Archive for October, 2008

Post-Game — Game 6: Johnstown @ Trenton

October 30, 2008

When a reporter asked Trenton Devils forward Tyler Burton if it was nice to finally get a win in front of the home crowd, all it took was a one word answer to sum things up.


Burton scored the game winning goal five minutes and 58 seconds into the third period in Trenton’s 5-2 win over Johnstown, stuffing in a rebound after a point shot from Ryan Gunderson.

“It was a good shot from the point by Gundy,” Burton said.

“Actually, Keller (Trevor Kell) got a little piece on it with a tip and it came right to me.  It just sat there, and I made sure to put it in.”

That goal was part of a four goal third period outburst that led many to think that this was the best 20 minutes of hockey the Devils had played all season.  Did head coach Rick Kowalsky agree? 

To borrow a line from Tyler Burton, absolutely…

“I thought in the first period we were just sloppy and soft,” Kowalsky said.

“Turnovers, we just were not here at all.  I don’t know why, we have to do better at that.  The second, we saw some spurts.  And then the third, I think our effort really got in.  We were good on the forecheck and pressuring the puck.  There were definitely some positives there.”

One negative in the game would have to be the continuing trend of the Trenton struggling to play with a lead.

Before Burton gave them the lead for good, they held a one-goal advantage twice.  They lasted a combined 61 seconds.

“You talk about a shift after you score a goal or a shift after you get scored on, there’s little sequences and battles at the start of a period or an end of a period,” Kowalsky said.

“That’s part of a young team.  You’ve got to respond big after those, those are momentum shifts.  Right now, as a group, we’re trying to feel comfortable in all those situations.  The positive side is that we found a way to get it done tonight.”

And it was Trenton’s effort in the final 20 minutes that sealed the deal, something that had haunted them during their first few games.

“I don’t really think we’d bared down in the third period for a few games, we played a little loose,” Burton said.

“But tonight, I thought we really stuck with it the whole 60 minutes.  Once we got the lead in the third, we weren’t letting it go.”

Notes: According to Kowalsky, Matt Radoslovich lost “three or four teeth” on what the coach described as a hit from behind.  There was no update on if he would miss any time…Kowalsky does not believe that forward Chris Poli will require surgery, and expects him to miss up to a month…Kowalsky also said that “we have to take a step back” with Matt Torti and Jeremy Akeson…Trenton currently has six players on IR.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT


Game 6: Johnstown @ Trenton

October 30, 2008

Pre-Game Notes (LIVE from SBA): 5:30 PM — There’s a stack of media notes awaiting us when we enter the press box, and in one pile was a stack of sheets labeled “Trenton Devils Bio Additions.”

Forwards Brett Pilkington and Eric Thomassian are listed as having been added to the roster.  I’m told Trenton traded with Elmira to get Pilkington, but no clue on Thomassian.

Pilkington was 0-0-0 in 5 games with the Jackals and Thomassian played in Germany last year after four years at Boston University.

That’s about all I’ve got for you right now…hoping to have some injury updates and whatnot in a bit.

5:45 PM — OK, a bunch of updates on the things you guys have been asking me about lately.

First off, Pilkington was dealt for “future considerations.”  Could be a roll of a tape, could be a player.  Who knows?  Thomassian was a free agent signing.

Chris Poli has an “upper body injury” and is out indefinitely.

Kevin Cormier has a “lower body injury,” but skated today.

Tony Zancanaro has started skating, but the timetable for his return remains unknown.

Chris Dyment is still expected to be out for quite a while.

Jeremy Akeson has a “lower body injury” as well and may be out of action for a bit.

Matt Torti appears close to returning.

Jeff Frazee will start tonight.

6:40 PM — Frazee will be opposed by Ian Keserich.  Photos coming shortly.

Around The ECHL:

Around The Division:

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

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

First Period: Trenton starters…




18:30 left —  Pilkington’s out there with Castonguay and Kell…

14:41 left — Trenton just got a nice scoring chance when Tyler Burton chipped a puck from behind the net to Dylan Quaile…perhaps Quaile didn’t realize how much time he had, but instead of skating it in on the goalie, he took a fairly telegraphed slapshot and attempted to beat Keserich through the legs.  He did not.  0-0.

13:39 left — Matt Radoslovich got slammed into the boards, not from behind but pretty close to it and stayed down on the ice for about ten seconds while the play was going on.  He was holding his face as he skated to the bench.  Looks like he went back into the locker room…this team can’t afford any more injuries, ad now they’re shorthanded with Bartlett in the sin bin.

