ECHL: Around the Horn

By Parker Neale
The East Coast Hockey League has provided some definite surprises and
plenty of action so far this season. The most improved team thus far
would definitely be the Arkansas RiverBlades as they have registered 8
wins in only 11 games and are solid between the pipes as Jeff Salajko
leads the league in save percentage. However, the Southwest Division is
led, as usual by the Louisiana IceGators, sans John Spoltore. They have
10 wins in their first 14 games and are led on offence by Jay Murphy and
Bruce Richardson. Mobile and Pensacola have also vaulted themselves
near the top of the division with strong showings as of late. The Ice
Pilots had a 7 game winning streak snapped on Friday and the Mysticks
tallied 7 points last week alone.

The Southeast Division, however is a tighter race for first with South
Carolina at the top after ringing off a 6 game winning streak that was
snapped last Friday against Charlotte. Greenville also has a solid
squad but have struggled slightly out of the gate, recording 7 wins and
6 losses. Augusta sits at 5 wins and 5 losses and is led by the red-hot
Scott Morrow, who has 11 points in his last 5 games. Tallahassee has
struggled and sit at the bottom of the division. They are led, however
by Brent Cullaton, who is tied for the league lead with 22 points.

Dayton and Peoria have jumped ahead of the pack in the Northwest
Division with 19 and 17 points, respectively. The Bombers have received
solid backstopping from Alex Westlund, who leads the league with a 1.69
GAA. The defending Kelly Cup Champion Rivermen have been spurred on
offence by Shawn Mamane, last week’s Player of the Week after recording
5 goals and 1 assist in 4 games. The Nailers find themselves at the
bottom of the division and are the only team in the league to reach
double digits in losses thus far with 10.

The Trenton Titans lead the Northeast Division with 8 wins in 11 games.
Their goaltender, Brian Regan remains undefeated (7-0-0). Greensboro is
nipping at their heals, however and lead the league with 58 goals. The
Generals are buoyed on offence by Jamie Sokolsky, the highest scoring
defenceman in the league, with 17 points. Charlotte had a strong week
last week, recording 2 wins and have improved their road record to
5-1-0. And, Roanoke is backed by veteran netminder Daniel Berthiaume
who sports the second best GAA in the league at 1.86.

The action continues to heat up. Stay tuned for more details.