Game 1: Johnstown @ Trenton

Pre-Game Notes: So I’ve covered a few hockey games before at the AHL level, but that was for a radio station…where I didn’t need to do things like run a blog and have game threads and things like that.  So for now, I’m going to try this format out and see how it works.  If things get a little too cluttered, then I might try multiple posts during the same game instead of keeping it all in one thread.

If you have any suggestions on things you’d like to see on here, or how you’d like things to be laid out on gamedays, feel free to send me an e-mail or post a comment.

As for things that you’ll actually care about, this is the tenth season of Trenton Devils hockey.  After making the playoffs in his first season, T-Devils legend Rick Kowalsky’s club had a disappointing year last season and missed the playoffs for only the second time in team history.

Nobody wants a repeat of last year, and there’s a lot of optimism around the club this year.

“If you look at the preseason, where a few guys had serious injuries…Trevor Kell losing a tooth on the first shift and guys rallying around that, and then coming back to win the two preseason games, hopefully that will start to identify the kind of character that we need,” said forward Scott Bartlett.

Pre-Game (LIVE from SBA): 6:15 PM — Well, I made it.  And the internet works here as well.  Two upsets in one day, not bad.

The view from my spot in the press box looks like this…

Can’t complain about that, can I?

A lot of last minute things are taking place here before the season opening game at Sovereign Bank Arena.  A few light fixtures are being checked out, they’re testing the camera’s feed to the jumbotron and the goal horn just blared for the first time.  The fairly large crowd expected for the game tonight is certainly hoping that won’t be the only time.

I honestly don’t know whether they’ll be providing the team’s lines and expected starting goaltenders for the evening — I’m told they won’t be — but I’ll be down for warmups taking pictures and whatnot, so I should have that information for you regardless.

6:20 PM — Jeremy Akeson and Jay Bletzer are expected to be the scratches for Trenton tonight.  Kevin Cormier will be playing.

In the meantime, enjoy these fight clips I shot from last year of Thomas Harrison taking on Johnstown’s Jason Spence and Brandon Straub.

7:10 PM — Looks like it’ll be Frazee, as I previously reported, against Ian Keserich for Johnstown between the pipes.

I’ll have photos from warmups shortly.

Chris Dyment was wearing the C, with Trevor Kell and Jim Henkel wearing the A’s, if I remember correctly.

7:25 PM — Photos are posted, check out the bottom of the thread.  If you guys ever have a player you’d like me to take photos of, just let me know.

Around The ECHL: David Shantz was called up to the Panthers from the Florida Everblades, and the Everblades have added last year’s Goaltender of the Year, Anton Khudobin.

Chris Holt was called up from Alaska to Peoria by the St. Louis Blues to fill a hole in the organization after Chris Mason underwent an emergency appendectomy.

Around The Division: Reading and Wheeling both added their second goaltenders today, with Reading bringing in James Reimer and Wheeling getting David Brown. Kind of hoping to see Danny Taylor for Reading this weekend, but we’ll see how that goes.

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:

17:40 left — Some good action here in the first perod as the 2008-09 Trenton Devils season gets underway.  Trenton’s on the PP.

16:24 left — Devils power play didn’t look so good, and then Henkel got called for a hook about a minute into it.

14:00 left — Two nice saves, one from each goaltender.  Keserich with a nice pad stop on Tyler Burton on a breakaway, and that came before a save on a point shot from Ray Macias.

12:11 left — Lots of end to end action so far, this game has a good pace to it right now.  Still 0-0.

8:16 left – The Devils get their second power play of the game and the season.  Seems like the D aren’t afraid to shoot, Dylan Quaile just missed on a rocket from the point.

6:10 left — Thomas Harrison and Alex Penner just dropped the gloves and squared off right off the faceoff.  Not a lot of punches landed, I’d say it was a draw.  I’ll have the video in a bit, of course.  That’s what you can expect all year long.

Seems like most of Johnstown’s shots have been low on Frazee, by the way.  Not sure if that’s by design.

4:00 left — Another penalty by David Schulz leads to Trenton’s third power play.  They’re getting outshot, 10-8, though.

2:00 left — Two real good chances on the PP, one on a stuff-in try by Tyler Burton, and the other on a wraparound attempt by Trevor Kell.  No dice, though.  Both goalies have looked good.

:02 left — Not a good night for Schulz, his third minor of the night leads to Trenton’s fourth PP. He basically cross checked one of the Devils into the net…but Trevor Kell took a penalty late in the period to nullify another power play chance. Fight video now posted as well, other highlights coming.

Scoreless after 1. Shots tied at 10.

Second Period: I have the lines as Harrison-Henkel-Radoslovich, Bartlett-Gerbe-Poli and Castonguay-Burton-Kell.  I honestly haven’t noticed Cormier at all.  The second is about to get going.

The shots were “adjusted” to 12 for Johnstown and 11 for Trenton.

19:00 left — Ryan Garlock very, very nearly put one past Frazee on a nice little deke just in front of the crease, but the puck trickled just wide.  4-on-4 hockey for another 20 seconds or so here.  Tyler Burton and Robert Page led the Devs with three shots a piece in the 1st, by the way. 

16:30 left — Mike Bartlett missed the net on a nice pass from Macias, and Chris Dyment was injured on the same play, down behind the net for a short amount of time before limping off.  Oh, there’s Cormier showing up with a hit from behind…but Johnstown retaliated and Trenton’s getting their fifth power play out of it.

15:41 left — Questionable play by Frazee, covering the puck with 1:10 left in a Trenton PP with nobody from Johnstown around him.  Why would you want a faceoff in your own end when there’s no reason to not keep the play going?

14:18 left — Real nice save by Frazee though, robbing Jon Landry on a partial 2-on-1 where the pass went through the defenseman’s legs.

10:00 left — Rick Kowalsky wasn’t screwing around…Tyler Burton is a nice player at this level.  He had another nice shot on goal, this time through the legs of d-man Greg Gallagher.  But both goalies have been up to the task, and we’re scoreless through 30 minutes.

6:00 left — Finally saw a shot high on Frazee, and he made the save.  He looked a little scrambly on one recent sequence, but he’s looked very good.

4:10 left Chris Poli scores on a rebound on the power play to give the Devils a 1-0 lead.  I have video of the goal and will post it.  Assists to Dylan Quaile and Jim Henkel.  Keep an eye out on the bottom of the post.

END OF PERIOD — Devils lead, 1-0.  Assuming the scoreboard totals are correct…and uhhh, they probably aren’t.  They’re outshooting Johnstown, 20-15.  If my math is right, the Chiefs have taken nine minor penalties in the first 40 minutes.  Can’t win that way.

Poli’s goal video coming shortly.

Third Period: Poli’s goal video is posted, so check that out.  The shot from the point was by Quaile, by the way.  Page and Burton continue to lead the team in shots, now with four a piece.  The shots are 21-16, Trenton…so they were at least close.

19:00 left — Johnstown is swarming in the first minute.  A missed chance on a three-on-one, then a shot that either hit the post or the very outside of the net…and a missed chance with a wide open net and Frazee down.  They’ve got some skill if they can stay out of the box.

14:00 left — This game seems to have gotten back to the pace that it was at early on.  Lots of end to end, fast-paced action.  No penalties, either.

9:48 left — It’s been a penalty free period so far, which is a welcomed sight after the first 40 minutes.  My three stars ballot right now looks like Frazee-Poli-Burton.  Frazee’s not standing on his head or anything, but he’s making the saves he needs to make.

7:54 left Ryan Garlock scores for Johnstown to make it 1-1.  Pretty similar goal to Poli’s, in that the goalie — in this case Frazee — made the initial save, but Garlock got the rebound and chipped it home.  Macias and Petr Pohl with the assists.  Garlock has looked like the Chiefs best player out there right now.

6:24 left — Not good.  Joe Gerbe’s in the box, and the Chiefs are on the power play.  The momentum may be shifting a bit here.

5:21 left — Yup.  Garlock chips one over Frazee on his backhand right in front of the crease to give Johnstown a 2-1 lead on the PP.  Randy Rowe and Pohl with the assists.

3:51 left — The Johnstown players are chirping at Frazee after he went after one of their players chipping away at a puck he appeared to have covered. It didn’t sit well with either side. Frazee’s probably a little frustrated right now, too.

1:12 left — Time’s winding down, and Frazee’s out of the net so the Devils have six attackers on the ice with a faceoff in the Chiefs zone after Trenton called a timeout.

Garlock just misses the hat trick, hitting the post on a diving attempt.  Devils LOSE, 2-1.

Final Score: 2-1, Chiefs.

Three Stars:

1 – Ryan Garlock
2 – Ian Keserich
3 – Chris Poli

Post-Game Notes:

In-Game Photos:

Kevin Cormier, wearing #32

Jeff Frazee

Frazee

Greg Gallagher

Jim Henkel

Ian Keserich

Kris Mayotte

Chris Poli

Jason Smith

Smith

In-Game Videos:

Harrison vs. Penner

Frazee robs Ryan Garlock, who briefly raised his arms thinking he scored

Nice pad save by Frazee in his ECHL debut

Joe Gerbe’s denied off the rush by Avs draft pick Ian Keserich

Jeff Frazee dives around the crease in the second period.

Chris Poli scores on a rebound past Keserich in the 2nd period.  Look at how he cuts to the net to try for the deflection, and gets the rebound afterwards.

Next Game: Tomorrow night, at Sovereign Bank Arena against the Reading Royals.  7PM start time.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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5 Responses to “Game 1: Johnstown @ Trenton”

  1. Brian Says:

    I am following the game via this blog, so I don’t have any insightful observations to add, but I just wanted to say thanks a ton for doing this! I really like the pre-game photos and in-game videos. Its much appreciated, keep up the great work!

  2. Mike M Says:

    I second that!

  3. tdevils Says:

    Glad you guys are enjoying it, I had a lot of fun doing it. The pre-game photos are pretty easy to do, because I do that anyway when I go to a game as a fan…it’s part of what makes it fun for me.

    The videos…getting the fights shouldn’t be much of a problem, but I lucked out in getting the Poli goal. I’m sure I’ll have moe stuff like that down the road, but that was luck.

  4. Tdevilsfan Says:

    Awesome stuff; you do realize that we expect you to be ‘lucky’ with future goals as well, right? 🙂

    T-Devs should push awareness of this blog. In fact I think I just may mention this to them tonite. Based on the sad sack attendance they could certainly use the help- doubly so since they’re not on terrestrial radio.

  5. tdevils Says:

    Ha…I’ll try to get some big saves and goals, but ideally I would have about 2 or 3 people doing what I’m trying to do, not just me. But I ran into the same issues with the Trenton Thunder blog, and I always managed to find a way.

    I’d like for the Trenton Devils to promote the blog — as I haven’t done anything to promote it myself — but I don’t want to be treated differently from any of the other writers. If they’re going to boost my stuff, I’d hope that the other writers have their stuff showcased as well.

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