Archive for March, 2009

Big Changes for the ECHL; Including Division Realignment for Trenton

March 31, 2009

(PR) ECHL Concludes Mid-Season Board of Governors Meeting

PRINCETON, N.J. – The Mid-Season ECHL Board of Governors Meeting was officially concluded and adjourned on Mar. 27.

The following items were approved by the Board of Governors:

Ontario Hosts 2010 ECHL All-Star Game

The Board unanimously approved the Ontario Reign as the host of the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game and Skills Competition on Jan. 19-20, 2010. The Reign had more than 27,000 for their final three regular season games, including back-to-back sellout crowds of 9,644 on Mar. 21 and 22, to average 5,856 per game in their first season.

Walleye Bring ECHL Back To Toledo

The ECHL returns to Toledo when the Walleye take the ice at the brand-new Lucas County Arena scheduled to open this fall in the downtown Toledo entertainment district. The Walleye have already sold 18 of the 20 suites at the new facility that seats 7,500 as well as more than 1,500 season tickets, including suites, and enough merchandise to rank among the league leaders. Toledo is coached by Nick Vitucci, who holds the record with five ECHL titles and was a member of the first class inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2008.

Dayton, Mississippi Suspend Operations

The Dayton Bombers and Mississippi Sea Wolves informed the ECHL that they will not be playing in 2009-10. Dayton and Mississippi must inform the Board of their future plans at the Annual Meeting in June.

Phoenix Will Cease Operations

The Phoenix RoadRunners informed the Board that they will not be playing in 2009-10 and will cease operations at the conclusion of the current season.

Voluntary Suspension Extensions Granted To Columbia, Myrtle Beach

The Board unanimously approved requests from Myrtle Beach, S.C. and Columbia, S.C. to extend their Voluntary Suspension for the 2009-10 season as both work towards constructing new facilities.

2009-10 Division Realignment

The Board approved the following conference and division alignment for 2009-10:

American Conference – North Division
Cincinnati, Elmira, Johnstown, Toledo and Wheeling

American Conference – South Division
Charlotte, Florida, Gwinnett, Reading, South Carolina and Trenton

National Conference – West Division
Alaska, Idaho, Utah and Victoria

National Conference – Pacific Division
Bakersfield, Las Vegas, Ontario and Stockton

Three Games, Six Points On Ohio Road Trip

March 29, 2009

(PR) The Trenton Devils completed their jaunt into the Buckeye State with their best effort of the trip over the Dayton Bombers, a 3-1 win Saturday night.

The Bombers struck first on the power play with a goal from the point by Jim Henkemeyer at 8:01. The Devils tied the game at 15:25 mark as Trevor Kell found Jim Henkel for a clear breakaway at the red line, and the New Jersey native beat Paul Drew on the backhand for his 21st goal of the season.

In the second period, the Devils took the lead on the power play. Matt Cohen scored his first goal since February 22 on a one-timer blast from the far circle for his 12th goal of the season at 6:50.

Unlike their last two games, the Devils controlled the third period and put the game to rest thanks to a dazzling display by Tony Zancanaro. The shifty forward deked out Greg Labenski into the Dayton zone on the near side and fired a shot from an impossible angle in the near corner, putting it through Drew for his 4th of the season at 7:38.

The Devils outshot the Bombers in the third, 17-4, and in the game, 36-17. Henkel tallied a goal and an assist for the Devils, who went 2-for-8 on the power play.

The Caston-Great One

March 28, 2009

(PR) Eric Castonguay gave the Trenton Devils a sigh of relief with an overtime goal as they defeated the Dayton Bombers Friday night, 4-3. Jeff Prough tallied his first career hat trick and assisted on the winning goal as the Devils moved into first place of the ECHL’s North Division for the second time this season.

Castonguay took a pass from Prough at the top of the far circle and fired a laser into the top of the net to seal the win for Trenton with 1:35 left in overtime.

With the Devils trailing 1-0 late in the first, Prough tied the game with a one-timer feed in the slot from Jeremy Akeson, roofing the puck for his 31st of the season at 18:39.

Prough followed up with another goal 22 seconds later to give the Devils a lead into the first intermission. Prough knocked in a pass from Brad Snetsinger past the glove of Bombers goalie David Shantz for his second of the game at 19:01.

The Bombers would tie the game at the 13:58 mark of the second, though Prough answered again with a hat trick goal 13 seconds later. Prough took a one-timer feed from Snetsinger in the near circle to notch the first hat trick of his pro career.

After a third period that was mostly controlled by the Bombers, Ryan Smyth tied the game with the extra attacker with 26 seconds left in regulation on a wraparound, forcing overtime.

