Archive for November, 2009

Harrison Released By Nailers

November 30, 2009

The Wheeling Nailers have released long-time Trenton Devils enforcer Thomas Harrison.

The 25-year-old spent the last two seasons playing in Trenton before signing with Wheeling for the 2009-10 campaign.

In 96 games with the T-Devils, he scored six goals, added four assists and racked up 399 penalty minutes.  He also earned a call-up to Lowell last season, playing in three games and accumulating 10 penalty minutes.

Harrison’s final season in the capital city came to an abrupt end in February, when he suffered a head injury in a fight.

This year with Wheeling, he appeared in seven games, scoring one goal with three assists.  He also tallied 46 penalty minutes, some of those coming in his return to the vault this October.

While he provided very little offensively, that’s never what he was brought in to do.  Harry’s job was to serve as a ninth or tenth forward and protect his teammates when the time was right to do so.  He wasn’t always pretty to watch out there, but there was no question that he — and players like him — were respected in the room for the role they filled.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Eight Shots? Pathetic.

November 29, 2009

(PR) Elmira, NY, November 29, 2009 – Just two days after setting a season high 42 shots in Reading, the Devils managed just eight Sunday in Reading, the fewest ever in an ECHL game. The outcome was the same in both situations: losses, 6-1 in Sunday’s debacle, as the Elmira Jackals rebounded from a 3-2 loss Saturday night in Trenton. Yannick Tifu raked in four goals during the two games, including three points Sunday and first star honors.

Neither the Devils or Jackals produced many chances in the first period, and the Devils first goal came quickly after a left wing circle face off. At 8:39 of the first, Dave Leaderer took the puck near the blue line after a Kory Nagy pass and fired it past Teslak for his fourth goal of the season.

Penalties put the 1-0 lead in a precarious position late in the period with Dan Eves and Matt Torti committing minor penalties 27 seconds apart. The Elmira five-on-three power play converted to tie the game 17 seconds before the period expired. Tifu and Jean-Francois David moved the puck seamlessly from point to point, searching for shooting lanes. Multiple chances were thwarted by the Devils, but when Chris Korchinski was able to get his stick on a Tifu blast, the redirection beat goalie Gerald Coleman for the game-tying goal.

The Jackals broke it open in the second period, starting with Tifu’s two goals. The go-ahead score came at 5:27 of the second with assists to Justin Donati and David. Six minutes later Tifu scored his fifth goal of the season and fourth of the last two games on the power play for a 3-1 Elmira lead.

The screws started to come off 15 minutes into the second. Keegan Dansereau found himself all alone in the slot and ripped a slap shot past Coleman, who immediately pleaded with referees, claiming goaltender interference from Brendan Connolly. Trailing 4-1, the Devils offense put only four shots on goal in the second, and only one during their lone power play of the period.

Outshot 29-7 through two periods, the Devils’ offensive woes grew more grim in the third. As Gerald Coleman fought off the barrage of chances for Elmira, his counterpart Michael-Lee Teslak spent most of the period just watching. The Devils only shot of the third period came on a point-blank chip shot from Tony Zancanaro that Teslak easily turned away from the short post.

Quick goals early in the third solidified the outcome for Elmira. Chris Korchinski added his second of the game on a breakaway following a steal from Guillaume Lepine at 2:34 for a 5-1 Jackals lead. Forty-six seconds later, an odd man rush led by Justin Donati produced the game’s final score. Two fights ensued, the first between recently added Kevin Cormier for the Devils and Brett Gallant for the Jackals, followed immediately after by a tangle with Gord Burnett and Lepine.

The final score was not in doubt, as the Jackals (10-6-2-1, 23pts) held on for their second win in six games against the Devils, and now overtake the Reading Royals for first place in the East. Trenton (8-9-1-2, 19pts) remains in third place, two points behind Reading going into a three game series with the Royals starting Friday in Trenton.

