Archive for November, 2010

Watson Added; Lerg Returned

November 30, 2010

The Trenton Devils have signed 28-year-old forward Chase Watson and have received goaltender Jeff Lerg from Albany.

Watson has experience in the ECHL with the Augusta Lynx, Johnstown Chiefs, Reading Royals and Wheeling Nailers and played this season with the CHL’s Arizona Sundogs (4 GP, 1-1-2).

He scored a career-high 14 goals in 2007-08 with Augusta.

Lerg was returned from his AHL call-up without having appeared in a game.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Hat Trick

November 30, 2010

Three things…

1) The Reading Royals have signed former Johnstown Chiefs goalie Kris Mayotte.  Mayotte was an ECHL All-Star in 2008-09, but suffered through a rough 2009-10 campaign that saw him get outplayed by Shane Connelly…Mayotte had not played since posting a 10-16-5 record with a 3.86 GAA and .892 save percentage in 33 games with Johnstown last year.  Although, the Royals press release notes that Mayotte has posted an 8-2-0-0 record against Reading. 

Ben Scrivens is still with AHL Toronto due to James Reimer’s call-up, so a move was needed to have a backup for Matt Dalton.

2) Old friend Eric Castonguay has been returned to Reading after a successful one-game loan to AHL Bridgeport.  Casty scored a goal and earned third star honors for his efforts.

Olivier Labelle remains with Bridgeport despite collecting zero points in his first seven games.

3) Don’t miss my latest ECHL.com piece on former Wheeling Nailers standout David Koci, who’s now a member of the Colorado Avalanche.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Thanks For Visiting…

November 29, 2010

And now, a few photos of the Alaska Aces and Cincinnati Cyclones…neither of whom seems to visit Trenton all that often.

Adam Courchaine

Courchaine

Alex Dzielski

Kory Falite

Scott Howes

Mark Isherwood

Garry Nunn

Russ Sinkewich

Maxime Tanguay

Steve Ward

Brady Calla

Marc Cheverie

Cheverie

Chris Clackson

Name that Cyclone!

No, seriously…I don’t know who these guys are.

Barret Ehgoetz

Scott Lehman

Benn Olson

Chet Pickard

Pickard

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Real Quick…

November 29, 2010

Looking for my Trentonian story online?  It seems to be about as visible as Jim Leahy’s mustache…which I do believe was last seen on the side of a milk carton.  So you may actually have to…gasp, buy the paper to check it out.

Consoling me quite nicely was the arrival of my tickets to the World Junior Championships in Buffalo, so all is not lost for me today.  If my story does appear online, I’ll be sure to pass it along to you. 

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 16: Post-Game Notes

November 28, 2010

I’ll try to keep this relatively brief, because I’d like to pretend that game didn’t happen.  Certainly, the Trenton Devils would like to erase it from memory.

You’ll read about this disaster in The Trentonian tomorrow, but Trenton has now lost the last six “second halves” of back-to-back games and has lost their last four of those after winning the first game.  You’ll see Kevin Dean’s quotes tomorrow — his post-game chat was quite brief and I used just about all of what he said in the paper…it wasn’t that he didn’t want to talk, there just wasn’t a lot to say — but essentially he couldn’t pinpoint why his team can’t get the job done in back-to-back games.

He wasn’t as critical of his team as I thought he might be.  But to me, I can’t say there was one player who I thought looked good tonight.  Even Ryan Ginand, who has almost always been a spark plug for this team, didn’t have the same jump tonight.  Didn’t see much of Jeff Prough…Matt Vokes looked good for a while, but even he seemed to lose his legs a little bit after a while.  Ryan Hayes had a decent game.

T.J. Miller had quite possibly the worst game I’ve seen by any Trenton player this season if you ask me.  It seemed like he was giving the puck away at least once per shift.  I remember when he was a healthy scratch pretty early on in the year and I was shocked…now, it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

The “putting Jordon Southorn up front” move didn’t pan out at all — a move that was likely made necessary by Tony Zancanaro being unable to go — and Taylor Vichorek seemed far more focused on playing the man than the puck.  All in all, it was a flat performance.

At least it was somewhat entertaining with the 98 penalty minutes — including five fights — but even some of those didn’t go so well for Trenton.  J.S. Berube…it’s surprising it took him this long into the year to drop the gloves, but hey…you guys saw the video of the second fight, right?  Yikes.

Cincinnati pretty much controlled the majority of the second period, and that really seemed to swing the momentum in their favor.  Mike Brown made a few nice stops, but I think some of what the defense was able to mask last night showed up tonight…he didn’t read some plays well, and was slow to react or recover from others. 

Marc Cheverie signed with the Florida Panthers this season after starring for three years at DU.

I was looking forward to seeing either Marc Cheverie or Chet Pickard tonight — it was Cheverie — but Trenton really never tested him.  He only saw 21 shots, and maybe a handful were quality chances.

Zancanaro…Dean said nothing specific happened to him in warmups and that he should be good to go on Wednesday.  Nolet, rather obviously, hurt his arm going into the boards…there was no specific information available regarding the extent of his injury after the game.

Realized I never posted Southorn’s last fight…here ya go.  And shoot, while I’m at it, here’s a Gerald Coleman save from Saturday.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 16: VIDEO

November 28, 2010

Jordon Southorn vs. Benn Olson

J.S. Berube vs. Benn Olson

Matt Vokes ties the game, 1-1, in the first period…

(Don’t know why these are showing up in 240P, by the way…they look like crap on here.  On YouTube itself, you can adjust it up to 480P. )

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 16: Pre-Game Notes

November 28, 2010

3:50 PM — As expected, it’s Brown versus Cheverie in net…

3:00 PM — This is the brief “yup, I left for lunch after I got here” version of the pre-game notes.  Basically, I’ve got nothin’.

Mike Brown’s between the pipes for Trenton…going to assume Marc Cheverie for Cincinnati, but seeing Chet Pickard wouldn’t surprise me either.

I’ll update this with anything relevant prior to the drop of the puck.  It’s another Trentonian game for me…so no in-game stuff.  But, as I hope you can see, the post-game coverage won’t disappoint.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Vokes Sharp In Return

November 28, 2010

Matt Vokes tallied two assists and was a +3 in his first game of the season

When asked about the emotions of having missed all but a few shifts of the first part of his first two professional seasons, Matt Vokes didn’t mince words.

“It sucks.  You can’t sugarcoat it any other way,” he said.

“It’s frustrating.  You have a new coach coming in and you want to get out there and show him that you can play.  He’s never seen me play.  You want to show him that you’re more than just a joker in the locker room or something like that.  But it was tough, because I had two, three practices and then two shifts in the first preseason game and that was it.  Then, I’m just the guy who’s sitting there and riding the bike and working out while the team’s getting ready for practice.

When it came to building relationships with his new teammates, Vokes was put at a disadvantage for the second year in a row.

“It was also tough because a lot of friendships and lot of chemistry comes from being on the ice,” Vokes told me. 

“It’s kind of hard to sit there and joke around with a guy because you’re not in the trenches with him.  But coming back, I thought it went better than I expected tonight.”

The friendly 25-year-old tallied a primary assist on Ryan Hayes highlight reel goal and a secondary assist on J.S. Berube’s, and finished the night as a plus three.  Unfortunately, he’s used to missing time early in the year, so he knew what to expect this time around.

“The same thing happened last year, so I came in and just tried to keep it simple and keep it smart and make the easy plays,” Vokes said.

“The big thing is you know your legs aren’t going to be 100 percent, so you need to make sure you’re making the smart plays.  You don’t want to be taking risks or unnecessary penalties or getting caught out of position, because those are the mental mistakes.  If your legs aren’t there, you’ve got to make sure your head’s there.  That was my main focus going in.”

The cerebral forward was — and this should come as a shock to nobody who’s been in Trenton’s locker room — working out after the game.  All he could do for the majority of his time on the shelf with an ankle injury was work out, which kept him in great shape…but Vokes says there’s nothing that can replicate actually playing in a game.

“You can do down and backs or you can skate sprints for four weeks straight, but when you get into a game, it’s a completely different story,” he said.

“We have guys on the team that are smart guys that take the load off you.  Playing with Hayes and Berube tonight…Hayes has a lot of skill, and Berube just brings meat and potatoes and a lot of strong work ethic…and they make my job easy getting back into the game.  I can be the third guy high, I don’t have to worry about jumping in there on the forecheck.   It’s still important and if I’m there, I do it.  But when you have two guys like that setting the pace for you, it makes you raise your game a little bit.”

The real challenge for a player coming off of an injury, however, is playing the second game of a back-to-back.

“Whenever you have back-to-back games, it’s always going to be a challenge,” Vokes said.

“But last year, I learned a lot.  There are solid guys on this team, and they’re not going to let you sit there and get out of shape.  They’re not going to let you do things that you shouldn’t to take you out of the game.  Ultimately, I knew this day was going to come, it was just a matter of when.  I’d planned on playing tomorrow, not today.  But with Zajac and Nagy going up, I came in this morning and plans had changed.  You always have to be ready.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Akeson On The Upswing

November 28, 2010

Jeremy Akeson turned in a strong game against Alaska, scoring an empty-net goal and adding an assist in Trenton's 5-2 win.

This season has not been an easy one for Jeremy Akeson.  Finally healthy after battling injuries over the past 18 months or so, the personable 26-year-old Canadian had just three points in 12 games entering tonight’s game against Alaska.

He needed a game like the one he had tonight.

Strong work on the puck early in the first period directly resulted in Trenton’s first goal of the game when Matt Lombardi one-timed an Akeson feed past Gerald Coleman to give the Devils a 1-0 lead.

Then, late in the third with Coleman pulled and Trenton hanging on to a two goal lead, Akeson buried an empty netter from the red line for just his second goal of the season.  So, Jeremy…is the monkey finally off your back?

“Yeah, a little bit,” said Akeson with a smile.

The Ottawa, Ontario native just couldn’t get things going early in the season, going so far as to be a healthy scratch in two games. 

“I just had a slow start at the beginning,” he said.

“We had a lot of guys come down here from American League camp and I don’t want to say I felt like I was a step behind, because I felt good in camp, but I wasn’t playing the hockey I wanted to be playing at the beginning.  I’m just trying to work hard right now.  Fortunately, tonight it kind of worked out for me.”

More importantly, Akeson says, the monkey may be off his team’s collective backs after pulling out two points against a team like Alaska.

“It’s huge,” he said.

“Especially after we lost Trevor Kell and Chucky (Dan Charleston) a couple weeks ago, and then Darcy and Kory get called up and we lose our two goalies.  But Brownie came in and gave us a chance to win and we won.  These are two huge points, we’ve just got to build off of it.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Trentonian: Coming Up Aces

November 28, 2010

Here’s my game story that you’ll find in Sunday’s Trentonian.  Hope you like hockey movies, or the lead just won’t work…


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