Archive for April, 2009

Post-Season Meeting Day Updates…No, Seriously

April 23, 2009

The T-Devils held their postseason meetings and cleaned out their lockers…a few of the players will be staying around for a little while, while others are already leaving and heading home.

Got to talk to Gerald Coleman and get some clarification about what his situation was.  According to him — and this certainly sounds plausible — he got run by Chaz Johnson in Game 1 and may have suffered a concussion.  He said he was getting a lot of headaches and it was “almost a concussion.”

He said he felt the symptoms before Game 4, told head coach Rick Kowalsky and the change was made to go to Jeff Frazee.

I’ll add all the Game 7 postgame stuff as well as some of those alumni features as things drag on in the off-season…keep checking back, I’ll keep updating this for as long as I’m going to do it.  I’m obviously undecided on a 2009-10 return as of yet…


Game 7: Post-Game Notes

April 21, 2009

– We all spoke to Rick Kowalsky at length after the game. It’s a lot to transcribe, so don’t expect it tonight…

But if you’re looking for long-term information, Rick said he would like to return next season and that he’d have to sit down with the organization to discuss that.

If the Lowell job opens up, Kowalsky should certainly be a candidate for that. But if not, if he wants to come back to Trenton…they’d be lucky to have him.

– Jim Henkel made it very clear that he wants to play next season.  He said his lap around the ice after the game was more to thank the fans…which was a classy move from a classy guy.  Henkel has helped a certain reporter who had a deer in the headlights look on more than one occasion when he was trying to find a certain player…you don’t forget guys doing stuff like that for you.

He said that if he can’t land an American Hockey League job, he’d like to come back to Trenton.

– I spoke to Chaz Johnson after the game.  Considering how much of the fans and even the players attention focused around him, it was a little surreal to see him just sitting quietly in the locker room.  He was wearing a black, sparkly shirt that had “respect” spelled out in big, bold letters.  I think it may tough for some people to respect him, but I’d take him on my team any time…he’s a skilled player who plays on the edge and changes the way teams play.  Yeah, the theatrical stuff is a little much…but still, the guy is a very, very good player at this level.

Look for quotes from all three men in the coming day or two…

– Getting to Game 7 itself…the Devils had absolutely every opportunity to win that game.  Rob Chakler made a great point, in that their 2-1 lead was the first time they’d played with a lead since Game 2…and yet, there they were in a Game 7.  So the fact that they even got there was impressive.  But they could have won that game.

In my professional opinion, the power play sucked.  No other way to put it, and it was the difference in the game.  Elmira scored twice on theirs, Trenton went 0-for-7.  They had, had, had to score on that four minute power play, and they didn’t.

– Matt Cohen’s injury was kept pretty hush-hush…but he was walking around the locker room after Game 6 with a huge brace on his left knee.  He was limping heavily, and there was no way in hell he was playing tonight. 

– Speaking of injuries, Eric Castonguay hurt his knee after getting hit by Johnson.  No idea how serious and so on, but that’s why he didn’t return.

– The defense, in general, was so-so.  Ryan Gunderson is so incredibly frustrating to watch because it seems like he never, ever shoots.  Chris Dyment glides to the puck too much and never steps up to try to prevent puck possession and the other team starting a rush.  Justin Coutu coughs up the puck too much.  Dylan Quaile needs to be more accurate with his shot.  The only two D that stood out for good reasons tonight were Mike Wilson and David Leaderer.

In fact, Leaderer stepped up for the whole series.  He showed much more offensive potential in this series than he had all season, it seemed.

– Jeff Frazee’s rebound control was awful.  It’s amazing that it didn’t cost them any more than it did.  He was good otherwise, but too many times he’d kick a puck right into the slot, or simply drop a puck he should have cleanly gloved.

– Myles Stoesz was sporting a very nasty mouse under his left eye, which was nearly swollen shut.  Give the guy credit for coming back and playing, high sticking penalty or not.

– That may be the quietest locker room I’ve ever been in.  All you could hear was the water running in the shower and sticks being untaped.  Nobody said a word.

– With the season over, I can be a fan a little bit…with that said, I hope Cincinnati blows the doors off of the Jackals.  Outside of Elmira, I can’t imagine Steve Martinson has too many fans.  An awkward exchange I had with him before Game 1 would seem to validify what everyone else had been saying…

– Stay tuned in the next few days for a lot more…I’ll need some time to write up a thank you to everyone who visited the blog on a regular basis…as well as this team.  I was very clearly and openly on the fence about how I felt about covering this team this season…but I’m going to miss being there and miss covering this group of guys.

