ECHL Roundup

By Parker Neale
It is just past the midway point in the ECHL 2000-01 season and a number of teams are already threatening to run away with their divisions. Trenton has dominated all season and currently has a ten point lead over second-place Richmond. In the Northwest, Peoria and Dayton are both on four game winning streaks and are within two points of each other for the division lead. However, Toledo is a distant nine points behind second-place Dayton. In the Southeast, South Carolina has been able to ride their league-best sixteen road wins to a strong thirteen point lead over second-place Pee Dee. And, Louisiana has a seven point lead over Jackson in the Southwest. Look for all of these teams to contend for the Kelly Cup when all is said and done.

In terms of individual player statistics, the top five point-getters have been consistent all year long. They are, in order, Brent Cullaton or Tallahassee, Jeff Bes of Pensacola, Dany Bousquet of Pee Dee, Scott King of Charlotte and Jay Murphy of Louisiana. These players also dominate the leaderboard for goals and assists with Bousquet leading the league in goals with twenty-eight and Cullaton tied with Kevin Hilton of Charlotte for most assists with thirty-four. In terms of penalty minutes, Kevin McDonald of Roanoke has 212 in 39 games while second-place Jason Hamilton of Wheeling has an impressive 211 in only 27 games.

Between the pipes, it is not surprising that there is a direct relationship between the best goalies and the best teams. The top five goaltenders by GAA are Scott Stirling of Trenton, Jody Lehman of South Carolina, Alex Westlund of Dayton, Curtis Sanford of Peoria and Dan Murphy of Trenton. It is also no surprise that Trenton is tied for most wins in the league with the way Stirling and Murphy have both performed this year.

The all-star rosters should be announced soon as the February 13th game in Little Rock, Arkansas is quickly approaching.