8:49 left — Frazee made a nice blocker save on the power play, and Johnstown couldn’t score.  But Trenton takes another penalty and has to go on the PK for the second time.  0-0.

5:27 left — Trevor Kell in the box = Johnstown PP #3.  Still 0-0, though.  7 total shots this game…not the best period of hockey I’ve ever seen, gotta say.

2:23 left — Trenton couldn’t convert on a long 4-on-3.  Ian Keserich made one nice stop, but that was about it…

0-0 after one period of play.  Shots are 6-5, Trenton.  Nobody with more than one on either team.  This game needs a scrap or something to spark some guys…nothing really going for either team right now.


Second Period:

18:29 left — Brett Pilkington with a nice pass to Trevor Kell on a partial 2-on-1 to give Trenton a 1-0 lead early in the period.

18:10 left — But Joe Gerbe takes a cross-checking penalty and pretty much squashes any momentum.

17:52 left — And the Chiefs tie it at one. Mike Bartlett stuffed it home. 1-1.

10:00 left — Jeff Frazee just played for about 30 seconds without a glove. Could have got real ugly, but thankfully there weren’t any shots on goal until he got it back. Real good pace to the second, still 1-1.

8:06 left — 5-on-3 for Johnstown. Not good…

1:31 left — It’s still 1-1 here.  Both teams have had a few good chances, but nothing outstanding.  Radoslovich hasn’t come back…word is he may be in need of a good dentist.

1-1 after two.  Shots are 18-13, Chiefs.  Highlights have been added.

Third Period:

18:21 left — Trenton again scores early in a period, this time after a scramble for the puck in the crease.  It eventually trickled out to Chris Tutalo, who roofed it to give Trenton a 2-1 lead

17:57 left — This team is absolutely, positively allergic to having the lead.  It’s 2-2 after a puck trickled underneath Frazee…credit goes to Jason Spence.

15:50 left — Trenton goes on the power play.  At this point, it isn’t critical that they get one…but it sure would be nice.

14:02 left — And Tyler Burton stuffs it home on a rebound to give Trenton a 3-2 lead on the PP.  But how long does this lead last?

9:53 left — Trevor Kell just missed on a feed from Pilkington on what was more or less the exact same play they scored on. Trenton’s on a power play after Penner made some real solid contact with Frazee. Castonguay got in his face, but with a penalty already called, he showed some discipline and didn’t do anything.

7:00 left — Real nice play Leaderer on a clean 2-on-1, diving and extending his stick and swiping the puck away from the attacker.

5:07 left — Could it be?  A home win?  Scott Bartlett would appear to have put the icing on the cake on a rebound pretty late in the 3rd.  Keserich just turned his stick into kindling and came way too close to firing the puck int the stands in frustration.  4-2, Trenton leads.

1:12 left — Johnstown appeared to score, but the whistle blew when the ref lost sight of the puck. Ouch. Keserich is on the bench with the Chiefs down 2. Johnstown calls timeout.

38.4 left — Castonguay seals it with the empty netter. Trenton leads 5-2.

Final Score: 5-2, TRENTON

Three Stars:

* Tyler Burton
** Brett Pilkington
*** Petr Pohl 

Post-Game Notes:

Pre-Game Photos:

Codey Burki

Eric Castonguay with a classic hockey smile

Jeff Frazee

Ian Keserich

Ian Keserich’s mask

Kris Mayotte

Jason Smith

Chris Tutalo

In-Game Videos:

Jeff Frazee’s 1st period blocker save on the PK.

Eric Castonguay gets denied by Ian Keserich on a T-Devils PP.

2nd Period: Frazee makes the stop in the 5-on-3

2nd Period: Joe Gerbe’s partial breakaway out of the box is denied by a diving Chiefs defenseman.

3rd Period: Tyler Burton gives the Devils the lead

Fight Videos:

Next Game:

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Interesting Story About Your Captain

October 28, 2008

Thanks to one of my readers, who passed along this 2006 story about current Trenton Devils captain Chris Dyment.

Looks like the guy has been through quite a bit…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

When 56 Shots Isn’t Enough

October 27, 2008

(PR) A barrage of 56 shots on Curtis Darling did not help matters for the Trenton Devils as they lost to the Wheeling Nailers 5-3 on Sunday afternoon.

The Nailers were recipients of a Tommy Goebel hat trick and Darling’s 53 saves to help them defeat the Devils and give themselves their fourth win in five games.