Fortunately for the Devils, Castonguay came through with the game-winner, a goal in his fifth straight game and his ninth straight with a point. Prough’s assist gave him his second four-point night of the season. The Devils moved into first place of the North Division as the Cyclones had the night off.

Five Different Devils Score In Win Over Cincy

March 27, 2009

(PR) The Trenton Devils won their second in a row over the Cincinnati Cyclones with a road victory Thursday night, 5-3.

Matt Radoslovich put the Devils on the board 9:09 into the contest. The New Jersey native deflected a Justin Coutu shot between the legs of Ryan Nie for his 11th goal of the season.

The Cyclones tied the game on the power play, as Matt Syroczynski knocked in a loose puck at 13:16.

Another Coutu shot led to a Devils goal 62 seconds later, as the defenseman threw the puck towards the net where it deflected off the stick of Brad Snetsinger, who became the fourth T-Devil to notch 20 goals this season with the tally. The Devils took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

The Devils carried their momentum into the second period, and struck quickly with a pair of goals. Eric Castonguay notched a point in his eighth straight game with a laser from the top of the far circle 43 seconds in the period.

Just 42 seconds later, Jeff Prough scored another spectacular goal for his 30th of the season. Prough handled the puck at the bottom of the far circle, spun around and squeezed a shot in between the legs of Nie, who left the game after allowing the goal in favor of Loic Lacasse.

In the third period, the Cyclones started to take control, and pulled to within a goal with 3:31 left in regulation. The comeback was thwarted when Jim Henkel backhanded the puck from his own blue line into the empty net with 43.2 seconds remaining to seal the game for the Devils.

Henkel, Radoslovich, and Snetsinger each had a goal and an assist for the Devils, who moved into second place in the ECHL’s North Division as they jumped over idle Elmira and Johnstown.

Gerald Coleman: Taking The Road Less Traveled

March 26, 2009

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Photo: Mike Ashmore

Anyone who’s seen Gerald Coleman play for the Trenton Devils this season might be surprised to learn that the first hockey puck he ever laid eyes on went flying past him.

It’s been a long road since the soon to be 24-year-old goalie first put on skates at the age of eight — a road that’s taken him to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows — but it seems to be a road that could return him back to one of those high points, his brief NHL stint with the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2005-06 season.

But to think about where the road could end for the friendly Illinois native, you must first go back to where it all started.

“There was a local rink about a mile away from my house, and my sister was doing figure skating,” recalls Coleman of his first foray into hockey.

“One day I was over there with her, I just wanted to pick her up and walk her home, and I looked up and saw something fly right by me.  It was a puck.  I didn’t really know what it was, I kind of looked at it trying to figure it out what it was, I’d never seen it before.”

Coleman, eight years old at the time, watched the hockey game and went back home that day to ask his mom about possibly playing hockey.

“When he was eight,  I relented and let him sign up for Learn to Skate,” recalls Coleman’s mother, Sarah Wright.

And how did that go?

“I quit,” said Coleman with a laugh.

“I was bigger than everyone else that was three and four, and I kind of got away from it for a year or so, then got back into it.”

According to Wright, she bought Gerald used hockey equipment at Play It Again Sports and he played with younger children in beginner hockey classes.  Following that, he played defense in a recreational league.  It was after that experience when he started blossoming into a goalie.

“During the following summer, I sent him to a hockey camp,” Wright said. 

“According to his father, he spent the whole time watching and talking to the goalies. Without telling me, they went out and bought pads, skates, helmet, glove and blocker. The glove and blocker were the teal and blue of the then Anaheim Mighty Ducks. I was upset, mainly about the cost, little did I know it was only beginning.”

Gerald would try out for a travel team in Evanston, Ill., dealing with comments from fellow players, such as “the shooter tutor is better than you.”  And for a while, perhaps it was.

Coleman was cut from that team, recalls Wright.

“We were sitting outside the rink and he was trying not to cry when he was cut from the team.  I had no idea where he was going to play,” she said.  

“One of the dad’s came up to us, and said he was a coach in Skokie, the next town over and he had been a goalie.  Jim Nelson said we should come over to that rink and he would work with Gerald and he would coach Gerald on his house league team.  After a few practices, I got a call from the Squirt A coach asking if Gerald would play on their team.  It was definitely a learning experience for us all.”

As it turns out, Coleman got good.  Very good.

In 1997, when he was 12 years old, Coleman became involved with the NHL’s Diversity Program, specifically with a Chicago based group called, “PUCK” (Positive Upliftment for Chicago’s Kids).  It’s quite interesting that the person who became the first graduate of the program almost never became involved with it in the first place.

