From The ECHL To The Olympics

(PR) PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL is represented by former coach and player Scott Gordon along with 24 players in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games where the men’s ice hockey competition began Tuesday in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Gordon is an assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s Ice Hockey Team and was also the assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2009 IIHF World Championship in Berne and Zurich-Kloten, Switzerland.

Gordon played for Johnstown in 1988-89 and on Jan. 30, 1990 became the first ECHL player to play in the National Hockey League when he made his debut with the Quebec Nordiques against the Buffalo Sabres. Gordon returned to the ECHL with Nashville in 1992-93 and Knoxville in 1993-94.

The 46 year old was named head coach of Roanoke in the ECHL in 1998-99. In his first season the Express finished first in the Northern Conference with a 38-22-10 record, advancing to the Kelly Cup Playoffs where they lost in the conference finals. In his second season Roanoke went 44-20-6 and set team records for wins (44) and points (94) while finishing atop the Northeast Division standings and again advancing to the Kelly Cup Playoffs.

Nine of the 12 teams have an ECHL player led by Latvia which has six former ECHL players followed by Germany with five former players. Belarus has three former ECHL players, while Norway, Slovakia and the United States each have two players and the Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland each have one player.

Jonathan Quick, who suited up for the Reading Royals during the 2007-08 season, will be the backup goaltender behind Ryan Miller and another former ECHL player, Tim Thomas , for the United States. Vladimir Denisov of Belarus and Ervins Mustukovs of Latvia also saw action during the 2007-08 season with the Johnstown Chiefs and Elmira Jackals, respectively.

Tuesday, Feb. 16 Results

United States 3, Switzerland 1
Former Tallahassee defenseman Mark Streit assisted on Switzerland’s only goal in a 3-1 loss to the United States.

Canada 8, Norway 0
Former Louisiana forward Marius Holtet was on the ice for Norway.

Russia 8, Latvia 2
Former Knoxville right wing Herbert Vasilijevs had a goal and four penalty minutes for Latvia in an 8-2 loss to Russia.

Wednseday, Feb. 17 Schedule

Finland vs. Belarus 3:00 pm ET
Former Johnstown Chief Vladimir Denisov and former Roanoke goaltender Andrei Mezin will suit up for Belarus.

Sweden vs. Germany 7:30 pm ET
Former Toledo Storm goaltender Stefan Liv will suit up for Sweden and Germany will have former ECHL players Thomas Greiss, Jakub Ficenec, Dmitri Patzold, Chris Schmidt and John Tripp in their lineup.

Czech Republic vs. Slovakia 12:00 am ET
Former Wheeling goaltender, Tomas Vokoun , will be between the pipes for the Czechs while former ECHL goaltenders Jaroslav Halak and Rastislav Stana will suit up for Slovakia.

Fans can follow the action on NBCOlympics.com, Vancouver2010.com and Olympic.org

ECHL Players in 2010 Winter Olympic Games –

Belarus – Vladimir Denisov (Johnstown, 2007-09), Andrei Mezin (Roanoke, 1993-94) and Konstantin Zakharov (Alaska, 2005-06).

Czech Republic – Tomas Vokoun (Wheeling, 1995-96).

Germany – Thomas Greiss (Fresno, 2006-07), Jakub Ficenec (Johnstown, 1998-99), Dmitri Patzold (Johnstown, 2003-04 and Fresno, 2006-07), Chris Schmidt (Mississippi, 1996-97 and 1998-99) and John Tripp (Roanoke, 1997-98; Johnstown, 1998-99 and 1999-00; and Pensacola, 2000-01 and 2001-02).

Latvia –Armands Berzins (Louisiana, 2003-04 and Wheeling, 2004-05), Rodrigo Lavins (Raleigh, 1994-95 and Tallahassee, 1994-97), Ervins Mustukovs (Toledo, 2006-07 and Elmira, 2007-08), Sergei Naumov (Greensboro, 2000-01), Arvids Rekis (Peoria, 2000-03) and Herbert Vasiljevs (Knoxville, 1996-97).

Norway – Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (Dayton, 2004-05) and Marius Holtet (Louisiana, 2004-05).

Slovakia – Jaroslav Halak (Long Beach, 2005-06) and Rastislav Stana (Richmond, 2000-02).

Sweden – Stefan Liv (Toledo, 2006-07).

Switzerland – Raffaele Sannitz (Dayton, 2004-05) and Mark Streit (Tallahassee, 1999-2000).

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