Henkel gave us a great quote about this team that I’ll share with you soon…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Game 7: North Division Semifinals — Elmira @ Trenton

April 21, 2009

Series Status: 3-3 (Best of 7)

Pre-Game Notes (LIVE from SBA): 5:00 PM — If I were a betting man, I’d say there could be a few lineup changes tonight…more later.

6:25 PM — Michael Teslak vs. Jeff Frazee is your goalie matchup. Scott Bartlett is out of the lineup, Myles Stoesz is in. Mike Wilson is playing, Matt Cohen is not.

6:40 PM — If I told you two players had to be separated during warmups, I bet you’d be able to guess…yup, Chaz Johnson and Myles Stoesz. No offense to Stoesz, but if both guys drop the gloves and are off the ice for five minutes, Trenton’s getting the better end of that deal.

Around The ECHL:

Around The Division: Cincinnati beat Wheeling in Double OT last night to advance to the division finals.

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: 20:00 left — Starters are…





17:01 left — Nice shift by Trenton right there…that’s how they have to play tonight…keep the puck in the Jackals end, play physical and work hard for loose pucks. Great job.

14:03 left — And an awful shift right there…Elmira must have had the puck in Trenton’s end for 90 seconds there. Chris Dyment made a few turnovers and got called for a hook in the process.

13:00 left — Trevor Kell absolutely destroyed Derek Couture with a hit along the boards…Couture then slashed Kell, but hey…why call that?

11:18 left — Justin Coutu with a bad turnover in his own end…Chaz Johnson got it, the puck came out to the front of the net, and Mike Sgroi banged home a rebound to make it 1-0, Jackals. Suffice it to say, losing Matt Cohen really hurts.

10:50 left — TRENTON COMES RIGHT BACK! Eric Castonguay came up the left side and fired a hard shot on Teslak…Teslak made the stop, and dove across the net to make a RIDICULOUS save on Jeff Prough, who raised his arms thinking he scored. He didn’t, but Nathan Perkovich was in the right spot and buried that rebound to tie the game, 1-1.

9:10 left — Tony Zancanaro just accidentally, but very obviously high sticked Sgroi in the face…no call. Honestly, these officials have been brutal.

8:15 left — Ryan Gunderson shot the puck. That, in itself, is news.

6:36 left — Trevor Kell’s in the box for interference…

5:13 left — JEFF PROUGH STEPS UP! He earned that goal…he stole the puck from the Elmira defender behind the net, circled to the front of the net, waited out Teslak and buried a wrister past the goalie’s blocker. 2-1, Devils…SHORTHANDED GOAL.

3:00 left — Great work by Kell, Snetsinger and Henkel…Elmira dinking around with the puck behind their own net all the time sure doesn’t hurt things either.

2:20 left — Wes Cunningham gets two minutes for interference and a ten minute misconduct for some shenanigans after the whistle. Devils PP. Connolly serves the penalty…


Second Period: Eric Castonguay has 5 of the Devils 14 shots. Brandon Roach and Paul McIlveen lead Elmira with two each.

19:30 left — Dan Eves drills Craig Switzer with a hit behind the net…Switzer very slowly and gingerly skates off.

18:28 left — My goodness Elmira is awful in their own end right now. Trevor Kell nearly capitalizes on another Jackals giveaway, but Teslak makes the glove save.

14:00 left — Refs are letting quite a bit go right now…

13:15 left — David Leaderer’s in the box…PP Elmira.

12:35 left — Oh boy. Chris Dyment, who hasn’t looked good at all this game, with a high stick…long 5-on-3 here. This, obviously, is HUGE.

11:06 left — Chris Korchinski scores his fourth goal of the series, batting in a rebound low and to Frazee’s right. 2-2 game.

10:13 left — Derek Couture squashes Elmira’s momentum with an interference penalty…again, rather obvious call right there.

8:35 left — Elmira’s been very, very aggressive on the penalty kill…Brad Snetsinger created a few chances, but nothing too big…

7:35 left — Stoesz offers to drop the gloves with Johnson. Johnson wants no part of it. The fans love it.

6:09 left — Trenton just letting Elmira cycle right now…they’re controlling the perimeter. They have to apply more pressure or it’s going to cost them.

4:20 left — Brandon Roach is in the box for the Jackals…PP Trenton.

2:46 left — Waaaaaaaaay too much passing on the man advantage right now.

36.4 left — Derek Couture with a bonehead play there…boarding David Leaderer and then yapping to the ref for an extra unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. HUGE power play here for Trenton…the refs will swallow the whistles in the third. Sketchy, sketchy call by the ref there to give the extra 2…he must have said something rather nasty.