As the story goes, Gerald had gone to the Evanston rink with his dad to help out with a clinic for skaters that needed a goalie for practice.  His father started talking to one of the few other African-Americans dads at the rink and it turned out he knew someone else who was involved with the program.   The Willie O’Ree All Star games, as they were called, were scheduled to be in Chicago that year (1997).  Unfortunately, for them, they only had one goalie and desperately needed another.  The idea was to not only teach them to play hockey, but to include educational components and financial support.

Coleman would go on to play in the All-Star Games at the United Center in March of 1997, but participating in the program served a much greater purpose for the goaltender, whose mother is white and father is black.

“When you are 12, searching for your identity, trying to fit in a sport where you are different than everyone else, and being in middle school is a difficult time of your life,” Wright said.  

“While we were managing on our own financially (barely), the Diversity Program showed Gerald that it was possible to be black and a hockey player.  It also showed him that there were other kids like him and he wasn’t the only black hockey player.  I think participating in the Diversity Program helped him mentally to cope with adversity.  He probably would have continued with hockey, but it might have been more difficult.”

oree_2003

Coleman’s role in the NHL’s Diversity Program would lead many to call him a role model for some of the up and coming players with diverse ethnic backgrounds.

“I don’t really see myself as a role model, because I haven’t really stayed up there,” Coleman said.

“You have guys like Iginla and Grant Fuhr, who’ve stayed up there, and guys like Simmonds from L.A., they’re more role models.”

At the age of 15, Coleman was named to the United States National Under-18 Team, and got to skate on the same sheet of ice as many of the country’s top young players at the time, players like Ryan Kesler, Patrick Eaves, Brett Sterling and Patrick O’Sullivan.

“It was unbelievable, I had a blast,” said Coleman of the experience.

“Getting to go overseas is unbelievable.  My team in Chicago went over to Sweden when I was 13, and ever since then I’ve just wanted to travel the world with hockey.  Because of hockey, I’ve been to so many different places; Russia, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic.  It’s nice to see different cultures and see what everything else is about.  But getting to play for your country is unbelievable.  You know how big hockey is in Canada, so getting to play those guys in the Under-17’s and beating them at the World Juniors was a fun experience.”

2001_nahl_allstar_game

What also served as a fun experience for Coleman was getting to team up with Al Montoya, who joined the U.S. National Under-18 Team in Coleman’s second and final season with them in 2001-02. 

Montoya, currently in the NHL with the Phoenix Coyotes, was drafted sixth overall by the New York Rangers in 2004, and vividly recalls his experience as Coleman’s teammate.

“You just knew that you had to be at your best, because he was going to push you every single night,” said Montoya before a February AHL game in Rochester.

“He really helped me with my career, pushing me and battling me and making me be my best.”

The 24-year-old was happy to learn that his former teammate was playing well in Trenton.

“He’s always been a battler, been a gamer,” said Montoya, who grew up with Coleman near Chicago.

“He’s a great goalie, he’s just got to get his chance, and when he gets it, he’s got to keep playing well.  It’s good to see him playing well.”

Coleman joined the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights for the 2002-03 season, and had an up and down year, going 6-9-3 with a 3.30 goals against average and .892 save percentage.  But the Tampa Bay Lightning liked what they saw and chose him with the 224th overall selection in the seventh round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

At his billet’s house in Ann Arbor, where Coleman was going to school at the time, he and his sister were watching the first round on television.

Coleman says he was told different things about where he might be drafted.

“I was highly touted coming into that year, and I kind of struggled in my first year with London,” he said. 

” They had said maybe late third round to the seventh, so I was a little disappointed it was later than I thought it would be, but just to get drafted by Tampa Bay was an honor.  They were a good organization at that time, so it was good.”

OHL-KNIGHTS-STORM

Determined to show the other 29 NHL teams they were wrong for passing him over — six times, no less — Coleman returned to his junior team with a vengeance, going 56-10-2 over his final two seasons there.  Those numbers include an incredible run in 2004-05, where he helped the team go on a run over 30 games without a loss to start the season, posted a goals against of 1.70 and recorded an uncanny .941 save percentage.

“I made so many friends, I’m probably going to be living there for the rest of my life,” said Coleman of his time in London.

“(In 04-05), we had seven or eight guys who played their first game in the NHL the next season.  And I was one of them, which was a great honor.  The team we had was just terrific, you can’t say enough.  Great offense, great defense.  And our coach, Dale Hunter, was unbelievable.  He taught us how to be NHL players and how to be professionals on and off the ice.”

