The ECHL Report

By Ron Valerino

Dayton rookie center Preston Mizzi is the InGlasCo Player of the Week.
The 20-year-old Mizzi scored five goals and eight points while helping the Bombers go 3-0-1 to remain atop the Northwest Division. The 5-11 and 194-pound Mizzi scored the game-winning goal in Dayton’s 4-1 win against Wheeling on Tuesday and had two goals and an assist in the Bombers’ 6-2 win at Toledo on Friday. He scored a power play goal and had an assist in a 5-4 shootout loss at Cincinnati on Saturday, and then scored the game-winning goal and had an assist in Sunday’s 3-1 win at Peoria. Mizzi, who has a four-game goal-scoring streak, has scored 13 points (9g-4a) in his last nine games and leads Dayton with 10 goals in 14 games.

Louisiana’s Frederic Cloutier is the East Coast Hockey League Goalie of the Week
Cloutier, who is under contract with the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League, was 2-0-0 with a 0.99 goals against average and a .973 save percentage in two games last week. The 20-year-old Cloutier made 31 saves while recording his team-record and ECHL-leading fourth shutout of the season in a 3-0 win against New Orleans on Tuesday. He then made 40 saves in a 3-2 overtime win at Arkansas, a victory that improved Louisiana to 17-1-2, the best start in ECHL history. Cloutier is 9-0-2 and leads the ECHL with a 1.41 goals against average, four shutouts and a .959 save percentage in 11 games.

TEAM NOTES :

WHEELING :
Bryan Forslund recorded a goal and an assist as the host Reading Royals edged the Wheeling Nailers, 2-1. Forslund set up Chris Aldous’ third power-play tally 6:35 into the second period for a 1-0 Reading lead. The 27-year-old center, who has enjoyed four consecutive 20-plus goal seasons since 1998, capped the scoring with 6:45 left in the middle stanza, helping the Royals remain unbeaten in their last five home games (4-0-1). Reading’s leading scorer, James Desmarais, added two assists and Sean Gauthier, making his seventh consecutive start, stopped 22 of 23 shots to improve to 5-1-1 since November 10 and 9-8-2 for the season. Bogdan Rudenko tied the game a 1-1 with over seven minutes to go in the second, but Wheeling eventually fell to 1-6-1 in one-goal games this season. Tyler MacKay surrendered two goals on nine second-period shots and finished with 28 saves in the loss.

NAILER NOTES : The Nailers host the Reading Royals on Friday, December 7 at 7:30 pm. Fans are asked to bring a new teddy bear or stuffed animal to toss onto the ice after the Nailers first goal to be donated to Toys for Tots. The Nailers will then travel to Charlotte to take on the Checkers on Saturday, December 8 at 7:30 pm. The Nailers will return home on Sunday, December 9 at 6:00 pm to host the Cincinnati Cyclones at 6:00 pm. The Nailers will honor the Wheeling Park High School State Champion Boys and Girls Soccer Teams during one of the intermissions. Fans can bring their skates and gloves to skate with the Nailers following Sunday’s game.

JOHNSTOWN :
Johnstown 2 – READING 1:
After two scoreless periods the Chiefs and the Reading Royals traded third period goals before battling through overtime and into a shootout before David Gove got the game winner in the third round. Lukas Smital scored the other Johnstown goal. Frederic Deschenes made 41 saves for his 6th win of the season.

Johnstown 2 – RICHMOND 1:
The Chiefs extended their road winning streak to five games last Friday night with a 2-1 win in Richmond. Lukas Smital and Jim Leger scored the Johnstown goals while Dany Sabourin made 31 saves for his fifth win of the season. Both of the Johnstown goals came in the first period.

ROANOKE 5 – Johnstown 2:
Despite a third period rally, the Chiefs dropped their first road decision in five games 5-2 on Saturday night in Roanoke. Lukas Smital and Jim Leger scored the Johnstown goals for the second night in a row. Frederic Deschenes made 33 saves for his sixth loss of the season. The Express scored three third period goals to seal the victory. The Chiefs were out shot 38-26 in the contest.

Chiefs Notes:
The Chiefs are 6-3-1 in their last ten games.
The Chiefs lead the ECHL with 42 major penalties.
The Chiefs have a 4-1 shootout record.
Lukas Smital is now ranked 5th on the Chiefs all-time goals scored list with 74 goals.
Last Wednesday’s 2-1 win in Reading was Frederic Deschenes 50th career win in a Johnstown uniform.

TEAM LEADERS:
Goals- Eric Schneider (12)
+/- – Mike Rodrigues(+5)
WINS-Frederic Deschenes (6)
Assists- David Gove (11)
PIM- Ryan Shmyr (99)
GAA- Deschenes (2.71)
Points- Gove (19)
PPG- Schneider, Jim Shepherd (4)
Save %- Deschenes (0.915)

LOUISIANA:
The IceGators ran their winning streak to six games with four wins in five days last week, including a stunning come-from-behind victory at Arkansas on Friday night. Saturday, Konstantin Kalmikov scored a franchise-record 12 seconds into the first period and Cory Cyrenne’s shootout goal was the game-winner, as the IceGators knocked off Jackson 3-2. Marc Magliarditi stopped 18 shots before turning aside five attempts in the shootout, while Nathan Rempel also scored for the IceGators, who improved to 18-1-2.Friday, Jay Murphy’s tally 43 seconds into overtime was the game-winner and Frederic Cloutier made 40 saves, as Louisiana rallied by the RiverBlades 3-2. Shawn McNeil’s second goal of the game with 1:40 remaining in regulation forced overtime as Louisiana set a league record for best 20-game start. Thursday, Marc Magliarditi stopped 35 shots and Jay Murphy, Branislav Kvetan and Dennis Shiryaev had a goal and an assist apiece in a 5-1 win at Arkansas. Tuesday, Cloutier turned aside 31 shots for his franchise-record fourth shutout of the season as the IceGators turned away New Orleans 3-0. The IceGators finished a stretch of seven games in 10 days with an impressive 6-1-0 record.

IceGator Notes:
“Game-winning” Murphy strikes again – Right wing Jay Murphy had three straight game-winning goals last week, running his league-leading total to seven. Just more than one quarter of the way through the season, Murphy has nearly half of Brad McCaughey’s league record of 15 with Toledo in 1991-92. Six of Murphy’s seven game-winners have been on the road. Murphy and Cory Cyrenne have combined for nine of the team’s last 11 game-winning goals.
Lines – Dave Farrish doesn’t call his lines A, B and C like the New Jersey Devils, but one line in particular has proved to be vital to Louisiana’s season. The IceGators have won every game in regulation that either Jay Murphy, Russ Hewson and Konstantin Kalmikov has scored at least one point. Louisiana is 15-0-0 when Murphy has a point, 10-0-0 when Hewson has one and 12-0-0 when Kalmikov has a point. The defensive pair that this unit usually sees the ice with has had similar success. The IceGators are 8-0-0 when Randy Perry has a point and 7-0-0 when Chris Valicevic notches one.

FLORIDA :
Friday, November 30 vs. New Orleans
TECO Arena
1-2 Loss

GAME NOTES: The New Orleans Brass (11-8-1) ended Florida’s five game winning streak after defeating the Everblades (11-5-2) 2-1 in front of 6,357 at TECO Arena on Friday night. New Orleans forward Adam Edinger netted the game winning goal for the Brass and netminder Ron Vogel stopped 25 of 26 shots. After a scoreless first period, the Everblades struck first and made it 1-0 when forward Tom Buckley scored on a backhand at the 7:23 mark of the second period. With the goal Buckley extended his ECHL season high scoring streak to 14 games. Forwards Brent McDonald and Don Smith picked up the helpers on Buckley’s 13th goal of the season. The Brass tied the game at 1-1 after forward J.F. Houle tapped home a rebound on the power play at the 13:42 mark.

In the third period, the Brass took a 2-1 lead after Adam Edinger fired a high shot from the left circle on a partial breakaway over the shoulder of goaltender Randy Petruk. Defenseman Chad Dameworth and forward Ryan Fultz picked up the assists on Edinger’s 14th goal of the season. The Everblades pulled netminder Randy Petruk but were unable to capitalize with the extra attacker. Florida goaltender Randy Petruk stopped 24 of 26 shots and suffered the loss while Brass netminder Ron Vogel stopped 25 of 26 shots and picked up his 9th win of the season. The Everblades were 0 for 6 on the power play while the Brass were 1 for 6.

Saturday, December 1 vs. New Orleans
TECO Arena
3-0 Win
GAMENOTES: The Florida Everblades (12-5-2) shut out the New Orleans Brass (11-9-1) 3-0 in front of 6,329 at TECO Arena on Saturday night. Florida netminder Randy Petruk stopped all 25 shots he faced to earn his first shutout of the season. Everblades forward Tom Buckley scored twice in a :13 second span in the third period to lift Florida. In the first period, the Everblades got on the board first on the power play when forward Reggie Berg fired a rebound past Brass netminder Jon Vogel at the 11:56 mark of the period. Defensemen Vince Willams and Ed Hill picked up the helper’s on Berg’s fourth tally of the season. After a scoreless second period, Florida forward Tom Buckley extended his ECHL season high point streak to 15 games when he wristed a shot inside the far post past the Brass goaltender at the 10:47 mark of the period.

Forwards Reggie Berg and Ryan Murphy registered the assists on Buckley’s team high 14th goal of the season. Just :13 seconds later Tom Buckley one timed a pass from forward Reggie Berg past Brass netminder Jon Vogul to give the Everblades a 3-0 advantage. Florida forward Ryan Murphy picked up the other helper on Buckley’s 15th tally of the year. Florida goaltender Randy Petruk stopped all 25 shots he faced and picked up his 8th win of the season and first shutout. Brass netminder Ron Vogel stopped 32 of 35 shots and suffered the loss. Vogul was replaced at the 11:00 minute mark of the third period by goaltender Sean Matile who stopped 2 of 2 shots. The Everblades were 1 for 6 on the power play while the Brass were 0 for 5.

ECHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINATION: The Everblades ECHL player of the week nomination is forward Tom Buckley The Buffalo, NY native had three points this past week including the two goals in the Everblades 3-0 win over the New Orleans Brass on Saturday night. He was +2 for the week and was named the second star on Saturday night. Currently, Buckley is tied for the ECHL lead in goal scoring with 15 and he is riding a ECHL season high15 game scoring streak and is fifth on the ECHL scoring list.

DAYTON :
BOMBERS TAKE SEVEN OUT OF A POSSIBLE EIGHT POINTS IN EFFECTIVE WEEK: The Dayton Bombers went 3-0-1 this past week and now have a season-best five point lead atop the Northwest Division of the East Coast Hockey League. The Bombers enter the week with a .700 winning percentage, just nine percentage points behind the Northeast Division-leading Trenton Titans. Below is a recap of last week’s games:

11/27/01- Wheeling 1 @ Dayton 4- Despite trailing 1-0 early in the second period, the Bombers eventually erupted with three goals in less than nine minutes. Rob Bonneau’s deflection goal on the power play tied the game at one 9:58 into the second period. Just 36 seconds later, Preston Mizzi broke the tie when he converted a Jamie Ling centering pass. Tom Nemeth’s high-slot goal completed the second period surge at 18:03. Cory Morgan would give Dayton a 4-1 lead in the third at the 41 second mark when he banged in Tom Nemeth’s pass to the front of the net. Marc Kielkucki stopped 21 of 22 shots en route to the Bombers’ 2001-2002 league-best eighth straight home win.

11/30/01- Dayton 6 @ Toledo 2- The Bombers took advantage of the Toledo Storm’s penchant for penalties by scoring three power-play goals in a 6-2 win at the Toledo Sports Arena. Preston Mizzi continued his hot play with two goals and an assist, while Jamie Ling, Tom Nemeth (PP), Fred Slukynsky (PP), and Matt Desrosiers (PP) tallied the other Bombers’ goals. Greg Gardner stopped 26 shots in the win, including a pair of saves after cross-ice feeds to Toledo forward Alexander Jacques.

12/01/01- Dayton 4 @ Cincinnati 5 (SO)- For the second straight head-to-head meeting at FirstStar Center, the Cyclones came back from a 4-2 deficit to defeat the Bombers, this time using the shootout session. Mike Henderson was the hero for the Cyclones, scoring the game-tying goal with 42 seconds left in the second period and getting credit for the game-winning goal in the shootout which saw Cincinnati outscore Dayton 3-1. Preston Mizzi had a goal and an assist for Dayton, as did Doug Nolan. Nolan’s first period 4-on-4 score was his first of the season. Ben Keup and Jeff Boulanger scored the other Bombers’ goals. The Bombers continued their fine power play with a 2 for 4 effort. The Bombers are 0-2-1 against Cincinnati at FirstStar Center this season.

12/02/01- Dayton 3 @ Peoria 1- Preston Mizzi broke a second period 1-1 tie, then assisted on Blaine McCauley’s insurance goal as the Dayton Bombers topped the Rivermen for the third time in three tries this season and the second time at Carver Arena. Bill McCauley (PP) and Blake Evans exchanged goals in the first period. In the final stanza, goalie Greg Gardner stood tall for the Bombers, stopping all 17 shots faced (32 of 33 total). Mizzi has now scored goals in four straight games.

POWER SURGE: The Bombers’ power-play has produced excellent results as of late. Dayton has scored a power-play goal in its last six games. In that span, the Bombers are 13 for 38 (operating at a 34.3% clip). Entering the week, the Bombers have the third best power play in the league. Only the Pee Dee Pride and the Roanoke Express are ahead of the Bombers in the man-advantage category.

