins, points (68), road wins (16) and winning percentage (.723). The Ice Pilots, who are 15-2-1 in their last 18 games, are two points ahead of Bakersfield (29-12-8) and three points ahead of Long Beach (30-14-5), which are first and second in the West Division of the National Conference. Pensacola is nine points ahead of Charlotte (28-17-3), which leads the East Division, for the top seed in the American Conference.
Pensacola will travel to Florida for games on Friday and Saturday against the Everblades, who are 26-15-6 and 10 points behind the Ice Pilots in the South Division of the American Conference.
Winning six consecutive starts, Frederic Cloutier is 8-0-0 with a shutout, a goals against average of 1.86 and a save percentage of .947 during the Ice Pilots streak. Cloutier, who was the ECHL Goaltender of the Year in 2002, is 20-19-3 with a goals-against average of 2.44 and a save percentage of .926. He is tied for the league lead in wins while ranking third in saves (948) and tied for fifth in shutouts with three. All-Star rookie goaltender Todd Ford, who is currently on call up to St. John’s of the American Hockey League, is 2-0-0 with a goals-against average of 2.00 and a save percentage of .927 during the streak.
All-Star forward Tyler Beechey leads the Ice Pilots during the streak with 11 assists and 15 points. Beechey leads the league with 60 points and eight game-winning goals while his 37 assists tie him for second in the ECHL. Two-time All-Star defenseman Corey Neilson is second on the team during the streak with nine assists and 14 points while his five goals tie him for the team lead the last 10 games with Scott May (5g-8a), Jordan Krestanovich (5g-8) and Aaron Phillips (5g-7a). Neilson leads ECHL defensemen in goals (12), assists (30), points (42) and game-winning goals (3) while he is tied for the league lead with six power-play goals. He is second among defensemen with 21 power-play points and tied for second with 15 power-play assists. Neilson was named ECHL Defenseman of the Year in 2003-04 after leading league defensemen in points (78) and assists (59) while tying for the lead in goals (19).