Goebel scored twice for the Nailers to give them a 2-0 lead before Chris Tutalo’s first professional goal put Trenton on the board at the 6:08 mark of the second period.

After it had appeared the Devils scored the tying goal on a goal mouth scramble, the goal was waved off after Tyler Burton was called for goaltender interference. Nick Johnson scored on the ensuing man advantage to give Wheeling a 3-1 lead at 9:09 of the second.

Goebel completed his hat trick 32 seconds later to put Wheeling up by three goals, which led to Jason Smith getting pulled from the game in favor of Jeff Frazee.

After the Nailers added another goal towards the end of the second, Matt Radoslovich scored on a breakaway at 17:18 to put the Devils within three.

In the third period, the Devils plastered 27 shots towards Darling, but only Eric Castonguay’s found the net at 11:24 of the period to make it 5-3. Unfortunately for the Devils, the constant opportunities were matched by Darling, who earned the game’s first start for his 53-save performance.

Castonguay and Radoslovich each had a goal and an assist in the losing cause.

The Trenton Devils return home on Thursday to take on the Johnstown Chiefs at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are still available by calling 609-599-9500. Fans can listen or watch the broadcast on, courtesy of B2 Networks.

News and Notes

October 26, 2008

– I don’t cover the team on the road, so I obviously won’t be able to have the photos, videos and game updates that I have when the team is at SBA.  All I can really do is post press releases when they’re on the road, or focus on other stories around the league or division.  I’m also working on doing some ECHL alumni stories.

– Trenton apparently signed defenseman Dan McGoff.  Must have missed the release on that one.  He played four years at Boston University before making his pro debut last night.

– Joe Gerbe came out of the lineup yesterday in favor of Jeremy Akeson.  Gerbe had more than his fair share of scoring chances in the opening weekend, but couldn’t finish.

Frazee Makes 39 Saves To Earn First Pro Win

October 26, 2008

(PR) The Trenton Devils earned their first win of the season by beating the previously undefeated Wheeling Nailers in a shootout Saturday night at WesBanco Arena by the score of 5-4.

Chris Poli and Tyler Burton scored the shootout goals for Trenton while Jeff Frazee turned aside all four shots in the shootout to earn his first professional victory.

The Devils got on the board first with Ryan Gunderson’s shot from the blue line on the power play at the 13:09 mark of the first period.

The power play continued their good fortune when Matt Cohen’s shot trickled through Nailers goaltender Curtis Darling for a 2-0 Devils lead 2:35 into the second. The Nailers got on the board less than a minute later when Aaron Clarke scored on a breakaway.

The two-goal lead returned for the Devils when Poli’s wrist shot from the corner manage to find its way into the net at 7:11 of the second period. After the second intermission, Trevor Kell’s deflection from a Gunderson slap shot at 3:35 at the third gave the Devils a 4-1 lead.

However, the Nailers would not give up. With three unanswered goals, two of them on the power play; the Nailers fought back to tie the game at four and force overtime.

After the scoreless extra frame, the Devils would prevail in the shootout, as Burton and Poli both went top shelf to beat Darling, and Frazee looked strong in his shootout debut in stopping all the Nailers’ attempts.

The power play was the story for both teams, as Trenton went 4-for-5 and Wheeling went 3-for-4 with the man advantage. Frazee made 39 saves to earn his first professional victory.

Good News, Devils Fans!

October 24, 2008

Trenton finally picked up that elusive first win?  Well no, not quite…

But Johnstown made a couple moves that could help them in that regard.

Ryan Garlock, in my opinion the best player I saw during the opening three-game homestand at Sovereign Bank Arena last weekend, has been called up to AHL Syracuse.  The 22-year-old is a former second round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Chiefs received goaltender Sebastian Dahm from Syracuse.  The 21-year-old is 0-1-0 with a 5.31 GAA in two games with the Crunch this year.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Around The ECHL

October 23, 2008

There’s not really a whole lot going on with the Trenton Devils at the moment, so it’s time to take a look around the division and the entre league.

WTRF reports that Wheeling has named their captain and assistant captains for the season.

Speaking of Wheeling, the Las Vegas Sun reports that ex-Nailers goalie Martin Houle has signed with the Wranglers.  Houle has one game of NHL experience with the Philadelphia Flyers under his belt.

Adam Berti, who made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks last year, has been assigned to Fresno by the Blackhawks.