Catching Up From Friday And Saturday

November 29, 2009

My apologies for not having these up sooner. Saturday was pretty crazy with the Islanders-Devils game at 1 and the BU-Cornell game at 8.  I’ll have today’s release up when I get it…but just as a heads up, it ain’t pretty.

As I’m sure you also saw, Jeff Prough was again recalled by Lowell.  Myles Stoesz was called up to Lowell and Kevin Cormier was sent down from Lowell to Trenton.  Had a hunch that might happen.  I wrote about that somewhere recently, may have been in the comments…

(Saturday’s T-Devils PR) Trenton, NJ, November 28, 2009 – Elmira was late to the party and did not bring enough to the table at the Sun National Bank Center as the Devils defeated the Jackals 3-2. The game was delayed 30 minutes because the Elmira team bus was stuck in traffic on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Trevor Kell earned first star honors with the eventual game-winning goal along with two assists in his second game back from a five-game stint with Lowell. Dave Caruso made a season high 43 saves for his third win of the year.

The Devils struck first on a power play goal by Andy Thomas ten minutes into the first period. Trevor Kell passed the puck out to Justin Pender quarterbacking the power play at the center point position. Pender’s hard pass toward Thomas at the right point went to the side wall and the ricochet came right back to Thomas who ripped a the one-timer over the glove of Michael-Lee Teslak for a 1-0 Devils lead.

A buzzer-beater from Brett Wilson gave the Devils a two goal lead with less than a second left in the first period. Trevor Kell chased a Mike Harder dump-in behind the net, beating the Jackals defender to the puck. Kell quickly collected and passed the puck to Wilson who cut to the front of the net from the left wing side. With a defender on his back, Wilson took the puck on his backhand and shoveled a short side shot past the blocker of Michael-Lee Teslak.

The contentious mood typical of the rivalry was not evident Saturday, with only 18 total penalty minutes, compared to 113 in the meeting on Halloween. The only scuffle of the night occurred just after the Wilson score just after the first period horn. The small scrap led to coincidental minors to Olivier Proulx and Dave Leaderer for unsportsmanlike conduct, leaving four players on each side to start the second period.

Utilizing the open ice early in the second period, Trevor Kell took a pass from Tony Zancanaro in the neutral zone, just left of center, for an odd man rush. The Devils’ captain skated to the top of the left-wing circle, opened up and ripped a slap shot past Teslak for a 3-0 lead and Kell’s third point of the night and first Trenton goal since November 6.

Following Kell’s goal 50 seconds into the period, Gord Burnett was assessed a roughing penalty at 2:18 leading to Elmira’s first goal. The Jackals stopped a short-handed rush by the Devils, transitioned the other way and worked the puck to the front of the net for a shot by Justin Donati. Yannick Tifu slammed in Donati’s rebound over the sprawling Dave Caruso 1:01 into the man-advantage, cutting Trenton’s lead to 3-1.

The Jackals would have three more power play opportunities in the period to the Devils’ one, but neither team could convert. Elmira had a 90-second four-on-three advantage just over halfway through the period but strong Devils defense and timely saves from Caruso kept the Devils’ lead at two.

The Jackals made a game of it at 18:04 of the third, slamming home another rebound to reduce the deficit to one. Just after Caruso tied his season high in saves, Tifu again banged home a rebound, mirroring his earlier goal, following shots from Proulx and Jean-Francois David. The Trenton defense clamped down in the final two minutes, though, securing a 3-2 win.

Now two points shy of second place, the Devils (8-8-1-2, 19pts) againt take on the Jackals (9-6-2-1, 21pts) Sunday afternoon in Elmira with a 4:05 p.m. puck drop at First Arena.

(Friday’s T-Devils PR) Reading, PA – Forty-two shots produced only two goals, as the Devils struggled to solve Royals goalie Matt Dalton in a 4-2 loss Friday at the Sovereign Center. Two early Reading scores forced Trenton into playing from behind, and despite staging one successful comeback, they could not answer Reading’s third and fourth goals. Trenton’s firepower was bolstered by the return of Trevor Kell and Jeff Prough from Lowell, but Prough couldn’t score on his nine shots and Kell had one shot and a minus one.

A quick strike put the Royals up 1-0 just 66 seconds into the game. Devils goalie Gerald Coleman, starting his second consecutive game, was beat by Ryan Cruthers who banged one home for his fourth of the year, with assists to Ben Gordon and Daniel Steiner. Eight minutes later, Trevor Kell was called for a clipping minor which set up Reading’s second goal of the period. Dan Steiner tried to jam the post on Coleman’s right, but the puck came across the goal mouth to Danick Bouchard who had plenty of room to flip in the power play goal at 9:45 and a 2-0 Reading lead.

Trenton’s first power play of the game began a minute later, following an interference minor to Rob Kwiet. Blueliners Andy Thomas and Justin Pender passed from point to point, looking for shooting lanes. A one-time try from Pender was stopped, but the puck came back to him for a slap shot. Myles Stoesz redirected the blast past Dalton off the inside of the long post and into the goal for the power play tally at 12:43 in the first.

Another power play chance came early in the second period when Jared Ross was called for hooking at 2:33. With the penalty time winding down, Mike Harder sent the puck toward a mess of players in front, but it popped toward the left wing. Dave Leaderer pinched in from the point to fire the loose puck just under the cross-bar. His third goal of the year tied the game at 2-2, with Harder and Brett Wilson assisting.

The Royals took the lead back for good, netting an even strength goal five minutes later.Charlie Kronschnabel took a timely pass from Kwiet on the left wing and beat Coleman for his fourth goal of the year and a 3-2 lead Royals lead.

An insurance goal was added at 10:23 of the third from Ben McLeod.Ben Gordon drew the attention of Coleman and the Devils defense, skating tantalizingly close the goal mouth, but rather than shooting he found McLeod open in the crease for the final score of the game.

Matt Dalton, named the game’s first star, made 40 saves in his third win of the season, coming up with his most impressive saves in the most clutch situations. Trenton created several scoring chances late in the third during a four-on-four stretch which turned into a Devils power play, and then a six-on-four when Coleman was pulled for the extra attacker. Dalton and the Royals sustained the attack and held on for the 4-2 victory.

The victory propels Reading (10-6-1-1, 22pts) into first place in the East, one point ahead of the Elmira Jackals who lost 4-1 against the Wheeling Nailers Friday night. Trenton (7-8-1-2, 17pts) remains in third place and returns home to host Elmira Saturday at 7 p.m. at the newly renamed Sun National Bank Center, formerly the Sovereign Bank Arena. The back end of the home-and-home series starts at 4 p.m. at Elmira’s First Arena on Sunday.

Everybody’s Workin’ For The Weekend…

November 27, 2009

The Trenton Devils play three games in three nights starting tonight in Reading. They then head back to Whatever We’re Calling It These Days Arena for a home game against Elmira, and finish their key stretch against divisional opponents by heading up to Elmira on Sunday.

Long before I knew what the schedule would be, I picked up a ticket to the “Red Hot Hockey” event on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, which would be an 8PM faceoff between Boston University and Cornell.  Considering how intense the games are between the T-Devils and Jackals, I’m actually a little disappointed to not be able to be there, but the idea of seeing a BU team loaded with NHL prospects is too great to pass up.  So I won’t be at the T-Devils home game and won’t be back until the December 4th contest against Reading, which I will be covering for the Trentonian.

Unless something changes, the current plan is for me to cover six out of the next eight home games for them…and I’d like to thank them for the great opportunity to cover the team in print for a daily paper that people actually have heard of.

The blog will remain unaffected — press releases will be posted from the road games, news will be posted when it happens and I’ll continue to share all the photos, videos, audio and analysis after every game I cover for the Trentonian.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Bartlett, Lucyk Placed On IR

November 26, 2009

Winger Scott Bartlett and just-signed defenseman Luke Lucyk have been placed on the 3-Day and 7-Day IR, respectively.

Bartlett, in his second season as a T-Devil, has scored three goals in his first 14 games this season.  Last year, he scored just four goals in 45 games.

Lucyk…well, what’s the point of even having IR if a player doesn’t have to be hurt to be placed on it?  While the Devils certainly aren’t the worst of the abusers of IR — I’m looking at you and your goalies, Kalamazoo — it still seems a bit ridiculous for players who were just signed to be stored away on IR while they’re completely healthy.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Kell, Prough Returned To Trenton

November 25, 2009

The captain is back.

One day after writing that the team had three healthy forwards that could easily be sent to Lowell, two of them were assigned there on conditioning stints; former Titan Pierre-Luc Letorneau-Leblond and Ilkka Pikkarainen.

That meant that two players had to come to Trenton from Lowell, and captain Trevor Kell and Jeff Prough are heading back to the capital city as a result.

Kell has spent parts of the last three seasons at the AHL level, appearing in 16 games over the past three seasons.  This year, he scored one goal in five games played.

As for Prough, this marked his first stint in the American Hockey League, and he surely opened some eyes up there with his performance.  In six games, he scored a goal and added two assists while posting a +4 rating and putting the puck on the net nine times.

When he’s on, Prough is one of the best players you’ll see set foot on the Goliath National Bank…uhhh, Sovereign Bank Arena Sun National Bank Center ice, and his wrist shot could take him very far if given the opportunity.

No word on what this move means for Ryan Ginand, who was just signed yesterday after a four-year collegiate career at Northeastern.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Trenton Adds Forward Ginand, Defenseman Lucyk

November 24, 2009

Despite the fact that there are three perfectly healthy forwards sitting in New Jersey who could be playing for Lowell with no problem whatsoever, which would then send some help Trenton’s way, the organization has gone out and thrown the T-Devils a different sort of bone.

Defenseman Luke Lucyk and forward Ryan Ginand have both signed contracts and could debut with the club Friday night in Reading.

Lucyk played for four seasons at Notre Dame before turning pro at the end of last season, playing in a total of four games with the Charlotte Checkers between the regular and postseason.  This year, he was with the CHL’s Texas Brahmas, collecting 12 penalty minutes and 0 points in nine games.

Ginand, listed at 5′ 9″, 165 lbs., has not played professionally in North America since finishing a four year collegiate career at Northeastern University last year.  In 132 games, he scored 46 goals and added 36 assists. He has played this season in Denmark.

With Jeremy Akeson having been placed on the 21-Day IR, the team will need some bodies to get them through this next stretch of games, and hopefully these guys can contribute.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

The Trickle Down Effect

November 24, 2009

The Trenton Devils are all too familiar with the trickle down effect when it comes to goaltending.  If you recall, last season this guy got hurt…

Which was supposed to hand over the reigns to this guy…

But the Devils called up this guy from Lowell, who outplayed that guy…

With that guy gone, they needed to call up some to Lowell to play with this guy…

So they went to Trenton and ended up recalling him…

Trenton should have been OK, because they had this guy back…

But he was all kinds of inconsistent and ultimately would get released, leaving things in this guy’s hands for a while…

And while he played well, things never really became stabilized until the organization pulled a rabbit out of their collective hats and traded for him…

Get it?  Got it?  Good.

So how is this relevant to the ECHL now?  Well, Ottawa has lost goaltender Pascal Leclaire for up to a month with a broken cheekbone.  That means Brian Elliott is now the starter.  Mike Brodeur, who found himself on an Augusta Lynx team that went bankrupt in the middle of last season, is now in the NHL as Elliott’s backup (oddly, both goalies from that team, Brodeur and Helenius, have now suited up in the NHL).  Andy Chiodo now starts in Binghamton.  Chris Holt has been called up from Elmira to back up Chiodo.  Michael Teslak is now the starter in Elmira.  But who’s his backup? 