After a season like the one he had in his final season with the Knights, many expected Coleman to replicate that in his pro debut the following season.  The Lightning assigned him to the Springfield Falcons of the AHL, and after getting off to a good start, he struggled.  The numbers — 14-21-3, 3.88 GAA, .880 save percentage — paint a pretty ugly picture.

falcons

“It was an eye opener,” Coleman said.

“Everything’s faster, guys are a lot bigger, there are older guys, guys with wives and kids.  You learn this is your job, you can’t just show up to the rink, get on the ice and think you’re going to be good.  You come everyday, you’re expected to work hard and do what you’re expected to do to get to the next level.”

But it wasn’t only the speed of the game and the size of the players that was a part of the transition Coleman had to make from juniors to pro.  A larger schedule that included more games packed together didn’t help either.

“I was the backup for the first two or three weeks, and then our goalie got called up and I took over,” he said.  I did pretty well then, out of 14 games, I think I won 13, but then our team kind of fell apart  I was good up until about Christmas, and that’s when it kicked in, just playing so many games.  We only play like 60 games in juniors, and there you’ve got to play 80, and there’s three in three’s and the travel.  It just kind of caught up to me and wore on me that first year.

Since that season, in which he played 43 games at the AHL level, he’s played in just 35 since then.  2005-06 remains his only full season in the American Hockey League, with stints of 14, 18 and three games coming over the past three years.

But even with that said, Coleman doesn’t feel his numbers from that season with the Falcons are being held against him.

“If anyone saw that team and knows the Tampa Bay organization — and you can look at it now with Norfolk too — they don’t have a good team, they just worry about guys in the NHL,” he said.

“They only care about their NHL team.  They don’t care about development.  They only care about a couple guys, and then they just throw guys in.  When I was there, we had a good team, but they didn’t want any veterans.  By the end of the year, we only had two guys over the age of 25 playing.  And you can’t have that in the AHL, you have to have veterans.  We were all 20, 21 years old, and it’s tough on the team.  It was tough, but my next few years with Portland, I put pretty good numbers up, so hopefully that explains a lot.”

Bad as it may have sounded, Coleman’s 2005-06 season wasn’t completely lost.  Just 20 years old at the time, Coleman went from seventh round draft pick to NHL goalie on November 11th, 2005, replacing John Grahame for the third period of a 5-2 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena.

“It was an unbelievable experience, but I was scared,” admitted Coleman.

“I was sitting there, and I think it was 2-1 in the middle of the second period.  (Lightning head coach John) Tortorella comes down to me, and he goes, ‘Kid, you’re going in for the third period.’   I look at him like ‘oh no,’ and Marty St. Louis is sitting right next to me and goes, ‘Don’t worry kid, you’re ready to go.’  So I just kind of said OK, here we go.  They scored another goal, (Ilya) Kovalchuk got a hat trick in that game, so I’m going in and it’s 3-1.”

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And then the fun started…

“My first shot was Peter Bondra, he got a pass right to the slot, one-timer, and I made a big glove save,” Coleman recalls.

“I just remember thinking, ‘Oh, thank God I made that save.’  And then (Bondra) was like, ‘Good job, kid.  Nice save.’  So that was a good experience.  But then I had (Marian) Hossa come in on me on a breakaway and make me look stupid.  But I don’t feel too bad, he’s got a bunch of goals and he’s making eight million dollars, so it’s a good player to have score that first goal.”

Tortorella, who led the Lightning to the Stanley Cup in 2004, was ultimately fired and has since been named the head coach of the New York Rangers.  Although he only had a brief experience with him, Coleman says he loved playing for him.

“He’s a good motivator, and I know that a lot of guys who have played for him have liked him,” Coleman said.

“Talking to him, he is a very fiery coach and he’ll get in your face, but he also is a guy that will talk one-on-one with you.  When I was up there, he talked to me and said they were thinking about playing me in a game.  He said, ‘You’ve done well, you’ve done everything we expected,’ so he’ll sit down and talk to you.  But if you’re not doing what he expects, he’s going to come after you.  And that’s what it takes, you have to have a guy to push you.”

Since that 2005-06 season, Coleman has put on no less than seven different uniforms, including the Falcons, Johnstown Chiefs, Portland Pirates, Augusta Lynx, Phoenix Roadrunners, Worcester Sharks and now the Trenton Devils.

It seems the roller coaster never stops to let him off for a breather…

“It’s difficult not knowing where you’re going to be day-to-day,” Coleman said.

