With a new coach in charge behind the bench last week, the Elmira Jackals won three games at home to improve to 25-23-7 on the season. With 57 points, the Jackals are part of a three-way tie for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference entering the final five weeks of the regular season.
General Manager Robbie Nichols made his debut as coach on Friday and the Jackals responded with a 3-1 win over Wheeling. Marco Cousineau turned aside 23 Nailers shots to record the win as three different Jackals scored goals in the win.
Elmira picked up a come-from-behind 5-4 win over Atlantic Division leading Reading on Saturday in front of 4,231 fans, the second-largest crowd in team history. Trailing 4-2 early in the third period, the Jackals got a pair of goals from Justin Donati less than two minutes apart to tie the game at four, and Yannick Tifu tallied the game-winner with less than two minutes remaining in regulation to cap the comeback. Cousineau once again earned the win in goal, making 27 saves.
The Jackals completed their weekend sweep with a 4-3 win against Trenton on Sunday. Donati (1g-3a) and Tifu (2g-2a) each had four points in the win and Cousineau finished his weekend strong with 19 saves to improve his record to 16-11-4.
Donati led the way for the Jackals during the weekend sweep with eight points (4g-4a) and a +5 rating and now leads the league with 53 assists and is tied for the league lead with 73 points. Donati finished second in the ECHL behind his brother, Justin, last season with 104 points (42g-64a). Tifu is tied for sixth in the league with 57 points (19g-38a) while defenseman Patrick Coulombe leads ECHL blueliners with 33 points (11g-22a).
Elmira concludes its four-game home stand on Wednesday as Wheeling visits First Arena. The Jackals then open a three-game southern road trip this weekend, visiting Greenville on Saturday and Sunday.