Hmmm…perhaps Bud Fisher returns.  Maybe they sign someone else.  They’d be wise to inquire about Beau Erickson, who Reading got rid of, if he hasn’t already ended up somewhere else.  Jordan Alford is also seemingly available.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

T-Devils Hang On For Impressive 4-3 Win Over Wings

November 23, 2009

(PR) Kalamazoo, MI – Dan Eves scored twice and Gerald Coleman made 42 saves as Trenton held off the American Conference’s strongest squad, 4-3 Sunday evening in Kalamazoo. Taking two-goal leads on three separate occasions, Trenton managed to keep up the intensity in a 60-minute performance to hand the K-Wings only their second regulation loss in 14 games this season.

Dan Eves scored the first Devils goal at 4:57 of the first, ending a streak of nearly 139 minutes without a Devils goal vs. Kalamazoo, dating to the season opener on October 17. Eves stole the puck at the blue line and fired from the right wing over the shoulder of goalie Julien Ellis, just inside the long post and under the cross bar for his fifth tally of the season.

Tony Zancanaro scored a power play goal six minutes later, cleaning up a rebound after an Andy Thomas blast.

After McGuirk made it 2-1 with his third of the season for the Wings, the Devils scored on a rush down the right wing. Kory Nagy took the puck from the neutral zone toward the right wing circle, his quick feed to slot found Myles Stoesz’ stick, and the league leader in penalty minutes immediately pulled the trigger for his third of the year and a 3-1 Devils lead.

Goals 15 seconds into the second period and with 20 seconds left in the period for Kalamazoo bookended Dan Eves’ second goal of the game. The ultimate game winner came on the power play after a quick centering pass from Mike Harder who was parked behind the net.

The Devils stopped a flurry of chances for the Wings in a scorless third, including two power plays in the final eight minutes, plus a six-on-five advantage for the last few minutes when Ellis was pulled for an extra attacker. The Devils sustained 18 third period shots, holding on for the 4-3 win, their seventh victory of the year.

——————————

(Wings PR) Kalamazoo, MI- All good things come to an end and for the Kalamazoo Wings that includes their five-game winning streak, which came to an end with a 4-3 loss to the Trenton Devils.
Ending a scoreless drought against Kalamazoo; Dan Eves (5th) intercepted a pass at the K-Wings blue line and raced in to beat Julien Ellis 4:57 into the game. The goal snapped Trenton’s scoreless woes against the K-Wings at 138:37.

On Friday, the Devils went 0-for-7 on the power-play; however, Tony Zancanaro (2nd) turned Trenton’s fortunes around knocking in a rebound on their first man-advantage chance of the afternoon.

Kalamazoo cut the deficit to a single goal with 4:30 remaining in the period, with a power-play strike from Brian McGuirk (3rd). McGuirk, who had four career goals entering the season, has now lit the lamp three times over the past two games.

The Devils extended their lead back to two goals late in the period with a rebound marker from Myles Stoesz (3rd).

Storming out in the second period, Kalamazoo registered their second tally of the night 15 seconds into the stanza with wrap around marker from Andrew Fournier (4th).

Eves (6th) regained a two-goal lead for the Devils with a power-play goal 14:04 into the period.

With 20.4 remaining in the period, Kalamazoo closed the gap back to one goal, with a one-timer into the slot from Sam Ftorek (2nd).

Neither team was able to register on the scoreboard in the third period. Gerald Coleman turned aside 18 of his game-high 42 saves in the final 20 minutes, while Ellis finished the contest with 20 saves.

For Game Stats: http://echl.leaguestat.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id7326

Akeson Shelved With Broken Finger

November 22, 2009

In listening to Dan D’Uva’s radio broadcast, it sounds as though Jeremy Akeson has been lost to a broken finger. No word on any sort of timetable for recovery, but it leaves the team with just 18 healthy players…so just enough to field a team.

Akeson, who has seemingly been banged up since his season ended prematurely last year due to a knee injury, has scored three goals and added three assists in 14 games this season. 

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com


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