“My fiance wants to come down and my family wants to come down here, and just booking flights and stuff like that, it’s difficult.  But that’s just the luck I’ve had, just having to battle adversity.  It only makes you stronger.  You can call me a suitcase goalie, whatever.  That doesn’t bother me.  As long as I get a chance to play, I’m fine.  Since my first year pro, this is my first opportunity to really get to play every game and show what I can do.”

While Coleman is, in fact, getting the majority of the workload and getting to show what he can do, it is all happening at the ECHL level.  Over the past three seasons, Coleman has worn four different ECHL uniforms, but has never had as long of a stint at this level as he has with Trenton this season.

“I don’t really view it so much as being stuck here, I kind of brought it on myself with injuries and not playing as consistently as I’d need to,” Coleman said. 

“And that’s really what I’m trying to do, just be more consistent.  I really kind of started my career over again with the injuries, so it is frustrating.  The goalie I played with last year in Portland, Mike McKenna, he’s playing in the NHL.  So you see that and it kind of frustrates you.  Not because he’s not a good goalie or anything, but just because you were in the same spot he was last year, and you didn’t get the opportunity and he did.  So it is frustrating, but if I play well enough, I’m hoping with the organization I’m with now, New Jersey, and how good they are and well respected they are amongst the players, that I can get back and hopefully step in and get a chance.”

Coleman’s previous ECHL stop came earlier this season with the Phoenix Roadrunners, where he’d gotten off to a hot start, putting up a 1.48 GAA and .950 save percentage in his first four games before learning he’d been dealt to Trenton.

“I don’t want to say I was disappointed, but I was having a good time out in Phoenix and was playing well,” he said.

“Then I looked at the stats in Trenton, and it was a struggling team, but I didn’t know anything about it.  So I was kind of disappointed and kind of down, but once I got here and started talking to Rick Kowalsky and started hanging out with the guys, they were unbelievable.  I’ve had a blast.  I’ve had more fun I think in two days here than I think I did my whole time in Phoenix.”

Depth in the organization at goaltender isn’t really something the Devils have too much of, and that’s something Coleman got to take a look at as well.

“With Brodeur being hurt, you really get to analyze everything a little bit more, because he’s not getting any younger and who knows how much more he might be injured as his career goes on,” he said. 

“Clemmensen did an unbelievable job, so you’re set that way, so now you’re look at the AHL and (ECHL.)  So I figure if I pay my dues down here, maybe I’ll get a chance.  (Dave) Caruso had a good year here last year and how he’s in the AHL, so that’s what I’m kind of hoping for now.”

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Although his numbers have taken a dip over the past month or so, the fact that the Trenton Devils turnaround as a team coincided with Coleman’s arrival is no fluke.

Through 35 games, Coleman has won 23 and put up a 2.50 goals against average and .911 save percentage.

But despite putting himself in strong contention to win ECHL Goalie of the Year honors, much of the press about Coleman has focused on his race, which is nothing new for him.

And whenever it does seem to get old, it always seems there’s a reminder just around the corner about how his story wouldn’t even have been possible just a short time ago.

“Sometimes, when you think it’s getting old, you watch a movie like The Express where he went through so much.  Just going into Texas and West Virginia playing and becoming the first black athlete to win the Heisman Trophy.  You watch that and you realize it’s an inspiration.  Now, I just hope I can inspire as many people as I can.  I hope that if kids read my story, they see you don’t have to come from a rich family to play hockey, if you just have a dream and somebody will help you along the way, you’ll have a chance.  I just want to give kids hope that you don’t need a basketball or a football to make it.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Charlie Effinger: Man Of The People, Fan Of Cheese

March 23, 2009

I’m going to say nothing…just watch that and tell me what you think. Figured this would be a nice way for everyone to start off their work week…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 66: Post-Game AUDIO

March 22, 2009

Click here to listen to our chat with Rick Kowalsky.

Click here to listen to our chat with Jeremy Akeson.

Click here to listen to our chat with Gerald Coleman.

Click here to listen to my chat with Jeff Prough.

Click here to listen to my chat with Charlie Effinger.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 66: Cincinnati @ Trenton

March 22, 2009

Pre-Game Notes (LIVE from SBA): 12:55 PM — Why am I here three hours before game time? Because I care about my job. Would be nice if I got more than 150 people caring along with me…but in any event, this is a big game today here at SBA. I’d venture to bet that if the T-Devils don’t win this game, they aren’t making the playoffs.

Just to tackle some brief post-game notes from last night…Trenton has won games they deserved to lose and lost games they deserved to win…but the outcome was the right one last night. Cincinnati controlled the play early, and seemed to be the better team for the vast majority of the game. Trenton had about 7 shots through 30 minutes of play…gotta play a complete 60 at this time of year especially.

