COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – 2005 ECHL Most Valuable Player Scott Gomez and former ECHL goaltenders Tim Thomas and Jonathan Quick were among the 34 players invited to attend the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Orientation Camp being held at Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodbridge, Ill.
Thomas received the Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender in the NHL and was named First Team All-NHL. He was also presented the William Jennings Trophy with teammate Manny Fernandez as the goaltenders finishing the season having surrendered the fewest goals. Olaf Kolzig, who played in the ECHL from 1990-92, won the Vezina Award in 1999-2000.
Thomas had a career-high 36 wins and led the NHL with a goals-against average of 2.10 and a save percentage of .933 while helping the Bruins to their most wins (53) and points (116) since 1971-72.
In his first professional season in 1997-98, Thomas was 4-1-1 with a goals-against average of 2.18 and a save percentage of .944 in six regular season games for Birmingham while also playing one game in the International Hockey League with Houston. He also played in Finland where he was 13-4-1 with two shutouts, a goals against of 1.62 and a save percentage of .947 in 18 regular season games for Helsinki.
ECHL coaches named Gomez the ECHL MVP and First Team All-ECHL after he led the league with 86 points and 73 assists in 61 games. He had 26 multiple-point games and tied the team record for points in a game with five points on January 5 and 8. He had 22 multiple-assist games, including five assists on January 5 and 8 which set the team record and tied the ECHL season best for assists in a game.
The 2000 NHL Rookie of the Year, Gomez helped Alaska finish first in the West Division and first in the National Conference at 45-19-8. The Aces set team records for wins (45), points (98), road wins (23), consecutive wins (6) and consecutive road wins (5) while tying the team record for home wins (22) and consecutive home wins (4).
Gomez had scored four points (1g-3a) in the Kelly Cup Playoffs before leaving Game 4 of the West Division Semifinals with an injury.
Gomez was one of 10 players who played all or most of their games in the National Hockey League in 2003-04 who played in the ECHL in 2004-05.
In addition to Gomez, the ECHL had Jon “Bates” Battaglia (Mississippi, Colorado and Washington), Curtis Brown (San Diego, Buffalo and San Jose), Eric Boulton (Columbia and Buffalo), Shane Hnidy (Florida, Nashville and Ottawa), Bill Lindsay (Long Beach and Atlanta), Dale Purinton (Victoria and New York Rangers), Phil Sauve (Mississippi and Colorado), Mark Smith (Victoria and San Jose) and Jeremy Stevenson (South Carolina, Minnesota and Nashville).
Selected in the third round (72nd overall) by Los Angeles in the 2005 National Hockey League Entry Draft and under NHL contract to the Kings, Quick began the 2007-08 season in Reading and was 7-5-1 with a goals-against average of 2.46 and a save percentage of .907 in 13 games when he was reassigned by the Kings to Manchester of the American Hockey League on Nov. 18, 2007. He was 1-2-0 with a goals-against average of 2.67 and a save percentage of .909 in three games for the Monarchs before being recalled to Los Angeles on Dec. 2, 2007. He made his NHL debut on Dec. 6, 2007 making 15 saves in an 8-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres.
Quick joined ECHL All-Star and current Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Mike Smith in the ECHL record book on Oct. 25 when he recorded his first win, his first shutout and scored his first goal in the same game, a 3-0 win at Pensacola on Oct. 24. The goal was scored at 19:25 of the third period when the puck rolled the length of the ice and into the Pensacola net which was empty because goaltender Mike Brodeur had been pulled for an extra attacker. Quick was the last player to touch the puck, so he was credited with the unassisted goal.
Quick is the ninth goaltender in league history to score a goal and the first since Trevor Koenig of Atlantic City at Wheeling on Mar. 2, 2005. Corwin Saurdiff of Hampton Roads was the first ECHL goaltender to score a goal on Mar. 18, 1995 against Charlotte. Charlotte’s Nick Vitucci, Erie’s Olie Sundstrom and South Carolina’s Sean Gauthier all accomplished the feat during the 1995-96 season and Toledo’s Mark Bernard scored a goal on Mar. 27, 2001 against Johnstown.