PEE DEE :
LAST WEEK: The Pride suffered their first winless week of the season, going 0-1-1. Pee Dee remains in first place in the Southeast Division with 34 points, six ahead of Macon.
Friday, November 30 v. Columbia Inferno 4 PRIDE 3
The Pride got off to a quick start, leading 2-0 after one period. But, Columbia scored three times over a 4:24 span at the end of the second period and start of the third period to go on top 3-2. Allan Sirois’ power-play goal tied things up with 12 minutes remaining, but the Inferno’s Kevin Mackie got a power-play tally of his own 3:01 later to give the Inferno the victory.

Saturday, December 1 v. Columbus Cottonmouths 4 PRIDE 3 (SO)
Columbus extended the Pride’s winless streak to three games with a shootout victory. Gregor Krajnc tied the game at three with 12 minutes left in regulation to send the game to overtime. Krajnc was the only Pride shooter able to score in the shootout, while the Cottonmouths got a pair of goals to take home the win.

Gregor Krajnc — The Pride rookie leads all ECHL freshmen in scoring with 22 points. With two goals on Saturday, he extended his point-scoring streak to eight games (4g 8a). He has also scored at least one point in 11 of the last 12 games.

Allan Sirois — Sirois had a fantastic November, posting 13 goals, 8 assists and a plus-nine rating. He scored at least one point in 12 of the Pride’s 13 November outings, and helped pace the team to a 10-2-1 month.

MISSISSIPPI : Biloxi, MS – The Mississippi Sea Wolves halted a season high five-game losing streak with a convincing 7-2 win in Baton Rouge on Friday. Mobile doubled up the Sea Wolves 6-3 on Saturday, but Mississippi rebounded Sunday with a 5-4 shootout victory in Mobile. After 20 games, Mississippi has a 9-11-0 for 18 points. The Sea Wolves sit 7th in the Southwest Division. Here’s the recap:

Sea Wolves 7, Baton Rouge -2
Riverside Centroplex, Baton Rouge, LA
Sea Wolves ended their season high five-game losing skid with a commanding 7-2 victory. Mississippi grabbed a 3-1 first period lead and would never reliquish the lead. Forward Michael Ryder made an immediate impact in his Sea Wolves debut notching two goals and an assist. Ryan Lauzon tallied a pair of goals, Brad Ralph scored his first of the season to go along with an assist and both Steffon Walby and Jeff Bes finished with a goal and two helpers. Mississippi tied the nine-game season series at two. Both Sea Wolves wins have been by 7-2 scores. The next head-to-head match-up between the teams is January 3rd in Baton Rouge.

Sea Wolves – 6, Mobile – 3
Saturday, December 1 – Mobile Civic Center

The Mysticks scored four unanswered third period goals to come from behind and double up the Sea Wolves. Goal scorers for Mississippi were Francois Fortier, Jeff Bes and Travis Lisabeth. Sea Wolves goaltender Evan Lindsay made 40 saves in the loss. This was the first of two straight games in two days in Mobile. The Mysticks took a 2-0 lead in the season series.

Sea Wolves – 5, Mobile – 4 (SO)
Sunday, December 2 – Mobile Civic Center
Less than 24 hours after losing in Mobile, the Sea Wolves exacted revenge edging the Mysticks in the shootout at the Dungeon. Mississippi rookie forward Jerome Marois capped off the victory by scoring his hattrick goal in the shootout. Sea Wolves captain Steffon Walby registered four assists tying the team record with four others, Forbes MacPherson, Cody Bowtell, Jonathan Weaver and Mike Oliveira. Alternate captain Jeff Bes scored two goals and has four over his last three games. Bes sits in seventh among ECHL scorers with nine goals and 18 assists for 27 points. The game marked the first time this season the Sea Wolves went to extra time. Mobile leads the season series two games to one.

Sea Wolves Player of the Week:
Team captain Steffon Walby scored once and assisted on seven others for a total of eight points in three games. Walby’s week was highlighted by tying a team record posting four assists in Sunday’s 5-4 shootout win in Mobile. He also had a goal and two assists on Friday, snapping the Sea Wolves five-game losing streak with a 7-2 win in Baton Rouge. The 29-year-old native of Madison, Wisconsin also registered an assist Saturday, in the Sea Wolves 6-3 loss in Mobile. Walby has moved into a tie for eighth in the East Coast Hockey League scoring race with 11 goals and 15 assists.

Thanks to following their contributions:
Ned Bowdern – Wheeling Nailers
Sue Babik – Johnstown Chiefs
Joe Babik – Pee Dee Pride
Ryan Stanzel – Louisiana IceGators
Dan Guenther – Florida Everblades
Mike Kelly – Mississippi Seawolves
Matt Gorsky – Dayton Bombers