I’ve been in locker rooms following games where you couldn’t tell who won or lost if you didn’t know the score…but this wasn’t like that. Literally, the only thing you could hear in there after the game was the water running in the showers. Other than speaking to Rick Kowalsky, I didn’t hear a single word spoken.

Matt Conti was in the locker room following the game, and told me he was ready to backup if need be…seems Kowalsky knows that as well.

Brad Snetsinger is likely a game-time decision for Trenton.

Loic Lacasse is expected to start again for the Cyclones.

1:45 PM — Here are some fight videos from Houston…

2:20 PM — A game between the police department and fire departments has just ended here…the zamboni will come out in a bit and resurface the ice, etc. 4PM game time today, kids…

3:35 PM — Matt Conti is backing up Charlie Effinger tonight…according to a source, Gerald Coleman has left the arena. Loic Lacasse goes for Cincy tonight. Brad Snetsinger is taking warmups.

Around The ECHL:

Around The Division:

Live Box Score: Click here for the ECHL.com updated boxscore from tonight’s game.

Radio Broadcast: Click here to listen to Paul Roper’s radio broadcast of tonight’s game.

First Period: Myles Stoesz is out of the lineup to accomodate Brad Snetsinger.  Justin Johnson is, of course, playing for the Cyclones.  Maybe he goes with Coutu?

Starters:

CYCLONES

Lacasse
St. Denis-McElroy
Ehgoetz-Syroczynski-Van Guilder

DEVILS

Effinger
Cohen-Leaderer
Kell-Henkel-Castonguay

18:23 left — Jacob Dietrich checked Jeremy Akeson into the boards from behind, giving the T-Devils an early power play.

18:01 left — And Eric Castonguay converts on a little pass from Ryan Gunderson, powering one past Lacasse to give Trenton an early 1-0 lead.

16:01 left — Matt Cohen makes it 2-0 on a weird one…he took a slapper from the right point on a pass off the boards from Castonguay.  The puck didn’t seem to go straight in, not sure if it hit off a defenseman in tight or what.  2-0, Devils.

UPDATE: The goal is now being credited to Jim Henkel.

15:29 left — Justin Coutu will have none of this momentum you speak of, taking an interference penalty…

14:00 left — Effinger had to make a few nice, scramble saves with the Cyclones on the man advantage…

8:38 left — Bad goal by Cincinnati, but the D did little to help Effinger.  After a turnover near the blue line, Chris Dyment took just an awful angle when turning around to skate with Mac Faulkner, and the puck eventually caromed in off the stick of Adam Krug to cut the lead to 2-1.  Dyment gave Faulkner way too much room up the boards.

7:24 left — Trenton’s on the man advantage after a Jamie Coghlan penalty…

5:10 left — Pretty putrid power play right there…

3:12 left — Nice save by Lacasse on a one-time slap shot by Dan Eves from the high slot.

37.6 left — Trevor Kell with a…ahem, questionable hooking penalty.

2-1, DEVILS AFTER ONE.  SHOTS ARE 10-8, TRENTON.

Second Period: Not surprisingly, Eric Castonguay leads the team with three shots…

19:09 left — Tie game.  Matt Syroczynski scores on a rebound of a wraparound attempt by T.J. McElroy.  2-2.  Power play goal.

16:43 left — Did…did I just see an out of town scoreboard posted here at SBA?  Holy crap.  New things every day here.

12:17 left — Gerard Miller’s in the box for Cincy.  PP to Trenton.

10:47 left — Jeff Prough more or less stickhandled through everyone and beat Lacasse low to give Trenton a 3-2 lead on the power play.  Real nice showcase of skill right there.  3-2, Trenton.

10:09 left — Trenton’s back on the power play, with Mike Salekin in the box for the Cyclones.

7:46 left — Chris Dyment makes a nice, diving block in the defensive zone…and the ref calls him for a trip.  Bad call right there.

6:20 left — Mike Salekin fired a rocket from the right point that hit the inside of the right post, deflected off the left post, and out…

5:53 left — Chris Ferazzoli’s in the box for Cincy, serving a too many men on the ice penalty.

5:11 left — Trevor Kell takes his second penalty of the game…the zebras are really trying to make an impact on this one, it seems.

1:15 left — Brad Snetsinger just had a glorious chance from the right side, but Loic Lacasse slid across and stacked the pads to make a nice save…

58.7 left — Jeff Prough’s in the box for Trenton…yet another penalty in this game.

3-2, DEVILS AFTER TWO PERIODS OF PLAY.  SHOTS ARE 20-18, CINCY.

Third Period: 17:33 left — Jeremy Akeson with a pretty clean breakaway up the left side, cutting to the net and going to his backhand to beat Lacasse.  4-2, Devils.  Pretty goal.

15:38 left — Penalty #11 of the evening is called on Justin Johnson for tripping…

Elmira beats Johnstown, 4-1…

 12:38 left — Gerard Miller’s in the penalty box for Cincy…

Wheeling leads Reading, 3-2, heading into the third.  A Wheeling win would give them 78 points and the division lead.  Elmira has 77 points and is tied with the Cyclones at the moment.  Johnstown has 76, as would Trenton.  But Johnstown has 36 wins, and Trenton would have 35. 

2:35 left — The Cyclones take their timeout, and Loic Lacasse has been pulled…

1:42 left — Mark Van Guilder somehow gets a pass through to a cutting Barret Ehgoetz, who tips home an easy one past Charlie Effinger.  4-3, Devils.  Uh-oh…

Final Score: 4-3, Devils…Mac Faulkner talking a little garbage after the whistle blows.

2:45 left @ Wheeling…4-4 game there.

Three Stars:

* Prough

** Castonguay

*** Cohen

My vote: Prough-Castonguay-Cohen

Post-Game Notes:

Pre-Game Photos:

conti

Matt Conti

conti21

Conti, complete with pink stick and green pads…kind of bringing back the Devils “Christmas Tree” look.

effinger

Charlie Effinger

ehgoetz

Barret Ehgoetz

henkel

Jim Henkel, sporting a black eye

lacasse

Loic Lacasse

nie

Ryan Nie

vanguilder

Mark Van Guilder

In-Game Videos:

Eric Castonguay PPG

Matt Cohen shot saved by Loic Lacasse

Lacasse save

Jeff Prough PPG

Lacasse save in tight on Trevor Kell

Chris Dyment shot deflects wide

Fight Videos:

Next Game: 3/26 @ Cincy

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 65: Post-Game AUDIO

March 21, 2009

Listen to my chat with Rick Kowalsky HERE.

Listen to my chat with Charlie Effinger HERE.

- MA

Game 65: Cincinnati @ Trenton

March 21, 2009

Pre-Game Notes (LIVE from SBA): 4:00 PM — Not a whole lot going on here right now…will have more later.

5:30 PM — Still not too much going on…but I do know that radio personality Joe Nolan will be filling in for Butch Seltzer tonight.

6:35 PM — Looks like Loic Lacasse vs. Gerald Coleman.  I haven’t seen Lacasse yet, so I’m excited to see what his game is like…

6:50 PM — Brad Snetsinger is out with the ever-popular “undisclosed injury,” but should be back tomorrow.  Sean Erickson will be scratched tonight as well.  Any bets on when Stoesz and Johnson throw down?  Also…do you guys want more T-Devils photos?  I shoot the visiting teams a lot because I feel like I’ve posted pictures of just about everyone on the team…but if you guys want more, then I’ll post more.  Let me know.

Around The ECHL:

Around The Division:

Live Box Score: Click here for the ECHL.com updated boxscore from tonight’s game.

Radio Broadcast: Click here to listen to Paul Roper’s radio broadcast of tonight’s game.

First Period: Good pre-game note from the aforementioned Mr. Roper…T-Devils head coach Rick Kowalsky is going after his 100th win tonight.

Your starters:

CYCLONES

Lacasse
St. Denis-Woll
Ehgoetz-Syrocynski-Van Guilder

(Justin Johnson is a scratch…)

DEVILS

Coleman
Cohen-Leaderer
Kell-Henkel-Castonguay

15:30 left — Cincinnati looks to be the better team so far…they’re really buzzing around the net and controlling the play.

14:14 left — The Cyclones draw the first power play of the game on a Justin Coutu penalty…

12:13 left — Chris Ferazzoli takes a penalty for Cincy just as their PP ended after a shorthanded chance by Matt Radoslovich.

11:00 left — Trenton takes advantage, with Eric Castonguay scoring on a hard one-timer from the right point.  1-0 Devils.

8:55 left — Nice save by Gerald Coleman after Mac Faulkner drove hard to the net on his backhand and tried to flip one over the former Lightning netminder’s glove…

6:40 left — The refs missed a very, very obvious high stick by Justin Coutu on Chris D’Alvise.  It was unintentional…but how do you miss a guy’s stick blade coming up and popping another guy across the grill?