And Johnstown beat Elmira, 5-3.  Here’s the press release:

The Johnstown Chiefs pulled off a dramatic 5-3 victory over the Elmira Jackals on Wednesday night at the UPMC Health Plan Ice Rink at the Cambria County War Memorial.
Johnstown raced out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, and looked to be on its way to an easy victory. Mark McCutcheon blasted home a power play goal (2nd; 6:39) in the first period to open the scoring. Codey Burki and Jon Landry assisted for their first points of the season. A pair of rookies teamed up on the Chiefs’ second goal of the first.

Working hard on the forecheck, Chris Mueller set the puck up for Ryan Del Monte in the low left wing. Del Monte (1st; 13:14) let loose a quick wrist shot that got by Jackals’ starter Mitch O’Keefe. Del Monte, and David Schulz, returned the favor as they assisted on Mueller’s goal (1st; 19:28) to close out the first period scoring. The goals by Del Monte and Mueller were their first pro goals.

Elmira stormed back with second period goals by Bruce Watson (1st; 0:17) and Tyler Donati (3rd; 8:30). The Chiefs looked to protect their one-goal lead in the third period but a three-man rush by Josh Aspenlind, Benoit Doucet, and Pierre-Luc Faubert led to Faubert’s tying goal (1st; 8:30). That set the stage for Landry’s heroics.

With Slavomir Tomko in the box for tripping, the Chiefs’ potent power play went to work. Burki head-manned a puck to a streaking Petr Pohl who split the Jackals defense. From the low right wing, Pohl got the puck to the back door where Landry was staring at a wide-open net. The rookie defenseman hammered a shot right to the back of the net for the game winning goal (1st; 16:23). Mueller (2nd; 19:51) added an empty-net goal to set the final score.

Chiefs netminder Ian Keserich won his second game of the year by making 27 saves on 30 shots, while the Chiefs power play ended the night 2-for-6.

McVicar Recalls The NHL Debut That Almost Never Was

October 22, 2008

McVicar (Photo: Mike Ashmore)

No matter where his career takes him, Elmira Jackals goaltender Rob McVicar will always be able to say that he played in the National Hockey League.

He played in two minutes and 44 seconds of the Vancouver Canucks 5-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on December 1, 2005, replacing an ineffective Alex Auld late in the game.

But what most people probably don’t know, is that it was a debut that should have come a few games sooner.

“We were in Colorado, and it was the same thing where we were getting kind of walloped,” McVicar recalled.

“(Then Canucks head coach) Marc Crawford told me to go in.  I turned around, and my gloves and helmet weren’t on the bench where I left them.  The trainers had brought them back into the dressing room.  So as I was waiting for my gloves, they’d already started to get to center ice and faceoff.”

For a player who had still yet to play in the NHL, and only had 17 games of AHL experience at the time, it was a tough pill to swallow.

“That was pretty devastating.  I was very, very disappointed when that happened.  It was just one of those weird things that happened, I don’t know why the trainers brought them back there.  But it happened, and luckily I got the chance to go in a few games later.”

But while the 26-year-old native of Brandon, Manitoba can say he played in the NHL, he can’t say he got to make a save.

“I didn’t even get a shot,” said McVicar, who backed up for about a dozen games for Vancouver.

“I was kind of mad about that, actually.  I think a guy came down the left wing and shot about ten feet wide.  I just wanted at least one shot.  But it was a good experience, I had a lot of fun up there and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

While there are many who knows that McVicar was fortunate enough to reach the NHL, people may be surprised to learn that since that game in Edmonton nearly three years ago, he hasn’t played in a single game not only in the NHL, but the AHL as well.

He was sent down to the ECHL’s Victoria Salmon Kings shortly after the game, and has since played with the Utah Grizzlies in the ECHL and spent last season with the Arizona Sundogs of the CHL, where was named the playoff MVP.

This year, he’s returned to the ECHL to play for Trenton’s division rival, the Elmira Jackals.  He admits that his taste of playing at the top levels of game makes having to return here a little frustrating.

“It is (frustrating), I’m not going to lie,” he said.

“I think I could play at a higher level, but I’m not mad.  Hockey’s done me well, and I don’t really owe hockey anything.  It’s been great to me, I love it.  I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.  You always want to play at the next level, but you don’t want to be that guy that’s going to mope about it and complain about it.  You’ve just got to take what you’re given and work as hard as you can and see what happens.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Cormier To IR, Tutalo Signed

October 22, 2008

Forward Kevin Cormier has been placed on the 7-Day IR with a “lower body injury” and has been replaced on the roster by 21-year-old Chris Tutalo.

Tutalo played in one game with the Elmira Jackals last season after two 40+ point seasons in the QMJHL.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT