It was a memorable and historic weekend for players and teams around the ECHL.
The South Carolina Stingrays defeated Indy 4-0 on Friday and Cincinnati 5-4 in a shootout on Saturday, extending their ECHL record winning streak to 21 games. In Friday’s win, goaltender Jeff Jakaitis recorded his League-record fourth consecutive shutout, and entered Saturday’s game 12:30 away from the modern-era professional hockey record for longest shutout streak. However, Cincinnati scored a little under three minutes into the game, ending his streak at 321:46.
In Saturday’s win, Caleb Herbert scored the tying goal with 1:12 remaining in regulation and then added the winning tally in the fifth round of the shootout. It was just the second time during the streak that South Carolina won beyond regulation, and the first win that came in a shootout. Jakaitis extended his personal winning streak to 13 games, which is tied for the ECHL record set by Daniel Berthiaume of Roanoke during the 1994-95 season.
South Carolina opens a seven-game road trip on Wednesday in Cincinnati as the Stingrays look to extend their overall winning streak, as well as their ECHL record 11-game road winning streak.
In other action around the league on Saturday, Fort Wayne’s Shawn Szydlowski scored five goals, including three shorthanded tallies, in the Komets’ 6-4 win against Missouri. The five goals are the second-most ever scored by a player in a single ECHL game, and just one off the all-time record of six which is shared by Hampton Roads’ Tom Bissett (Nov. 22, 1989 vs. Greensboro) and Toledo’s Brad McCaughey (Nov. 6, 1991 vs Columbus). Szydlowski is the 27th player in ECHL history to score five goals in a game, and the first since Toledo’s Evan Rankin on Feb. 18, 2010 at Charlotte.
Szydlowski’s three shorthanded goals in the game tie the league record, shared by Birmingham’s Jamey Hicks (Jan. 27, 1998 at Pensacola) and Colorado’s Chad Costello (Dec. 12, 2012 vs. Las Vegas).
For just the fourth time in the ECHL’s 27-year history, a game was played with no penalty minutes on Saturday when Toledo hosted Kalamazoo. It was the first time since March 30, 2003 when Pee Dee visited Augusta that no penalties were assessed in a game. The other two games with no penalties all-time were Florida against Tallahassee on Dec. 23, 1999 and Erie vs. Johnstown on March 14, 1990.
Off the ice, the ECHL surpassed the four-million mark in attendance for the first time since the 2004-05 season, and for just the eighth time overall. The ECHL is averaging 4,561 fans through 885 games this season.