5:00 left — Ferazzoli had a pretty clean breakaway on Coleman and tried to make a last second move to drag the puck around him, but couldn’t…nice move, nice stop.  Still 1-0.

3:53 left — A nice, hard working shift by the Cyclones pays off with a stuff-in goal from the left side by Mark Van Guilder.  Cincy was just trying to create chances from around and behind the net, and it finally paid off.  1-1 game here at SBA.

2:59 left — Bad penalty by Cincinnati’s Dustin Sproat, checking Jeff Prough from behind and into the boards…two minutes for him.  Prough is OK.

2:23 left — And then Jim Henkel seemed to hook the stick out of one of the Cyclones hands in the offensive zone…also not a good penalty.

1-1, AFTER ONE PERIOD OF PLAY.  SHOTS ARE 13-4, CYCLONES.  FELT LIKE TRENTON HAD A GOOD FIVE OR SIX MINUTE STRETCH IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PERIOD, BUT THAT CINCINNATI “WON” THE PERIOD.

Second Period: Sure is weird to see Mac Faulkner out there in a Cincinnati uniform, at least to me…in any event, the second period is about to commence…

19:04 left — Mark Van Guilder just skated off with…not sure if that’s a trainer or equipment man in tow, but the Cyclones goal scorer will be unavailable for a bit.

16:50 left — Van Guilder has returned…looked like he was skating a little funny, so it might have been a skate issue.

15:30 left — Very nice move by Jeff Prough after he jumped to glove the puck to himself in the neutral zone, but he lost control and got tripped up and ended up sliding into Lacasse instead…

12:40 left — Gerald Coleman just skated off the ice, holding a towel to his lower face after a scramble in front of the net.  Charlie Effinger has come in to replace Coleman.  It didn’t look very serious — it appeared may have been some blood on the ice, however, as the ice crew came out with shovels —  but I’ll update you with whatever I get…

12:26 left — Coleman being out more or less led Trenton to taking a penalty.  Effinger made a save on a weak shot, and Cincy swarmed to the crease…Matt Cohen sent one of the Cyclones flying into the net, because Trenton can’t afford for Effinger to get run right now with an empty bench.

UPDATING…just to get into that Coleman play, he did lose his mask on the scramble, and some people in the press box seem to think he may have injured his mouth.

1:54 left — Coleman has not returned to the bench…not too much going on here, just lots of back and forth with a few decent chances scattered in.  Effinger has looked pretty good for coming off the bench completely cold. 

TIED AT ONE AFTER 40 MINUTES.  SHOTS ARE 25-14, CINCINNATI. 

Third Period: If I hear anyone tell me Coleman suffered an “upper body injury” after the game, I’m going to start throwing things…

20:00 left — Effinger has come out to start the third, so it looks like he’ll be finishing this one up.  This game, as all of them from here on out will be, is huge.  Lots of pressure on this kid right now.

15:45 left — Coleman is back on the bench and appears to be holding an ice pack to his face.  He’s also wearing Brad Snetsinger’s jersey, it appears…

colemanhurt

11:38 left — Effinger has been making all the saves he’s needed to make, and hasn’t been giving up rebounds.  Seems like Chris Dyment is very aggressive in clearing the crease tonight, he’s been involved in quite a few scrums after the play.

10:57 left — Seems the Cyclones agree with me on this…but what is and isn’t called icing in this league is very interesting sometimes.

10:38 left — Justin Coutu deposits the puck somewhere in row J, and he’s in the box for delay of game…

5:45 left — Coincidental minors to Dan Eves and Mike Salekin have the teams 4-on-4…

4:03 left — The Cyclones score.  Trenton controlled the 4-on-4 before then, but Sproat put one home and this is now four minutes away from being a bad loss from a team that didn’t always seem to have their legs underneath them…

1:46 left — Trenton has taken their timeout…

1:30 left — Effinger’s out for the extra skater…

Final Score: 2-1, Cyclones. 

Three Stars:

* Sproat

** Castonguay

*** Van Guilder

My vote: Didn’t get one…probably would be GWG-Van Guilder-Castonguay

Post-Game Notes:

Pre-Game Photos:

1

The new scoreboard.  For a minor league board especially, it’s incredibly nice.  Kicks the tar out of the old one, that’s for sure.

2

The artwork on Ryan Nie’s mask

3

T.J. McElroy

4

Myles Stoesz

5

Nie

6

Loic Lacasse

In-Game Videos:

Loic Lacasse SH save on Matt Radoslovich

Eric Castonguay PPG (22)

Cyclones 3rd period PP chance

Charlie Effinger 3rd period save

Fight Videos:

Next Game:

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com


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