Third Period: Castonguay and Prough have 6 shots each…Roach and McIlveen lead Elmira with 3 a piece.

16:36 left — Not the T-Devils best effort on the power play there. 0-for-6 now…

15:33 left — Chaz Johnson with a boarding penalty on Trevor Kell…the power play haaaaaaaas to get it going, Elmira keeps giving them opportunities.

14:19 left — This is the best the PP has looked in a while…but they still can’t score.

13:11 left — Jeff Prough accidentally shoots the puck right into Myles Stoesz’s face…he was down for a few seconds and writhing in pain…but appears to be OK. Definitely left some blood on the ice, though.

11:11 left — Stoesz takes a high sticking penalty…big kill here.

9:25 left — So much for the refs swallowing the whistles…Jeff Prough called for the hook. 14 second 5-on-3 for the Jackals.

8:17 left — Elmira takes a 3-2 lead. That’s what scoring on the power play will do for you. Shot from the left point by Paul McIlveen was tipped by Josh Aspenlind and fluttered over Frazee and into the net. 3-2.

7:53 left — Matt Radoslovich boards Chaz Johnson…but Johnson gets called for a dive, too. Wow…I mean, he went down easy and certainly faked being hurt…but that was boarding.

7:06 left — Does Frazee have a rock in his glove or something? Catch it. Hold it.

5:01 left — That’s your game and your series, folks. Chaz Johnson outhustles Trenton to a puck down in the corner, finds Pierre-Luc Faubert wide open and cutting to the slot, and it’s 4-2, Jackals.

3:07 left — Too many men called on Elmira…Kowalsky HAS to use the timeout here, right? And when do you pull Frazee?

2:14 left — Well, no timeout and Frazee’s still in there…

2:14 left (again) — There’s the timeout…Frazee remains on the ice

1:25 left — Steve Yetman makes sure it’s over with a long empty netter. 5-2, Jackals. What a shame…didn’t need to be this way. The power play couldn’t score and that was the difference.

1:01 left — David Leaderer scores with Frazee out again to make it 5-3. Teslak made a few nice scramble saves, but this one’s still in the books…

53.5 left — Elmira ices the puck, Frazee’s out and the draw’s in the offfensive zone.

Three Stars:




My vote:

Final Score: 5-3, Jackals.  Jackals win the series, 4-3.

Post-Game Notes:

Pre-Game Photos:

In-Game Videos:

Fight Videos:

Next Game:



Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Game 6 Goal Videos, Anyone?

April 21, 2009

While you’re waiting for Game 7 to get underway, Brett Piscopo of the Trenton Devils posted Game 6 goal videos in the multimedia section of the team’s official website.

Be sure to check those out and get pumped for tonight and such…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Does It Get Any Better Than A Game 7?

April 21, 2009

There is absolutely no reason that Sovereign Bank Arena shouldn’t be packed tonight.  Trenton Devils fan or not, hockey fan or not, sports fan or not…the words “Game Seven” should resonate with anyone. 

There is nothing more intense or pressure packed…win and you advance, lose and you go home.

For the second time in the history of the arena and third in the history of the franchise, Trenton will be involved in a seventh and deciding game.

Tickets ARE available and start at just $13.50.  Follow this link to get yours, or come to the box office before the game starts at 7:05 PM.

Whether it be Elmira or Trenton, come on out and support your team.

Prior to last night’s Nailers-Cyclones contest, there had been just 13 Game 7’s in the 21-year history of the ECHL.

Tonight’s will be the 15th.  Here’s how the others played out…

Previous Game 7’s in ECHL history

May 5, 2008 Reading 1 at CINCINNATI 6 Division Finals
May 18, 2007 DAYTON 4 at Florida 3 (OT) Conference Finals
May 3, 2007 Cincinnati 3 at DAYTON 5 Division Finals
May 22, 2006 Fresno 2 at ALASKA 3 (2 OT) Conference Finals
May 6, 2006 Bakersfield 2 at FRESNO 4 Division Finals
Apr. 22, 2006 Long Beach 3 at BAKERSFIELD 4 Division Semifinals
Apr. 19, 2006 Idaho 2 at LAS VEGAS 6 Division Semifinals
May 16, 2005 TRENTON 2 at Alaska 0 Conference Finals
May 3, 2003 Cincinnati 2 at ATLANTIC CITY 3 Conference Finals
May 13, 2001 Peoria 3 at TRENTON 4 Conference Finals
May 30, 1999 Richmond 3 at MISSISSIPPI 4 (2 OT) Kelly Cup Finals
Mar. 31, 1992 Roanoke 2 at GREENSBORO 6 First Round
Apr. 12, 1989 CAROLINA 7 at Johnstown 4 Riley Cup Finals

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Cyclones Advance To Division Finals With 2OT Win

April 20, 2009

The Cincinnati Cyclones beat the Wheeling Nailers with a goal a few minutes into Double OT to advance to the North Division Finals in the 2009 Kelly Cup Playoffs.

If Trenton wins Game 7 against Elmira tomorrow night, they will travel to Cincinnati, where Game 1 would be played Friday night and Game 2 would be played Saturday night.  Game 1 will be played at 7:30 PM.

The teams would return to Sovereign Bank Arena for Game 3 on a date and time to be determined.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Wheeling @ Cincinnati: Game 7 Heading Into OT

April 20, 2009

Listen to the broadcast here.

Not only does the outcome of this game determine Trenton or Elmira’s opponent (duh), it also determines who would have home ice in the second round.

Cincinnati is the 1 seed, Wheeling is the 4.  A Cincinnati win would give them home ice…a Wheeling win would give Elmira or Trenton home ice.

It’s very fitting that both playoff series in this division are going seven games considering how tight the regular season was.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

NDSF Game 6: Post-Game Notes

April 20, 2009

– Jeff Frazee will start Game 7 on Tuesday night.  Was there any doubt?  Seems there were a few rumors going around about Gerald Coleman’s status…he was in the building tonight and in the locker room after the game.  Rick Kowalsky told reporters that Coleman had been banged up throughout the series, but not surprisingly did not discuss details of the injury or how it happened.  Some people seem to be curious if it happened at all.

– Matt Cohen’s status for Game 7 is unknown.  Kowalsky said he was day-to-day.  If Cohen can’t go, Mike Wilson would be the first thought to be a replacement…but if he stayed home for Game 6, what’s the point in either having him or letting him come to Game 7?  Might as well just dress 11 forwards and 5 D.

– Kowalsky described Eric Castonguay’s game-winning goal as him using his “signature move,” which is something I’ve written about all year long.  He used to do it a lot more, but he loves to cut across the middle and fire that wrist shot.

“You guys have seen it, and we’ve seen it,” Kowalsky said.  “He’s probably scored eight, nine goals like that.  As soon as he cut to the middle, I knew he had some room.  It was nice to see him put it home.”

Castonguay told us after the game that he noticed the defenseman was cheating a bit, so he cut to the middle and beat Michael Teslak, a Flyers prospect, for the game-winner.

“It’s not easy to beat Teslak in this series, but I was happy to score that goal,” Castonguay said.

Nathan Perkovich floated a soft pass over to Castonguay to set up the play.  Had the pass been a little harder, Castonguay might have been able to skate in alone.

“It was perfect,” joked Castonguay about the pass.

“I wouldn’t change anything.”

– Kowalsky guessed he’d played in “three or four” Game seven’s, including winning the Ontario Hockey League championship in a seventh game back in juniors.

– Frazee said that knowing a lot of the guys in Trenton helped him make the adjustment in getting sent back down from Lowell after their season was over.

He also downplayed the difference in this team from when he first played on it in October to now…

“That was a long time ago, I don’t think you can really compare them,” Frazee said.

“There’s a lot of new faces and things have gone a lot better.  They’ve won a lot of games.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT


April 19, 2009

Eric Castonguay sends the fans home happy, burying a wrister in the top left corner of the net in double overtime to force a Game 7 in the Northern Division Semifinals.

Stay tuned for post-game reactions…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Game 6: North Division Semifinals — Elmira @ Trenton

April 19, 2009

Series Status: 3-2, Jackals (Best of 7)

Pre-Game Notes (LIVE from SBA): 4:00 PM — Not a whole lot going on right now, stay tuned for updates…

5:05 PM — D Mike Wilson isn’t in the building, and G Gerald Coleman is out of the lineup and on the IR. Both players would be available for Game 7.

F Scott Bartlett has been activated…seems to indicate he’ll be playing tonight.

5:45 PM — Bartlett is in. Michael Teslak vs. Jeff Frazee is your goalie matchup.

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: Your starters…





20:00 left — Nice to see about 350 of my closest friends are joining me for this one. It’s a shame that there’s such a small crowd for the biggest game of the year.

17:13 left — Chaz Johnson takes a hard wrist shot off Frazee’s blocker…he can’t give up that rebound there, he’s got to either catch it or put it somewhere other than the edge of the circle.

16:17 left — Colton Yellow Horn buried an easy rebound chance, but the goal was waved off for apparent interference on Frazee…honesly, looks like Elmira got jobbed. Still 0-0.

14:11 left — Jeff Prough’s in the box for Trenton with a slash…there’s a guy who needs to step up tonight, and he didn’t right there.

13:41 left — Frazee’s giving up a ton of rebounds right now, and it cost him. Everyone’s favorite, Chaz Johnson, with an easy goal. 1-0, Jackals.

13:08 left — Slavomir Tomko with a stupid interference penalty…he had no interest in the puck whatsoever. I’m just surprised the refs actually called it.

9:22 left — Brad Snetsinger, also non-existent this series, is in the box…

6:47 left — Trevor Kell takes the fourth shot Trenton’s had in the first 13 minutes and change. Not good…

4:52 left — Trenton’s just totally flat this period. Tony Zancanaro’s in the box now…Elmira’s looking like the team that wants this more.

1:12 left — Chaz Johnson gives the Devils a gift power play with a charging penalty…


Second Period: 19:10 left — Brandon Roach with a trip, and Trenton’s right back on the man advantage…

18:18 left — Teslak with a huge stop on a Jeff Prough 2-on-1 shot in tight…

14:32 left — Jim Henkel takes a penalty…Trenton still can’t get anything going right now. They don’t have any jump at all.

12:23 left — Chris Dyment sends Chaz Johnson flying for a penalty…no jump, no discipline. Amazing it’s only 1-0.

11:25 left — Dan Eves comes in clean on a shorthanded breakaway, but Teslak comes up huge with a big glove save.

9:21 left — Travis Gawryletz with an impressively obvious cross checking penalty…T-Devs on a PP.

7:09 left — Tony Zancanaro goes down surprisingly easy on a Paul McIlveen cross check…Trenton again on the man advantage.

5:03 left — David Leaderer jumps into the play and puts the Devils on the board…nice cross crease pass from Brad Snetsinger, and Leaderer buries it to tie the game, 1-1.

4:20 left — Matt Radoslovich will have none of this momentum you speak of, taking an interference penalty right in front of the ref…

2:32 left — Brendan Connolly and Jim Henkel take coincidental minors…

2:10 left — Radoslovich can’t convert on another breakaway…

1:45 left — Chris Dyment appears to knock Derek Couture into Jeff Frazee…Dyment is further aggrevated and drops the gloves with Couture for a 45 second or so fight…


Third Period: Jeff Prough leads Trenton with 4 shots, Brandon Roach leads Elmira with 5. 40 combined penalty minutes so far. Elmira is 1 for 6 on the power play, Trenton’s 0 for 5.

17:41 left — Jeff Frazee with a big save on a little tip play in front by Elmira…

16:07 left — Nathan Perkovich clanks a bounce off the boards from a Justin Coutu point shot off the post…

10:32 left — Jim Henkel loses control on a great 2-on-1 chance…

6:48 left — Derek Couture gives Elmira a 2-1 lead. The play was set up behind the net, Couture skated in to the edge of the crease and buried the pass low and to the left of Frazee.

1:29 left — Justin Coutu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As Jeff Frazee was skating off to give Trenton the extra attacker, Coutu absolutely buried a shot from the high slot to tie the game, 2-2.


Overtime: I have to wonder how many rebounds Jeff Frazee can keep giving up before it costs him…

19:12 left — Dan Eves with a nice chance in tight, and then Teslak makes another save on Coutu on the rebound…

17:04 left — I have no idea how Elmira didn’t score right there. Wide open net. Wide open. The red light went on…but Elmira’s player must have shanked it or something. The Jackals, based on their very audible language, are displeased with the icing call and the lack of a penalty on a stick being thrown towards one of their players who had the puck.

14:00 left — Trevor Kell with a golden chance, but Teslak with the save…

8:25 left — There’s something about SBA, Michael Teslak and overtime games that seem to go together. Still 2-2…

3:52 left — WOW! The refs call a penalty! Derek Couture’s in the box for a slash…big call.

1:46 left — Trenton had a few good set-ups and chances…but no dice. We’re still playing.


Double Overtime: 19:16 left — Tony Zancanaro gets called for the hook…

15:06 left — Elmira controlled the play for a solid two, two and a half minutes there…Trenton’s got to get some chances generated here.


Three Stars:

* Eric Castonguay

** Jeff Frazee

*** Justin Coutu

My vote:

Final Score: 3-2, Devils, Double OT

Post-Game Notes:

Pre-Game Photos:


Jeff Frazee


Eric Castonguay


Dan Eves


Riku Helenius


Brad Snetsinger


Michael Teslak

In-Game Videos:

Fight Videos:

Dyment vs. Couture

Next Game:


Game 7, NDSF — @ SBA, 4/21

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT